Two Recordings by Jean-Francois Madeuf

 

Ensemble Arianna/Marie-Paule Nounou, Purcell’s Trumpets: From Shore to Shore, ARN 68804, www.arion-music.com, recorded November, 2008, La Chappelle des Jesuites de Carcassonne.
 
Jean-Francois Madeuf and Joel Lahens, natural trumpets
Stephen Dudermel, Myiam Bis-Cambrel, and Geraldine Roux, violins
Jean-Paul Talvard, violone
Jean Chamboux, timpani and percussion
Bruno Helstroffer, theorbo
Marie-Paule Nounou, harpsichord
 
Trumpets by Robert Barclay and David Edwards after John Harris, 1715
Mouthpieces by Bruno Tilz and Graham Nicholson after William Bull (1650-1712)
A=415 Hz, quarter comma mean tone temperament
 
 
            This recording is a delight from start to finish. It features music by William Shore, Henry and David Purcell, Godfrey Finger, Charles Dieupart, William Topham, James Paisible, Arcangelo Corelli and Jeremiah Clarke. As we have come to expect, the playing of Jean-Francois Madeuf is extraordinary. His sound is warm and rich, his articulations smooth and historic and his phrasing is always well-shaped and always ending elegantly, never abruptly. Joel Lahens matches him well in these regards. Together they have perfect intonation and blend their sounds well.
            The members of Ensemble Arianna have great technical facility yet play as one in style and phrasing and are a pleasure. Particular attention should be given to Jean Chamboux, not only for his virtuosic timpani playing, but also for his creative and tasteful tambourine and drum work.
            Madeuf continues to equal the modern standards of accuracy, intonation, and control, but due to his complete immersion and mastery of historic practices and control of the natural trumpet, he offers the listener art on the highest level.
 
--James Miller
 
Trbicines, Igino Conforzi and Jean-Francois Madeuf, Heroic Art of Trumpets and Timpani, Recorded December 10-12, 200, San Giorgio in Bosco, Padua, Italy
 
Natural trumpets: Jean-Francois Madeuf, Igino Conforzi, Joel Lahens, Gilles Rapin, Graham Nicholson, Richard Casany, Tranquillo Forza, Andrea Inghisciano.
Sackbutts: Pier Gabriele Callegari, Massimilano Costanzi, David Yacus, Mauro Morini, Stefano Stevanin.
Timpani: Philip Tarr, Gabriele Miracle
 
            The title says it all. This is indeed a recording of both heroic and artful playing. There is a wealth of music for multiple trumpets and timpani,-all heroic and all played artfully. The ensemble always phrases well and the result is appreciated. The repetitiveness and lack of harmonic variety of this genre can leave the listener somewhat bored, but Tibicines pays attention to details, dynamic contrast, historic articulation, and refined phrasing which makes for an extremely pleasurable result.
            Some of the selections are simply duos. In fact, some which exemplify the highest artistic playing (by Madeuf and Conforzi) are three anonymous works from a collection from Modena dated ca. 1688-1689. These are played fabulously and display great technical facility, elegant phrasing, and all while scaling the heights of the 16th and 17th partials.
            Madeuf writes a short but very exact description of the natural trumpet, its overtone series, and how it deviates from modern equal temperament. Conforzi contributes long and detailed notes concerning the repertoire. Some of the composers represented here are Girolamo Fantini, Daniel Speer, Johann Pezel, Heinrich Biber, johann Schmelzer, Andre D. Philidor, and Bartolomeo Bismantova.
            The trumpets used are copies of originals by Michael Nagel (1656 and 1657), Hans Hainlein (1632), Michael Hainlein (1628), Isaac Ehe (1616), and Johann Leonhard Ehe II (1616) replicated by Rainer Egger, Graham Nicholson, and Edward Meinl. Some selections are pitched at A=440 Hz, and others seem to be at A=466 Hz. No information is provided on this, nor the mouthpieces used, or details on the sackbuts used.
            This is an excellent recording. It offers festive as well as introspective music for large forces and small, all performed with great joy and care.
 
--James Miller