University of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble Recording

dovel uky trumpetsUniversity of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, Jason Dovel, director, with John Foster, guest soloist. Music for Natural Trumpets. New Branch Records (NBR 018), Recorded July 11, 2017.

Baroque trumpets: Drew Burke, Jason Dovel, John Foster, Bailey Goff, Phillip Chase, Cadem Holmes, Jessica Lambert, Kyle Mitchell, Rhiannon Montgomery, Coleman Scott, Abby Temple, Jared Wallis. Sackbut: Denver Pascua, Timpani/Tabor: David Davenport.

Those who attended the 2017 HBS Symposium will remember a stunning performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the University of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Jason Dovel. The present CD is the ensemble’s first recording and may be the first professional recording by a college baroque trumpet ensemble.

As was the case at the HBS symposium, John Foster is the guest soloist on this fine recording. Jason Dovel established the ensemble in 2013, and the University of Kentucky now offers a Certificate in Baroque Trumpet at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

One result of those activities is this fine ensemble recording. A wide range of instruments are used but the upper parts are played on vented instruments and the lower parts on natural trumpets at A= 415 Hz. The program of the CD is comprised of 15 pieces, mostly standard favorites of the natural trumpet repertoire and a few less frequently recorded. They set a rousing tone with the opening piece, “Fanfare from Battalgia” by Paul Hainlein (1628–1686). The more familiar pieces in the repertoire were all expertly performed with clarity and precision including the Altenburg (1734–1801) Concerto for 7 Clarini and Timpani, the March by C. P. E. Bach (1714–1788.), the Toccata from Orfeo by Monteverdi, and three slections by Cesare Bendinelli (1542–1617). Jason Dovel also arranged a fine set of works by Michel Delalande (1657–1726). John Foster wrote an arrangement to the famous Ablassen depicted on the Hausmann portrait of Gottfried Reiche, which included interplay between the trumpet ensemble and the solo line which Foster played brilliantly. The well-known Hejnal, the fanfare, believed to have been played in Krakow practically continuously since the thirteenth century was also given an interesting arrangement with historical narration. Jason Dovel and his student Jared Wallis admirably performed four duets by Valentine Snow (ca. 1700–1770).  The last piece was Sassy Sackbut, a humorous and bluey pieces written by Dovel. The work makes some serious demands on the trumpet ensemble with plenty of non-harmonic notes and a high lead trumpet part that makes one think of the Basie band rather than Bendinelli’s band. Denver Pascual does a remarkable job in this performance with many jazz trombone techniques that are reminiscent of Tricky Sam Nanton.

The students in the University of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble have much to be proud of; this CD is an encouraging view of the future of baroque trumpet playing. Jason Dovel has trained them well.

--Jeff Nussbaum