“A Lindberg Extravaganza” = ANDREA TORRODI (arr.): A Tribute to Dorsey, Miller and Teagarden; ANDERS HŐGSTEDT (arr.): A Tribute to Jussi Bjőrling; JAN SANDSTRŐM: Song to Lotta; ANDERS HŐGSTEDT (arr.): A Night at the Opera; RICHARD RODGERS (arr. Ukkonen): My Funny Valentine; JAN SANDSTRŐM: A Christian Song; ANTONIO VIVALDI (arr. Hőgstedt): La Primavera (Spring) from ‘The Four Seasons’; OSKAR LINDBERG: Gammal Fäbodpsalm Från Dalarna – Christian Lindberg, trombone/Swedish Wind Ensemble/ Hans Ek – Bis Records BIS CD-1878, 63:10 [Distr. by Qualiton] ****:
Christian Lindberg is an ambassador for his instrument! He is a multi-talented individual who has gone beyond trombone performance (of the highest quality) to conducting to composing. He is also a tremendously nice guy; having met him at a clinic and seeing his infectious enthusiasm and his outgoing demeanor with the public including his way with kids who understandably admire his playing. Lindberg is still, first and foremost, one of the world’s great trombonists who has promoted his instrument and popularized it in a manner similar to perhaps Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist, or James Galway, flutist.
This very attractive album illustrates Lindberg as the promoter-artist in a most appealing way. Lindberg performs a variety of light classics and some popular arrangements of familiar tunes with the Swedish Wind Ensemble, conducted by Hans Ek. One of Lindberg’s greatest assets as a player is his phrasing and clear, vibrant tone, regardless of the register. The first two arrangements demonstrate this quite well. Both Tarrodi’s arrangements of big band trombone classics (A Tribute to Dorsey, Miller and Teagarden) as well as the Hőgstedt A Tribute to Jussi Bjorling (the great tenor) give Lindberg some moments to share that long line and gorgeous tone, and the arrangements are quite nice!
The other operatic treatment by Anders Hőgstedt, A Night at the Opera, offers similar simple thrills played wonderfully. This particular arrangement struck me as just a little disjointed and maybe even too much a pastiche, but those big familiar melodies by Puccini, Mozart, Verdi and Bizet come off well with Lindberg and the Swedish band doing the playing. There are some cool moments for multiple trombones and/or the whole brass section that are undeniably attractive and that audiences would, no doubt, enjoy! Richard Rodgers My Funny Valentine (arr. By Per-Olof Ukkonen) is, of course, another big band classic and this arrangement of the very well-known catchy tune is also performed quite well!
There are two Hőgstedt arrangements for solo trombone and wind ensemble by Swedish composer Jan Sandstrőm included here. Song to Lotta is a lovely little melody written for Lotta, a young girl trombonist who was a friend of Sandstrőm’s. The charming back story here is that Lotta had heard Sandstrőm’s A Motorbike Odyssey and Lindberg’s performance wishing that she could ever play it; so Sandstrőm wrote this piece for her! Sandstrőm also wrote A Christian Song for Lindberg as a Christmas present and it is another lovely, simple tune performed wonderfully here.
The “Spring” concerto from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons translates well to trombone and winds. If anything, the prominence of the brass timbres makes it sound quite Baroque and very attractive. The closing work, Gammal Fäbodpsalm Från Dalarna – an old pastoral hymn from Dalecarlia – is scored for tenor trombone and occupies much of the upper register which Lindberg handles with trademark clarity. This piece, too, has a simple beauty.
This really is a very entertaining disc and Lindberg and the Swedish Wind Ensemble perform quite well! It’s light fare to be sure but played very well and is very fun to listen to! (Great job, Christian!) It needs to be added that Hans Ek is an experienced and skilled director who has worked with a number of top acts, including Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Bjőrk.
An excellent survey of a favorite Chopin genre…