Armando Ghitalla – A Trumpet Legacy – Trumpet Concertos by WILLIAM PERRY, PONCHIELLI, J.M. MOLTER, OSKAR BÖHME – Armando Ghitalla, trumpet/Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/William Perry (cond. Cappella Istropolitana in Molter concerto only) – Premier/Bridge

by | Oct 19, 2007 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

Armando Ghitalla – A Trumpet Legacy – Trumpet Concertos by WILLIAM PERRY, PONCHIELLI, J.M. MOLTER, OSKAR BÖHME – Armando Ghitalla, trumpet/Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/William Perry (cond. Cappella Istropolitana in Molter concerto only) – Premier/Bridge 9232, 63:09 ****:

Bridge is gaining a reputation as an excellent reissuer of historic recordings, of which their series from the Smithsonian Institution archives is probably the best known. These are the final studio recordings, originally released in 1992 by Premier, of one of the greatest classical trumpet players of our time – who passed away in 2001.  He delighted in finding older works to perform, as well as having new works dedicated to him – as with William Perry’s Trumpet Concerto which opens the program.

Originally beginning as a cornet virtuoso, Ghitalla moved to the trumpet in many different versions – playing a variety of models in these concertos – and he worked closely with trumpet manufacturers as well as maintaining a long career teaching the trumpet.  He was also a cartoonist, and drew himself (in the note booklet) in three different period costumes representing the three centuries from which the trumpet concertos in the collection came.

The Perry Concerto opens with a jazz-flavored Promenade, and its final movement features Latin rhythms and a large percussion section. The Ponchielli concerto was usually played by concert bands, but this version is for a traditional Italian opera orchestra. It’s a brilliant work, with some virtuoso playing by Ghitalla. The little-known Baroque composer Molter wrote several trumpet concertos, but his Op. 18 was originally a clarinet concerto which was transcribed later for piccolo trumpet. The closing music is not actually a concerto but two light dance pieces for trumpet and orchestra by William Perry, receiving their premiere recording. No complaints about the remastering job; this is a prime CD for anyone who enjoys the trumpet and orchestra combination, as well as stellar playing chops.

— John Sunier

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