A lovely collection of trumpet music, mostly contemporary, all well played
Snapshots: ANTHONY PLOG, TRUMPET. Verne Reynolds, Music for 5 Trumpets (performed by Anthony Plog and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Trumpet section); Alan Hovhaness, Sonata for Trumpet and Organ (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Ladd Thomas, organ); Fisher Tull, Three Bagatelles (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Sharon Davis, piano); Eugene Bozza, Caprice (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Sharon Davis, piano); Frank Campo, Duet for Equal Trumpets (Anthony Plog, Russell Kidd); Anthony Plog, Fanfare for Two Trumpets (Anthony Plog, Russell Kidd); Anthony Plog, Animal Ditties – based on poems by Ogden Nash (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Sharon Davis, piano; Hal Smith, narrator); Georges Enesco, Legend (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Sharon Davis, piano); Leroy Southers, Three Spheres (Anthony Plog, trumpet; Ken Wolfson, bassoon; Sharon Davis, piano). Crystal Records CD CD362 TT: 62:28 *** 1/2
Crystal Records has always been a strong advocate of contemporary music and has a large collection of brass music as well. I have several of their discs in my personal collection.
So I was glad to see this new disc from Crystal featuring Anthony Plog, one of the greatest trumpet players of our generation, along with the trumpet players from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Brass section. There is also accompanying music from an organ, piano and bassoon.
Most of these works are new to me, and my certain favorite is the Hovhaness Sonata for Trumpet and Brass. Hovhaness was always good in composing for brass, and this sonata is one I have not heard before. It’s moving, and a lovely addition to this collection.
Plog himself is an accomplished composer and the disc contains his Fanfare for Two Trumpets, and his Animal Ditties, based on Poems of Ogden Nash with narration by Hal Smith. (Trvia buffs will note that Mr. Smith played the town drunk in the old Andy Griffith show.)
The other tracks on the disc are also a good listen. The mood varies but the trumpet playing is superb.
Sound-wise things are fine. Other than the Hovhaness with organ, there’s not an opportunity for wide frequency response, but the recording accurately captures the sound of the brass instruments. There’s nothing in the disc notes about where this was recorded. It’s a little dry sounding for my taste, but the disc still sounds fine.
As a former brass player myself, I’m always eager to hear well played trumpet music, and there is plenty in this collection.