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Simon Höfele’s excellent recording of Alexander Arutiunian’s trumpet concerto in A flat major

Yes, a trumpet can sound as delicate as a woodwind instrument in some registers and volumes.

The only 26-year-old German trumpeter loves the art of transformation of his brass instrument and said in a commentary on his new album, his first CD with orchestral accompaniment: “I have also adapted the characteristic woodwind style and tried to play more of the softer tones. This is what I love most.”

For his recording of trumpet concertos by Hummel, Haydn, Copland and above all Alexander Arutiunian with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales of Cardiff under Duncan Ward’s baton, he received an OPUS KLASSIK in the category “concert recording” This makes him one of the youngest winners of this prestigious award in 2020.

He explains how his interpretation of Arutiunian’s extremely popular, frequently recorded trumpet concerto in A flat major sounds rather different than usual: “It didn’t become like this because I wanted to be different, but because I simply feel the music differently.” Simon Höfele is a young trumpeter who loves to experiment and discover. He has also made a name for himself with new music but has found a new approach to genuine classics of the trumpet concerto genre.  

Alexander Arutiunian's trumpet concerto dates from 1950 and was written in Moscow for the virtuoso Timofei Dokschitzer. It was also Dokschitzer who contributed the solo cadenza that is usually played today. At any rate, the structure of this concerto, which lifts with an Andante, is unusual. Only in the following Allegro energico in A flat major does the main theme emerge, followed immediately by a lyrical second theme based entirely on the classical sonata form. In an intermediate section, Arutiunian demonstrates his mastery of polyphonic compositional techniques.

In the “classical” development, soloist and orchestra present themselves in a lively dialogue. Instead of a slow movement, an intermezzo-like meno mosso is heard, followed immediately by a tempo primo that is hardly longer than that of the first movement. The main thematic complex is here once again hymnically exaggerated, until the work concludes with a virtuoso solo cadenza. Trumpeters love the piece, in Münster the young soloist Lukas Speckmann spoke of a phenomenal romping place for every virtuoso colleague and of course, for himself.

On CD “Standards” 
Alexander Arutiunian: 
Trumpet Concerto in A flat major 
Simon Höfele (trumpet)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales of Cardiff, Conductor: Duncan Ward 
Berlin Classics 0301314BC 

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