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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from LSO0744
Recording details: February 2013
Barbican, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Nicholas Parker
Engineered by Neil Hutchinson
Release date: November 2013
Total duration: 15 minutes 52 seconds

'In Speranza, with its tangible message of enduring hope, we truly find heart as well as brilliance' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Turnage’s orchestration is what colours this landscape. In 'Dóchas' he uses the oboe-like duduk, while the sombre, one-movement concerto moves to the light via the flugelhorn, trumpet and piccolo trumpet, insistent percussion representing both the heartbeat and the nervous jump' (The Independent)

'The sound is arguably the finest to have come from LSO Live in recent years, having a lustre and depth that highlight both Turnage’s orchestration and the LSO’s realization of it to best advantage' (International Record Review)

'The glittering virtuosity of [Hardenberger’s] playing says everything about the composer’s expertise in writing it, and conjures a musical idiom resembling a strange blend of Mahler and Miles Davis … in both works Daniel Harding’s conducting secures a fine response from the UK’s classiest and feistiest symphony orchestra, whose players latch onto the music’s menacing surges of sound with their trademark firepower' (

Concerto for trumpet and orchestra 'From the Wreckage'

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In some ways Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Trumpet Concerto follows a trajectory similar to many works in the orchestral repertoire. The journey, via a process of inner struggle, from a state of darkness into one of light is, after all, one of the great emotional archetypes of musical form. But unlike, say, the great Fifth Symphonies of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Nielsen, Turnage’s compact piece does not share the heroic statements of these earlier works. Its psychology relates to a much more modern frame of mind, one in which the crisis is less overcome than simply worked through, resulting in a state of mind in which the agony becomes tolerable.

The work is composed in a single movement, but a three-part division is perceptible in the changing atmosphere, itself further articulated by the soloist’s moving from the dark-toned flugelhorn to the standard trumpet and eventually, for the third part, to the piccolo trumpet. The opening suggests horror rather than tragedy. Subtle but uncanny screeches in the strings and unsettling flares from the percussion provide a background to the nervous, centre-less meandering of the soloist. The subsequent, jazz-inflected syncopations introduced during the first tutti, and the misty flow of the ensuing solo entry, seem initially to afford few comforts, but the sense of the trumpet exploring half-familiar territory eventually dispels the sense of underlying panic. True to form, there is no Beethovenian conquering-over-adversity at the end. Rather, the opening’s uncertainties are simply rendered less threatening and the piece seems less to end than simply to exhale, winding out on a shimmering chord and a last shake of the snare.

Originally written for this performance’s soloist, the Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, From the Wreckage is remarkable for the way it captures such a wide spectrum of colour and expression from its solo instrument. Turnage’s affinity with the instrument stems partly from the pieces—such as Night Dances (1981) and the double trumpet concerto Dispelling the Fears (1994)—in which his love of jazz first penetrated and revolutionised his musical style. The piece also eschews the traditional concerto idea of making adversaries of soloist and orchestra, the latter acting more in the manner of an ancient Greek chorus by setting and colouring the scene and responding to the plight of the troubled protagonist.

from notes by Guy Dammann © 2012

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