Trumpeter Alison Balsom, Modern Concertos: Seraph out on EMI February 7

Internationaly Best-Selling and Award-Winning Trumpeter Releases New Recording of Modern Concertos EMI Classics- February 7th, 2012

Trumpeter Alison Balsom’s new recording of modern and contemporary repertoire, Seraph (EMI Classics, out February 7, 2012) marks an important artistic stepping stone in her career. This labor of love features the world premiere recording of Seraph, James MacMillan’s trumpet concerto written for Alison, works by Takemitsu and Zimmermann and includes her long-awaited recording of the ever popular Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. Joining Alison in the concertos is the Scottish Ensemble.

James MacMillan’s Seraph (2010), a concertino for trumpet and strings in three short movements, was co-commissioned by the Scottish Ensemble and Perth Concert Hall. Seraph - the meaning of the word is ‘a celestial being or angel, usually and traditionally associated with trumpets’ - was premiered by its dedicatee at the Wigmore Hall in February 2011 and the premiere was recorded without patching.

Alison says, "I’d met James Macmillan and worked with him before. He is one of my all-time favourite composers. He has such an original voice with so much beauty and so many layers and I just thought if there was any way he would ever write something else for the trumpet [he wrote an earlier trumpet concerto in another context]. I approached him with the Scottish Ensemble, and we were delighted when he agreed. He was a trumpet player at one stage in his life so he has a soft spot for the instrument. I think he also recognised that the trumpet has many sides to its character. His first concerto explores one particular side, the heroic and other techniques on the trumpet. Seraph is probably more in a singing style, although there is a lot of virtuosity in the piece. The second movement is very beautiful. The Scottish Ensemble and I have played the concerto three or four times now. It’s definitely going to be a staple in my repertoire and a valuable treasure for all trumpet players.”

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