Following the international success of her critically-acclaimed Italian Concertos – about which BBC Music
Magazine raved: “listening to it is nothing less than a life-enhancing experience” – trumpet superstar Alison Balsom releases an exciting and important new album of modern trumpet concertos. Entitled Seraph, the album leads with the world-premiere recording of James MacMillan’s similarly-named trumpet concerto, a work written especially for Balsom and featuring the exploratory yet accessible compositional style MacMillan has become known for.
The album also includes two other concertos: the Trumpet Concerto in A flat major by Alexander Arutiunian – a staple in the repertory thanks to its simple and attractive musical language which incorporates features of Armenian folk music – and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s haunting, impossibly virtuosic Trumpet Concerto in C Major. The disc also features “Paths” by Toru Takemitsu – a solo trumpet piece that combines elements of Eastern and Western musical philosophies, and rounding out the program is a sparse, gripping arrangement of the American spiritual “Nobody Knows,” arranged by Tom Foster and Alison herself.
Alison Balsom is a unique and independent artist who has broken through to the mainstream while still maintaining her integrity and core musical values. Exceptional talent, a glamorous stage presence and a witty and engaging personality make Alison one of the most exciting artists in the core classical world today. She has won numerous awards from the likes of Classic FM, Gramophone and ECHO Klassik, as well as three Classic BRITs including “Female Artist of the Year” for 2011. She is also among the few classical musicians to have appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, who heard her on the radio in a New York City taxi cab and immediately asked to get her on the show.
This album is a labor of love for Alison, and is sure to please fans of both core and modern classical music.