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Classical - Released June 2, 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released November 1, 2006 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
"Behold the greatest trumpeter on earth," says the Times of London about Sweden's Hakan Hardenberger, and after hearing this recording it's hard to disagree. An hour of contemporary music for solo trumpet may seem like quite a chore for anyone except trumpeters, but if anyone can pull it off, it is Hardenberger. This collection of five works runs the gamut when it comes to extended technique, and to pushing the trumpet (and the trumpeter) to the edge of conventional technique. The title work, inspired by a series of paintings of which one is reproduced on the album cover, is especially full of trumpet tricks, but it is the "air columns" -- unvoiced, toneless blasts of air -- dividing up the different sections of the work that make the strongest impression. Likewise, it is the large arcs of Hardenberger's playing, compelling even for listeners not especially enamored of the trumpet or of contemporary composition, that really set this recording apart. The central work, Poul Ruders' Reveille-Retraite, will be the most accessible for many listeners with its (nonliteral) references to military trumpet music, and it is hard to imagine its sharp, sparkling lines being rendered more skillfully than they are here. This is a virtuoso performance, in every sense of the work, and as usual with the BIS label the engineering is outstanding.

Classical - Released December 1, 2002 | BIS

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Classical - Released August 7, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released June 9, 2015 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released March 6, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet

Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca

Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

Swedish trumpeter Hakan Hardenberger is bidding to become the successor to Maurice André, and he is similar to André in his willingness to take on repertory of almost any period and deliver a convincing performance. It apparently occurred to someone at Decca that a collection of Hardenberger performances could double as an all-purpose trumpet box, and indeed these five CDs will give most listeners all the trumpet music they'll ever need. The five discs were originally issued between 1986 and 1994, and unlike many large anthologies they each replicate one original release -- they're not cut and pasted. The sequence of the box as a whole is roughly chronological, with mostly Baroque concertos and trumpet-and-organ spectaculars on the first two discs, Classical-period concertos on disc 3, a grab bag of Romantic and modern trumpet (or cornet)-and-piano on disc 4, and a group of solo-trumpet modernist extended-technique works to close out the set. Hardenberger is remarkably consistent across this wide stylistic range, and it's hard to find a moment where he flags. It might be noted that his rather detached perfection works extremely well in ceremonial works like the famed Trumpet Tune of Jeremiah Clarke but not so well in something like Hora staccato, arranged by Hardenberger from Jascha Heifetz's own arrangement -- a certain level of excitement is missing from works that have a whiff of the low about them. Nothing beyond quibbles can be raised with the set as a whole, however, and the sound of these older recordings holds up well; with each CD simply being a reissue of an older one, there is no problem with strange juxtapositions of sound quality. Any lover of the trumpet, whether classical or otherwise, can profitably load up a changer with these five discs and take an expert tour through the classical repertory for the instrument.

Concertos - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Concertos - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca (UMO)

Classical - Released October 17, 1997 | Da Capo