Sound the Trumpets

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A trumpet and organ spectacular: three original Argo and DG albums on a generous, newly compiled 2-CD set.

In Baroque works generally, the trumpet is always accompanied by drums both of these instruments having strong associations with military music. The organ, on the other hand, is primarily associated with the church and it is within the pageantry and rituals of divine worship that the combination of trumpets, timpani and organ comes most splendidly into its own. The repertoire on these recordings includes fine examples from the German, French, Italian and English schools, mixing original works and arrangements, jubilant fanfares with arias of liquid beauty.

It is especially fitting that there should be two works by Buxtehude who was for so many years organist at the Marienkirche in Lubeck. In the city's central Dom, Preston was joined by the three prodigiously talented, twenty-something Laubin brothers to make "Awake the trumpet's lofty sound" in 1985. Five years later they were reunited at the studios of Abbey Road in London to record Italian and German concertos full of stately proclamations and brilliant figuration.

Back in 1968, Preston had scored a commercial and artistic hit for Argo with "Music for trumpet and cornetto", a collection which ventured into little-known pre-Baroque territory and presented the uniquely rounded sonority of the cornet, the trumpet's forebear, for the first time on record. The soloist was the American Don Smithers, who had only begun to learn the trumpet a decade previously but rapidly made an international reputation as a trumpeter of astonishing security and virtuosity, especially in the early-music repertoire."