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Compact Discs: Alla Breve

January 13, 1985|JOE SALTZMAN

HAYDN: TRUMPET CONCERTO IN E-FLAT; L. MOZART: TRUMPET CONCERTO IN D; HUMMEL: TRUMPET CONCERTO IN E- FLAT. Wynton Marsalis, trumpet, National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Raymond Leppard. CBS Compact Disc MK 37846. "THE CLASSIC TRUMPET CONCERTI OF HAYDN AND HUMMEL." Gerard Schwarz, trumpet. Y Chamber Symphony of New York conducted by Schwarz. Delos Compact DiscD/CD 3001. HUMMEL: CONCERTO IN E-FLAT. TELEMANN: CONCERTO FOR THREE TRUMPETS. NERUDA: TRUMPET CONCERTO. Maurice Andre, trumpet. Orchestra Ensemble of Paris conducted by Jean-Pierre Wallez. ERATO-RCA Compact Disc ECD 88007. An embarrassment of riches. Andre, Schwarz and Marsalis are trumpet virtuosos whose technical skills seem flawless (when do these performers take a breath?). Hummel never had it so good. Each trumpet is nicely balanced with the orchestra and the full dynamic range of the CD format easily handles every note. Silent surfaces seem to give the solo instrument even more brilliance and clarity. Schwarz may be the preferred trumpeter, but Marsalis has the best of the accompaniments and the fascinating repertory puts the Andre disc in a class by itself. "THE WORLD OF THE HARP," Susann McDonald playing the concert, Paraguayan and Irish harps. Delos Compact Disc D/CD 3005. For decades, the delicate sound of the harp has been compromised on records because of the LP's countless surface problems. Now on CD, the harp comes into its own as the silent surfaces and CD dynamic range show off the instrument's tender colors and textures. The sound of the harp fills the room with a richness and a fullness comparable to the experience of a live concert--minus, of course, the coughs and other annoyances of audience participation. The 17 works included make up a textbook of the harp repertory. Best to sample in small doses. BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 3, "EROICA." Telarc Compact Disc CD 80090. BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 8; SCHUBERT: SYMPHONY NO. 8, "UNFINISHED," D 759. Telarc Compact Disc 80091. The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Christoph von Dohnanyi. These CDs conclusively prove the merits of the new technology: The orchestra is fully captured in all of its dynamics with a textural richness seldom heard on recordings; the stereo imaging creates an illusion of reality as the music arises out of pure silence. And no surface noise mars the experience. There are better interpretations of these popular symphonies, but none offers better sound, and Dohnanyi's performances are warm and respectable. Total playing time on this Beethoven-Schubert CD is a little over 52 minutes; a good value.

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