Ponchielli: Concertos

Ponchielli: Concertos

by Roland FröscherRoland Fröscher

SACD(Super Audio CD)



Ponchielli was a teacher to Puccini and also drew on the music of Verdi, so it is certainly time for an album that does his own beautiful, rather operatic music justice. The Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin, under the direction of Matthias Foremny with trumpeter Giuliano Sommerhalder, euphonium player Roland Fröscher, and oboist Simone Sommerhalder, makes this CD a wonderfully engaging experience. The "Fantasy" based on "La Traviata" wastes no time: it immediately puts the listener in the middle of the music in the most dramatic fashion. This is certainly operatic. A legato trumpet solo flows through the music, and Giuliano is certainly showcased appropriately. The Staatskapelle interpret the music with exquisite taste and phrasing, confident in expression and musical choices. The "Concerto for euphonium" has a more classical feel, though sometimes it verges on the operatic and Romantic. Euphonium player Fröscher's style is very fluid, and his high notes sound effortless. The orchestra is vigorous and passionate when necessary, or otherwise subdued under the soloist. Not surprisingly, there is a melodic, hummable quality to the lines, which might be expected from an opera composer. A violin could likely perform this work, as it is truly virtuosic concerto writing. The "Concerto for trumpet, Op. 198," features a very operatic introduction, and the trumpet sings like a tenor with a heartbreaking quality. There is much playful interchange between the trumpet and orchestra, as well as acrobatic trumpet passages and haunting melodies. Giuliano sustains his long notes very well. The "Gran Capriccio" contrasts yet another dramatic introduction with a vulnerable, melancholy oboe. We truly hear Ponchielli's gifts as a composer. So sweet in tone, Simone's oboe is also very solid in its technique. It is a quiet voice that commands notice, as it sings like a violin. The album concludes with another "Concerto for trumpet, Op. 123," with a sneaking introduction played by the Staatskapelle with perfect precision. Once again, the trumpet is lovely to hear. There is so much technical genius in Giuliano Sommerhalder's musicianship, but it is disguised underneath expressive artistry. This is truly a unique album. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date: 06/14/2011
Label: Md&G Records
UPC: 0760623164267
catalogNumber: 9011642


  1. Fantasy on Motifs from the Opera La Traviata, for trumpet & orchestra, Op. 146
  2. Concerto for euphonium & orchestra in E flat major, Op. 155
  3. Horn Concerto, Op. 198
  4. Gran Capriccio in F minor, for oboe & orchestra, Op. 80
  5. Trombone Concerto, Op. 123

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