Toby Young: The Art of Dancing (suite for trumpet, piano and strings); Geoffrey Gordon: Saint Blue (double concerto for trumpet, piano and strings, after Kandinsky); Deborah Pritchard: Seven Halts on the Somme (for solo trumpet in C, harp and string orchestra); Nimrod Borenstein: Concerto for piano, trumpet and string orchestra, Op 74

Reviewed on Mon 30 Apr, 2018

All credit to Simon Desbruslais for helping to bring all four of these works into existence.

Geoffrey Gordon’s Saint Blue, inspired by two Kandinsky paintings ('All Saints 1' and 'In Blue', well worth a web search), is by far the best work on this engaging disc; a taut and exhilarating single movement concerto, wonderfully played by soloists Simon Desbruslais and Clare Hammond. Deborah Pritchard’s reflective Seven Halts on the Somme was also inspired by a series of paintings (by Hughie O’Donoghue) and, although less formally satisfying, is worth hearing; I’d like to explore more of her music. I was much less convinced by the gloss and polish of Toby Young’s suite, or Nimrod Borenstein’s rather derivative concerto. The English String Orchestra turn in some first-rate playing under Kenneth Woods’s clear-headed direction, and may surely be forgiven for the odd moment in which they sound under-rehearsed. All credit to Simon Desbruslais for helping to bring all four of these works into existence, and for his scintillating contribution.
–Chris Achenbach