Trumpet Maestro Jonathan Freeman-Attwood Redefines Handel’s Classics in New Album

by Madonna

In a captivating musical venture, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood showcases his adept reimagining of George Frideric Handel’s compositions in his latest album, “Handel for Trumpet: Arias etc,” released under the distinguished Linn Records. The project not only underscores Freeman-Attwood’s enduring collaboration with Linn Records but also highlights his musical synergy with fellow trumpeter Tom Freeman-Attwood, co-arranger Timothy Jones, and pianist Anna Szałucka.

With a repertoire spanning twenty-eight tracks, the album seamlessly traverses both vocal and instrumental genres. Freeman-Attwood’s liner notes emphasize the ‘idiomatic reassigning’ of Handel’s works, resulting in four new sonatas originating from compositions initially conceived as concertos. This innovative approach pays homage to the cross-genre inspirations prevalent in Handel’s own era.

Freeman-Attwood’s performance on the trumpet is characterized by mellifluous tones and gentle nuances, artfully adorned with vibrato, as evidenced in the poignant rendition of ‘With thee th’unsheltered moor I’d tread’ from Solomon. Collaborating with the skilled pianist Anna Szałucka, Freeman-Attwood’s son, Tom, joins him in three duets, showcasing the family’s deep connection with the trumpet. A standout moment in the album is the masterful transformation of ‘Brilla nell’alma’ from Alessandro, originally a solo aria, into a captivating duet. The radiant optimism of Paolo Antonio Rolli’s lyrics, as sung by Roxana in Act 3, begs the question of why this particular opera is currently overlooked.

The album’s innovation extends to four newly crafted sonatas, with the third in E-flat major drawing inspiration from the F major solo organ concerto of 1739. This reimagining preserves the majestic essence of the original key, noted by numerous 18th-century commentators. Additionally, three movements from the D minor keyboard suite of 1720 undergo a refreshing transformation, revealing the music’s textures anew when adapted for trumpet and piano.

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood’s “Handel for Trumpet: Arias etc” stands as a testament to his musical prowess, breathing new life into Handel’s timeless compositions while fostering a sense of familial and collaborative artistry.

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