Eric Aubier & Thierry Escaich - Unlimited!

Eric Aubier on the trumpet and organist Thierry Escaich impress on this collection of pieces by the likes of Bach and Mozart.

Composer:  Tomasi, Jolivet, Clarke, Bach, Mozart, Franck, Bizet et al.
Repertoire: Various pieces on trumpet & Organ 
Artists: Eric Aubier (tpt), Thierry Escaich (org)
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Chamber 
Label: Indesens INDE025

The Music Two performers, two discs. On one Aubier plays lollipop arrangements - Bach’s Air, Franck’s Panis Angelicus, Mozart’s Ave verum etc accompanied by Escaich; on the other the latter plays his own and his contemporaries’ works with obbligati by the former. Escaich succeeds Durufle as organist of St Etienne Paris, where the recording was made. 

The Performance Aubier is heir to the great French trumpeter Maurice Andre in blazing, molten tone and an echo that leaves a spoor in the air. Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary demands the arrival of a sun-king. His Bach though is tongued too hard and lacks legato. Escaich is a thrilling performer of his own Improvisations. He dazzles in brilliantly coloured discords and pedalboard basslines rising like earthquakes. His homage to Tomasi thunders to an awesome stops-out climax while Tomasi’s own Semaine Sainte a Cuzco for trumpet and organ marches with a grotesque gait through an unruly, jeering, crucifixion-scene crowd. 

The Verdict Both players impress hugely. Aubier is both more regal and less incisive than the British star Alison Balsom. Escaich confirms himself as next in line to the great French organist composers – Saint-Saëns, Durufle, Messiaen… 

Want More? Try Balsom’s Bach disc with organist Colm Carey and violinist Alina Ibragimova on EMI (558 0472). 

Bach