Alison Balsom will release her first album in three years this November. Royal Fireworks features the virtuoso violinist and her Balsom Ensemble taking on baroque works by Handel, Bach, Purcell and Telemann.
The album, which is coming out on Warner Classics, features Balsom playing on on a natural (valveless) trumpet. It was produced by Balsom and Simon Kiln.
“I’ve been making recordings for almost 20 years and this has been by far the most enjoyable recording experience I’ve had,” commented Balsom. “The music is full of utter joy and magic, the versions we play are often new, and in some cases quite maverick. The thrill of recording with some of the greatest artists around, all of us on baroque instruments, who happen to also be my good friends, has been a privilege.”
Royal Fireworks opens with Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, followed by Purcell’s Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D major. The second half features two Bach works – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein – separated by Telemann’s Trumpet concerto.
Balsom is currently artist-in-residence at the Babican’s Milton Court for 2019-20, where she will perform Dominic Dromgoole’s Gabriel with The English Concert; take part in a tribute concert to Miles Davis’s concept album Sketches of Spain; and give a concert with Britten Sinfonia. She is also scheduled to play Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 2 October.
Other musicians featured on the album include soprano Zoe Brookshaw, harpsichordist Simon Wright (who also acted as arranger) and violinist James Toll. Royal Fireworks is officially released on 8 November.