Trumpet and Organ

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Trumpet and Organ2018-10-20T01:33:38+00:00

“Live From Severance Hall”

Music for Trumpet & Organ
Recorded live in the Concert Hall at Severance Hall
Sunday, April 17, 2005

Michael Sachs, trumpet
Todd Wilson, organ

Abblasen (trumpet)

Prelude from “Te Deum” H.146 (trumpet & organ)

Sinfonia in D major (G-1)  (trumpet & organ)

Concerto No. 5 in D minor, BWV 596 (after Vivaldi Op. 3/11) (organ)

Concerto in E-flat (trumpet & organ)

Sonata Per Trombetta Sola in C major (trumpet & organ)

LEO SOWERBY (1895-1968)
Comes Autumn Time, H 124 (organ)

PETR EBEN (1929-2007)
Okna, Chagall Windows (trumpet & organ)


American Record Guide
May/June 2006
“Live From Severance Hall”

“Trumpet and organ is a popular genre, but it does not fare well on recordings. Satisfactory recorded sound-balance, distance from the listener, ambience- is an elusive goal. And trumpeters seem to change when they play with organ. Maybe it’s the hugeness of the sound that causes some of the best players to struggle with pitch and turn out shapeless phrases.

This is an outstanding trumpet-organ album. The selections are excellent, the playing powerful yet tasteful, the recorded sound superb. The recording is of an April 2005 concert at Cleveland’s lovely Severance Hall by Michael Sachs (principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra) and Todd Wilson (Sachs’ colleague on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music).

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s well-known “Te Deum Prelude” is given an inclusive reading with deft ornaments at the end. Sachs’ sweet yet potent trumpet tone, along with a sense of indomitable strength, is a winning formula for the familiar Torelli concerto, while his readings of the Neruda trumpet concerto and movements from a Viviani sonata (1678) are restrained and elegant.

The big piece is Petr Eben’s intense, multihued Windows (1976). I’ve commented on several other accounts of this fascinating piece; ones by Harry Kvebaek, Guy Touvron, and Anthony Plog rank as my favorites. They have now been surpassed. This reading is marked by power, superb tone, interpretational insight (by both Sachs and Wilson), and sonic clarity.

Organist Wilson fives an excellent account of a string concerto by Vivaldi that Bach turned into his own Organ Concerto 5. It is an all-time favorite of mine in both guises. I appreciate Wilson’s technical skill and the way his registrations achieve both contrapuntal clarity and fullness of sound. He also offers Leo Sowerby’s alternately celebratory and contemplative “Comes Autumn Time” (1916).”


International Trumpet Guild Magazine
October 2006
Review of “Live From Severance Hall”

“From the heralding Reiche Abblasen Fanfare to the virtuosic Okna by Eben, this live recital at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio is a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary works for trumpet and organ. Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1988, and Todd Wilson, curator of the Norton Memorial Organ at Severance Hall, have combined their talents to present a recital full of life, energy, and color. Sachs, with his pure tone and crisp articulation, blends masterfully with Wilson in perfect balance and intonation- performing as one musical entity throughout the program. The delicate touch of both musicians is most easily recognized in Neruda’s Concerto in E-flat major, performed here with a unique and enjoyable organ accompaniment. Petr Eben’s Okna (Windows, after Marc Chagall) bears particular mention. This virtuosic twentieth-century work for trumpet and organ is a musical depiction of four of Marc Chagall’s stained-glass windows at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Eben describes “The Blue Window” as characterized by an intense undercurrent of rhythms and tonalities that leads to a series of bold and striking fanfares from the trumpet. “The Green Window” converys an agitated muted trumpet with hints of Middle-Eastern influence. “The Red Window” begins with a powerful introduction that eventually leads to an elegant lurical section. The concluding movement, “The “Golden Window,” commences with a tonal accompaniment setting up the background for a meditative, hymn-like trumpet solo that continues with perpetuating intensity, ending with a final angelic statement. For those not privileged to be in attendance at the concert, this recording offers a bird’s-eye view of incredible musicianship by these two outstanding performers.”


The Cleveland Plain Dealer
CD Review January 22, 2006
By Donald Rosenberg

“This live recording documents the recital Cleveland Orchestra principal trumpet Michael Sachs and organist Todd Wilson gave last April at Severance Hall. Most of the music is Baroque, though the repertoire also embraces superb 20th century works by Leo Sowerby and Petr Eben. Sachs plays with clarion brilliance, whatever the style, and goes to the music’s expressive and timbral core. Wilson employs an enormous palette on the restored Skinner organ, which sounds magnificent whether intimacy or majesty is needed. A”


The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Organist and trumpeter make baroque recital a rare thrill
Review: Michael Sachs and Todd Wilson
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Wilma Salisbury

“Plain Dealer Music CriticThe Norton Memorial Organ at Severance Hall was not made for baroque music. Built by E.M. Skinner in 1930, the instrument is designed to blend with the Cleveland Orchestra and to perform symphonic organ music. But when the orchestra’s principal trumpet and the organ’s curator get together to play baroque tunes, the result is impressive.

So it was Sunday afternoon when trumpeter Michael Sachs and organist Todd Wilson played a recital that focused on 17th- and 18th-century works.

In the baroque era, the valveless trumpet was limited to the notes of the natural overtone series, and a complete scale could be played only in the high clarino register. Consequently, most baroque trumpet pieces are high-wire acts that make a brilliant impression. On Sachs’ modern brass trumpet, the gleaming top tones sounded thrilling.

In the festive opening prelude from Charpentier’s “Te Deum,” the soloist took the role of the state trumpet, the loud reed stop that is usually installed horizontally in front of the organ. In Torelli’s Sinfonia in D major, he dominated the organ, even though Wilson pulled out the brightest stops. Sachs took a lighthearted rococo turn in the merry tunes and showy cadenzas of Neruda’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, and he brought golden sonorities to Viviani’s C major Sonata.

The organist did his best to emulate baroque sonority in Bach’s transcription of Vivaldi’s Concerto, Op. 3, No. 11. Although the organ lacks transparency and sparkle, Wilson came up with inventive registrations, including the choice of a high flute that made the slow movement sound like a piccolo concerto. He showed the Skinner to best advantage, however, in Sowerby’s “Come Autumn Time,” a showpiece that perfectly suits the instrument’s tonal resources.

The program culminated in an exciting performance of Peter Eben’s “Okna (Windows, after Marc Chagall).” Written in 1976, the work reflects the influence of mystical French organist-composers, especially Messiaen. The Czech composer, however, evokes religious images and stained-glass colors in his own musical language. The most substantial piece on the program, the dramatic work was superbly played and warmly applauded. For their encore, the artists went back to baroque brilliance, playing the finale from Telemann’s Concerto in D major.”