The Big Think

August 23, 2009

The Artistry of Malcolm McNab

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 10:49 pm

Just finished listening to this in the company of a really good trumpet player. Awesome musicianship and unparalleled execution. What I love about being a musician of some modest understanding is being able to hear this sort of thing and know enough to realize I don’t know anything.

from the comments:

I imagine many of those interested in the album are brass players and already get it, but non trumpeters should know what an achievement that Tchaikovsky concerto is. The whole album is excellent but that Tchaikovsky is “The main event”. It’s long been one of my favorite pieces of music to listen to. Of course the lore is this was initially declared too difficult to play on *violin* by the best players of Tchaikovsky’s time, never imagined I’d hear someone attempt it on trumpet. But just attempting it wouldn’t be enough, it would only work if it was done really well. If done just “okay” it would be a dent on the prestige of the instrument, not to mention the rep of a player who tried it but fell short. But Malcolm really makes it beautiful – IMO his performance stands up to those of the great violinists who’ve done it over the years. And it seems to me he’s done something important beyond ego gratification of demonstrating he’s a great player – in the tradition of players such as Clarke, Mendez, Severinsen, Vizzutti, Ferguson, Andre, etc., I believe what’s been done here is that the concept of what can be done with the trumpet has been expanded.

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