A pivotal work for trumpeter and percussionist is Heptade by André Jolivet (1905-74). He wrote two concertos and a number of other pieces for Maurice André, the great French musician who was to the trumpet what Rostropovich was to the cello. Heptade, composed in 1971, combines jazz influences and Jolivet’s own ritualistic approach in an explosion of technical brilliance. It makes for an impressive opening to this recital by Håkan Hardenberger and Colin Currie, who have been performing as a duo for over a decade. André’s idiosyncratically vibrant and authoritative playing remains unique, but overall I prefer Hardenberger’s more lyrical, nuanced performance. And of course, Currie is a major virtuoso.

The rest are works commissioned by the duo. Joe Duddell’s Catch uses vibraphone: the two instruments throw (and catch) motifs in a tonal, minimalistic setting. Tobias Boström’s Dream Variations is more concerned with colour, making the most of this trumpeter’s purity of line amid dreamlike washes of sound. Dialogo 4 by Daniel Börtz (a tougher compositional voice) begins in hushed mystery but gains in sharp intensity. Finally, Brett Dean’s fragmentary …the scene of the crime… (2017), from which the recital takes its name, makes a point of stretching technical and expressive skills to the full.

The level of musicianship here is equal to that of any string chamber group. Sound is spectacular. That’s a recommendation.

Composer: Jolivet, Dean et al 
Performer: Colin Currie perc, Håkan Hardenberger t
Catalogue Number: Colin Currie Records CCR0002

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