Vladislav Lavrik - Melodia CD Vladislav Lavrik

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This album presents a joint project of the Tula Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the renowned Russian musician Vladislav Lavrik who acts as both a soloist and conductor. This is how he explains his position: “To me, on the one hand, this is the opportunity to prepare the orchestra, as close as possible, for the sound that I want to hear, and on the other hand, a rather complicated and responsible system of interaction with the musicians during performance. The works I perform on this album were written in a time when conducting as a profession didn’t exist. The composers used to lead the performances of their opuses sitting at the harpsichord or playing the violin.”

Indeed, the program includes trumpet concertos written in different periods of the classicism era.

The choice is represented not only by the repertoire, but also the personality of Vladislav Lavrik, a trumpeter by his first profession, who devoted his life to this difficult instrument. “I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were musicians,” says Vladislav. “I was immersed in music, and literally from the first years I began to sing. At the age of five, my mother sat me at the piano, and my father gave me a trumpet when I was nine. And at twenty-nine, I began to conduct. From the days of my childhood, I loved to perform on stage, I sang songs with dad’s ensemble and performed as a pianist and then as a trumpeter and conductor.”

The album opens with the famous trumpet concerto in E-flat major by Joseph Haydn (1732–1809). The Viennese classic composed it in 1796, at the peak of glory, having created over a hundred symphonies, dozens of piano sonatas, quartets, and operas. It was Anton Weidinger (1767–1852), a Viennese musician, who inclined Haydn to this experiment. He also tried to design a trumpet with wider technical capabilities. Therefore, the Haydn concerto is of interest to contemporary trumpeters as its tasks suit modern valve instruments that are capable of performing complex duties with chromaticism, passages, and developed cantilena.

The same Anton Weidinger also “tempted” Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778– 1837), a fashionable Viennese pianist, to write a trumpet concerto in E-flat major (1803). According to Vladislav Lavrik, he finds the Hummel work most beautiful, especially its second movement: “It might be the one I have performed most frequently in my concerts. I remember very well my first appearance with this concerto at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, where I participated in Denis Matsuev’s Crescendo Festival with the Grand Symphony Orchestra. It was a special and unforgettable performance to me.”

While the names of the first two composers are widely familiar, the next two are only known among professionals, which does not detract from their merits and the quality of their music.

Johann Baptist Georg (Jan Křtitel Jiří) Neruda (1708–1780) was a Czech by birth, but gained recognition in Germany as an accompanist of the Dresden court orchestra. He composed eighteen symphonies, fourteen instrumental concertos, sonatas, sacred music, and a comic opera. The concerto for trumpet and string orchestra in E-flat major (circa 1740) was originally written for the period natural horn (corno da caccia). The instrument has long been out of everyday practice, but the version of the trumpet concerto remains popular among winders. It is dominated by the galant style, dance rhythms, and a cloudless major key reinforced by the radiant timbre of the instrument.

German composer Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690–1749), a contemporary of J. S. Bach, initially wrote his D major concerto for oboe, strings and basso continuo. The fate of his scores confirms the idea that “manuscripts do not burn.” After the composer’s death, his scores remained in the archives of the Berlin State Library for two centuries and were published only in the middle of the 20th century, and even later, the famous French trumpeter Maurice André made a trumpet arrangement of the oboe concerto in 1972 and gave the work a new life.

The album includes interpretations of four trumpet concertos where Vladislav Lavrik acts as both a soloist and conductor and achieves maximum integrity and stylistic authenticity.

“I always imagined that conducting an orchestra is something very inaccessible, a highly crucial event to me, and I didn’t feel the necessary confidence until a quite mature age. But at a certain point in time, as I followed the work of completely different conductors (some of them inspired and struck me in a good way, while the others, on the contrary, made me doubt the need to be behind the conductor’s desk), I felt the desire to engage in conducting, I came to an understanding that I had something to express with the help of a musical instrument such as an orchestra,” Vladislav Lavrik explains. “The amount of music for orchestra that we have now prompted me to turn to conducting. Being a hereditary conductor, I studied the immense musical material written earlier or created in our time with great interest.”

Evgenia Krivitskaya


Lavrik and the musicians of Tula play the music of classicism and baroque with ease, naturalness and transparency. This is not an authentic performance, but it comes close to it in style.  ...On this recording Lavrik plays the trumpet in Es, charmingly conveying the phrasing conceived by the composers, savoring syncopations, flooding with trills, easily running scales, jokingly overcoming leaps and, of course, enchanting with flowing legato. The major reigns and triumphs - all the more heartfelt is the sound of the minor middle section in the Hummel Concerto, which brings to mind Mozart's best pages.

The inserts devised by Lavrik also differ: whereas for Haydn he gave the expected stylized cadenza, for Neruda he composed something vividly theatrical and even avant-garde.

Musical Life