Ever since his sensational breakthrough some twenty years ago, Håkan Hardenberger has been breaking new ground for the trumpet, commissioning new works from the world’s foremost composers. On the present disc he shows a different side - one that may surprise those who know him as the intrepid interpreter of fiendishly complicated contemporary scores or the impeccably elegant performer of the classical repertoire such as the trumpet concertos by Haydn and Hummel. Not that Hardenberger is less intrepid or elegant than usual - but now he is finding use for these qualities in a programme of his own favourite songs and film themes, in imaginative arrangements made especially for this recording. Continuing a tradition begun by Chet Baker, Hardenberger’s trumpet-and-strings disc is as smooth as any, with the soloist relishing the opportunity to play the most meltingly beautiful tunes, in the most meltingly tuneful way. It also brings him together with some long-standing musical collaborators of his - the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the pianist Roland Pöntinen, who has made several of the arrangements and who also appears as guest performer in Michel Legrand’s Sans Toi and Kurt Weill’s Speak Low.
"This was my first opportunity to hear Håkan Hardenberger’s playing, and I certainly hope it is not my last. Hardenberger has it all: gorgeous tone, consistency throughout all registers, immaculate intonation and superb dynamic control. He is lushly accompanied by the strings of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, an “extremely beautiful” combination according to Hardenberger... I greatly enjoyed the recital, and the arrangements are unfailingly beautiful and inventive. The recording is what we expect of BIS, excellent in every way..."
David A McConnell - MusicWeb-International.com - August 2012
"...Over the course of his trumpet career he has become renowned for his performances and interpretations of contemporary music. some of the most difficult works in the repertoire have been commissioned specifically for him, and his recordings for thise pieces are astonishing... This recording compiles some of the most recognizable musical numbers from the silver screen and gives Hakan Hardenberger a chance to display his innate musicality and luxurious tone quality in a way that he’s never quite done before... Hardenberger presents each work as a serious piece of music. His tone is inviting, his phrasing is engaging, and his style is superb. Haken Hardenberger is one of the greatest trumpet soloists of this generation. I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but was pleasantly surprised with its beauty and elegance."
Brian Buerkle - American Record Guide - July/August 2012
**** - Good
Norbert Tischer - Pizzicato magazine - May 2012