CSO Principal trumpet Robert Sullivan gave a wonderful recital at CCM last evening to a large audience. The program included beautiful playing (of course) of Bernstein's A Simple Song, Copland's Quiet City, Jack Gallagher's Remembrance of Robin, Joe Turrin's O Come and Dwell in Me, and Eric Ewazen's brand new Eternal Spring. The program was full of moving and brilliant music performed in honor of Robin who succumbed to Sarcoma.
Chris Philpotts complemented Bob on the Copland, matching nuances and phrasings perfectly. Cristian Ganisenco likewise supported Bob in Turrin's poignant duo for trumpet and trombone. Julie Spangler was an awesome accompanist in each work, playing very difficult piano parts as easily as her quite natural improv skills on the Danny Boy encore. It was a great evening of music-making and tribute.
We can thank Bob for pioneering a few more very neat pieces for the trumpet repertoire. The Gallagher, Turrin, and Ewazen pieces are here to stay and worth getting a hold of as soon as possible. The Remembrance is a toughy, and indeed challenging, but was made to sound doable last night. Cristian and Bob were in sync and demonstrated soft beautiful blend and control in the Turrin.
Finally, Ewazen was Ewazen! How could one not like his stuff? It is always enjoyable at first hearing! The music to Eternal Spring arrived only a few days before the recital, like 3! One would never have known that months of prep had not preceded the show. Lesson: learn it and be able to sound great immediately! Other lessons taught last night: control, intonation, clear articulations on the fast stuff, range, and most importantly, communication. They were all nicely in play last night. Bob's heart-felt flugel-playing on Danny Boy was the perfect closer for a very special evening of musical rememberance.