Album: Alison Balsom, Sound the Trumpet (EMI Classics)
Trumpeters were the star musicians of the Baroque era, their shiny, golden tones vital to evoking the glory of victory and the majesty of kings.
Here, accompanied by the English Concert under Trevor Pinnock, Alison Balsom focuses on trumpet showcases by the two notable British composers of the period, Handel and Purcell, including the former's “Water Music” and the latter's “Fairy Queen” suite. For historical accuracy, she plays the valve-less “natural” trumpet: it really does appear to offer a more direct access to the human voice, a quality confirmed when she duets with countertenor Iestyn Davies on Handel's “Eternal Source of Light Divine” and Purcell's glorious “Sound the Trumpet”.
Download: Sound the Trumpet; Sento la Gioia; Suite in D “Water Piece”
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 New route to Mars could make manned mission much cheaper and easier
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food