Simon Höfele (trumpet) & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Duncan Ward
The album’s programme ranges through works from Joseph Haydn via Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Aaron Copland to Alexander Arutyunyan. It spans 150 years, from 1800 to 1950 and covers three continents. Each of the works shines a light on a different facet of the trumpet: brilliant flourishes in the Hummel and Haydn, long, string like lines and the most finely nuanced levels of volume in the Copland, and light-as-a-feather through to powerful virtuosity in the Arutyunyan. All of the works have been recorded countless times before, and yet Simon Höfele brings an entirely individual new aspect to each of them. “But if I believe that some people might like my recordings and get pleasure out of them, then that is good enough for me.” His interpretation will sound like no other “not for the sake of making it sound different,” he says, “but because I simply feel the music differently.” Accompanying him for the Hummel and Haydn is the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra of Glasgow under the baton of Duncan Ward, and in the Copland and Arutyunyan the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Cardiff.
He began playing the trumpet when he was seven, in a family full of woodwind musicians: his father a bassoonist, his mother playing the piccolo flute, one uncle an oboist and the other a clarinettist. A little toy trumpet hanging on the wall was the key to his ambition: “I blew into it and just knew I wanted to play the trumpet.” Since then much time has elapsed, yet in the scale of things maybe not so much time; at just 25 years of age, Simon Höfele is one of a young generation of musicians whose hallmark is one of experimenting and pushing the seemingly fixed boundaries of established genres. He has a weakness for analogue photography, is involved in encouraging new young musicians, and enjoys playing jazz as much as classical music. From 2017 to 2019 he was New Generation Artist with BBC Radio 3. Accompanied by two BBC orchestras, he is releasing an album which may serve as a memento of that period in time. At the same time, it is interesting that an artist who made a name for himself recently playing contemporary music by the likes of Matthias Pintscher, Olga Neuwirth and Toshio Hosokawa, as well as performing Miles Davis’s “Sketches of Spain”, has now turned to the classic repertoire for his instrument. “I simply wanted to do it because these works are as close to my heart as all the others,” Höfele explains. “I never thought ‘Oh no, not Haydn again.’ What’s going on inside me in these recordings is the pure and simple love of music.”
Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra
Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, Hob. VIIe:1
Trumpet Concerto in E (or E flat) major, WoO/S49
"De trompet is en blijft een spectaculair solo-instrument. Daarom heeft elke generatie zijn eigen grote, nieuwe, jonge trompettisten die net weer een ander licht over het gekende repertoire laten schijnen. Een van de grote helden van de jongste generatie trompettisten is de Duitser Simon Höfele. Hij was al BBC New Generation Artist en hij stond in het najaar van 2019 nog in het Concertgebouw als een van de ‘Rising Stars’. Zijn samenwerking met de BBC-orkesten is nu vastgelegd op een meeslepende plaat met de grote trompetconcerten van Haydn, Hummel, Copland en Arutyunyan. Duivelse virtuositeit en stralend hemelse engelensignalen wisselen elkaar af in een duizelingwekkend parcours langs deze ‘standards’. Een briljante cd, die iedere koperadept zal betoveren en die zelfs de grootste trompethater gemakkelijk over de streep zal trekken."
Klassieke Zaken Magazine 1-2020