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The Essential Wynton Marsalis

The name Wynton Marsalis has become almost a metaphor for music in our time, be it visionary jazz or beautifully wrought performances of classical works for his beloved instrument, the trumpet. He has done it all. Marsalis made his reputation simultaneously in jazz and classical music, but his legacy as a classical virtuoso dramatically demonstrates the great depth and range of his musical gifts – a rich basis for his revolutionary understanding of all the music can be to the modern listener.

The Essential Wynton Marsalis

Album Info

Ensemble Multiple Ensembles
Release Date July 10th, 2007
Formats CD, Digital Download
Genre Classical Recordings, Jazz Recordings


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Track Listing

Track Length Preview
CD 1
The Prince of Denmark’s March – (Jeremiah Clarke) 2:51 Play
Rondeau (Theme from Masterpiece Theater) – From Suites de Symphonies, Première suite, Fanfares. (Jean-Joseph Mouret) 2:04 Play
The King’s March – (Jeremiah Clarke) 1:13 Play
Entrada from The Indian Queen – (Jeremiah Clarke) 2:51 Play
Trumpet Air from The Indian Queen – (Henry Purcell) 1:00 Play
Trumpet Tune from King Arthur – (Henry Purcell) 0:47 Play
Trumpet Voluntary – (John Stanley) 3:36 Play
Prelude from Te Deum, H. 146 – (Marc-Antoine Charpentier) 1:44 Play
Allegro assai from Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV 1047 – (Johann Sebastian Bach) 3:02 Play
Concerto in C Major for Two Trumpets and Strings, RV 537
I. Allegro 3:07 Play
II. Largo 0:58 Play
III. Allegro 3:20 Play
Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in D Major
I. Adagio 3:54 Play
II. Allegro Moderato 3:25 Play
Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E-flat Major, Hob. VIIe:  1
I. Allegro 6:47 Play
II. Andante 3:11 Play
III Finale. Allegro 4:33 Play
Concerto in E-flat Major for Trumpet and Orchestra
I. Allegro con spirito 9:41 Play
II. Andante 4:12 Play
III. Rondo. Allegro molto 3:29 Play
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen 4:34 From Cantata No. 51, BWV 51 – (Johann Sebastian Bach) 4:34 Play
Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson, HWV 57 – (George Frederic Handel) 5:31 Play
CD 2
Pièce en forme de habanera – (Maurice Ravel) 3:14 Play
I. Scherzo 0:40 Play
II. Largo 1:11 Play
III. Saltarelle 1:40 Play
Concertino for Trumpet, String Orchestra and Piano – (André Jolivet) 9:16 Play
Variations on “The Carnival of Venice”  – (Jean-Baptiste Arban, arr: Donald Hunsberger) 7:32 Play
Napoli – Variations on a Neapolitan Song – (Hermann Bellstedt, arr: Donald Hunsberger) 5:43 Play
‘Tis the Last Rose of Summer – (Traditional, arr: Donald Hunsberger) 1:46 Play
The Flight of the Bumblebee from Tsar Saltan – (Nicolai Rimsey-Korsakov, arr: Donald Hunsberger) 1:03 Play
Quiet City – (Aaron Copland, arr: Donald Hunsberger) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Philip Koch, English horn Eastman Wind Ensemble / Donald Hunsberger 10:52 Play
Rondo for Lifey – (Leonard Bernstein) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Judith Lynn Stillman, piano 1:26 Play
Prayer of St. Gregory for Trumpet & Organ, Op. 62b – (Alan Hovhaness) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Anthony Newman, organ 4:07 Play
Tiger Rag – (Music: D. James Larocca, Edwin Edwards, Henry W. Ragas, Anthony Sbararo, Larry Sheilds / Lyrics: Harry Da Costa / arr. Mark O’Connor) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / with Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing Trio: Mark O’Connor, violin / Frank Vignola, guitar / Jon Burr, bass 5:20 Play
Root Groove – (Wynton Marsalis) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet Lincoln Center Orchestra / Wynton Marsalis, conductor 3:48 Play
Cherokee – (Ray Noble) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Marcus Roberts, piano Robert Leslie Hurst III, bass / Herlin Riley, drums 2:21 Play
The End of a Love Affair – (Edward C. Redding) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Marcus Roberts, piano Reginald Veal III, bass / Herlin Riley, drums 3:12 Play
Soon All Will Know – (Wynton Marsalis) Wynton Marsalis, trumpet / Marcus Roberts, piano Robert Leslie Hurst III, bass / Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums 3:35 Play

Liner Notes

It’s a life that could only happen in New Orleans: a child born to a family of musicians. The question for Wynton Marsalis never turned on whether he would become a musician – that was a given – rather, the issue turned on what kind of music he would play. DNA seemed to point to traditional New Orleans music, whether it was in a club or in a church or on the street. By eight years of age, Wynton was playing trumpet in the traditional New Orleans-style Fairview Baptist Church band, and he was also taking his place in neighborhood marching and funk bands.

But there has always been something voracious about this trumpet player’s musical appetite. After appearances with local youth orchestras, Wynton made his orchestral debut with the New Orleans Philharmonic when he was just fourteen. At eighteen he went to New York’s Juilliard School to study classical trumpet. Perhaps it was then that Marsalis realized that he didn’t have to choose between a life in jazz or a life in the concert hall. Scarcely two months into his freshman year at Juilliard, Marsalis was sitting in with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, while his class days were devoted to Hummel and Vivaldi.

Being so deeply connected to both the classical and jazz traditions of his instrument, Marsalis brings the best of his classical and jazz chops to the interpretation and performance of both styles. The bulk of this collection is devoted to Marsalis’s classical recordings, but these tracks capture a cool and easy mastery that transcends the limitations of style. The crisp fluidity of his playing is at once astounding, yet gratifyingly elegant.
Still, for all these classical tracks, no portrait of the “essential” Wynton Marsalis would be complete without jazz – included here in a brace of bonus tracks from his collection of standards from the great American songbook.

While he is devoted to Jazz at Lincoln Center and to preserving the many styles of American jazz, Wynton Marsalis is no mere conservator. A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, he is also active in promoting music education in America. In all, it seems that only a Marsalis could be what Wynton has become: through his family roots, his New Orleans experience and his boundless enthusiasm for music of all types, Marsalis is, in the best sense of the phrase, a living tradition-bearer of America’s musical heritage.


English Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Newman, Raymond Leppard, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, John Nelson, Kathleen Battle, Judith Lynn Stillman, Philharmonic Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Donald Hunsberger, Mark O’Connor, Frank Vignola, Jon Burr, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Marcus Roberts, Herlin Riley, Robert Leslie Hurst III, Reginald Veal, Jeff “Tain” Watts.

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