Guy Barker Orchestra

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

British trumpeter Guy Barker first used films of the Forties and Fifties as inspiration in his 2001 album Soundtrack. Here, in the second part of his Amadeus Project, Barker uses Mozart's opera, Die Zauberflote - re-titled dZF - as a jumping-off point for his own version. Narrated by Brooklyn-born actor Michael Brandon, it is set in 1950s New York and Barker takes the lead role of Bobby Tamino, a gifted trumpeter who has but one night to play a blisteringly brilliant solo to win the affections of Pammy. Barker's trumpet tone, liquid with an occasional growl, pours over his orchestrations. With echoes of Ellington, these are shot through with light and shade summoning up the rain-streaked streets of a New York night. No less impressive is the 14-piece orchestra, with the restless and inquiring solos of inspired Italian saxophonist Rosario Giuliani's alto. In contrast, the opening half of the concert again took Mozart as its inspiration. The Amadeus Suite is inspired by characters from his operas. This is music of considerable charm. Swinging, funky and witty, it shows Barker as a composer of considerable imagination and originality and whose playing is as good as it gets.


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