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Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet For Brass Band / Engeset, Eikanger Bjorsvik Band

Prokofiev / Eikanger Bjorsvik Band / Engeset
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572193  
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet: excerpts (arr. brass) Bjarte Engeset, cond; Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band NAXOS 8.572193 (50:54)


Introduction—Montagues and Capulets. Morning Dance. Juliet the Young Girl. Masks. Romeo and Juliet. The Nurse. Friar Laurence. Dance. Death of Tybalt. Romeo and Juliet Before Parting. Aubade. Romeo at the Grave of Juliet. Death of Juliet


If you’ve ever dreamed of hearing Read more Prokofiev’s ballet played by a Norwegian brass ensemble—actually, brass plus percussion—here is your chance. It would seem that the primary audience for this release is brass enthusiasts, of which there are many. Still, these arrangements and performances, while they change the letter of Prokofiev’s music, do little to change its spirit, and if you are a Romeo and Juliet enthusiast instead, you still might want to give this unusual disc a try.


The Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band is comprised of one E?-cornet, nine B?-cornets, one flügelhorn, three E?-horns, two euphoniums, two baritone horns, two trombones, one bass trombone, two E?-tubas, and two B?-tubas. Six percussionists are listed, playing a variety of pitched and unpitched instruments. One of the remarkable things about this ensemble is that all of the musicians are amateurs. Its Web site (www.ebml.no) lists 12 recordings, including the present one. It doesn’t indicate when the ensemble was founded, but the earliest CD dates from 1990, so it is at least two decades old.


The bulk of the arrangements are by Svein Henrik Giske, with five by Frode Rydland—both play cornet in the ensemble—and three are by assistant conductor Reid Gilje. One misses Prokofiev’s searing, soaring writing for strings, but the arrangers find innovative ways of compensating. Of course, the result is bound (at least to American ears) to sound a little like the halftime show at a college football game—imagine Shakespeare’s young lovers passionately living, loving, and dying on the 50-yard line—but it’s all in good fun. (Is it a coincidence that I am writing this two days before Super Bowl Sunday?)


The English are famous for their brass bands. This release shows that the Norwegians can play in the same league, so to speak. In terms of both pitch and timbre, the playing is superb, and the musicians have a strong feeling for the score’s emotional content as well. Juliet’s death might be more moving when it is depicted by strings, but the Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band comes closer than one might expect to producing the same frisson.


If you said this release took a lot of brass, you would be correct. I’m pleased to have made its acquaintance.


FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1. Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64: Act 1 - Introduction by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; Paris, France 
2. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Montagues and Capulets by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
3. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 3, Op. 101: no 2, Morning Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
4. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Juliet, the young girl by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
5. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 1, Op. 64a: no 5, Masks by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
6. Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64: Romeo and Juliet (Juliet's bedroom) by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Written: 1938 
7. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Romeo and Juliet Before Parting by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
8. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 3, Op. 101: no 4, The Nurse by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
9. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Friar Lawrence by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
10. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
11. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 1, Op. 64a: no 7, Death of Tybalt by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
12. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 3, Op. 101: no 5, Aubade by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
13. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 2, Op. 64b: Romeo at Juliet's Grave by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 
14. Romeo and Juliet Suite no 3, Op. 101: no 6, Death of Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eikanger-Bjorsvik Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 

Sound Samples

Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. S.H. Giske): I. Introduction -
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. S.H. Giske): I. Montagues and Capulets
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101 (arr. S.H. Giske): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101: II. Morning Dance (arr. S.H. Giske for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. S.H. Giske): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: II. Juliet the young girl (arr. S.H. Giske for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis (arr. F. Rydland): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis: V. Masks (arr. F. Rydland for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis (arr. R. Gilje): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis: IV. Romeo and Juliet (arr. R. Gilje for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101 (arr. S.H. Giske): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101: IV. The Nurse (arr. S.H. Giske for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. F. Rydland): III. Friar Lorenzo
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. F. Rydland): IV. Dance
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis (arr. S.H. Giske): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 1, Op. 64bis: VII. Death of Tybalt (arr. S.H. Giske for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. R. Gilje): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: V. Romeo and Juliet before parting (arr. R. Gilje for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101 (arr. F. Rydland): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101: V. Aubade (arr. F. Rydland for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (arr. F. Rydland): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter: VII. Romeo at the grave of Juliet (arr. F. Rydland for brass)
Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101 (arr. R. Gilje): Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 3, Op. 101: VI. Death of Juliet (arr. R. Gilje for brass)

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