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Quiet City / Christopher Brellochs

Brellochs,Christopher / Copland / Ornstein
Release Date: 06/28/2011 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92135  
Composer:  Aaron CoplandSeymour BarabRobert AldridgeLeo Ornstein,   ... 
Performer:  Christopher BrellochsPaul Cohen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Saxophonist Christopher Brellochs breathes new life into forgotten musical works with the Sono Luminus release of Quiet City. This world premiere recording resurrects the unpublished score of Aaron Copland’s incidental music for the Irwin Shaw play Quiet City, in a new adaptation by Christopher Brellochs.

During his doctoral studies Brellochs obtained a copy of the unpublished manuscript to Quiet City from saxophonist and historian Paul Cohen. The score was handwritten by Copland, included cues and actor’s lines, and called for a chamber ensemble of trumpet, saxophone (doubling on clarinet), clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), and piano. Here was never before heard music of the highest quality, by an iconic American
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Brellochs was granted the exclusive right to record and perform his newly reconstructed chamber adaptation of “Quiet City” by Boosey & Hawkes and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music. This unique opportunity to make a world premiere recording has lead to a search for other unrecorded works by American composers. The results of that search include the whirlwind composition “Sound Moves Blues” by Robert Aldridge, the charming “Suite for Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, and Piano” by Seymour Barab and the invitation to guest artist Paul Cohen to contribute previously unreleased recordings of works by Leo Ornstein, Walter Hartley and Lawson Lunde. Every work on Quiet City features world premiere recordings of prominent American composers.

R E V I E W:

Quiet City is anything but quiet, dull, or boring. Saxophonist Christopher Brellochs and his fellow musicians create an extremely enjoyable album of music by Copland and other American composers to whom they wish to give exposure. The title work is poignant, with the trumpet and clarinets contributing to the melancholy, somber mood: the musicians capture a sense of seriousness and quiet gravity that are at the same time accessible to the listener. When the music turns lively, Brellochs and the others are able to easily shift into that emotion, adding the bass clarinet for more color. Brellochs has done a good job both in his performing of the work and in its adaptation. The smoky, seductive Ballade by Ornstein is nocturnal in its feel and fits in nicely with the Copland. Especially exciting is Aldridge's Sound Moves Blues, which is a nice contrast to the previous two pieces. It most certainly moves and swings like jazz. The addition of the violin makes for quite a stark contrast when the Lyric Suite by Hartley begins. Its dissonant introduction leads into beautiful tone colors in the saxophone and piano. The Scherzino whirls like a busy bee, and the piano never hits a false note in the flurry. One can certainly generalize that none of the musicians ever hit a false note, not even in the rapid dotted rhythms of the Gigue. The two-movement Sonata for soprano saxophone and piano is lyrical, with a graceful melody in the saxophone (which Paul Cohen plays as smoothly as a clarinet or flute). The musicians' agility is especially evident in the second movement, which sounds like a jig; the piano is a solid, assured, confident partner to the sprightly saxophone. Composer Lunde clearly understood the way to get the best out of the tone color of each instrument. The album concludes with the Suite for trumpet, alto saxophone, and piano by Barab, a densely textured work of five movements with close-knit lines in the various instruments. The musicians work beautifully together, virtually chasing each other in the Allegro. Their emotion is genuine and open, which serves to engage the listener. Kudos to Brellochs and his collaborators for their good musicianship as well as excellent choice of repertoire.

-- V. Vasan, All Music Guide
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Works on This Recording

Quiet City by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Christopher Brellochs (Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Suite for Trumpet, Saxophone and Piano by Seymour Barab
Performer:  Christopher Brellochs (Saxophone)
Sound Moves Blues by Robert Aldridge
Performer:  Christopher Brellochs (Saxophone)
Ballade by Leo Ornstein
Performer:  Paul Cohen (Soprano Saxophone)
Lyric Suite by Walter Hartley
Performer:  Paul Cohen (Soprano Saxophone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Sonata for Saxophone and Piano, Op. 37 "Alpine" by Lawson Lunde
Performer:  Paul Cohen (Soprano Saxophone)

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