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The First Carnegie Hall Euphonium Recital - Capuzzi, Adler, Frackenpohl, Etc / Bowman, Et Al

Release Date: 02/24/2009 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 393   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giuseppe Antonio CapuzziArthur R. FrackenpohlWalter RossSamuel Adler,   ... 
Performer:  Brian BowmanMarjorie LeeSteven HarlosGordon Stout
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

THE FIRST CARNEGIE HALL EUPHONIUM RECITAL Brian Bowman (eup); Margorie Lee (pn); 1 Steven Harlos (pn); 2 Gordon Stout (mmb) CRYSTAL 393 (61:25)

CAPUZZI Andante and Rondo. 1 FRACKENPOHL Euphonium Sonata. 2 ROSS Read more class="ARIAL12b">Partita for Euphonium and Piano. 1 ADLER 4 Dialogs for Euphonium and Marimba. BODA Sonatina for Euphonium and Synthesizer. PICCHI Fantasia originale (arr. Mantia) 2

Euphonium virtuoso Brian Bowman gave this program in Carnegie Recital Hall back in 1976. The Capuzzi, Ross, Adler, and Boda pieces were recorded two years later and originally issued on Crystal Records LP S393. The Frackenpohl and Picchi works were recorded for this CD in 2008.

Bowman has served as soloist and principal euphonium in the U.S. Navy Band, the U.S. Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, and the U.S. Air Force Band. He has performed as tenor tubist with the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony, among others. He has taught at the Paris Conservatory, and was a master teacher at the first Deutsche Tubaform workshop to include euphonium in Germany. He is currently regent’s professor of music (euphonium) at the University of North Texas.

Ranging from Classical through some decidedly modernistic music, this program effectively shows the breadth and depth of Bowman’s musicianship. The Antonio Capuzzi and Ermano Picchi pieces provide the most musically accessible bookends to this collection. Giuseppe Antonio Capuzzi (1755–1818) was a virtuoso violinist who composed in virtually all genres. Little is known about Picchi other than that he was born at the turn of the 20th century, and would have sunk into complete obscurity had his Fantasia originale not been discovered and arranged by Simone Mantia, the euphonium player in the Sousa Band. Both composers’ works are light display pieces: the Capuzzi Andante and Rondo is the more classically poised and requiring both sustained legato and gracious ornamentation; the Picchi Fantasia originale , a theme-and-variation setup requiring Paganini/Liszt-style virtuosity. In both pieces, Bowman rises to the challenges, producing rich and varied timbres, elegant phrasing, and, in the Picchi, ultra clear articulation, often at machine gun speed.

Arthur Frackenpohl was born in Irvington, N.J., in 1924. A graduate of both the Eastman School of Music and McGill University, Frackenpohl also studied with Darius Milhaud at Tanglewood, and Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau. His alternately quirky and droll Sonata for Euphonium and Piano, composed for Brian Bowman and premiered by him in 1973, clearly shows the influence of Les Six in its clean simplicity, utter lack of pretentiousness, and ingratiating charm. Listening to it, I am reminded of a statement made by Ned Rorem in one of his books: “French music is profoundly superficial. German music is superficially profound.”

Native Nebraskan Walter Ross was born in 1936. He became a French hornist, flutist, and currently plays bass in the Blue Ridge Chamber Orchestra. He is an eminently practical musician who approaches composition from the point of view of a performer who has studied, incidentally, under both Robert Palmer and Karel Husa at Cornell. As in the above case, Ross’s Partita for Euphonium and Piano was composed for Brian Bowman. Its language is economical—based on piquant melodic and harmonic gestures that are developed with extreme finesse. Given the evidence here, Ross is an exceptionally fine miniaturist who is able to switch emotional gears both instantaneously and logically, and, along the way, create contrasting and wholly satisfying sound worlds, all derived from the same, seemingly sparse and unpromising materials. Haydn would have smiled.

The eminent Samuel Adler should need no introduction to most readers of Fanfare . His Four Dialogs for Euphonium and Marimba were composed in 1974 as the result of a commission from the Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association. The result is pure Adler. Need I say more?

John Boda (1922–2002) was a masters and doctoral degree recipient from the Eastman School of Music. He subsequently became an apprentice conductor to George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. Listening to this modernistic piece, I find it ironic that Boda was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, for years headed by Howard Hanson—a comparatively conservative composer, who, if my memory doesn’t fail me, never performed a piece by Edgard Varèse; and I wonder what he would think of this piece. Or, what would George Szell, a preeminent conductor of the Mittle-Europa repertoire who hired Pierre Boulez to conduct his Cleveland Orchestra in the modern stuff he roundly didn’t like, think? In any event, and in the interest of full disclosure, I found this Boda piece for prerecorded tape derived from a synthesizer, the highpoint of this release.

I recommend this for all brass-players, but especially for those others out there who know little or nothing about the affective power of the euphonium. Despite the time lag between the earlier and later recordings on this release, the sound is satisfyingly consistent. Add the fact that Brian Bowman is a phenomenal player of his long underappreciated instrument, and take it from there.

FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

Andante and Rondo by Giuseppe Antonio Capuzzi
Performer:  Brian Bowman (Euphonium), Marjorie Lee (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: This work is an arrangement of themes from Capuzzi's Violone Concerto by Philip Catelinet (1967). 
Sonata for Euphonium and Piano by Arthur R. Frackenpohl
Performer:  Brian Bowman (Euphonium), Steven Harlos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1973; USA 
Length: 13 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Partita for Euphonium and Piano by Walter Ross
Performer:  Brian Bowman (Euphonium), Marjorie Lee (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
Length: 9 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Dialogs (4) for Euphonium and Marimba by Samuel Adler
Performer:  Gordon Stout (Marimba), Brian Bowman (Euphonium)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Sonatina for Euphonium and Synthesizer by John Boda
Performer:  Brian Bowman (Euphonium)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: This selection utilizes a pre-recorded tape. 
Fantaisie original by Ermano Picchi
Performer:  Brian Bowman (Euphonium), Steven Harlos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
Length: 8 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Simone Mantia. 

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