Notes and Editorial Reviews
It’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for yet another brass quintet disc, especially since most of them consist of things like transcriptions of the Peer Gynt Suite and other “light” classics, Christmas favorites, show tune pot-pourris, and the like. Well, here is a disc that just might restore your faith in the medium. Gaudete Brass is as talented a bunch of players as you will find today, with a pair of perfectly matched trumpets and a sonorous trio of horn, trombone, and tuba that can do just about anything. That’s a good thing, because this program pushes them to the limit.
From James Woodward’s boisterous opening tribute (Gaudete), the music runs the gamut from abstract but tuneful neo-classical (John Cheetham’s Sonata for
Brass Quintet), to the picturesque (John Baxter’s A Great Commercial City, Stacy Garrop’s Helios, and Joan Tower’s Copperwave), to the quasi avant-garde but always smiling sounds of Rob Deemer’s Brass (Bell, Mute, and Slide). All are well-crafted and richly enjoyable, and none lasts a moment too long.
The largest work here is David Sampson’s Chicago Moves, a colorful and clever tribute to four Chicago landmarks “in motion”—Grant Park, the Spaghetti Bowl, Loop Lament, and Lake Shore Drive. And unlike many other discs of this type, the program is so well contrasted that you actually can listen to the whole thing at a sitting. It’s also wonderfully recorded. This is just a really smart, enjoyable release.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Gaudete by James Woodward
Helios by Stacy Garrop
Brass by Rob Deemer
Copperwave by Joan Tower
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