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From The Steeples And The Mountains / London Gabrieli Brass


Release Date: 08/10/1999 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55018   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles IvesSamuel BarberVirgil ThomsonHenry Cowell,   ... 
Performer:  David LeeChristopher Bowers-BroadbentRichard ClewsChristopher Larkin
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A fascinating concert, perhaps the most interesting and enterprising brass collection I have yet encountered, in a growing repertoire which I hope will encourage more live performances of such music. I recently attended a concert by the LSO brass in the Barbican in which they played a programme of Copland, Ives, Bernstein and Gabrieli which was highly stimulating and which included the richly sonorous Barber Mutations from Bach. This begins with the chorale Christe du Lamm Gottes, first as harmonized by Joachim Decker (c. 1604) and then followed by Bach's two versions, one from a cantata, the other from the Orgelbuchlein. But Barber brings his own personality to bear on the music and the result is highly individual. The concertante Chorale Read more by Roy Harris for organ and brass follows on mellifluously after this but is perhaps a shade overlong, yet Virgil Thomson's five-movement Family Portrait is characteristically quirky, and all four Cowell pieces are highly rewarding. The Grinnell Fanfare is unexpectedly catchy, and the Tall Tale (for brass sextet) with its cheerful interplay is capped by the vibrant Rondo which has the kind of florid extravagance that makes Janacek's brass writing so striking. Philip Glass's Sextet is an early postgraduate work, which he has apparently disowned. Its ''Hymn'' and ''Ballad'' sound old-fashioned in a consonant kind of way and even the touch of jazz in the finale is by no means avant-garde. But, if simplistic, this is real music and it has a certain charm.

Carl Ruggles's muted brass Angels, however, is unexpectedly pungent in its intensity, and far from angelic in the sinister implications of its compressed dissonance, yet the score is marked ''Serene''. Elliott Carter's arrangement of Purcell is quite haunting, with its repeated, tolling, bell-like note sounding throughout. The concert opens and closes with that great American original, Charles Ives. The title piece, From the steeples and the mountains, is scored for four sets of bells, trumpet and (here) trombones and the composer never heard it performed. Its effect is characteristically wild, with the polytonality simulating and extending the clangorous confusion of bell changes when completely disordered. Ives wrote on the score exultantly: ''From the Steeples—the Bells—then the Rocks on the Mountains begin to shout!'' The disc ends with the resplendent Let there be Light, and one can understand why the New York Central Presbyterian Church Choir, to whom it was dedicated (in 1901), found the composer's visonary musical excursions not quite comfortable. Performances throughout are first-rate, and the very realistic recording, made in All Hallows, Gospel Oak has just the right degree of resonance; it is splendidly balanced.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [5/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1. From the Steeples and Mountains for Brass and Bells by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1901-02; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2. Mutations from Bach's "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" by Samuel Barber
Performer:  David Lee (French Horn)
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
3. Family Portrait by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972-1975; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 11 Minutes 29 Secs. 
4. Grinnel Fanfare by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (Organ)
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
5. Tall Tale by Henry Cowell
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
6. Hymn and Fuguing Tune no 12 for 3 Horns by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Richard Clews (French Horn), Christopher Larkin (French Horn), David Lee (French Horn)
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
7. Rondo for Brass by Henry Cowell
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
8. Sextet for Brass by Philip Glass
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 
9. Angels by Carl Ruggles
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: 1938 
10. Fantasy on Purcell's Fantasia on One Note by Elliott Carter
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
11. Processional "Let there be light" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (Organ)
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12. Chorale for Organ and Brass by Roy Harris
Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (Organ)
Conductor:  Christopher Larkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 49 Secs. 

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