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From Age To Age - Bliss, Elgar, Etc / The Denver Brass


Release Date: 06/19/2007 
Label:  Klavier Records   Catalog #: 11165   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles TournemireMartin EllerbyCharles KoechlinSir Edward Elgar,   ... 
Performer:  Joseph Galema
Conductor:  Lowell Graham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver Brass
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



FROM AGE TO AGE Joseph Galema (org); Col. Lowell Graham, cond; The Denver Brass KLAVIER 11165 (68:36)


BLISS Ceremonial Prelude. HAZELL From Age to Age. TOURNEMIRE (arr. McAlister) Improvisation on the Te Deum. ELLERBY Natalis. KOECHLIN Read more Chant of the Resurrection. ELGAR Imperial March (arr. Martin and McAlister). CASTÉRÈDE 3 Visions of the Apocalypse. LITAIZE Cortège


The Denver Brass is a fixture in the Colorado area, and their CDs spread the brass gospel to all parts of the world. This program adds the flexible and luminous organ work of Joseph Galema to the mix, and the results are a program of great interest, wonderful variety, and most of all, really terrific music.


The British works by Bliss and Elgar reflect that typical, yet hard-to-explain sense of English melody and pomp that only they seem to be able to capture. Someday perhaps someone will analyze what it is that makes English melody so recognizable as “English.” The Bliss is a little more forward and esoteric in its British flavoring, but Elgar was simply unable to hide it. The much-underrated Charles Tournemire gives us a lovely and haunting Improvisation on the Te Deum (originally reconstructed by Maurice Durufle), while Koechlin’s Chant of the Resurrection shows an unusual side to this thickly impressionistic composer.


Cortège by Gaston Litaize, a work for three trumpets, three trombones, and organ, is a work absent any programmatic elements, and as such is left to grab the listener by the honesty and integrity of its purely musical arguments. But the majority of the space taken on this disc is occupied by two works. Martin Ellerby’s Natalis is a lyrical wonder, dramatic symphony (as the subtitle to this work indicates) that is through composed yet based on a four-note motif. There are essentially three parts to the work (roughly, “Hope,” “Struggle,” and “Triumph” according to the notes), and even an exceptional molding of the Dies irae in a way that is clever and very affecting. This is a beautiful work all the way round, and one that the Denver Brass obviously relishes in its crafty and energetic scoring.


Jacques Castérède’s Three Visions of the Apocalypse (“Dedication,” “The Holy City,” and “The Throne of God and the Four Beings”) has to be the most “serious” work on the disc. This piece is quite the challenge even for a group as accomplished as the Denver Brass, and the work is filled with messianic Messiaen, the obvious inspiration for the format and even much of the tone. Each of the three movements has a separate thematic content that is descriptive of the titles by evoking musical elements that best fit the mood of the texts. It is not descriptive in turns of a general portrait, like La mer.


All-brass programs, even with organ, have to be approached with caution, as the nature of the medium does not always bode well for the listener’s patience. This disc is different—I sat enthralled through the whole thing, interest high and never flagging even once. The acoustics are very good, and the sound clear and crystal, despite Klavier’s normal penchant for brightness, and the players are simply wonderful. Recommended with enthusiasm.


FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Improvisations (5) for Organ: no 3, Improvisation sur le "Te Deum" by Charles Tournemire
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1930; France 
2.
Natalis by Martin Ellerby
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Conductor:  Lowell Graham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver Brass
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3.
Chant funèbre à la mémoire des jeunes femmes défuntes, Op. 37 by Charles Koechlin
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Conductor:  Lowell Graham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver Brass
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1907; France 
Notes: Composition written: 1902 - 1907.
Composition revised: 1908. 
4.
Imperial March, Op. 32 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Conductor:  Lowell Graham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver Brass
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 
5.
Cortège by Gaston Gilbert Litaize
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; France 
6.
Ceremonial Prelude by Sir Arthur Bliss
Performer:  Joseph Galema (Organ)
Conductor:  Lowell Graham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Denver Brass
Period: 20th Century 

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