This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
Back in the 1960s, Columbia Records made what for many remains the ultimate brass disc, works of Gabrieli using the combined sections of the Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia orchestras. This production aims to surpass that one, and while comparisons really are invidious, let’s just say that it rises to the same exalted level. The National Brass Ensemble consists of principal players from the three original orchestras just cited, plus members of the symphony orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, and Boston–twenty-four players in all. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Read more San Francisco principal trombone Tim Higgens has made splendid arrangements of sixteen glorious works by Giovanni Gabrieli (from Sacrae Symphoniae), including nine “Canzoni,” the famous Sonata Pian e Forte, and several transcriptions of sacred works. The Canzoni offer plenty of opportunities for extravert brilliance–listen to the trumpet filigree in the Canzon per Sonar Duodecimi Toni–while the liturgical pieces permit the players to show off their gorgeous legato and seamless ensemble blend. O Magnum Mysterium, Sancta Maria, and Exaudi me Domine offer special pleasure: smooth as silk and warmly opulent.
As a bonus, two Cleveland percussionists join the group for John Williams’ specially composed Music for Brass, a four-minute jeu d’esprit that makes an excellent encore. The entire program is recorded in stellar SACD sound. Oberlin Music, the house label of the eponymous conservatory, has done excellent work to date, but this release is truly special by any standard.
Music for Brassby John Williams Orchestra/Ensemble:
National Brass Ensemble
Period: 21st Century Written: USA
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Technical excellenceNovember 22, 2015By james oppenheimer (Hyde Park, NY)See All My Reviews"I very much enjoyed this CD. Gabrieli is so magnificent when done with modern brass! The musicians are tops, and their performances are tops. If I had not heard any of the pieces before, I'm sure I would have given it five stars. The only reason I have to give it four stars is that in those instances where I am familiar with the work, I often noted that the playing is always technically impeccable, but there is sometimes a lack of nuance. This recording is dazzling. All of the parts fit together perfectly, and balance is almost always fine. In some sections, the trumpets knit together a fine tapestry of ornamentation, fitting each part perfectly with the other's. I might have liked a bit less of the elaborate ornamentation, but it is done very, very well. This is a CD with sound to blow your socks off if you love modern brass."Report Abuse
Fabulous BrassNovember 17, 2015By Wendy B. (New York, NY)See All My Reviews"This is fabulous recording with wonderful ensembles ob some of the best brass players in the country. The clarity, sound and control of the players is remarkable. We are, indeed fortunate to have so many fine brass pla years today to create such a recording. If you love Gabrieli and great brass playing, this recording is for you and should babe added to your collection"Report Abuse