WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

The 5 Browns In Hollywood

5 Browns
Release Date: 04/06/2010 
Label:  eOne   Catalog #: 2041   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Elmer BernsteinScott JoplinPhilip GlassRichard Rodgers,   ... 
Performer:  Deondra BrownThe 5 BrownsDesirae BrownGregory Brown,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Five Browns are back, in entertainment mode – filmic style. As if to reinforce the fact the jewel box credits are printed movie style, in a type so vertiginous that I have now taken my eyeballs into the dry cleaners for some tender remedial work. So much for verisimilitude, fellers.

This disc is of film soundtrack music, generally though not exclusively mediated by a clever intermediary. There are Browns a-plenty to do the honours, from a solitary Brown to a phalanx of five. So we start with Star Wars in a suite version arranged by Greg Anderson. The Imperial March is a thunderous creation, one of John Williams’s most grandiloquent inventions but the full complement of five Browns pay as much attention to the vamping
Read more Ragtime theme and to the lyrical, chordally powerful material elsewhere. Strangely, aspects of the writing sound almost Rachmaninovian when played by the pianos.

We are assured plenty of contrast. The brief title music from To Kill A Mockingbird is a study in refined tracery, whilst Anderson returns for Over the Rainbow, a suite for all five pianos based on themes from The Wizard of Oz. It’s in effect a kind of fantasia in barnstormer late nineteenth-early twentieth century style, the kind of thing that virtuoso performers churned out for their own use. It’s sassy and has plenty of brio. He’s also arranged a Disney medley of tasty favourites. The solitary Joplin piece doesn’t really flow, its tango elements being rather overdone.

Philip Glass’s music for The Hours has been arranged by Michael Riesman and Nico Mühly and even in this version for single piano it manages to cast its allure. Stephen Hough’s My Favorite Things is here, played by Melody Brown; the arranger has also recorded it, and it’s becoming better known as a pleasing concert encore. The arresting opening credits music for Catch Me If You Can comes with sassy finger clicks; Williams is so superb a film composer that his taut, immediate themes survive transposition and arrangement. Another great such composer, Nino Rota, contributes his Romeo and Juliet music – beautifully lyric. To end we have excitement pure and simple – Herrmann/Hitchcock

The playing has vigour and panache. The recording is notably well balanced. It’s a tricky disc to recommend however; you need to be into both the medium and the message.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. To Kill A Mockingbird: Main Title by Elmer Bernstein
Performer:  Deondra Brown (Piano), The 5 Browns (), Desirae Brown (Piano)
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2. Solace by Scott Joplin
Performer:  The 5 Browns (), Gregory Brown (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3. The Hours: Morning Passages by Philip Glass
Performer:  The 5 Browns (), Ryan Brown (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2002 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4. The Sound of Music: My favorite things by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Melody Brown (Piano), The 5 Browns ()
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 49 Secs. 
5. Atonement: Theme by Dario Marianelli
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6. Catch Me If You Can: Opening Credits by John Williams
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2002 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
7. Hitchcock Movie Suite, for 5 pianos (after Bernard Herrmann) by Patrick Russ
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
8. Star Wars Suite, for 5 pianos (after John Williams) by Greg Anderson
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Length: 9 Minutes 39 Secs. 
9. Over the Rainbow, suite for 5 pianos (based on themes from The Wizard of Oz by Harold Arlen) by Greg Anderson
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs. 
10. Three Waltzes for 5 Browns (Disney Movie Medley), for 5 pianos by Greg Anderson
Performer:  The 5 Browns ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
Length: 7 Minutes 26 Secs. 
11. Romeo and Juliet: A Renaissance Timepiece by Nino Rota
Performer:  The 5 Browns (), Deondra Brown (Piano), Desirae Brown (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1966; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Over the Rainbow (Arlen, arr. Anderson)
Solace (Joplin)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook