Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chicago Trombone Consort - Works by: Vaclav Nelhybel - Giovanni Gabrieli - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Richard Strauss - Eugène Bozza - Rob Deemer - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Enrique Crespo - Josef Rhineberger - J.S. Bach

Here's a quirky disc for all fans of trombone music. The composers represented here run the gamut from the Renaissance to the contemporary, and I must say it's an interesting ride.

The Chicago Trombone Consort is made up of principals, nine on this disc, based in and around Chicago. The consort was founded in 2008, this being its debut recording. It certainly lives up to its intention of offering a varied program. Within the first 10 minutes or so one lurches from a pleasant opening fanfare (the Czech composer Vaclav Nelhybel, rather unknown, was quite prolific in almost every genre, and has a style that is somewhat like Martinu, especially in his orchestral writing) that starts with a delightful low raspberry, via an arrangement of ceremonial Gabrieli, then a rather suave contemporary piece by the English composer Jeremy Dibb, followed by the Pergolesi trio sonata, whose first and third movements are instantly recognizable from Stravinsky’s "Pulcinella".

And then (with far too short a pause), comes the disconcerting sound of the opening of Strauss’'s Alpine Symphony. This is a fascinating relaying of the big work for trombone quartet, or rather a judiciously selected 11 minutes of it, presenting mainly the slow sonorous passages. Wisely, the arranger, Ben Mansted, has eschewed most of the vigorous tramping up the mountain, which would have surely been implausible, to say the least, on four trombones, resulting in a rather skewed impression of the original. The trombone solo at the beginning of “'Entering the Forest”' is the only miscalculation in the recital, having something of the associations of lachrymose music hall (vaudeville?) soloists. Otherwise the arrangement is curiously successful on its own terms.

The Rob Deemer’ piece, "Shock and Awe", is a commission from the Chicago Trombone Quartet, a subset of the present band. It is a deliberately facetious and ironic work in three short movements, of which the middle one, 'Calls/Responses', is more than half the whole work and juxtaposes widely disparate music. The opening of the first movement reminds me not only of Hovhaness's signature trombone glissandi and.....also of Harpo Marx when he would squeeze any number of horns that he kept stashed within his trench coat. Truly the laughter of the trombone is right out of the Marx Brother's "Duck Soup". It's wacky and good fun that even nods at the lighter music of Shostakovich in its jauntiness. Whether the jolliness of the final movement, 'Brave New World', is intended to be straight or ironic, is hard to say.

Next is Palestrina—'s stately "Ecce veniet dies ills", something of a chaser after the Deemer work. In Enrique Crespo’'s "Bruckner Etude" one immediately thinks of Bruckner’'s "Aequali" and the "E-Minor Mass", and it is as if Bruckner’s idiom has been thickened by 20th-century Romanticism. Its sound world harks back to track 9, the music of 'Calls/Responses'. Eugène Bozza’'s "Andantino" is another stylistic hybrid. Bozza, who was French (d.1991), wrote plenty of brass music, and this piece, all of 2:18, starts with a theme dangerously close to Ravel’s "Pavane pour une infante defunte". (on trombone, of course). Mark Fisher’'s arrangement of Rhineberger’'s "Abendlied" adds a bit more glorious sonority before the recording finishes with the Bach Passacaglia.

Track listing:

1)Vaclav Nelhybel (1919-1996) - "Tower Music" (2:28)
2)Giovanni Gabrieli - "Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2" ( H. Lloyd Leno, arr.; Peter Ellefson, arr.)  (2:51)
3)Jeremy Dibb (b. 1960)  - "Provence" (4:15)

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (Ralph Sauer, arr.) - "Trio Sonata No. 4" (5:52)
4)I. Allegro (2:23)
5)II. Adagio (2:14) 
6)III. Presto e staccato  (1:13)

7)Richard Strauss (Mansted. B., arr.) - "Alpine Fantasy" (10:47)

Rob Deemer (b. 1970) - "Shock and Awe for Trombone Quartet" (9:09)
8)Spin Cycles (1:59)
9)Calls/Responses (4:44)
10)Brave New Worlds (2:25)

11)Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - "Ecce veniet dies illa" (3:06)
12)Enrique Crespo (b. 1941) - "Bruckner Etude fur das tiele Blech" (5:54)
13)Eugène Bozza (1905-1991) - "Andantino for Trombone Trio" (2:23)
14)Josef Rhineberger (1839-1901) (Mark Fisher, arr.) - "Abendlied Op. 69, No. 3" (2:44)
15)Johann Sebastian Bach; Donald Hunsberger - "Passacaglia in C Minor" (5:30)





Anonymous said...

Suuuper Fantasy Alpina de Strauss y checo Nelhybel,gracias Master Tzadik,siempre con alguna grata sorpresa instrumental o sinfónica.Sinceras Gracias,abrazos de tu Amigo Dr.Tapirman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

D.ydak said...

Such an interesting recording!! Thank you so much mr. tzadik

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tzadik
Do you remember my asking for the symphonies of Ben-Haim?
All the best,

Aggelos said...

Tzadik, how is it going bro?

Man, I ordered the ASV CD containing Fikret Amirov with conductor Antonio de Almeida back in Sep 2014 from amazon.com, but it still says "temporarily out of stock. Probably it won't ship forever....

We need more exoticism decked out in pure orchestral splendor.
With this end in view, be sure to check out this rare CDs with Alexander Spendiarov Symphonic Works.

There is also this rare Gliere orchestral work (Solemn Overture Op. 72) as conducted by Yevgeny Svetlanov.
It was released on an Olympia CD, but hard to find.... Rutracker features a Vinyl rip.
And I should be on the lookout for this one.

Soltan Hajibeyov -> Caravan (symphonic sketch)

Fikret Amirov -> Azerbaijan Suite as conducted by Rauf Abdullayev

Anonymous said...

very interesting disc, thank you

Tzadik said...

Heyyy Tapir-dude nice to hear from you, happy you enjoyed this unusual disc! Talk soon my friend -TZ

Tzadik said...

D.ydak thank you for commenting. You are very welcome!

Tzadik said...

Hi Gabriel. No worries, I haven't forgotten your request; it's just that things have been very hard lately for me, plus I'm working too much for too little money etc. etc. but that's another story. I will post for them you when I have the time (have to find them first!) TZ

Tzadik said...

Aggelos! Nice to see you back on the blogosphere :)
Thanks for the info, the Amirov I know well, the rare Gliere I cannot say for sure, and the others I must look in to. Thank you for the urls I shall check em. I'm sorry I haven't really gone through my email, I think I have a reply from you that now a couple months old
:/ I will try to write, you and I have much in common to chat about, Russian etc. music and otherwise! Be well my friend -TZ

Tzadik said...

Anon you are welcome, thanks for commenting!

Aggelos said...

Well, don't worry about the e-mail... It's too old anyway....

Don't you think that the ASV Fikret Amirov CD and the Marco Polo Gliere one should appear on this blog somehow?....
Would it be possible for you to upload them here? (should they be available for you)

I've inputted the piano score of Spendiarov's Crimean Sketches on Sibelius 7.5 and let it perform it. Here's the outcome.
Here's the result.

Tzadik said...

Hello dear Aggelos. I have both actually, however at the moment I have only located the Amirov (with Almeida and the Moscow SO, assuming that's what you wanted..)

Shall check out your youtube post, thank you.


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