Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brass Bonanza - Alan Hovhaness, Six Dances - Malcolm Arnold, Quintet - Michel Leclerc, "Par Monts et Par Vaux" Liadov-Glazunov, Fanfares for the Jubilee of Rimsky-Korsakov - Giavanni Gabrieli, Canzona & works by Brade, Dutton, Speer, Horovitz & Kessel - Crystal Records 1986

Here's a disc for brass quintet that I bought war back when for the "Six Dances" of Hovhaness. The Quintet of Malcolm Arnold was a nice bonus, not to mention the brief (1:43) Liadov/Glazunov work which is an arrangement for brass quintet. Michel Leclerc's "Par Monts et Par Vaux"  is an interesting listen as well. As for the rest, it's standard in comparison, although a couple works are rather obscure and brass enthusiasts likely will enjoy everything.

Alan Hovhaness's "Six Dances" for Brass Quintet has straight forward melodies and harmony. It is brief but delightful (each contrasting movement is a study of rhythmic division however, with meters of 13/8, 5/8, 3/4, & 3/8, 7/8, 5/8 & 4/8, and 2/2). I for one can easily imagine the dances with a small string ensemble accompaniment, especially with AH's signature usage of pizzicato intermittently adding to the already courtly and mystical quality. Then again we enjoy enough works with such forces in his catalog I suppose!

Anatol Liadov and Alexander Glazunov originally wrote their "Fanfares for the Jubilee of Rimsky-Korsakov" for large brass ensemble and percussion. The arrangement here for Quintet was made by Richard Barth, tuba player with the Metropoliltan Brass Quintet. It's a nice little morsel! 

Giovanni Gabrieli's "Canzona per sonare" is part of a collection of six canzonas published in Venice in 1608. I wish all six had been recorded here, there certainly is room on the disc for the whole collection! 

Malcolm Arnold's Quintet for Brass, composed in 1961, is one of the mainstays of the brass quintet literature and it's an entirely charming work from start to end (it's Malcolm Arnold, so no surprise there!) that I'm sure most of you will know quite well. 

Michel Leclerc, born in Belgium in 1914, studied at the Royal Conservatory of Liege and the Paris Nat'l Conservatory of Music. He played violin in the Liege RSO and was a member of several string quartets. He beam Professor of Chamber Music at the Liege Conservatory in 1946. The composer made the following translations and descriptions of the five movements of "Par Monts et Par Vaux"(Over Mountains and Valleys): 1) The Willow Hill, 2) The Undergrowth, 3) Play of the Lienne, a small river, 4) Chapel in the Pines, 5) Dance of the Follerie, a small tributary of the Lienne river. 

Brent Dutton was born in 1950 and began his musical studies at the age of nine in his native Canada. He writes the following of the "Carnival of Venice": "The composition is a fond and loving tribute to the grand brass tradition of the 19th century. The Variations are based on J.B. Arban's classic setting of the traditional theme." ".......I will admit to adding touches of Wagner and Bruckner as well". 

Joseph Horovitz, born in 1926 is an English composer who has written music in every genre. "Music Hall Suite" was composed in 1964 and is considered to be among the finest in popular brass chamber music. The four movements presented characterize various vaudeville and burlesque entertainment forms. I am personally not that 'entertained' by the results but that's just me..

Who is cooler, hipper and more playful than a brass quintet?? No one! -This is not from this disc.

Enjoy everyone


Gerhard said...

Hello, thank you I love brass music! If you have more to share I thank you very much!

Tzadik said...

Halo Gerhard, happy you like! Yes, there will be more brass music in the future..


Anonymous said...

The link is dead... will u pls renew?