"Brass Hommage" is a tribute to the inimitable sound which has made German Brass famous. It acknowledges the success of an audio vision come true: to create a chamber-music ensemble with ten brass musicians, a group with the sound potential of a mighty organ, a symphony orchestra or a big band – a vision which the German Brass musicians have achieved with the musical elegance that is their very own. Their special arrangements have made them into inventors of a highly refined sound idiom that was to become their hallmark. It is compositions for the organ and symphonic works from the classical field that provide the brass players with inspiration, but jazz standards or South American music deliver an equal appeal and the challenge to expand the palette of tone colours. A tango like "La Cumparsita" can transform into the rhythm of a bandoneon, while music by Cole Porter exudes a touch of Broadway flair, "As Time Goes By" conjures up the power of the images from the legendary film "Casablanca", and a jazz classic like "Bourbon Street Parade" emulates the sound of a Dixieland band from New Orleans.
The Empire Brass adds a drummer to its lineup for CLASS BRASS–FIREDANCE, another collection of classical popular hits by one of the world's most renown brass ensembles. Empire is well known for its reliable interpretations of pieces such as Ravel's 'Boléro,' which leads off this collection of primarily dances.
By combining the highly skilled Royal Academy of Music Brass and the Juilliard School Brass, trumpeter and director Reinhold Friedrich has created a virtuoso super group that is perfectly suited to the glorious antiphonal music of Giovanni Gabrieli. Not only is such a large contingent of exceptional brass players capable of producing the rich and resonant sound that is characteristic of Gabrieli's music, it also produces a credible impression of the performance space, which is usually quite difficult to convey on a standard recording. This album was made in St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, whose barrel-vaulted ceiling and brick-and-marble floor produce fantastic acoustics with a depth and breadth reminiscent of the spacious Byzantine interior of San Marco Cathedral, where Gabrieli served as maestro di cappella.
This CD contains, besides music of very well-known composers (the Intrada of the Orfeo by C. Monteverdi, Canzonas by G. Gabrieli), a Canzon by Paul Peuerl, an Aria and Fugue by Johann Joseph Fux and a Tudor Motet by Christopher Tye. All the scores are transcriptions for a brass ensemble of five performers on modern, not period, instruments (2 trumpets, a tuba, a horn and a trombone).
From the nature sounds of the opening to the edgy “heavy metal” of the conclusion: this GENUIN release by the Lake Brass Ensemble is a production full of good humor and meaty sounds! The young musicians under Norbert Stertz perform this richly orchestrated brass music with an impressive low brass group, with two tenor horns and a tuba providing a velvety, fleshy lining to the brilliance of their dazzling colleagues. In addition to two world premiere recordings – Kerry Turner’s Lake Constance Fantasy and Alexander Reuber’s Cerberus – the tracklist features known and unknown, but above all magically shimmering works: film music by Hans Zimmer and John Williams, symphonic selections by Gustav Mahler, and chamber music by Dmitri Shostakovich.
There is no shortage of discs around featuring transcriptions of Renaissance music for brass. Whilst played on modern instruments the main difference here however is that London Brass, several of whom play period instruments in other ensembles, have enlisted the specialist knowledge of Philip Pickett to direct them.
In an almost overpowering gathering of jazz superstars, Sarah Vaughan, the greatest of jazz singers, is joined by the brass players Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Don Cherry, Chuck Mangione, and Al Hirt - backed by the legendary Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. The exciting concert that results is packed with unexpected moments, beautiful sounds, and of course the gorgeous singing of 'Sassy' herself. Variety abounds: Vaughan sings standards with her crack touring combo, including an amazing rendition of her signature 'Send in the Clowns.' The trumpeters pair off in various groupings that bring out their distinctive sounds. Vaughan joins the brass players for some jazz standards - including 'Take the 'A' Train' - adding beautiful vocal improvisations to the mix…