Music for brass and organ – strongly recommended by GERALD FENECH
‘Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise …’
The sound of a brass ensemble playing together with an organ is as striking today as it was almost a century ago, when composers started writing and experimenting with this combination with great success. Indeed, this mixture of instruments has such a magnificent natural sound world that its impact cannot be forgotten easily, if ever. The vast majority of this repertoire dates from within the last fifty years and consists either of original works or of transcriptions of music originally written for other forces. Although this defined musical ensemble is new to the scene, this combination did not appear from thin air. The roots are long and many. The history of organs playing with ensembles is ancient; the custom was practically universal in Bach’s time and for at least a generation before, and there is also a long history of works for trumpet solo or duo with organ.
One of the joys of this CD is that it transports us beyond the familiar high-occasion repertoire, revealing an almost infinite range of mood and versatility of sound and style that most listeners have few opportunities to get to hear. The composers on show are all household names, and cover almost 350 years of musical innovation.
J S Bach, Campra, Buxtehude and Giovanni Gabrieli carry the Baroque standard, Schumann, Rimsky-Korsakov and Richard Strauss honour the Romantic era, while Alan Hovhaness is the twentieth century’s flag bearer. A mixed bag indeed of musical creativity that is excitingly spectacular and emotionally climactic.
Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise, and the programme has a mesmerizing beauty that keeps you entranced for its hour plus duration.
Absolutely enthralling stuff excellently recorded and professionally presented. Strongly recommended.