Sunday, February 21, 2016

A New Work and A Confirmed Purpose

On this wonderful Sunday, we return once again to this blog after about a couple of weeks to discuss a wide variety of different and interesting brass ensembles.  The goal of this blog has now been realized, and it is to find as many different combinations of brass instrument ensemble music as possible within the limited amount of posts I shall be conducting.

For this next post on this next set of posts, we will be looking at different homogenous brass ensembles and some of their performances.  The last post dealt with mainly horns and some brass quintet, so today, we shall be looking at two different performances done by trumpet ensemble.  The first piece is an arrangement of O Magnum Mysterium by Martin Lauridsen for Trumpet Ensemble and it is performed by the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own Trumpet Ensemble at the 2014 National Trumpet Competition.  Unfortunately, the source of this arrangement is unclear but the performance is beautiful and is able to work well with this ensemble, especially with the usage of flugel horns, close blend this group has, and the phrasing they use to make themselves sound more like a choir.

The next piece is work composed for trumpet ensemble by Robert Russell called Abstract No. 2 for Seven Trumpets, performed by the trumpet ensemble from Baylor University.  In contrast to the first piece, this one is far more rhythmic and technical in performance, and features an overall brighter sound more commonly associated with trumpet.  I wanted to include this work not only to contrast the work by Lauridsen but to also feature a piece that was specifically written for this type of ensemble rather than an arrangement.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Disagreements will Never Go Away

Hello, and welcome to this blog!  

As part of a class requirement, I will be updating and posting to this blog regularly regarding brass and brass ensemble music.  There will be a wide variety of different styles in this blog, and the idea is to feature a different type of brass ensemble for each post, in order to get the widest amount of variety.  

Apologies for the late start by the way (this is part of the controversy :P)

Anyway, to start of this mild weathered, Iowa caucus day, I wanted to get this particular group and topic out of the way immediately, not only because it is fresh on my mind, but this type of conversation seems to go well with problematic nature that comes with discussing politics.  

In one of our first meetings, and slight debate occurred where two of our members discussed the pros and cons of homogenous and heterogenous ensembles and writings.  I had never really thought of this issue before myself, so I wanted to delve a little deeper.  For your consideration, I have two recordings of the same piece produced by two different ensembles.  It is called Casbah of Teuton and the recordings are for Horn Quintet and Brass Quintet.  

I believe there are definitely pros and cons to the two different recordings as well as to the different reasons for the existence of these different ensembles as well.  It will obviously depend on what you are interested in and what type of music you plan performing for the rest of your life as well as the specific instrument that you play.  Let me know of any thoughts that come to mind to whomever is reading this and I hope you all have a good day!