Tuesday, April 19, 2016

There is No Net

It is time to expand our horizons for just a little bit.  In this horizon expanding video, we have an increase in brass players from five or seven, (or eight), to nine in this Nonet for Brass.  The piece was composed by Wallingford Reigger, an American composer from the first half of the twentieth century.

Unfortunately, this particular recording is not very good as the sound is from a video camera and is not very high quality.  However, the piece itself is quite good and has a lot of loud and rhythmic brass playing.  It is scored for three trumpets, three trombones, two horns, and a tuba, and is performed by the Bay Brass Ensemble.  Research on this composer has revealed that he was one of the first to use a form of serialism in America, as well as being a former professor of music theory and cello at Drake University.

This piece sounds more like a neo-classical fanfare than it does sound like a piece of twelve-tone music however.  In fact, it sounds like a piece that Charles Ives might have composed for a brass ensemble as it has a lot of very loud and dissonant sound masses involved.  Overall, it's a really good piece of music and I'm sorry there is not a better recording that is more easily available.

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