Monday, February 27, 2017

Class listening assignment from 2/22/2017

Our ABEL class met last Wednesday and had a little listening session where everyone played a movement of a piece they thought was cool. Here is the notes from that sessions

First up, Break Away by David Sampson. We listened to the 1st movement carving stone. This recording featured the trumpets from American Brass Quintet. I really like the electronics in this piece. They are really rhythmically driven and add a dance feel to this movement. On A side note, I was at the concert this piece premiered on for American Brass Quintet's 50th reunion in 2014 at Symphony Space in New York.

Next I played the First movement of Dahl's Music for Brass titled Christ Lay in the bonds of Death. I love the way this movement starts with big loud held chords. It really lets the listener know what kind of piece they are about to get into. Also the fast section is quite nice. I worked on this piece for almost an entire year during my time at Roosevelt University. Those poor trumpet players. HAHA
I also think the other movements are great as well. Really beautiful chorales contrast the loud brash sections as well as fast imitative sections.

We then listened to a holiday favorite, the third movement of Gloria by John Rutter. I have performed this piece a lot over the years, and find the musical lines to be joyous and celebratory. I believe we listened to the Philip Jones Brass ensemble play this and they did a nice job high lighting the polyphonic and cannon like sections.

Next up, Corpendium by Richard Bissill. I have to admit I had never heard this piece, but instantly really liked it. It features a horn ensemble, a group I typically do not listen to in my free time, but maybe this will inspire me to look into other pieces by this composer as well as for horn ensemble. We listened to the Guildhall Horn ensemble recording and I think they sounded great. 

 Another piece I had not been familiar with was the Concerto for Brass Quintet by Mark Rheaume. We listen to the third movement Atto Terzo. I don't know if I cared for this one as much, but I do like it when composers feature brass quintet and ensemble. In this case we listened to the Western Illinois Brass Quintet with their wind ensemble. I believe each member of the quintet is suppose to represent a voice in an opera. For such an interesting medium to compose for I thought the composer was relatively unadventurous and didn't exploit the brass quintets possibility for new sound textures. 

Finally we ended our session with Konzertmusik fur Brass, Two Harps, and Piano op. 49 by Paul Hindemith
III: Massig, schnell, kravtvoll

I really like Hindemith writing and this piece is at the top of the list. I like the tonality he is able to create. It is out of the realm of tonal music, but still very approachable from a listening perspective. This reminded of his other piece Morning Music for Brass. I played it as a quartet but I believe there is also a quintet version. 

Overall is was highly enjoyable to get together with my classmates and each get to show off a piece. I think this is something I did a lot more with my friends in Chicago, but have since stopped doing as much. Sorry for the lack of beer recommendations coming lately. This are getting pretty hectic around here. I will make it up somehow. 

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