Monday, April 24, 2017

Meat is in the air

Do you guys smell that? There is something cooking at the Chicago Symphony and it has low brass players, and brass enthusiasts salivating from the chops.

The Chicago Symphony announced earlier this year that they have commissioned Jennifer Higdon to write a concerto for the low brass section to be performed next season. I know Ms. Higdon's work Blue Cathedral having performed that many times ( I am an excellent crystal class vibrator btw) but did not know that she has actually written a trombone concerto that was premiered by Peter Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

I don't know about you, but this sounds like a great concert to attend. These guys have been a section together since 1989 and have a very special sound. I heard them play trombone quartets together at a brass bash type concert they do every year. I think it was Dale Clevanger's last season in the group, and they featured him playing Green Sleeves with the trombone quartet. Even with Mr. Clevanger's diminished abilities, that was a memorable performance. The thing I still find unique to the CSO low brass section is their ability to play softly. When it comes to the soft chorals in Mahler, Brahms, Schumann, and Bruckner, they still play circles around their (often much younger) peers. I can't wait for this concerto and am excited to hear my teacher and friend Jay Friedman in what will most likely be his last solo appearance with the Chicago Symphony.

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