- Quiet City, for English horn, trumpet & strings (from the incidental music)
Aaron Copland: Quiet Cityby Christopher Brellochs
Quiet City is anything but quiet, dull, or boring. Saxophonist Christopher Brellochs and his fellow musicians create an extremely enjoyable album of music by Copland and other American composers to whom they wish to give exposure. The title work is poignant, with the trumpet and clarinets contributing to the melancholy, somber mood: the musicians capture a sense of seriousness and quiet gravity that are at the same time accessible to the listener. When the music turns lively, Brellochs and the others are able to easily shift into that emotion, adding the bass clarinet for more color. Brellochs has done a good job both in his performing of the work and in its adaptation. The smoky, seductive "Ballade" by Ornstein is nocturnal in its feel and fits in nicely with the Copland. Especially exciting is Aldridge's "Sound Moves Blues," which is a nice contrast to the previous two pieces. It most certainly moves and swings like jazz. The addition of the violin makes for quite a stark contrast when the "Lyric Suite" by Hartley begins. Its dissonant introduction leads into beautiful tone colors in the saxophone and piano. The Scherzino whirls like a busy bee, and the piano never hits a false note in the flurry. One can certainly generalize that none of the musicians ever hit a false note, not even in the rapid dotted rhythms of the Gigue. The two-movement "Sonata for soprano saxophone and piano" is lyrical, with a graceful melody in the saxophone (which Paul Cohen plays as smoothly as a clarinet or flute). The musicians' agility is especially evident in the second movement, which sounds like a jig; the piano is a solid, assured, confident partner to the sprightly saxophone. Composer Lunde clearly understood the way to get the best out of the tone color of each instrument. The album concludes with the "Suite for trumpet, alto saxophone, and piano" by Barab, a densely textured work of five movements with close-knit lines in the various instruments. The musicians work beautifully together, virtually chasing each other in the Allegro. Their emotion is genuine and open, which serves to engage the listener. Kudos to Brellochs and his collaborators for their good musicianship as well as excellent choice of repertoire. ~ V. Vasan
- Release Date:
- Sono Luminus
Performance CreditsChristopher Brellochs Primary Artist
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Christopher Brellochs has shown superb creativity in this ground breaking album."Quiet City" immediately sets a mood that is both stunning and haunting in its impact. A playful element ensues but the pervading sense of being alone, at night,in a city,is clear and the feeling is of peace. A beautiful rendition of this Copeland composition.
This CD has a lot of interesting music that one would not normally come across. Aaron Copland is a well known composer, and this piece is a great example of his talent. The musicians on the album (and there are many) are certainly talented and show extreme talent. I would highly recommend buying this CD because it is full of music that you would not come across otherwise, but is also professional and beautiful.
Christopher Brellochs is amazing. His music quietly calms my soul. His use of the classical instruments produces a creation that is greater than the sum of its parts. This CD, Quiet City, is interesting. I especially like the title track (1) and Nocturne (6). Definitely a good buy.
Quiet City has a great flow of timbres and textures. The lines are lyrical, melodious, and pensive. The orchestration is always shifting, with many passages of solo and duo playing. There is a great energetic section of rushing phrases of sixteenth notes around 7'30" and a great saxophone feature around 9'. The Ornstein Ballad has a lush and dark swirling texture. Sound Moves Blues starts off with frenetic energy like the soundtrack to a cartoon chase scene. This moves into a samba-like dance with soft upbeats in the piano. Throughout the work is a blend of darker sonorities and playful runs. The piece is well structured and makes great use of form to keep the listener engaged. The Hartley highlight's Paul Cohen's beautiful sound in the low register of his tenor sax. The entrance of the viola is a welcome surpise on this disc which is otherwise all winds and piano. The arco and pizzicato textures add great contrast. The Nocturne has some of my favorite melody lines on the disc. The Lawson Lunde doesn't really work for me stylistically or harmonically. The Barab Suite has lots of playful counterpoint and in some ways has a Stravinsky flavor in terms of orchestration. The Molto Lento features great lyrical playing in the winds. The last movement has interesting geometric interplay to the counterpoint. The fact that this disc is entirely composed of world premiere recordings is a really special touch and highlights the performers' commitment to advancing the art of the concert saxophone.
Christopher Brellochs continues to carry on his legacy with the album, "Quiet City". Each track has it's own character and takes the listener to another place filled with luscious harmony and beauty. Overall, a great package of excellent studio quality recordings and irrepressible musicianship.