Black Castles

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Brass bands began emerging throughout Great Britain in the middle of the nineteenth century, and by the first decades of the twentieth century, England alone boasted almost 20,000 groups. For much of their first 100 years, they had to rely primarily on arrangements and transcriptions rather than original works. Edward Elgar was among the first significant composers to write for the bands, and his first work, the majestic "Severn Suite," didn't appear until 1930. BIS' collection of six attractive pieces for brass band begins with the Elgar, and traces trends in English composition up through John Pickard's 2002 Black Castles. The German ensemble, brass partout, plays even...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Brass bands began emerging throughout Great Britain in the middle of the nineteenth century, and by the first decades of the twentieth century, England alone boasted almost 20,000 groups. For much of their first 100 years, they had to rely primarily on arrangements and transcriptions rather than original works. Edward Elgar was among the first significant composers to write for the bands, and his first work, the majestic "Severn Suite," didn't appear until 1930. BIS' collection of six attractive pieces for brass band begins with the Elgar, and traces trends in English composition up through John Pickard's 2002 Black Castles. The German ensemble, brass partout, plays even the most fiendishly difficult pieces with polish and high energy. The group, conducted by Hermann Bäumann, has released two previous CDs of brass music by Scandinavian and Russian composers, but in those collections, they had to rely heavily on arrangements, whereas all the works on this CD were originally conceived for brass. Arthur Butterworth's 1972 "Triton Suite" is a spiritual descendant of Vaughan Williams' music at its hale and heartiest. The five movements of "William and Mary," by Derek Bourgeois, depict crucial moments in the lives of the monarchs, and while sounding thoroughly modern, suggest the era through the subtle use of archaisms. John Tavener's "Trisagion," originally written for the Philip Jones Brass Quartet, which ultimately rejected it as unplayable, remains a virtuosic tour de force in this arrangement for 10 players. John Pickard's "Black Castles" is the most musically sophisticated and satisfying piece on the album. The title refers to a field of huge geological structures in northern Iceland created by the upheavals of lava flows. The music aptly embodies the stark monumentality of that landscape, and Pickard's masterful orchestration creates strikingly original and unusual sonorities, both powerful and delicate. BIS' sound is clear, but a little distant, perhaps to keep the loud sections from blasting out speakers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2007
  • Label: Bis
  • EAN: 7318590013540
  • Catalog Number: 1354
  • Sales rank: 362,152

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–5 Severn Suite, for brass band, Op. 87 - Edward Elgar & Robert Suff (17:40)
  2. 6–9 Triton Suite, for brass Op. 46 - Arthur Butterworth & Robert Suff (11:53)
  3. 10–14 William and Mary Suite for brass, Op. 106 - Derek Bourgeois & Robert Suff (17:59)
  4. 11 Trisagion, for brass quintet - John Tavener & Robert Suff (14:34)
  5. 12 Black Castles, for brass - John Pickard & Robert Suff (11:13)
  6. 13 Set To, for brass - Mark-Anthony Turnage & Robert Suff (8:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Brass Partout Primary Artist
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