5 Browns [DualDisc]

The 5 Browns [DualDisc]

5.0 5
by The 5 Browns
     
 
What do you get when a quintet of clean-cut, piano-playing siblings from Utah enter New York's Juilliard School? A recording contract, naturally, but also an abundance of exuberant and accomplished music making. The 5 Browns -- currently aged 19 to 25 -- stand to appeal to a broad audience with this debut album, thanks to their youth and enthusiasm. Their performance

Overview

What do you get when a quintet of clean-cut, piano-playing siblings from Utah enter New York's Juilliard School? A recording contract, naturally, but also an abundance of exuberant and accomplished music making. The 5 Browns -- currently aged 19 to 25 -- stand to appeal to a broad audience with this debut album, thanks to their youth and enthusiasm. Their performance style is in the classical virtuoso tradition, as is their choice of repertoire, which comprises such pops-concert favorites as Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story dances, performed by the whole family in new transcriptions for piano quintet. It's tremendous fun, with 50 fingers producing an overwhelming quantity of energy and sheer sound. Paul Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice -- familiar from Mickey Mouse's battle with the magically replicating brooms in Fantasia -- makes a particularly appropriate selection for the team, as the menacing tune grows from nothing into a monumental musical army. The Browns wisely avoid tiring the ear by also including several solo and duet numbers, showcasing their individual talents and personalities. The oldest siblings, sisters Desirae and Deondra, are a dazzling piano duo team; their subtly shaded performance of Ravel's La Valse is perhaps the most impressive track here. Gregory reveals himself as a full-blooded Romantic in a Rachmaninoff "Elégie," while Melody shows a playful spirit in Debussy's L'Isle joyeuse. Ryan, the youngest, sounds as mature as his elders in a compelling performance of the program's most serious work, Prokofiev's Third Sonata. If all this music isn't enough, you can flip the CD over, put it in your DVD player, and see the siblings in action in a pair of video clips. Taken individually or together, the Browns transcend their novelty value through the force of their charisma and their phenomenal collective talents.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
Yes, there is a certain amount of novelty to this disc. How often is a record label going to spend the money to get five pianos into one studio? This is the first recording by the sisters and brothers, the 5 Browns, who turn piano ensemble music into a true team sport. However, the album is meant to do more than display the team playing; it also gives the musicians a chance to show off their individual skills. They are all highly talented and give very polished performances, aided by a very polished sound to the recording. The works for five pianos are surprisingly well done in terms of capturing the original music without adding too much extra texture. The "Scenes from West Side Story" is more a stringing together of themes, some not brought to conclusion, with only a couple of extended musical episodes from Bernstein's original, but the Browns give it energy, as they do all the works here, and at the beginning of the "America" section, capture the essence of soft, Puerto Rican breezes. The solo pieces plus Ravel's two-piano version of "La Valse" are said to have been chosen by the performers because they are works that they like, but it doesn't hurt that the pieces show off each of the Browns' technical abilities, with a lesser emphasis on their musical maturity. On the DVD side of the disc, there are extra video tracks with an interview of the Browns and the team in action, playing "The Flight of the Bumblebee" and a shortened "Scenes from West Side Story." The 5 Browns prove that, although still young and with a little maturing still to be done, they are more than a novelty, both as a team and as individuals.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2005
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766600728
catalogNumber:
66007

Tracks

  1. The Flight of the Bumble Bee, musical picture for orchestra (from The Tale of Tsar Saltan)  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  -  5 Browns
  2. West Side Story, musical: Scenes  - Leonard Bernstein  -  5 Browns
  3. The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'apprenti sorcier), symphonic scherzo for orchestra  - Paul Dukas  -  5 Browns
  4. La valse, poème choréographique for piano or 2 pianos  - Maurice Ravel  - Deondra Brown  - Desirae Brown
  5. Tabatière à musique (Music Box) for piano, Op. 33/3  - Ignaz Friedman  - Melody Brown
  6. Moments Musicaux (6) for piano, Op. 16: No. 4  - Sergey Rachmaninov  - Ryan Brown
  7. Morceaux de fantaisie (5), for piano, Op. 3: Elégie  - Sergey Rachmaninov  - Gregory Brown
  8. L'isle joyeuse, for piano, L. 106  - Claude Debussy  - Melody Brown
  9. Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor ("From Old Notebooks"), Op. 28  - Sergey Prokofiev  - Ryan Brown
  10. Toccata for piano, Op. 155  - York Bowen  - Gregory Brown
  11. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: In the Hall of the Mountain King  - Edvard Grieg  -  5 Browns

Album Credits

Performance Credits

5 Browns   Primary Artist

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great CD!! The music is fresh and alive, and takes on new meaning as it is reintepreted by the youthful Browns! The hard work and dedication that have brought them to this point are clearly evident in the outstanding performances found on the CD! This is a great addition to any classical library, as well as an excellent introduction to classical music for the novice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music is crisp, the sound is perfect. Thank you for the care that was put into this, I appreciate the music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE the 5 browns. Such lively and upbeat music. I listen to them all the time. I am going to go see them in concert. A great addition to any classical cd collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Each of the 5 siblings is a virtuoso concert pianist. Their performances are brilliant. I recommend that you consider making this CD a part of your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 5 Browns are a very dynamic quintet. They bring out the full power, emotions and flavors of the music they play. Their clairity of execution is absolutely clean and invigorating. They will expand the enjoyment of classical music beyond measure. The world is lucky to have them.