NEW CANADIAN BRASS ALBUM, BRAHMS ON BRASS, HITS BILLBOARD’S CLASSICAL CHART – 21C Media Group
Brahms on Brass, the new album by Canadian Brass, hit the Billboard classical chart upon its release last month and is making news as a state-of-the-art recording that takes brass playing to a new level. From “the men who put brass music on the map” (Washington Post) Brahms on Brass features adaptations from the keyboard to brass quintet of the Sixteen Waltzes, Opus 39, the Ballade in D minor, Opus 10, No. 1, and the Eleven Chorale Preludes for Organ, Opus 122.
Minnesota Public Radio recently featured Brahms on Brass on its “New Classical Tracks.” Host Julie Amacher said, “As you listen to these waltzes and chorale preludes adapted for brass instruments, you’ll hear this music in a completely new dimension, with new colors, timbres and musical inflections. … This ensemble spares no detail in their adaptations bringing a new sound, new life to these pieces, and new enjoyment for the listener.”
Canadian Brass has not only established itself as the world’s most famous brass ensemble, but also as a leader in creating a body of repertoire that places brass in the mainstream of the classical music world. With over 100 best-selling recordings to its credit, Canadian Brass is the most recorded and most listened to brass ensemble in history.
“We’ve always been very keen to develop the art as we’ve developed the audience,” stated founder and tuba player Chuck Daellenbach. “When Canadian Brass began forty years ago, there was very little repertoire for brass quintet. We now have over 800 works arranged or written for Canadian Brass, including more than 100 commissions.”
The inspiration for Canadian Brass to undertake the music of Brahms came to Daellenbach from an innovative brass quintet adaptation of the 1897 Eleven Chorale Preludes for Organ by arranger and trombone virtuoso Ralph Sauer. In Sauer’s words, the Preludes represent “Brahms’s musical testament. Profound meditations on life and death, the Preludes can be considered the quintessence of his art.”
Canadian Brass trumpeters Brandon Ridenour and Chris Coletti then suggested that the Opus 39 Waltzes were perfectly suited for adaptation to modern brass instruments. “Something that’s great about playing these Waltzes in brass quintet arrangements,” said Ridenour, “is that we can get certain voices to really emerge from the music that are a little more challenging to do as a pianist. This is simply by the nature of all the different timbres and colors in our ensemble.”
The 1854 Ballade, in Ridenour’s compelling adaptation for brass octet and timpani, stands between the spirited Waltzes and the lyrical, reflective Chorale Preludes.
“All five members of the Canadian Brass are huge fans of the music of Brahms,” said Daellenbach. “After making this recording, we are now über-fans of this great Romantic composer.”
Canadian Brass members are Chuck Daellenbach (tuba), Chris Coletti and Brandon Ridenour (trumpets), Eric Reed (horn) and Achilles Liarmakopoulos (trombone). The legendary ensemble has entertained millions of music lovers around the globe and continues to be hailed for creating irresistibly entertaining concerts and recordings for music lovers of all stripes, backgrounds and musical tastes, anchored by the ensemble’s technical precision and polished tone. With an international reputation as one of the most popular and active brass groups today, the Canadian Brass has truly earned the distinction as the world’s most famous brass group.
article published by 21C Media Group