English Brass Ensemble

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Brian Bowen, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I happened to hear this group on US radio today playing Grieg's "The Last Spring". It was far from an authentic transcription of Grieg's wistful composition. The liberties taken, including a corny key change, made me cringe. No arranger's name was given.

    Does anyone know if such arrangements are typical from this group?
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    They did a full album of Grieg works called Lyric Brass. Not listened to it for a long while, so I cannot comment about any liberties taken.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Having got the recording, the US radio station concerned probably chose the one 'duff' track to broadcast! I must admit, I don't know why they made that key change and the 'new' ending as it certainly isn't typical. As far as I can tell, the other arrangements on the CD are pretty faithful to the original, at least harmonically. All the arrangements were made by EBE trumpeter Paul Archibald.

    The English Brass Ensemble also released recordings of arrangements of Prokofiev's Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet and Widor's Organ Symphony No. 5 (amongst others - and more recently, Mozart and J. Strauss in 'A Night in Vienna'). The Widor in particular is in my own opinion, one of the most stunning brass recordings I've ever heard.

    p.s. Nice to see a post relating to brass ensembles on this site! :)
  4. Red Dog Brass

    Red Dog Brass Member

    I can only echo the opinions of Dave above.
    The CD Russian Brass is simply stunning. Please check it out!
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    ...featuring at times a rather out-of-tune euphonium (sorry, tenor tuba)! I wonder what became of the player??!!

    But yes, the Russian Brass CD is very fine, including a thrilling arrangement of a Prokofiev piano sonata, and the whole album featuring the sonorous tones of Jim Gourlay (tuba) at his very best, in my opinion.

    The Lyric Brass CD crops up every so often on the UK Ebay website, if Mr Bowen is looking for a copy, although I have an idea that it sometimes appears as a Japanese import under a different title??? Anyway, it's the one that comprises entirely of arrangements of Grieg.
  6. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Aside from that strange choice of key change in The Last Spring, what I like about Paul Archibald's arrangements for that recording and indeed, Russian Brass and Toccata is the wealth of colours he achieves with clever mixtures of muting and at times, percussion (though there's no percussion on the Toccata CD).