Gabrieli; Complete music for brass; LSO Brass/Crees

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by Dave Payn, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I finally bought the 3rd and final volume of this incredible set yesterday. £15 for 3CDs worth of stupendous brass playing in what was the premier recording of Giovanni Gabrieli's complete instrumental ensemble canzonas and sonatas recorded between 1996 and 1998. Yet again (oops)! I'm reviewing an orchestral brass recording but perhaps of some interest to the banding fraternity is the inclusion of the likes of Maurice Murphy, Rod Franks and James Watson in the personnel.

    Gabrieli's music may be considered 'too old' by some, but for its time, the level of harmonic invention and interplay between the choirs of instruments is staggering and still challenges the best brass players around even today, and I could quite happily listen to all 3CDs in one go without being bored of the music itself. Particularly when played with such verve and virtuosity by the LSO Brass under the direction of Eric Crees (who also undertook the painstaking task of editing each work for 'modern day' performance.)

    The sound of the modern brass obviously greatly differs from the cornetts and sackbuts which would have originally played these pieces in 16th and early 17th century Venice, but the LSO Brass make a perfectly convincing case for performance on modern instruments and the overall effect (helped by the perfect acoustic of All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak) is never less than excellent and at times downright stunning.

    I won't try and 'preach' to those not interested in this type of music, but even if you're a fan of virtuoso brass playing (both in the technique and control in both the louder and quieter passages) any one of these CDs is worth getting, particularly at a fiver each.

    The brass section of the LSO has often been regarded as the best brass section of any orchestra in the world and if you hear this, it's easy to see why they have that accolade.
  2. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Dave, whilst agree with what you have said I would also suggest that you have a listen to a recording by the Gabrieli Consort. Having played with these and also 'modern brass' I can tell you that there is a world of difference. Period perfomances on Cornett and Sackbutt to me are much more emotionally moving and exciting. That said, the LSO Brass is a great recording.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I have the Gabrieli Consort recording and agree! Also, London Brass's recording of the works of Gabrieli and others (now re-issued at £4.99) where they used modern instruments but acquired the services of Philip Pickett (New London Consort) to direct them is stunning.

    I too have dabbled in playing cornetts! (The biggest problem being that the fingerholes are so damn far apart! Tell you what, though, improved my stretch on a keyboard no end!)

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