Gunther Schuller - Symphony for Brass and Percussion

Dave Payn

Active Member
At the moment I have two recordings of this, (namely PJBE and Royal Academy of Music Brass Soloists) but being a Boc, I'm wondering anyone knows of any more. My database lists an album entitled 'Birth of the Third Stream' on the Columbia Legacy label. It doesn't list an ensemble but lists the piece in question as a track with Gunther Schuller as 'composer/arranger/conductor' and stating that the recording was made on June 14th 1956.

Does anyone have this recording? If so, what are your thoughts? To me it looks like a jazz album, so where the Schuller symphony fits in this is not immediately obvious to me. Is it worth getting? Does anyone know indeed, of any other recordings of the Schuller symphony that I and/or our MCPS/PRS database may have missed.



Dave Payn

Active Member
Silly me! 'It looks like a jazz album so I'm not sure where the Schuller fits in. I DO know that Schuller was a modern jazz composer. It's just that I meant the actual symphony itself would be a strange choice to include on a jazz album. Maybe not!

James Yelland

Well-Known Member
I didn't know Schuller was a jazz composer, but I recall that he was a horn player with one of the big US orchestras, poss. the NY Phil.


Active Member
Gunther Schuller also played jazz too. He was on Miles Davis/Gil Evans 'Porgy and Bess' album and some of the tracks on 'The Complete Birth of the Cool' by Miles Davis.

The Birth of the Third Stream album was originally released as 'Music for brass' which is a jazz/classical mix (I think - I haven't actually got a copy) the composers include John Lewis, (who wrote composed/arranged for the Birth of the cool album) and J.J. Johnstone (who played Trombone for the Birth of the Cool)
Are you sure Gunther Schuller played on Porgy and Bess? I could have sworn i've not seen his name on it.
Then again, I could be wrong ...

Porgy and Bess is a great album

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