“UNCOMMON GROUND” = Contemporary Works for Trumpet with horn, piano and organ – compositions by BLAHA, GENZMER, LU, MICHEL AND SCHULZ [TrackList follows] – MSR Classics

UNCOMMON GROUND” = Contemporary Works for Trumpet with horn, piano and organ – compositions by BLAHA, GENZMER, LU, MICHEL AND SCHULZ [TrackList follows] – Amy Schendel, trumpet/Bernhard Scully, horn/ Todd Schendel, trombone & euphonium/ Rene Lecuona, p./ Gregory Hand, organ – MSR Classics MS 1536, 64:32 CD (9/2/14) [Distr. by Albany] ***1/2:

This is an aptly-named and very well-played collection of contemporary chamber music of several world premier compositions. As a fan of the similar music of Eric Ewazen, I also found this collection stimulating and enjoyable.

The primary soloist on this CD is trumpeter Amy Schendel, who has had a notable career playing with orchestras and bands at Indiana University and the University of Iowa, as well as many guest appearances in North America and Europe. Along with Schendel is organist Gregory Hand, trombonist Todd Schendel, pianist Rene Lecuona and hornist Bernhard Scully. The group is excellent, and they acquit themselves nicely in these modern compositions.

Although I liked all the music on this disc, I especially enjoyed the Suite for Trumpet and Trombone by Jean-Francois Michel. It starts with an off-stage horn and trombone which makes a transition to a beautiful on-stage duet.

Other works of note are the Fanfare for Trumpet and Organ by Schulz, an effective musical combination, and Genzmer’s Sonata for Trumpet and Organ. Genzmer studied with Hindemith, and the influence of the great composer is evident in this work.

The recording is a good one. I found the recording just a bit dry for my tastes, but the instruments come through musically and with good stereo imaging.

I think this CD will appeal to fans of brass music of a contemporary variety. The program is well put together, and the quality of the playing is high.

TrackList:

PATRICK SCHULZ (b.1975)

FANFARE FOR TRUMPET AND ORGAN (2012)

JEAN-FRANÇOIS MICHEL (b.1957)

SUITE POUR TROMPETTE, COR ET TROMBONE (c.1994)

Ouverture

Nocturne

Allegro

JOSEPH BLAHA (b.1951)

FRENCH SUITE (2011)

Allemande

Courante

Sarabande

Gigue

WAYNE LU (b.1970)

SONATA FOR TRUMPET AND PIANO (2007)

The Early Years (Allegro)

Divergence (Andante)

A New Life (Fast)

JEAN-FRANÇOIS MICHEL

EVEILS POUR TROMPETTE, TROMBONE ET PIANO (1993)

Eveil du jour

Eveil de la nature

Eveil de la rue

HARALD GENZMER (1909-2007)

SONATE FÜR TROMPETE IN C UND ORGEL (c.1971)

Grave

Allegro

Choral

Finale

—Mel Martin

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