This is a very appropriate title for the enhancement of the brass quintet sound which hi-res surround can bring to it. The Mannheim Brass is one of the leading German brass quintets and is made up of soloists from the orchestras of various European opera houses. They were founded in 1990 and like most brass quintets have a very wide repertory, encompassing early music to jazz and avantgarde.
Respighi’s suite blended renaissance and baroque music themes with a late-romantic style in his orchestral work. It may seem surprising to hear it transferred to an all-brass ensemble, but this arrangement by Matthias Gromer works beautifully. Oskar Bohme was a composer of early in the 20th century who specialized in music for brass instruments. His Sextet features a cornet solo in its second movement, here played by Reinhold Friedrich, the leader of the ensemble. Swiss composer Daniel Schnyder regularly transitions between classical music and jazz in both his composing and performing as a saxist and flutist. His quintet puts jazz and Latin music in contrast to a European framework of harmony and polyphony, and the selections from his Songbook are three light little movements with a sort of jazz chamber music feeling to them.
If this album is to your liking, you should check out the quintet’s earlier Coviello SACD, “Boundless.” Switching between the stereo and surround options of this SACD makes one wonder why anyone would invest in one of the several super-high-end two-channel-only SACD players.
– John Sunier