A most enjoyable surround concert of brass, percussion and pipe organ.

* For the Beauty of the Earth – Celebrating Creation – Works of WIDOR, VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS and others – Gabriel V Brass Ensemble/Sharon Rose Pfeiffer, pipe organ, Percussion Ens. – Arte/ Paraclete multichannel SACD GDCD 061, 53:03 [5/1/16] ****:

This is a gorgeous collection, in hi-res surround, of works expertly performed for brass, percussion and pipe organ.  The Gabriel V ensemble usually performs and tours the world with the chorale group Gloria Dei Cantores. They also run an annual concert series in Orleans, MA. The Gabriel V Ensemble and organ were recorded in the historic Mechanics Hall of Worcester, MA, which since its restoration in 1977 has been internationally regarded as one of the world’s finest concert halls.

The standout here is the six-minute Toccata from Widor’s Fifth Symphony – probably the best arrangement of the work I have ever heard.  There is also a lovely arrangement of Vaughan-Williams’ hymn, Randolph. Other composers include Anthony DeLorenzo, David Marlatt, Walter Pelz, and John Bacchus Dykes.  This is a perfect type of music for hi-res surround, and for the use of the surrounds for more than the usual ambient sonics.


1. Luminosity
2. Earthscape
3. Windscape
4. Fantasy on “O Sons and Daughters”
5. Salvum fac populum tuum
6. Holy, Holy, Holy
7. Prelude on a Festive Hymn Tune
8. Meditation: The Light of the World
9. Benediction God Be with You
10. Toccata from “Fifth Symphony”
11. Tone Poem – A Psalm of Praise
12. Prelude on a Hymn of Praise

—John Sunier