“sevenfive: The John Corigliano Effect” = Music For Brass: David SAMPSON; John CORIGLIANO; Jonathon NEWMAN; Steven BRYANT; Jeremy BECK; Conrad WINSLOW – Gaudete Brass – Cedilla

by | May 17, 2017 | Classical CD Reviews

“sevenfive: The John Corigliano Effect” = Music for Brass – David SAMPSON: Entrance; Still; John CORIGLIANO (arr. Colnot): Gazebo Dances: Overture; Jonathon NEWMAN: Prayers of Steel; Steven BRYANT: Sevenfive; John CORIGLIANO: Antiphon; Fanfares; Jeremy Howard BECK: Roar; Conrad WINSLOW: The Record of a Lost Tribe – Gaudete Brass – Cedille 90000 169, 56:10 [Distr. by Naxos] *****: 

A real blast of a birthday tribute to an enormously popular composer — fantastic compositions, brilliantly executed!

The works on this disc range from standard brass quintet to an eleven-member ensemble, so it’s really Gaudete Brass plus. This album had its gestation in the 2013 Chicago celebrations of composer John Corigliano’s 75th birthday, and many of the works here by his students were performed at that event. I can think of no more fascinating exercise than hearing the pieces of the master—and Corigliano is indeed that—coupled with that of his students. If music history tells us anything, it’s that as often as not students take completely different roads than their teachers, though on this disc there are a couple of pieces where differentiation between teacher and student is tricky indeed.

I won’t spoil the experience by giving any of this away, but will say that there is enough variety and effect on this disc to completely assuage any concerns about sameness of style, tonal quality, of “brass” fatigue that often happens on discs where single ensembles dominate the entire recital. Though this is certainly brash, urban, and highly enervated music for the most part, lyricism has its place, and the variety of composers present ensue that a broad and exceptionally gratifying listening experience is in store for any willing to plunge in. With the great sonics, sterling execution, and high level of compositional expertise, not doing so would be a mistake.

—Steven Ritter

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