Nobody steals from other instruments quite as well as the brass quintet! A program from the brand new Mirari Brass album of the same name, Recycled, Reused, Renewed celebrates music that has been adapted from its original intent. Audiences will be delighted by works borrowed from strings, piano, voice, and jazz combo, as well as a major piece originally for brass in its second revision.
The centerpiece of the concert is hornist Verne Reynolds’ adaptation of Felix Mendelssohn’s monumental String Quartet, Op. 18. A work of stunning beauty and depth, Mirari feels that the contrast between the melodic lyricism of the first and third movements, the delicate and flighty Canzonetta of the second, and the tempestuous finale fit the brass quintet just as well as a string quartet – if not better.
The other major work on the program is the only one originally conceived for brass instruments: John Cheetham’s virtuosic and dazzling A Brass Menagerie. Presented here in the revised edition, it highlights the agility and lyricism of brass instruments while showcasing each of the group members.
The oldest pieces on the concert are a set of English Renaissance madrigals orchestrated by Mirari tubist Stephanie Frye. Here, the quintet uses imaginative instrumental combinations to add a vocal quality to these originally sung works. Trumpeter Alex Noppe’s original composition Elegy was initially written for solo piano to be performed in 2011 for his grandmother’s memorial service. Immediately more sonorous and weighty by this transcription for brass quintet, it presents a musical portrait of a woman who through hardship was bent by the weight of the world but always strong and proud – never broken. The finale of the program is a contrasting set of reimagined jazz arrangements by cornetist Thad Jones and bassist Charles Mingus. With nothing but brass instruments to simulate the rhythm sections on the original recordings and featuring various members of the group showing off their improvisational skills, they are sure to send audiences home with a tune in their ears.
Works on “Recycled, Reused, Renewed” include:
Alex Noppe, Canyon Run
Claude Le Jeune (arr. Noppe), Revecy venir du printans
John Wilbye/Thomas Vautor/William Byrd (arr. Stephanie Frye), English madrigals (selected)
Felix Mendelssohn (arr. Verne Reynolds), String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 12
Enrique Crespo, Suite Americana
Giacomo Puccini (arr. Tony Rickard), “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot
Eugene Bozza, Sonatine
David Sisco, New work TBA
Thad Jones (arr. Noppe), A Child Is Born
Charles Mingus (arr. Noppe), Moanin’