Recording Reviews

  • prb russian revThe Prince Regent’s Band, Russian Revolutionaries Vol.1: Victor Ewald & Oskar Böhme. Resonus Classics (RES10201), 2016.

  • distin prince regentThe Prince Regent’s Band, The Celebrated Distin FamilyResonus Records, 2016.

    Richard Fomison; soprano cornet in Eb, cornet in Bb, contralto saxhorn in Bb, Richard Thomas; soprano cornet in Eb cornet in Bb, contralto saxhorn in Bb, tenor saxhorn in Eb, Anneke Scott: tenor saxhorn in Eb, ventil horn in Eb, Phil Dale; baritone saxhorn in Bb, Jeff Miller; contrabass saxhorn in Eb.www.princeregentsband.com

  • dovel uky trumpetsUniversity of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, Jason Dovel, director, with John Foster, guest soloist. Music for Natural Trumpets. New Branch Records (NBR 018), Recorded July 11, 2017. www.jasondovel.com

    Baroque trumpets: Drew Burke, Jason Dovel, John Foster, Bailey Goff, Phillip Chase, Cadem Holmes, Jessica Lambert, Kyle Mitchell, Rhiannon Montgomery, Coleman Scott, Abby Temple, Jared Wallis. Sackbut: Denver Pascua, Timpani/Tabor: David Davenport.

    Those who attended the 2017 HBS Symposium will remember a stunning performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the University of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Jason Dovel. The present CD is the ensemble’s first recording and may be the first professional recording by a college baroque trumpet ensemble.

  • snedeker gallayJeffrey Snedeker, Twelve Etudes for Second Horn, op. 57 (1847) by Jacques Francois Gallay (1795-1864) (self-published, 2017).

    Recorded: May 2017, Central Washington University by Allen Larsen. Natural Horn: Seraphinoff Classical Horn, 1989 after Raoux (Paris, ca. 1820). Valved Horn: Patterson Custom Double 2003

    The name Jeffrey Snedeker will be a familiar one to any who pay attention to historical horn performance and pedagogy. Snedeker is a horn player (both natural horn and modern valved horn) and pedagogue of the highest order, and we have been recently blessed with another fine recording from him.

  • dovel baroque

    Jason Dovel and Schuyler Robinson, Baroque Music for Trumpet and Organ (New Branch Records 019, 2018). www.newbranchrecords.com and www.jasondovel.com.

    Jason Dovel has produced a beautiful recording with a stunning program of five well known and elegant works from the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth century trumpet repertoire. Those who attended the HBS symposium in New York in 2017 will remember his fine playing with his Kentucky University baroque trumpet ensemble. Jason Dovel is a great promoter of historical trumpet performance and has established, perhaps the very largest university baroque trumpet program in the US at the University of Kentucky.

  • Collina Confluence 300 72Ensemble Collina, Confluence (Acis APL 01744), 2016. acisproductions.com

    Confluence is the first recording by the early music group Ensemble Collina. The quartet consists of Leah Peroutka, violin, Brent Wissick, viola da gamba, Michael Kris, trombone, and Elaine Funaro, harpsichord and organ. For their inaugural recording, they have chosen thirteen seventeenth-century works.

  • HandelMusica Fiorita, George Frideric Handel: Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (Pan Classics, 2017).

    Recorded at Adullamkapelle, Basel, Switzerland November 17-21, 2016 in A=415 Hz. http://www.musicafiorita.ch/

    From 1683 through 1703, on November 22, St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music would be celebrated with great festivities including a religious Mass, banquets, and a gala concert. Composers whose music was performed during these years include Henry Purcell, John Blow, John Eccles, Daniel Purcell, Giovanni Battista Draghi, and Jeremiah Clarke. It is not known why the tradition ended, but in 1739, it was revived and this time featured music by Georg Frederic Handel. The program included his Alexander’s Feast, which had premiered three years earlier, and a new work with the same title as one composed for these occasions many years earlier by Henry Purcell: the Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day.

  • gemill hornAlec Frank-Gemmill and Alasdair Beatson. A Noble and Melancholy Instrument: Music for Horns and Pianos of the 19th Century. BIS, 2017 (BIS-2228, Hybrid SACD). www.bis.se. Recorded January 2016 in Cologne, Germany.            

    This recording is well worth the investment and time required for attentive listening. Overall, Alec Frank-Gemmill displays beautiful horn playing, agile technical ability, excellent tone quality

  • madeuf molterJean-François Madeuf, J. M. Molter: Concertos for Trumpets and Horns (Accent ACC 24327).

    Johann Melchior Molter (1696–1765) was a highly regarded and prolific composer, born in Tiefenort near Eisenach. He spent considerable time in Italy and was influenced there

  • brise SchmelzerWilliam Dongois and Le Concert Brisé. Johann Heinrich Schmelzer: Sonatas. Accent (ACC 24324), 2016.

    Joy. Joy without limit. This sums up William Dongois’s recording of music by Johann Schmelzer. It contains all of the characteristics which we have come to expect from Dongois, both in terms of his stunning playing, and in terms of the musicians he surrounds himself with: Le Conçert Brisé.  Dongois continues to impress with his virtuosity on cornett, mute cornett, and cornettino. However, in the final minute or so of Schmelzer’s Sonata secondo his playing is beyond virtuosic. It is positively on fire, yet entirely controlled and refined. That said, the joy in this recording is not entirely joy for the display of technical virtuosity. All of the phrasing is refined. Ornaments are tossed off easily and serve to enhance and not dominate phrasing. Dongois absolutely sings in his playing and it is joyous singing.

    Stefan Legée’s work on sackbut is refined and nimble. He blends perfectly with the other instruments. When he is in his high register it can be difficult to differentiate his sound from the cornetto and trumpet.

  • 2017 fede amorAlex Potter, Catherine Motus, Simen Van Mechelen, Carles Cristobal, and Ensemble La Fontaine, Fede e Amor (Ramée, RAM1304, 2013) www.ramee.org

    In his revealing “Trombone Obbligatos in Viennese Oratorios of the Baroque” (HBSJ 2, 1990: 52–77), Stewart Carter drew our attention to an overlooked source for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century virtuoso trombone practice: the music written for the Easter Week celebrations in Vienna. Between about 1640 and 1740

  • breathtakingHana Blažíková and Bruce Dickey, Breathtaking: A Cornetto and a Voice Entwined (Passacaille 1020, 2016). Recorded November, 2015.

    This remarkable recording is a perfect exemplification of the marriage of research and practice. This is not to characterize it as just an academic project because its main achievement is the artistic pleasure it generates. But an important point is also made. The fact is that the living presence of the cornetto in the modern musical world is due to Dickey. Not only is he a virtuoso, but the journey he has taken to understand the instrument in its own terms has, over decades, provided us with a series of revelations that he has been able to display with increasing eloquence. None surpasses this. The repertoire, the performance of the supporting players, the quality of the recording, the singing of the remarkable young Prague-born soprano Hana Blažíková, and of course Dickey’s own playing create one of the best recordings I have ever listened to.

  • terra nova chantsTerra Nova Collective, Chants d’Amour (Self-published, 2016)

    Joroen Billiet, historical horns, Jean-Claude Vanden Eynden, piano, Véronique Bogaerts, violin, Mark De Merlier, early valve horn, Marjan De Haer, harp

    Recorded 3-4-5 November, 2015 in AMUZ-Augustinas Muziekcentrum Antwerp

    This recording, featuring historical hornist Joroen Billiet, brings together a fine collection of works that reward the listener with wonderfully “lyrical” melodic lines reminiscent of the vocal literature. These pieces are rather different from the operatic fantasias of Gallay, seeming more in line with the vocalises of Cancone or Bordogni. As stated on the inner cover of the CD jacket, “The playlist of Chants d’Amour is based on the concert repertoire performed by [the] legendary Liègeois horn player, admired by Johannes Brahms”, Alphonse Stenebruggen. Five of the works on this CD are world premiere recordings, and each of the pieces will be made available for purchase by Golden River Music.

  • pygmalionrheinPygmalion, Rheinmädchen (Harmonia Mundi 902239) 2015.

    Raphaël Pichon, director; Emmanuel Ceysson, harp; Anneke Scott, Joseph Walters, Olivier Picon, and Chris Larkin, horns; Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano.

    A recent recording on the Harmonia Mundi label features the vocal group Pygmalion, under the direction of Raphaël Pichon. In this recording we are treated to twenty one selections of music, mostly for female voices - our Rhinemaidens, of course - with several pieces featuring horns and harp. The pieces on this recoding are pulled from the oeuvres of Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Richard Wagner, along with one piece from Heinrich Isaac. Additionally, the works are organized in such a way as to illuminate similarities in text, literary themes, and musical devices amongst these titans of Romantic music.

  • rescuedhornJohn Ericson, horn and Yi-Wan Liao, piano. Rescued! Forgotten Works for the 19th Century Horn. Summit Records DCD 689, 2015.

    John Ericson, professor of horn at Arizona State University, is a noted horn scholar and leading horn virtuoso. He has made a special study of 19th century valve horn and this wonderful recording is the culmination of those efforts. Ericson has not only unearthed and “rescued” a number of fine but scarcely known solo horn pieces but put together a fine program emphasizing a particular aspect of the brass tradition. These pieces are part of the low horn playing tradition at a time when there was a clear delineation between high and low horn playing. The music included in this recording was composed from about 1860–1910. Low horn players during that period used the single F horn while high horn playing was done on the single Bb horn. Ericson explains in his fine CD notes that the modern double horn in F/Bb was not invented until 1897.

  • rodriguezcornetRaquel Rodriquez (cornet) and Jan Corrothers (piano), Cincinnati Virtuosity: The Cornet Solos of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt. (Self-published, 2013).

    For purchase information see: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/raquelrodriquez

    Rodriquez’s website: www.solotromba.com

    If there is a better word than virtuosity to describe the repertoire on this recording I certainly can’t think of it. Raquel Rodriquez, Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Tennessee Tech University, has done extensive research into the music and careers of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt. She presented a fascinating paper at the 2015 HBS Early Brass Festival on these soloists and the musical culture of Cincinnati, the city where both men lived.

  • madeuftelemannSigiswald Kuijken and La Petite Bande, Telemann Trumpet and Horn Concertos (Accent 24318), 2016.

    Jean-François Madeuf; natural trumpet and natural horn, Pierre-Yves Madeuf; natural horn. Sigiswald Kuijken, Jin Kim, and Barbara Konrad, violins; Marleen Thiers and Barbara Konrad, viola; Ronan Kernoa, basse violon; Benjamin Alard, harpsichord. Recorded January 13-15, 2016.

    Jean-François Madeuf has done as much as any brass player active today to promote a historically informed approach to a wide range of the early brass repertoire. This CD is the latest in those efforts and the outcome is exquisite. He chose a program that has been extensively performed by both modern and early brass performers. Madeuf has chosen to deliberately contrast his approach with that of a well-known recorded legacy of this music. The five works by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), are Suite in D for trumpet, 2 violins, viola & b.c. TWV 55:D7, Concerto in D for horn, violin, 2 violas, b.c. TWV 51;D8, Sonate for trumpet, 2 violins, viola & b.c. TWV 44:D1, Concert in D for 2 horns, 2 violins, viola & b.c. TWV 52: D1, and Concert in D for trumpet, 2 violins, & bc. TWV 51: D7. There are two bonus tracts of the Sonata in D TWV 44: D1, which is performed according to a written suggestion in the score, without the trumpet in the first and third movements.

  • coatescdNewberry’s Victorian Cornet Band, Thomas Coates: The Father of Band Music in America (MSR Classics MS 1556), 2015.

    Douglas Hedwig; conductor, Christine Erlander Beard; piccolo (Rudall Carte, London, c. 1900), Dominic Giardino; 1st Bb clarinet (Joseph Walis, London, c. 1867-80), Lawrence Bocander; 2nd Bb clarinet (Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, Paris, c. 1897), Michael Tumiel; 3rd Bb clarinet (Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, Paris, c. 1875), Michael Jones; Eb cornet, (Tourville & Cie, Paris, c. 1890 with original mouthpiece), Jeff Stockham; Hall & Quinby, Boston, side action rotary Allen valve cornet, presentation instrument 1866, 1855 Graves & Co. mouthpiece), Elisa Koehler; solo Bb cornet (William Seefeldt, Philadelphia Bb cornet, 1890 with Seefeldt “Jules Levy” model mouthpiece), William Gregory; J.W. Pepper, Philadelphia Bb cornet, c. 1882, Courtois mouthpiece c. 1880), Christopher Belluscio; 1st Bb cornet, (Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory, Boston C/Bb/A cornet, 1879 with original mouthpiece), Larry Cole; 2nd Bb cornet (Bohland & Fuchs, Graslitz, imported by Lyon & Healy, Chicago, Seefeldt “Jules Levy” model mouthpiece), Lenore Turner; Eb alto horn (Bohland & Fuchs, Graslitz c. 1900), Michael Beard; Eb alto horn (C.G. Conn, c. 1898), Dickson Rothwell; alto horn (Quinby Brothers, Boston c. 1872, original mouthpiece), Steve Lundahl; 1st Bb tenor horn, (J.W. Pepper c. 1890) trombone (Henry Distin 1899), Seth D. Fletcher; 2nd tenor horn (Bohland & Fuchs c. 1890 with original mouthpiece) trombone (August Heinem, Austria c. 180-1900), Barry Bocaner; Bb bass/baritone, (Boston Musical Instrument Manufactory, Boston, c. 1900), Michael O’Connor; baritone (English maker, imported by J.W. Pepper c. 1900), Roy Coates; Eb bass (French maker, imported by J.W. Pepper, c. 1885), Tyler Wiernusz; Eb helicon (J.W. Pepper, c. 1905), Daniel Gonzales; snare drum, (John C. Haynes, Boston, rope-tension drum c. 1870), James G. Petropoulos; Bass Drum & Cymbals, (Slingerland drum co., Kalamazoo, c. 1920).

  • dragonvoicesJohn Kenny, Dragon Voices: The Giant Celtic Horns of Ancient Europe. Delphian Records (DCD34183), 2015.

    John Kenny; Carnyx, Loughnashade horn, conch shell, bells and drums.

    Recorded November 18-20, 2015.

    Those attending the Historic Brass Society Session of the EMAP (European Music Archaeology Project) in Viterbo, Italy in 2015 had the rare experience of viewing, listening to, and playing a number of reproductions of ancient brass instruments. This was the result of a five-year project undertaken by EMAP to reproduce and explore the sound world of ancient Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Celtic cultures. John Kenny was part of that conference and this recording is an offshoot of his long experience playing and composing music for those instruments. In this CD he primarily plays three instruments; the Tintignac carnyx after a first-century BC original found in Tintignac, France (made by Jean Boisserie), the Deskford carnyx after a first-century BC original found in 1816 at Leitchestown, Scotland (made by John Creed), and the Loughnashade horn after a first-century BC original found in 1794 in Co-Armagh, Ireland (made by John Creed).

  • wilsonfuxwilsonfictawilsonveniceDario Castello, Sonate Concertate 1629. Musica Fiata. Roland Wilson, director and cornetto; Arno Paduch, cornetto; Detlef Reimers, Peter Stelzl, trombone; Adrian Rovatkay, dulcian; Anette Sichelschmidt, violin; Christine Moran, violin and viola; Christiane Volke, viola; Olaf Reimers, violoncello; Christoph Anselm Noll, organ and harpsichord; Axel Wolf, chitarrone; Johanna Seitz, harp. CPO 555 011-2. Recorded October 26-29, 2013 at Dorfkirche Bochum-Stiepel, Bochum.

    Johann Hermann Schein, Cymbalum Sionium. La Capella Ducale and Musica Fiata. Roland Wilson, director, cornetto, cornetto muto, and recorder; Frithjof Smith, cornetto, cornetto muto, and recorder; Detlef Reimers, Cas Gevers, Ercole Nisini, trombone; Adrian Rovatkay, dulcian and great bass shawm; Anette Sichelschmidt, violin and viola; Axel Wolf, theorbo and lute; Christoph Anselm Noll, organ and regal; Monika Mauch, Constanze Backes, soprano; Alexander Schneider, Rolf Ehlers, alto; Tobias Hunger, Hermann Oswald, tenor; Joachim Höchbauer, Ulrich Maier, bass. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88875051442. Recorded October 20-21, 2014 at Bethanienkirche, Leipzig.

    Reformationsmesse. Musica Fiata and La Capella Ducale. Roland Wilson, director, cornett, and recorder; Anne Schall, cornett, mute cornett, and recorder; François Petit-Laurent, cornett and trumpet; Hannes Rux, Almut Rux, Peter Protschka, Cas Gevers, Gerd Schulz, trumpet; Detlef Reimers, Cas Gevers, Ercole Nisini, trombone; Andreas Nowak, timpani; Adrian Rovatkay, dulcian and great bass shawm; Anette Sichelschmidt, Christine Moran, violin and viola; Christiane Volke, viola; Hartwig Groth, violone and viola de gamba; Michael Freimuth, chitarrone and lute; Axel Wolf, chitarrone; Christoph Anselm Noll, Martin Lubenow, organ, regal, and spinet; Monika Mauch, Constanze Backes, Karolina Brachmann, soprano; Alexander Schneider, Rolf Ehlers, alto; Vincent Lesage, Hermann Oswald, Tobias Hunger, tenor; Wolf Matthias Friedrich, Ulrich Maier, bass. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88843021592. Recorded October 14-16, 2013 at Michaeliskirche, Fürth.

    Johann Rosenmüller, Sonatas 1682. Musica Fiata. Roland Wilson, director and cornetto; Frithjof Smith, cornetto; Detlef Reimers, Peter Stelzl, trombone; Adrian Rovatkay, dulcian; Christoph Anselm Noll, organ and harpsichord; Axel Wolf, chitarrone; Anette Sichelschmidt, Christine Moran, violin; Christiane Volke, Andreas Pilger, viola; Olaf Reimers, basso viola. CPO 777 688-2. Recorded 2012 at Germanisches National Museum, Nürnberg.

    Christmas in Venice. Musica Fiata and La Capella Ducale. Roland Wilson, director, cornetto alto, and cornetto basso; Gebhard David, cornetto alto; Frithjof Smith, Josue Melendez, cornetto alto and cornetto tenore; Anette Sichelschmidt, Christine Moran, violin and viola; Detlef Reimers, Peter Stelzl, Cas Gevers, Robert Schlegel, trombone; Ercole Nisini, Henning Plumeyer, bass trombone; Axel Wolf, chitarrone; Klaus Eichhorn, organ; Martin Lubenow, organ and harpsichord; Nele Gramß, Alex Potter, Alexander Schneider, Daniel Auchincloss, Manuel Warwitz, Hermann Oswald, Wolf Mathias Friedrich, Joel Frederiksen, singers. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88691944742. Recorded December 5-7, 2011 at Michaeliskirche, Fürth.

    Johann Joseph Fux, Kaiserrequiem. La Capella Ducale and Musica Fiata. Roland Wilson, conductor, director, and cornetto; Gebhard David, Fritjof Smith, cornetto; Peter Stelzl, Robert Schlegel, trombone; Adrian Rovatkay, bassoon; Christoph Anselm Noll, organ; Anette Sichelschmidt, Christine Moran, violin; Christiana Volke, viola; Olaf Reimers, violoncello; Hartwig Groth, violone; Monika Mauch, Constanze Backes, Karolina Brachman, Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir, soprano; Alexander Schneider, Arnon Zlotnik, alto; Markus Brutscher, Lothar Blum, tenor; Harry van der Kamp, Ulrich Mayer, bass. Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88697959972. Recorded December 2-4, 2009 at Paterskirche, Kempen.