Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Empire Brass, Irish Anonymous, Bela Bartok|
Class Brass: Firedance
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
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This is getting embarassing!
Chuck | 01/05/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Well....another flailing attempt to keep the Empire Brass afloat. Unfortunately, it's painfully clear that she's taking on water; alot of it! Rolf's sound has been deteriorating rapidly since his Grammy-nominated Haydn/Hummel album and now sounds almost like a percussion instrument instead of a trumpet!Bravo to the BU grads....you sound great. It's hard to believe that just 10 years ago, you were all BU students and now you ARE the Empire Brass and Rolf is very obviously simply along for the ride.In my opinion, the last three Empire Brass albums are complete garbage. They compromise not only the integrity of the original Class Brass CD, but the integrity of the Telarc label as a whole. If you're a serious brass music enthusiast, I suggest looking into the London Brass or the Center City Brass Quintet recordings.Pity!"
Rfried@aol.com | 01/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In recent years, the Empire Brass have moved away from straight, traditional brass quintet transcriptions of pieces in many genres, including the mix of classical music chestnuts (Bolero, Jupiter, Pictures) and more unusual pieces (Bartok's pieces here, among many others) found on "Firedance". Instead, founder and only remaining original member Rolf Smedvig has gravitated towards arrangements that include heavy doses of percussion and occasionally other electronic and acoustic instruments. In "Firedance", they mix it up. Some of these transcriptions (the Albinoni trumpet and organ concerto, for instance), are quite traditional with no extra instrumentation and only light (if any) percussion accents, and would have fit in well on early EB albums, while others (the Beethoven, Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, the Bartoks, the Celtic jigs) are quite daring but always tasteful. The results may not please everybody, particularly traditional brass quintet fans, but I greatly admire the creativity and willingness to reach in new directions. The group's sound has much more range, now, emotional, dynamic, and in tone color, and I find the arrangements quite successful, breathing new life into old music. The playing, as always with Empire Brass, is superb."
Brass lovers rejoice--more from the world's finest quintet.
Rfried@aol.com | East Brunswick, NJ | 08/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another grand installment from Rolf Smedvig (trumpet) and EB. Starting off with a fine rendition of Ravel's Bolero, these always consummate musicians flawlessly dash off twenty-two tracks of tunes from the familiar to the obscure. A sumptuous rendition of Holst's Jupiter from The Planets is followed by the eerie and awesome Old Castle from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Dvorak's Slavonic Dances are then thoughtfully peppered around Mozart, Debussy, and some riveting Bernstein. The big surprises are Bartok's rollicking Bagpipe Music and Mendez's buoyant Romanza. Also check out the spirited Celtic Jigs. As always, the tracks are chosen with care. Newcomers to EB should first purchase the disc titled "Empire Brass" which features Bernstein and Gershwin (a 5++ star). This first effort remains their best, and I don't think anyone would deny it's power and grace. I gladly traveled to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to hear these fellows play and I now own six of their CD's. Rolf Smedvig may be the best living trumpet player (sorry Wynton). Nevertheless, I sometimes wish he would yield more solo playtime to Ken Amis (tuba), Greg Miller (horn) and Mark Hetzler (trombone) who has picked up nicely on Firedance for the missing Scott Hartman--a tough act to follow. You will play this music again and again. It is serious brass!"