MANHATTAN MUSIC CD
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Manhattan Music (featuring Canadian Brass with the Eastman Wind Ensemble) The world's favorite brass quintet joins forces with one of North America's most heralded wind ensembles on this fantastic new CD.
MANHATTAN MUSIC BY BRAMWELL TOVEY
2. Variation 1 Listesso tempo
3. Variation 2
4. Variation 3
5. Variation 4 Meno mosso
6. Variation 5 Andate-Piu mosso
7. Variation 6 Presto
8. Variation 7 Largo-Allegretto-Andante
9. Finale Meno-mosso-A tempo.
SUITE FROM MASS ARRANGED BY MICHAEL SWEENEY
10. Part One: Alleluia, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
11. Part Two: A Simple Song
12. Part Three: Offeratory, Almighty Father.
SHAKER SUITE ARR. RAYBURN WRIGHT
13. Simple Gifts, The Happy Journey, I've Set My Face for Zion's Kingdom.
NEW YORK CITYSCAPE BY JEFF TYZIK
14. Ragtime Redux (28th & 5th)
15. Tango 1932 (103rd & Riverside)
16. Traffic Jammin'(Time Square Day & Night)
17. African Dance (Wall Street & East River ca. 1709)
18. Tarantella (Mulberry Street)
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It’s an illustrious crew that gathered to pay unrelated homage to New York City and the legendary Mercury Living Presence recordings of Frederick Fennell and his Eastman Wind Ensemble (EWE). There’s Bramwell Tovey, music director of the Vancouver Symphony, and Jeff Tyzik, a popular pops conductor in Vancouver, Rochester and Portland. And of course the combined forces of Canadian Brass and the current EWE conducted by the ensemble’s fourth conductor, Mark Davis Scatterday.
It’s an odd combination of retro and current music-making and technology. The recordings, produced by Dixon Van Winkle and made in the Eastman Theater in Rochester, the location of the 1950 Mercury recordings of the EWE and a beautiful 1920s concert hall in the second stage of a major renovation to be complete in 2010, have extraordinary depth and impressive deep bass, qualities which to some might seem the antithesis of Mercury’s outrageously up-front, almost self-consciously audiophile analogue sound in the 1950s. The performances too, are more elegant and laid-back that Fennell obtained from his bands. Perhaps it’s the music, each of the arrangements and original compositions created specifically for the project. Tovey’s 18-minute Manhattan Music has, appropriately enough, the sleek, sophisticated feel of Manhattan chic, cool and jaunty. The arrangements of Bernstein and Rayburn Wright, a beloved figure in the history of jazz studies and performance, are beautifully if a bit anonymously played.
Fortunately, the concluding work, Tyzik’s five-movement, 23 minute New York Cityscape, which begins with a rag and a tango and ends with tarantella that whirls away into the night, is anything but anonymous. The move beautiful moment on the disc, is in fact, the work’s fourth movement, “African Dance (Wall Street & East River c.1709)”, which considering the massed brass forces, has a totally unexpected, almost subliminal hypnotic power. Much of the excellent liner-note explains how this project came to be, provides background on the history of and the relationship between Mercury and the EWE.