American Brass Quintet
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Famously dubbed “the high priests of brass” by Newsweek, the American Brass Quintet has built a world of its own over the last sixty years, sculpting new repertoire and setting the artistic standards for the modern classical brass ensemble. With the bright highs of two trumpets and the undergirding low of a bass trombone, the American Brass Quintet has expanded the reputation and catalogue of classical brass through both contemporary commissions and arrangements of canonical works not intended for horns. They’ve made it their mission to treat both past and present with equal zeal.
The Quintet begins with a suite of renaissance music. The musicians mourn with John Dowland’s exquisite lute piece Lachrimae Antiquae; they reimagine the intricate canzonettas and madrigals of Thomas Morley, and they cavort through William Brade’s delightful Canzon. The night then turns toward the new with Joan Tower’s pulsing Copperwave, premiered for the hundredth anniversary of the Juilliard School, where the quintet has been in residence for three decades. They move next to Kenneth Fuchs’ second brass quintet, 2016’s “American,” which sometimes feels like a wonderfully warped fanfare. The night ends with Eric Ewazen’s bubbly Colchester Fantasy, whose intoxicating movements are named for the high times and engaging characters of English pubs in what is believed to be the oldest town in Britain.Program