London Brass excel with Edward Gregson release

Edward Gregson is world-renowned for his brass compositions. This release features some of his best. In 2008 Gregson retired from the Royal Northern College of Music to compose full-time. I think it significant that most of the works here are post-retirement. The Symphony in two movements, for example, was written in 2012, and revised in 2014 for symphonic brass. It’s both expansive and compact. Expansive, as most works for brass ensemble aren’t this ambitious. Compact, as the work has but two movements that develop their material with economic efficiency.

Gregson uses an 11-tone row to create four themes. Each is distinctive, and yet all are interconnected. I found the work seemed to reveal something new with each hearing.

The other post-2008 works also show Gregson’s compositional mastery. Even something as simple as his Fanfare for a New Era (2017) is far more than flourishes and arpeggios.

The disc also includes some of Gregson’s earlier work. The Quintet for Brass (1967) was a graduation piece that established Gregson’s career (thanks to Philip Jones’ support). Even at the start, Gregson uses brass instruments effectively and with originality.

Gregson’s Three Dance Episodes dates from 1974, and the Music of Angels from 1998 (revised in 2015). Both show Gregson’s development as a composer. The music, to me, sounded more sophisticated somehow.

The London Brass is a world-class ensemble, and this recording shows them at their best. The sound stage is spacious. The horns often sound powerful but never overpower. A world-class ensemble playing music written by a world-class composer for those instruments. Highly recommended (obviously).

 Edward Gregson: Music of the Angels
London Brass; Rumon Gamba, conductor
Chandos 20127

More Recent Posts

  • This Saturday: WTJU live broadcasts from the Community Chalkboard rededication

    Earlier this year, The Bridge PAI became the owner and caretaker of the Community Chalkboard on Charlottesville’s downtown mall. All this week, The Bridge is celebrating a rededication of the community chalkboard with art and performances of all kinds. This Saturday, September 18th, WTJU will air two live music performances from the Community Chalkboard. At […]

  • Tune in and donate to WTJU’s Jazz Marathon, Oct 4 – 10

    WTJU Jazz connects you to our community and transcendent music. We need your support to keep WTJU going! WTJU is different. We’re a free public service dedicated to sharing the transcendent experience of jazz & blues – while counting on listeners like you to provide the funding to make it possible. Every note of every song […]

  • Listen to this show with legendary underground artist Lydia Lunch

    The legendary Lydia Lunch joined WTJU host Erin O on September 14 for a special edition of Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show. Listen up: wtju · Lydia Lunch on WTJU’s “Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show” You don’t want to miss this interview with punk performance provocateur as you ready for Wednesday’s free show at Champion Brewing […]

  • Christopher Gunning Symphony 5 and String Quartet 1 an interesting pairing

    Tags: , , ,

    Signum Classics continues their survey of Christopher Gunning’s music with a mix. This release features an orchestral and a chamber work. But there is a connection. Both works show Gunning’s growth as a composer. And they show his willingness to challenge himself. Gunning composed his fifth symphony as his sister’s health declined. She was to […]

  • New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021

    New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021 New Jazz Releases: Bill Banfield’s Jazzurban 2 – ..Hey, holla when you hear me.. (Jazz Urbane): “The Jazz Urbane Is A Contemporary Recording/Performing Collective Which Embraces And Is Infused With Great R&B Song Writing, Melodies, Band Grooves And Style. Not Really A “New Movement”, Just A New Configuration […]