Monday, January 30, 2017

Beethoven and Bellon

Beethoven's Funeral as painted by Franz Stöber (notice the trombones in the front of the procession)



Today in class we listened to two early works for brass ensemble: Beethoven's Drei Equali and Jean-Francois Bellon's Brass Quintet No. 1. Beethoven wrote his Equali in 1812 in Linz, Austria for the celebration of All Saints Day. The Equali were arranged for trombones, male choir and organ in a setting of Miserere for Beethoven's own funeral in 1827. Also, check out these program notes about the Drei Equale from the San Francisco Symphony.

Jean Francois Bellon
The twelve brass quintets by Bellon are the earliest brass quintets written. They were originally scored for flugelhorn in E-flat, piston valve cornet, horn, trombone and ophicleide. Published in Paris in the 1850's they are charming and seem influenced by the style of Rossini. Here is a link to the sheet music (at Editions BIM) for the twelve brass quintets by Jean Francois Bellon.

Below  is Bellon's biography from From Classical Plus: 
   



Jean-François Bellon was a Paris-based violinist and composer. As a result of the Waterloo War in 1815, his training at the Paris Conservatoire was delayed, so it was at the advanced age of 28 that he won the violin prize there. While at the Conservatoire he also composed pieces for fellow students.
Bellon went on to play in many popular Paris orchestras of his day, and was also the inventor of a type of mute for the violin and cello, which he patented, and examples of which are still kept in the Paris Conservatoire Museum. He became the leader of the Musard Orchestra in Paris and it was probably drawing on the brass section of this orchestra that he was able to form an ensemble to perform his Quintets. 
As a violinist however, his writing for brass is typical of string chamber music, particularly the string quartet, a quality which not only led to more individually sculpted part-writing for each instrument than was common in contemporary brass chamber music, but also the influence of string articulation and phrasing in Bellon’s score markings.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Historic Brass Ensemble Listening

English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
Yesterday in class we listened to a variety of recordings of brass ensemble music written prior to the twentieth century. They were:
  1. La Bignani by Giovanni Cavaccio recorded by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  2. Canzona a 5 by Claudio Merula - recorded by the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  3. Battle Suite: II. Courant by Samuel Scheidt - recorded by the American Brass Quintet
  4. Marche Fur Die Arche by C.P.E. Bach - recorded by the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
  5. Canzona per sonare No. 27 by Giovanni Gabrieli - recorded by the Brass Sections of the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.
  6. Minuetto from Brass Quintet No. 4 by Jean François Bellon - recorded by the Ewald Brass Quintet
  7. Sonata Pian e forte from Sacrae Symphonies by Giovanni Gabrieli - recorded by the brass section of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  8. Flensborger March by Jensen recorded by the Copenhagen Brass.
  9. Arie Per Il Balletto A Cavallo by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer - recorded by the Brass Ensemble of the Tonkuenstler Orchestra
  10. Grund - Richtiger Unterricht Sonata for three trombones by Daniel Speer - recorded by the Brass Ensemble of the Tonkuenstler Orchestra
  11. Fanfstimmige Blasende Musick by Johann Pezel - recorded by the Brass Ensemble of the Tonkuenstler Orchestra
  12. Air for 2 Horns and Organ in F Major, HWV 410 by George Frideric handel - recorded by Deutsche Naturhorn Solisten & Franz Raml
  13. Les Honnerus de Pied - recorded by Le Rallye-Cor de Montmélian - Cor de Chasse

Monday, January 23, 2017

People and Places of Brass Ensemble Music History

From A History of the Wind Band by Dr. Stephen L. Rhodes
I. Principal Composers and Places of Brass Ensemble History:
Links to Critical Places and Traditions:



II. Course-related Reading Online:
They're With the Band, Speaking That Global Language: Brass
by Josh Kun, New York Times, 4/9/2006
The Waits; A Short Historical Study by Lyndesay G. Langwill
A Short History of the Trombone by David Guion from the Online Trombone Journal
Town Waits and their Tunes by Joseph C. Bridge
A Golden Age of Brass by Annalyn Swan, Newsweek (from American Brass Quintet Website)
History and Heritage of the Trombone Choir by John Marcellus, Eastman School of Music
Something About Trombones (Moravian) from the Bethlehem Digital History Project
Early History of Brass Instruments Vienna Symphonic Library
Venitian Polychoral Style (Wikipedia entry)
Stadtpfeifers - Groves Online
Wait - Groves Online
Cornicen - Roman Empire.net (military trumpeter)
Saxhorns (Wikipedia)

III. Significant Composers Throughout Brass Ensemble History:

A. Renaissance & Baroque


Andrea Gabrieli (1533-1585) Ricercari
Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1557-1612) Sacrae Symphoniae; Canzoni
Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina (1525-1594)
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) L'Orfeo (five trombones)
Gioseffo Guami (c. 1540-1611) Canzoni
Anthony Holborne (1584-1602) Consort Music, Pavans...
Matthew Locke (1622-1677) Consort Music
William Brade (1560-1630) Dance Suites
Tielman Susato (c. 1500- c.1562)
Samuel Scheidt (1587-1653)
Johann Schein (1586-1630)
Johann Pezel (1639-1694)
George Friederich Handel (1685-1759) Water Music, Royal Fireworks


B. Classic and Romantic

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Drei Equali
Alexander Alyabiev [Aliabev] (1787-1851) Quintet in E-flat for Brass
Ludwig Maurer (1789-1878)
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Messe Solenelle (1824), Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) [orch. + 4 antiphonal brass choirs]
Viktor Ewald (1860-1935) Brass Quintets Nos. 1-4
Wallingford Riegger (1885-1961) Music for Brass Choir, op. 45

C. Twentieth Century

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Fanfare on motifs of Die Gurre-Lieder for Brass and Percussion (1945)
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963 ) Brass Septet, Morgenmusik from "Ploner Musiktag"
Virgil Thompson (1896-1989) Family Portrait
Henri Tomasi (1901-1971) Fanfares Liturgiques
William Walton (1902-1983) Belshazzar's Feast (orchesrtra with two brass bands); Queen's Fanfare; Anniversary Fanfare; Numerous works for brass band and arrangements for brass.
Ingolf Dahl (1912-1970) Music for Brass Instruments (1944)
Alvin Etler (1913-1973)
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) Mini Overture
Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987)
Vaclav Nehlybel (1919-1996)
Alfred Reed (b. 1921-2005)
Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006)
Iannis Xanakis (1922-2001) Eonta, Akrata, A la Mémoire de Witold Lutoslawski
Fisher Tull (1934-1994)

D. Significant Living Composers

Gunther Schuller (b. 1925)
Verne Reynolds (b. 1926)
Walter Hartley (b. 1927)
La Monte Young (b. 1935)
Jan Bach (b. 1937)
Joan Tower (b. 1938)
John Cheetham (b. 1939)
Tania Leon (b. 1943)
Edward Gregson (b. 1945)
Anthony Plog (b. 1947)
David Sampson (b. 1951)
David Felder (b. 1953)
Eric Ewazen (b. 1954)
James Grant (b. 1954)
Richard Danielpour (b. 1956)
Ira Taxin (b. 1957)
Marti Epstein (b. 1959)
David Dzubay (b. 1964)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Starting Your Blog

If you haven't already launched your blog, here are some basic instructions on how to go about it. To start your blog, go to one of these free blogging services. They are pretty simple and intuitive.

Blogger

Wordpress

Tumblr

1. Pick a theme that you might be interested in exploring, such as trumpet ensembles of South America; Brass Bands of Great Britain; or Collegiate Horn Choirs, etc. You will probably be prompted to name your blog, so base the name on your theme.

2. Not every post you create has to be related to your theme. They could be about the class, or another brass ensemble related idea, but in general think of your blog as public research and an online record of your exploration.

3. Be sure to send me the address (URL) of your blog so that I can link it to ABEL Central. In turn, you should add ABEL Central and your fellow students' blogs to your links list.

4. A post can be one or two paragraphs of opinion, review, or information about a course related issue, artist, or work. I encourage you to embed images, but remember to indicate photo credit to images that are not yours. It is also fairly easy to embed video from YouTube or Vimeo. Audio isn't always so easy, but depending on your provider, or a link to an audio hosting site, it is possible.

5. Hyperlinks are essential. If you are discussing the American Brass Quintet, it is more interactive to provide a link to the American Brass Quintet. It should be fairly easy to learn how to do this in your blog.

6. Be sure to post an average of twice per week. The minimum amount of blog posts is 24, but feel free to do more if you wish.

7. Also read each other's blogs, as well as ABEL central and subscribe to them so that you are notified when a new post or comment is added.

8. You may opt to make your blog private through your settings, which is fine, but make sure that everyone and the class and I have access to view it.

9. I encourage you to peruse student blogs from the past (list to the right here) as well as older posts on ABEL central.

10. If you already have a blog or website, it is okay to use it for this purpose as long as it is clear and easy to find ABEL related posts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Welcome Students - Spring 2017



"Brass Candy Trio" by Jeremy Armitage
Welcome to Advanced Brass Ensemble Literature, Spring 2017! ABEL Central is the class blog, where you will find information about the class, as well as links to your own course-related blogs. On the right-hand side bar, you'll see the course number, syllabus, ways to follow, search and subscribe this blog, and links to the blogs of former students. Additionally, there are links to professional brass ensembles and other resources.

I will be posting here, generally once a week, on things we covered in class, answers to questions that came up in class, and anything else that might be of interest to this course. This blog is ten years old today, so take advantage of perusing older posts, as well as blogs by former students for ideas for your own blog.