Italian Wonderbrass...WOW!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetjens, May 20, 2011.

  1. trumpetjens

    trumpetjens Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2005
    The Italian Wonderbrass, who have already been dubbed the "World's Greatest Young Brass Quintet" can now add another quote to their growing reputation "The most ambitious classical arrangement in the history of brass chamber music".

    I have just received the final version of the complete "Pines of Rome" as arranged for Brass sextet (quintet plus one lucky!) and two percussionists. This disc was mastered by the legendary Sam Pilafian, founding member of the Empire Brass, who said this is some of the most incredible playing he has ever heard in his life. This CD will be released shortly and there is a video trailer at the IWB website (Italian Wondebrass Quintet).

    These extraordinary players all hold principal positions in major European orchestras and exist for the purpose of getting together to make music outside of their regular jobs. (trumpets: Giuliano Sommerhalder, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Omar Tomassini, Santa Cecilia in Rome). James Thompson always told me, "it's not what you do in the orchestra that will always make you happy, it's what you do outside of it that will lead to a greater measure of satisfaction back at work."

    I am bringing this announcement to a number of forums not so much to advertise the recording as to bring up a discussion of how important it is for young groups to push the envelope. When the Canadian Brass came out with Fred Mills' version of Toccata and Fugue, in the seventies, it was a monumental achievement in the history of brass chamber playing which set a new high bar. I watched the Italian Wonderbrass learn that arrangement in less than one week and perform it live at the Banff Festival a few years ago to a stunning ovation from the audience. Anyone who caught their live performance at ITG 2008 (also at Banff a year later) will attest to how amazing they are. The technical and musical ambition it took to learn the complete Pines of Rome for chamber group demanded a level from every player that simply has not happened before in an arrangement. Of course, virtuosity is also measured in subtleties and the amount of finesse needed to play Pines easily equaled the robust aspects of what were required.

    This brings me somewhat to my point. It has always been our responsibility as brass players to push the boundaries. The Ewald quintets are fantastic. However, they are NOT the pinnacle of brass quintet playing. They are a starting point for the genre and we all have to learn them and should perform them at some point. I have gone on record several times as saying that I feel the Mnozil Brass has finally taken brass chamber music to an entirely new level of overall excellence...virtuosity, stagemanship, cleverness and overal audience satisfaction, they are still the standard. In terms of a more traditional brass quintet approach, this is also where I place a group like the Italian Wonderbrass. They have no professional ambition that I can see other than doing this for the love of playing together. They just happen to be doing it in a way that is rarely ever seen or heard.. Keep your ears open for this group as they will only ever make rare live appearances...but the recording is forever.

    Jens Lindemann
    Jens Lindemann's Web Quarters
  2. mrbill00

    mrbill00 Pianissimo User

    Apr 20, 2009
    Middle of Georgia
    i viewed the video trailer and it's a tease..
    please let us know when this CD is available!!
  3. trumpetjens

    trumpetjens Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2005
    They are just negotiating fine details now...probably released in the very near future...before summer gets going...until then, it's just the EPK (fancy talk for 'Electronic Press Kit')...

    Jens Lindemann
    Jens Lindemann's Web Quarters
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Thanks Jens,
    I am really interested to hear what they have to offer.

    Going back, The first "definitive" brass group for me was the one at Eastman, then the Columbia Brass with E. Power Biggs, then Philip Jones, Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Empire Brass, Canadian Brass, then for a long time I felt it was just a lot of the same - as you commented. Then came Synergy Brass with some really amazing stuff - especially pointed at education, Stockholm Chamber Brass (still my personal reference) and finally Mnozil who rewrote the book.

    Let us know when the CD is available - will some be available with autograms??????
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Crisp sound, and yes it is a tease. What a great way for getting you to want for more. These kids know how to market, play and convey their intent. What a powerful force.
  6. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    very nice!!!!

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