CD - http://bit.ly/15dRksz
Sheet Music - http://bit.ly/12Bo6Qc (music from the CD)
Echo (Scheidt, arr. Eric Robertson)
Recorded at Christ Church Deer Park, Toronto Canada.
CD Release date is October 6
Q & A with the top brass of Canadian Brass, Chuck Daellenbach
The tuba player and co-founder of Canadian Brass talks about the ensembles new recording, Echo Glory of Gabrieli, made in collaboration with ArkivMusic.
Q: Echo Glory of Gabrieli is your newest CD in an incredible discography of over 70 recordings that Canadian Brass has amassed over 40 years. Whats the appeal of Gabrieli for you?
Chuck: The concept of recording Gabrieli is ever present amongst brass players we trace our roots to this composer, who is reputed to be the first to suggest instruments per sonare as opposed to toccare [per sonare meaning to be sounded, which suggests brass-style instruments, and toccare meaning tap or pluck, which suggests strings]. In the CD notes, Joe Szurly suggests that it was also a feature of expediency to use brass instruments in Gabrielis church since one horn can produce the volume of sound that several singers would.
Q: Gabrieli was an organist at the famous Saint Marks Basilica in Venice, back at the turn of the 17th century. How did your Toronto location factor into the recording of this disc?
Chuck: We chose our church and organ carefully for this project. The Christ Church Deer Park Church is resonant but not huge, and the organ is a period organ (not old itself, but built in the old style), authentic to the point of non-mechanized stops. The blend between the organ and brass is one that we are very proud of.
It has not gone unnoticed by us and our producers that most Gabrieli-era recordings are blast fests: fun to be part of, but not that wonderful to listen to, and certainly not authentic. When we started this project, I urged all participants, starting with the adapters/arrangers, to exercise intelligent authenticity. Simply stated, I wanted a result that took advantage of modern instruments without sacrificing the musical intent of the composers. Consequently, we observed as best we could the scholarship that abounds regarding this period, and combined it with advances in instrument quality, performer standards, and, of course, state-of-the-art recording techniques.
Q: The three composers on the disc were, through their music, bridges from the Renaissance to the Baroque periods. Yet today, 400 years later, their music still sounds so fresh and appealing!
Chuck: It is my opinion that if Gabrieli, Scheidt, and Monteverdi the most celebrated composers of their time were transported to our day, they would be film, television, and recording writers of the first rank. They excelled in the entertainment field around them. Fortunately for people of any faith, the church represented the best opportunity for skilled, creative writers to ply their craft. Today this has given us, as followers of classical music, untold volumes of wonderful music to study and perform.
Q: What can you tell us about the musical selections on the recording?
Chuck: What I have tried to represent in the selection of titles for this CD are the many facets of late Renaissance, early Baroque music. Who can deny the sense of amusement in the Scheidt Echo piece? This is a great composer having a private delight in the concept of a simple echo, ricocheting off the church walls.
Gabrieli on the other hand is employing the obvious (to us now) effect of placing instrumentalists in the various locations of the cross in his church. All of Gabrielis music includes a figured bass part, giving us the idea that he apparently always left himself, as an organist, the option of playing along. Or perhaps he was giving the brass players the option of playing along with him! Either way, it gives us a lot of latitude to employ the organ as an integral part of our scores.
Q: Who were your collaborators? How did you produce all those ricocheting echoes?
Chuck: Canadian Brass is fortunate to have a large pool of world-class performers to bring together for a project such as this. The echo works of course needed more than just the five core members of the Brass, so we added several players that are part of our dream team of performers. Manon Lafrance and Joe Burgstaller are part of the trumpet dream team, often performing with Canadian Brass on stage. Meanwhile Austin Hitchcock (a close relative of Alfreds!) and Zackary Bond (who may be related to James) have been part of our Music Academy of the West summer program.
Organist and arranger Eric Robertson is a well-known figure in the international music scene, having produced dozens of recording projects and soloed in one of the most successful TV-campaign piano collections ever, besides serving as music director and organist at Christ Church Deer Park in Toronto. He is also featured on our Christmas Tradition CD, which we recorded in collaboration with ArkivMusic two years ago.