If you play a brass instrument, you owe it to yourself to hear this ensemble. If you play in the MCO Brass, please rearrange your schedule and shake out your piggy bank and meet me in McLean, Virginia this Sunday evening at 7:30. Brass players, if you have ever needed to have the "brass dream" refreshed in your heart and your imagination, this concert will do it for you.
If you are familiar with string repertoire, this will be a moving experience for you no matter what instrument you play. The concert this evening contained the following numbers, and I expect to hear the same Sunday evening:
- Holst - Jig from St. Paul's Suite
- Albinoni/Giazotto - Adagio in g minor
- Vaughan-Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
- Schostakovich - Chamber Symphony from String Quartet No. 8
- Barber - Adagio for Strings, Op. 11
- Tchaikovsky - Serenade for Strings, Op. 48 (although omitting the third movement)
This concert was particularly moving for me because I am intimately acquainted with these works in their original string settings, and observed with amazement and joy the way in which the brass transcriptions met the challenges presented. The opening Jig by Holst set the scene perfectly, showcasing the technical abilities of these musicians. And I was moved to tears again by the opening and closing of the Tchaikovsky Serenade. The full brass presention of those opening and closing chords would surely have met with approval from the composer.
The conductor, Milt Stevens, gave very appropriate commentary on the background of each of the works, and I'm glad to have thus become acquainted with Schostakovich' 8th quartet.
Overall, this was an experience that I cannot put into words. I urge you to make time in your schedule to catch their last performance Sunday evening.
See you there!