Tuesday, Sept. 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Bergeron, trumpet
Andrew Sorg, trumpet
Seth Orgel, horn
Tim Albright, trombone
John Manning, tuba
Widely acclaimed as one of the world’s finest brass ensembles, the ATLANTIC BRASS QUINTET has been heard in 48 of the United States and more than a dozen countries across four continents, performing a unique repertory spanning Dufay, Gesualdo, and Bach; Babbitt, Ellington, and Zappa; and ethnic music from the streets of Brazil, Cuba, the Balkans, and New Orleans. Winner of six international chamber music competitions, the Quintet’s distinctive sound, impeccable ensemble, stunning virtuosity, and warm, inviting stage presence have won praise from scores of critics.
Founded in 1985, the Atlantic Brass Quintet launched its career with a phenomenal string of competition victories over a period of two years. Grand prizes include the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the Carmel Chamber Music Society Competition, the Shore¬line Alliance Chamber Music Competition, the Summit Brass First International Brass Ensemble Competition, and the Rafael Mendez International Brass Quintet Competition. Following these remarkable achievements, the Atlantic Brass Quintet was honored by Musical America by being named “Young Artists of 1988.” In May 1992, by unanimous decision, the Quintet won the “Première Prix” at the International Brass Competition of Narbonne, France, recognized worldwide as the preeminent competition of its kind.
Highlights in the Quintet’s busy concert career include performances at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Boston Celebrity Series, Caramoor, and the White House. Thousands have enjoyed their performances at Tanglewood-on-Parade, and in 1991, as part of Boston’s Fourth of July Celebration, Atlantic Brass Quintet entertained an audience of over 350,000 on the Esplanade. Recent and upcoming festival performances include the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, the Savannah Music Festi¬val, the Chautauqua Institution, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and the Caramoor Festival for Music and the Arts. Other recent and upcoming performances include the Houston Friends of Music, the University at Buffalo, Chamber Music West, Purdue University, and Calvin College, while extended residencies include California State University Fullerton, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Quad City Arts. The quintet is also active on the international scene, with performances the last two seasons in Italy for Palladium Musicum, in South Korea for the Jeju Summer Band Festival, in Taiwan for the Hsing Tien Kong Culture & Education Development Foundation, and for the National Concert Association in Panama.
The Quintet’s latest recording, “Crossover,” was released in 2014. The album comprised repertory largely inspired or influenced by jazz, ranging from commissioned works to an arrangement of Shostakovich’s “Jazz Suite No. 1.” The album “5 Chairs,” was released by Summit Records in 2004. It features music of Monteverdi and Holborne, new works by Marti Eptstein and Ray Luke, the contemporary classic quintet of Alvin Etler, and Oskar Boehme’s Sextet. Summit reissued “Picture This,” a favorite from the Quintet’s extensive back catalogue, in early 2005. “Passages and Fanfares” was released in the fall of 2002 and comprises music of Bach, Handel, Praetorius, and Byrd alongside new works from Bernard Rands, Ray Luke, and Samuel Headrick, as well as such audience favorites as Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” and selections from the Atlantic Brass Quintet’s “Brass Band Music from Around the World.”
The Atlantic Brass Quintet has been the resident brass quintet of Boston University, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Boston Conservatory. The popular Atlantic Brass Quintet International Brass Seminar, established in 1993 and now in residence at Northeastern University, has already secured the ensemble’s legacy to the next generation of brass musicians.
The Atlantic Brass Quintet can be heard on recordings from Summit Records, Solstice, and Crystal.
Atlantic Brass Quintet Program
Vivace from Concerto Grosso in D Major, Op. 3, No. 6 George Frideric Handel (1685-1757)
arr. Tim Albright
Selections from The Well-tempered Clavier, Book II Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude and Fugue in F major, BWV 880 arr. Louis Hanzlik
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 847
Three Chorale Preludes Op. 122 Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Es ist ein Ros’entsprungen arr. Andrew Sorg
Herzlich tut mich verlangen
O Welt, ich muss dich lassen
Voices in Da Fan (2014) Andrew Sorg (b. 1977)
Ocho por radio Sylvestre Revueltas (1899-1940)
arr. Jeffrey Luke
Jazz Suite No. 1 Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Waltz arr. Johannes C. Schott
Kopi Luwak (2010) Alan Ferber (b. 1980)
Balkan Brass Band Music
Walking on the Bridge (2013) Marko Marković (b. 1964)
Sat Traditional Rroma
Sing Sing Čoček Kenny Warren (b.1984)
Vivace from the Concerto Grosso in D Major
This is the last of six orchestral concerti that Handel extracted from the 1723 opera Ottone. Arranged by the Atlantic Brass Quintet’s trombonist Tim Albright, this lively piece demonstrates the agility of the piccolo trumpets, the joyous blend of the low brass and the ensemble’s ability to adapt orchestral music into a chamber idiom.
Preludes from the Well-tempered Clavier
Among the best known of J.S. Bach’s keyboard works are the famous preludes and fugues of The Well-tempered Clavier, Parts I and II, from which these arrangements for brass come. In the complete Well-tempered Clavier, each part consists of twenty-four preludes and fugues, one prelude and one fugue in each of the twelve major and minor keys. Each individual piece, in many respects, could be considered a teaching tool for a specific piano technique. These pieces, however, go beyond technique to demonstrate Bach’s ability to give every theme a clearly-defined musical personality.
Three Chorale Preludes from Op. 122
Johannes Brahms composed the Eleven Chorale Preludes Opus. 122 for organ in 1896. Each chorale is relatively short and the work is considered a final statement on Brahms’ life and pending death. The eighth chorale, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming) is a traditional German Christmas Carol. It was originally arranged for the Empire Brass Quintet (the Atlantic’s mentors) by Brian Fennelly, a music professor at New York University. The tenth chorale, Herzlich tut mich verlangen (My Heart is Filled with Longing) reflects on the suffering of life, the pain and depression of one’s approaching death, and the acceptance of a new beginning through God. The eleventh and final chorale, O Welt, ich muss dich lassen translates as “O World, I Now Must Leave Thee.”
Voices in Da Fan
The composer writes:
My piece is based upon the white noise of the fan, which I have used to sleep for over 20 years. I started hearing things in the sound of the fan while drifting into sleepyland. All sorts of stuff: squeaks, screams, beats, rumbles, even people talking. I’ll wake my wife up asking if she hears it too, hahaha. Paranormal experts believe the dead are trying to communicate to us through white noise, including fans, which is also kind of funny!
The first movement, “Voices,” starts with a single drone, in which the low brass use extended techniques to create motorcycle and didgeridoo sounds, while the trumpets slowly enter and build into a scary entrance. Multiphonic technique is used in this movement, in which the players sing and play at the same time, creating a chorus effect.
Scherzo, although a quarter-tonal movement, is fun, catchy, fast and soft. The players are muted, and this movement is meant to be the comedic relief.
“Haunted Lullaby” is a tonal movement, dark but pretty, multi-layered, and meant to demonstrate how I feel when drifting into sleep. This movement segues into the fourth movement, “Nightmare.” This needs no description, but is interesting because it contains hip-hop influences and complex multiphonics, while all of us are singing through our instruments. It ends with us singing an a gusto G minor chord.
Ocho por radio (1933)
Ocho por radio (Eight Musicians Broadcasting), originally composed for chamber orchestra by Silvestre Revueltas, was arranged for the Atlantic Brass Quintet by its former trumpeter, Jeffrey Luke. Revueltas is considered to be one of the most influential Mexican composers of the 20th century. Also known as a violinist and conductor of the Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Revueltas wrote chamber music, orchestral works, film scores and two ballets.
Like Ives and Copland, Revueltas used native folk music elements as source material, but reworked them with modernist perspective by using dissonance and a jagged rhythmic language, creating a familiar—yet occasionally disorienting—composition.
Jazz Suite No. 1
Jazz was highly popular in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and this work is also not surprisingly from a period during which Shostakovich wrote extensively for film. This 1934 dance suite was originally a work for a nine-piece Leningrad-based dance band comprising three saxophones, percussion, piano, banjo, Hawaiian guitar, violin, and bass.
Kopi Luwak, otherwise known as civet coffee, according to Wikipedia, “refers to the beans of coffee berries once they have been eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet (paradoxurus hermaphroditus).” This work was written for the Atlantic Brass Quintet in 2010. Mr. Ferber is jazz trombonist, composer, and bandleader who has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “somehow both old-school and cutting-edge.” He has worked with artists including Esperanza Spalding, Charlie Hunter, Sufjan Stevens, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Harry Connick Jr., Lee Konitz, Dr. Dre, Kenny Wheeler, John Hollenbeck, Don Byron, and They Might Be Giants.
Walking on a Bridge
This work was commissioned by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in 2013. The Atlantic Brass Quintet chose to commission Marko Marković, son of the great Serbian trumpeter and composer Boban Marković, to compose a traditional Balkan pop song. Despite the fact that Marković doesn’t read or notate music, doesn’t know the names of the notes and on top of that doesn’t speak English, we figured it was a perfect fit! He did, however, send us a recording of the piece playing all of the instruments himself, which was masterfully transcribed and arranged by Atlantic’s trombonist Tim Albright.
In addition to performing artist arrangements of early music and modern, original works for brass quintet, the Atlantic Brass has been presenting samples of the world’s rich and diverse brass band traditions. Sat, which means “time” in Rroma, was arranged by Louis Hanzlik from a recording of one of the top Balkan brass bands from the “Rom” or “Gypsy” tradition in Eastern Europe. Beginning with a ponderous tuba introduction, Sat evokes the feeling of a lumbering polka, peppered with explosive blasts and the exotic Serbian harmonies.
Sing Sing Čoček
Sing Sing Čoček composed by trumpeter Kenny Warren, member of the Brooklyn-based Balkan Brass band Slavic Soul Party, is an upbeat Balkan banger with a hip-hop feel. Warren, a friend of Atlantic’s trumpeter Thomas Bergeron, was excited at the prospect of a brass quintet arrangement of Sing, Sing Čoček for the Atlantic Brass. Bergeron’s rendition is hot, featuring fast ornaments, improvised solos and audience participation.
Visit the Atlantic Brass Quintet Website
Season tickets are now on sale through Idaho Marketplace or at (208) 885-7557, and assure admission to sell-out concerts. The Auditorium Chamber Music Series receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Western States Arts Federation, and the Idaho Community Foundation.
Single Ticket will available for sale at BookPeople in Moscow, on-line through, and at the door. Ticket prices are $10 for students, $19 for seniors, and $22 for general admission.
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