Various Artists

Golden Brass Summit: Fanfares en Delire

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Imagine an entire festival of Balkan brass bands, all playing at 90 miles an hour. It's either a nightmare or a delight, and for those who rub their hands with glee at the prospect, this double-CD set from Network is a dream come true. The Dragacevo Festival is where you can hear all the brass you'd ever need, right from the opening commemorative piece, "Sa Ovcara I Kablara," on through such manic diversions as the Bajika Bakic Orchestra's two cuts, both of which are a joy. The Balkan village brass band is a distinct genre in brass music, and one that is thoroughly explored here -- the majority of these ensembles do not have individual CDs available. The regional style is throughly explored in all its variations, and the playing time of almost two and a half hours means that even the most die-hard brass fanatics will have their ears ringing by the time the second disc ends. The music is stirring -- both the instrumental and vocal pieces -- and remarkably soulful, as the spirit of the region focuses into trumpets and trombones. If this doesn't move you, check your pulse.

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