Canadian Brass

Canadian Brass plays Bach

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To those purists out there who would argue that the works of Bach should not be transcribed for different instruments, particularly for something like a brass quintet, which, in its modern incarnation, did not even exist in Bach's time, the Canadian Brass offers a very succinct argument: Bach did it. While Bach did not transcribe any works for brass quintet per se, he -- as well as most of his contemporaries -- did rework his own compositions and at times even the compositions of other composers to suit his needs at the time. In this case, the Canadian Brass refers to Bach's transcription of a Vivaldi concerto that has been reworked again for this album for brass quintet. Perhaps it's not as important what instrument(s) a piece of music is transcribed for, but more whether or not the new configuration can deliver a performance that maintains the work's original dignity and grandeur. Few ensembles can accomplish this in the same way as the Canadian Brass, whose members are at the absolute pinnacle of performance on their given instruments and as a whole deliver musically informed performances. Their transcriptions maintain the musical ideals found in the originals; there is nothing hokey or inappropriate-sounding to be found here. Great playing, great transcriptions, and great musicianship define this enjoyable album.

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