The 5 Browns

No Boundaries

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U.S. marketers have been looking for a crossover blockbuster to match Britain's parade of chart-topping teens, and they may just have found one in this quintet of well-scrubbed Utah siblings (three girls, two boys) who won separate scholarships to the Juilliard School in New York. No Boundaries is their second album, and it closely follows the pattern of their highly successful debut, minus the inclusion of a video disc. The best news is that the playing here is musically solid and the repertoire even a bit challenging -- there are no five-piano arrangements of "My Heart Will Go On," but there is Lutoslawski (the Variations on a Theme of Paganini) and Ginastera (the Danzas Argentinas, Op. 2, with Ryan Brown making you believe that more than one piano is sounding). As on the first album, there are only a couple of arrangements for five pianos, with the rest of the album given over to solos, duos, and trios. The pieces with all five siblings playing are in some ways the most impressive. Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, when you think about it, is not an easy thing to hold together in an arrangement like this one (by Jeffrey Shumway), with all the subtle tempo adjustments necessary to produce an expressive reading of the piece. But the Rhapsody in Blue and the final Firebird section are excitingly musical as well as accurately executed. One wonders where this rather unwieldy piano quintet will go next, but here the group has created the best kind of American sensation. Pick up a copy for the teenager in your life.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 9:46
Andalucía, suite for piano (Suite Española)
2 3:29
3 3:02
4 1:32 SpotifyAmazon
Rhapsodie espagnole, for orchestra (or 2 pianos)
5 6:05
Gargoyles (4) for piano, Op.29
6 2:07 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:39 Spotify
8 7:12
9 5:05 SpotifyAmazon
Danzas argentinas, 3 pieces for piano, Op. 2
10 1:10 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:46 SpotifyAmazon
12 2:56 SpotifyAmazon
Suite No. 2 for 2 pianos in C major, Op. 17
13 1:21
14 3:34
L' oiseau de feu (The Firebird), concert suite for orchestra No. 1
15 8:39
blue highlight denotes track pick