Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

The 20th Century Album

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Always eager to explore new material and to expand its repertoire, the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble turns its attention to twentieth century works in this double-disc collection from Decca. The literature for brass has grown considerably in the modern era, and many composers have turned to the brass choir as an ideal medium for hard-edged sonorities, transparent counterpoint, and harmonic clarity. Though much of this music tends toward conservative tastes -- fanfares dominate and triadic and quartal harmonies are prevalent -- there is enough stylistic diversity in the program to sustain the listener's interest. Dignified works by Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, and Arthur Bliss are balanced with droll pieces, such as Leonard Salzedo's Divertimento, André Previn's Four Outings, and the delightful Sonata for horn, trumpet, and trombone by Francis Poulenc. Havergal Brian's menacing Fanfare from The Cenci and Gunther Schuller's somber Symphony for brass and percussion introduce more challenging harmonies and darker colors while showing that this group's expressive range is indeed broad. Some familiar works are also presented, such as the Sokol Fanfare from Leos Janácek's Sinfonietta and Kurt Weill's Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, and both receive fine performances on this album. The recorded sound is excellent, capturing the bright resonance of this ensemble in a responsive acoustic.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Fanfares for Britannicus
2 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
3 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
4 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
The Cenci, opera
5 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
6 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Suite for brass septet
7 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
8 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
9 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
10 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Divertimento, for brass sextet
11 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
12 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
13 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
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15 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Four Outings for Brass
16 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
17 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
18 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
19 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Sonata for horn, trumpet & trombone, FP 33
20 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
21 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
22 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Symphony for brass & percussion, Op 16
23 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
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Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18
2 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
3 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Fanfares Liturgiques for brass ensemble
4 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
5 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Symphony for Brass Instruments, Op. 123
6 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
7 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
8 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
9 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Morgenmusik, for brass ensemble (from Plöner Musiktag)
10 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
11 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
12 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, suite for wind orchestra (based on "Die Dreigroschenoper")
13 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
14 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
15 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
16 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
17 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
18 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
19 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
20 Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Amazon
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