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Gaudete Brass Showcases New Music on Cedille Records Debut
The premieres, all written expressly for Gaudete Brass, include James Woodward’s Gaudete (2007), John Cheetham’s Sonata for Brass Quintet (2008), Brian Baxter’s A Great Commercial City (2011), Stacy Garrop’s Helios (2011), Rob Deemer’s Brass (2011), and the title work, David Sampson’s Chicago Moves (2011).
Chicago Moves was released digitally November 6 and on CD November 13. It’s Cedille Records’ first recording featuring a brass ensemble or brass soloists.
"This album is designed to showcase the wonderful quality of today’s literature for brass quintet and demonstrate that, as an ensemble, the modern brass quintet has truly arrived," writes Gaudete trombonist Paul Von Hoff in the CD liner notes.
"Gaudete" means "rejoice" in Latin, and Woodward’s Gaudete, the ensemble’s first commissioned work, takes that meaning to heart. The quintet often opens its concerts with this inviting, energetic piece.
Cheetham’s fascinating Sonata for Brass Quintet delights with animated wit, lyrical vocal-like passages, and a nimble sense of swing. Baxter’s A Great Commercial City, a Valentine to his and the Gaudete’s home town of Chicago, injects rich sonorities and urban energy into a 19th-century folk song extolling the virtues of Illinois.
Garrop’s Helios vividly traces the Sun god’s fiery journey across the sky. Deemer’s Brass explores the instruments’ exotic sonic possibilities. The title track, Sampson’s humorous and imaginative Chicago Moves, evokes a traffic helicopter’s aerial view of rush hour lane-changers and tailgaters.
Gaudete Brass gives Tower’s Copperwave (2006) its first recording in the traditional brass quintet instrumentation, with tuba rather than bass trombone. Tower wrote the Latin American-inspired work for the American Brass Quartet, which made the first and only other recording. The composer writes that the work’s musical ideas "move in waves, sometimes heavy ones and at other times lighter."
"There are so many unique colors. It’s one of our favorite pieces in the literature," said Scott Tegge, the quintet’s tuba player, in an interview with Cedille Records.
Gaudete Brass played the piece for Tower at her New York City home in January 2012. "She was really excited to hear it, really excited to work with us," Tegge recalled.
Chicago Moves was produced by Judith Sherman and engineered by Bill Maylone at sessions February 14–17, 2012, at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana.
Founded in Chicago in 2004, Gaudete Brass (pronounced gow-DAY-tay) focuses primarily on new music. The ensemble’s other passion is performing Renaissance music in a historically informed manner on modern instruments, using their own editions of the works.
Quintet members are Bill Baxtresser and Ryan Berndt, trumpets; Julia Filson, horn; Paul Von Hoff, trombone; and Scott Tegge, tuba. Von Hoff and Tegge are founding members.
Gaudete’s fans include the Juilliard School’s venerable American Brass Quintet, whom Guadete Brass considers mentors and models. The ABQ’s Raymond Mase calls Gaudete “an outstanding young group bringing fresh ideas to brass chamber music. I'm really excited to see such a fine ensemble dedicated to serious brass repertoire."
The quintet’s discography includes its self-released debut album, Brass Outings, selected as an “Editors’ Choice” by independent Web music retailer CDBaby.com, and Conversations in Time, comprising music for brass quintet and organ, with organist R. Benjamin Dobey on the Pro Organo label.
Gaudete has appeared at colleges, universities, and conservatories around the country, including The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Vanderbilt University, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Missouri, University of Georgia, Arizona State University, and California Institute of the Arts, among others.
The quintet has performed in radio broadcasts from Chicago, Nashville, Milwaukee, and other cities. Its website is www.gaudetebrass.com.
Grammy award-winning Cedille Records (pronounced say-DEE) has been dedicated to showcasing the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area since its launch in late 1989.
The audiophile-oriented label releases albums as physical CDs, "lossless" FLAC downloads, and MP3 downloads. All are available directly via its website, cedillerecords.org. In spring 2011, Cedille began offering new releases as better-than-CD-quality 24-bit FLAC downloads. (The 24-bit FLACs for Cedille albums issued from October 2012 onward, including Chicago Moves, are at the 96 kHz sample rate.) Earlier albums are available as CD-quality 16-bit FLAC downloads. In early 2012, Cedille began offering extra-high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file downloads of new releases. Earlier titles are available as 256 Kbps MP3s (same as the new iTunes standard).
Cedille Records is distributed in the Western Hemisphere by Naxos of America and its distribution partners, by Select Music in the U.K., and by other independent distributors in major international classical music markets.
An independent nonprofit enterprise, Cedille is the label of The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation. For a free catalog and the locations of local retail outlets, contact Cedille Records, 1205 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago, IL 60640; call (773) 989-2515; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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