Brass Tacks

Music For Brass

Brian Belet composer
Nathan Wilson Ball composer
Janice Macaulay composer
L Peter Deutsch composer
Andrew Lewinter composer

Release Date: May 13, 2022
Catalog #: NV6428
Format: Digital
21st Century
Chamber
Trombone
Trumpet

BRASS TACKS from Navona Records offers far more than the fundamental idioms of classical music. While the works featured on this album pay homage to great classical and romantic composers, subtle contemporary flairs shine throughout this collection. Odd meters, blue notes, ferocious brass writing, and imaginative deviations from traditional song structures seamlessly push the envelope for brass repertoire. Delve into the rich sound of brass soloists and ensembles in this compelling multi-composer album.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Three by Five: I. Two Short Fugues Brian Belet Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 4:09
02 Three by Five: II. More Questions (Still Unanswered) Brian Belet Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 4:49
03 Three by Five: III. Fugal Reflections Brian Belet Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 4:44
04 Nocturne Nathan Wilson Ball Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Milan Zatloukal, bass trombone<br /> 5:30
05 Tuba Contra Mundum Janice Macaulay Jobey Wilson, tuba 3:53
06 5/4 Fugue in G Major L Peter Deutsch Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 2:33
07 Mountain Journey: I. Toward the Mountains L Peter Deutsch Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 3:23
08 Twilight Waltz L Peter Deutsch Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava Brass Quintet | Roman Buchal, trumpet; Petr Kabil, trumpet; Věra Bartošová, horn; Vladimír Ševčík, trombone; Jiří Král, tuba 3:30
09 Sonata for Horn and Piano: I. Allegro Andrew Lewinter James Wilson, horn; Katherine Ciscon, piano 7:31
10 Sonata for Horn and Piano: II. Andante Andrew Lewinter James Wilson, horn; Katherine Ciscon, piano 4:49
11 Sonata for Horn and Piano: III. Theme and Variations Andrew Lewinter James Wilson, horn; Katherine Ciscon, piano 5:24

Three by Five
Recorded March 1, 2021 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture), Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Editing & Mixing Jacob Steingart, Lucas Paquette

Nocturne
Recorded March 2, 2021 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture), Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Editing & Mixing Jacob Steingart

5/4 Fugue in G Major, Towards the Mountains (Mvt. I), Twilight Waltz
Recorded December 9-10, 2021 at Dům Kultury města Ostravy (The Ostrava House of Culture), Ostrava, Czech Republic
Session Producer Jan Košulič
Session Engineer Aleš Dvořák
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Tuba Contra Mundum
Recorded September 25, 2020 at Futura Productions, Roslindale MA
Session Producer & Engineer John Weston
Assistant Engineer Jacob Steingart
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Sonata for Horn and Piano
Recorded June 3rd, 2019 in Houston TX
Session Producer Robert Walp
Recording Session Engineer Christian Schubert

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson, Danielle Lewis

General Manager of Audio & Sessions Jan Košulič
Production Director Levi Brown
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Assistant Martina Watzková
Mastering Melanie Montgomery

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran
Content Manager Sara Warner

Artist Information

Brian Belet

Composer

Brian Belet lives in northwestern Oregon with his partner and wife Marianne Bickett. His album SUFFICIENT TROUBLE, containing ten of his computer music compositions, was published by Ravello Records in 2017. Stellar Nebulae, for string orchestra, was published on the album PRISMA VOL. 4 by Navona Records in 2020, and his brass quintet Three by Five was published on the album BRASS TACKS, also by Navona Records, in 2022. Additional music is recorded on albums published by Capstone, Centaur, Frog Peak Music, IMG Media, Innova, New Ariel Recording, SWR Music/Hänssler Classic, and the University of Illinois labels, with research published in Contemporary Music Review, Organised Sound, Perspectives of New Music, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, and Proceedings of the International Web Audio Conference.

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Nathan Wilson Ball

Composer

Inspired by Christian iconography, Nathan Ball’s compositions place an emphasis on the music’s ability to propose emotional narratives by layering and/or juxtaposing simple musical ideas, or “sonic icons.” This approach to composition — praised by the Boston Globe as “adroit and expressively efficient” — stresses the relationship between disparate musical ideas, which the audience is invited to reconcile of their own accord. And while the narrative journeys of Ball’s compositions can thus be as varied as humanity itself, the subject of each work points only to one: the salvation of humanity.

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Janice Macaulay

Composer

Janice Macaulay received a doctorate from Cornell University, where she studied composition with Karel Husa and Steven Stucky. Along with her undergraduate degree in English, she also has master’s degrees in both English and music from Brown University. She was Associate Professor at Anne Arundel Community College, and has also taught at Brown University, Cornell University, Wells College, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. From a long-time interest in promoting musical appreciation, she lectured for over 20 years on a wide variety of musical topics for the Road Scholar program at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

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L Peter Deutsch

Composer

L Peter Deutsch is a native of Massachusetts, now living in Sonoma County CA, and British Columbia, Canada. Deutsch’s early music education included performance and composition for voice, piano, and recorder. He received his M.A. in composition in 2011, studying with Frank La Rocca. Deutsch's strengths as a composer include sparkling counterpoint and polyphony, lyrical melodies, fluent text setting, and the use of an extended-tonal harmonic palette centered around modal scales. He writes primarily for small instrumental or a capella vocal ensembles, spanning styles from devotional to romantic to jazzy, and from Renaissance to early 20th century.

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Andrew Lewinter

Composer

As a young person, Andrew Lewinter divided his attention between composition and the French horn, studying composition at Juilliard in the pre-college division, and horn with William Ver Meulen, Dale Clevenger, and David Jolley. He attended Northwestern University School of Music, but left after his sophomore year to pursue a career as an orchestral horn player, playing with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, Florida (1986-88) and Principal Horn with both the Florida Philharmonic (1988-2001) and the Santa Fe Opera (1994-97). He won the top prize at the Prague Spring International Solo Competition in 1992.

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Notes

This three-movement work was composed for the Brass Act Quintet in 2016 (Stephen Ruppenthal, Trumpet 1), who premiered the music in 2018.

I. Two Short Fugues
This double fugue — each actually a fughetta — is written as an homage to both J.S. Bach and Bela Bartok.

II. More Questions (Still Unanswered)
This slow movement is an homage to Charles Ives. The paired trumpets, muted throughout, pose the various questions, synchronized with themselves but aesthetically detached from the low brass foundation.

III. Fugal Reflections
An homage to Guillaume de Machaut and George Crumb, this concluding movement — which includes a short fugue and a contrasting chorale — reflects off of the midpoint for a modified palindrome structure.

— Brian Belet

SCI Journal of Music Scores, Vol. 62. (Schott Music Corporation, 2022).

“Then he withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.’ Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:41-44).

– Nathan Wilson Ball

The title Tuba Contra Mundum does not indicate paranoia, but rather a solo performer’s virtuosic exuberance, expressed through a mercurial range of emotions. The mood changes from phrase to phrase — lyrical, playful, forceful, wistful, joking, expansive, ferocious, furtive, jaunty, sinister — building to a climactic pitch held for as long as breath will last. A rising gesture spanning the entire range of the tuba culminates in several shrieks — perhaps there is some paranoia after all — and ultimately collapses into exhausted gasps.

Tuba Contra Mundum is published by Tuba-Euphonium Press.

— Janice Macaulay

I wrote this piece for the Menlo Brass Quintet. I chose the waltz form because of my love for the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. The piece has a pleasant, traditional 3/4 waltz rhythm, with hemiolas at some cadences in homage to one of Brahms’ favorite gestures, but departs a little from the traditional form by having a distinct coda.

— L Peter Deutsch

This suite was inspired by the poem “There was set before me a mighty hill” by Stephen Crane (1871-1900), best known for his masterwork novel “The Red Badge of Courage.” The poem’s lines and the movements reflecting them, are as follows: “There was set before me a mighty hill (Toward the Mountains), And long days I climbed / Through regions of snow (Into the Mountains), When I had before me the summit-view, / It seemed that my labour / Had been to see gardens / Lying at impossible distances (Beyond the Mountains).”

— L Peter Deutsch

I first heard the 7-note subject of this cheerful and energetic Fuga a 4 in a dream, and was fortunate to remember it long enough to write it down when I awoke. I originally scored it for piano, but transcribed it for brass when working on a different piece with the Menlo Brass Quintet, and found I liked it much better in that instrumentation. It follows Baroque fugue style pretty strictly, except for two mischievous quirks: it is in 5/4 time, and it has a “blue note” in the next-to-last measure, which I included just to remind listeners what century it was written in.

— L Peter Deutsch

Andrew Lewinter composed music extensively as a young musician, but stopped composing music at age 17 when he turned his attention to playing the horn. After a 14-year career playing the horn as a performing orchestral musician and soloist, Lewinter began again to compose music. His first foray into composition as an adult was to write a sonata for horn and piano, which was fitting for someone who had devoted so much of himself to performing on the instrument.

The Sonata for Horn and Piano is a three-movement work in a decisively romantic style. The intervals of the first measure form the basis for the entire work, and much of the music in the rest of the piece is an outgrowth and development of those intervals. The last movement opens with a tongue-in-cheek skeletal version of the first movement theme, first played on the piano, and then rudely interrupted by a fortissimo horn rip. What follows is a theme and variations, which are interconnected and quasi-developmental.

Statement from the artist:

In 2016 I decided to start composing music. I wrote music as a kid but stopped after high school. Since I played the horn professionally for a lot of my life, the first goal I set for myself was to write a sonata for horn and piano. As a first project, I decided to extensively review theory, form, and counterpoint, using many books, scores, and a lifetime of playing and listening to classical music as my guides. My piece would use common practice harmony and standard classical forms, such as sonata-allegro form.

The Sonata for Horn and Piano that I composed was beautifully premiered by my friends Lydia Van Dreel and Sandy Holder at a Northwest Horn workshop in 2018, and later recorded by friends and great musicians, James Wilson and Katherine Ciscon. That terrific recording by Wilson and Ciscon is now available on this Navona Records release.

I am really fortunate that such great musicians recorded the piece that I wrote. Thank you also to Christian Schubert, who engineered the recording, as well as Bob Walp, who produced it.

After writing the Horn Sonata, I continued composing, and stuck with tonal harmony and standard classical forms, although my compositional style continues to develop. Tonal harmony is a musical language that allows me to express the widest range of emotions and western classical music’s traditional structures provide guide rails within which I can be creative.

At this point, I‘ve written more than a dozen multi-movement pieces of chamber music, and am forging ahead almost every day.

— Andrew Lewinter

Scores

Three by Five (excerpt)

Brian Belet

View Score

Nocturne (excerpt)

Nathan Wilson Ball

View Score

Tuba Contra Mundum

Janice Macaulay

View Score

 Mountain Journey: I. Toward the Mountains

L Peter Deutsch

View Score

Sonata for Horn and Piano (excerpt)

Andrew Lewinter

View Score