EMI Classics 088326 2

A few months ago I reviewed the CD Storyteller by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth with orchestra and piano accompaniment. Now she is back with a ten member all woman brass ensemble called tenThing. This group, in instrumentation and sound, more closely resembles an enlarged brass quintet that a small brass band. The group consists of four trumpets, three tenor trombones, one bass trombone, one French horn and one tuba. The opener is a rousing version of a Carmen Suite arranged for the group by Roger Harvey. The group’s precise articulation comes to the fore in their rendition of Asturias by Albéniz. It’s not just the trumpets; the trombone and tuba always come through crisp and clean.

For me, a welcome inclusion is a seven movement suite from Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera. The trombone playing in particular captures the spirit that Weill would have wanted; Mack the Knife and Polly come to life. Two impressionistic works by Astor Piazzolla add a bit of Latin flavour, and a spirited rendition of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca provides the real fiery component of this compilation.

There is no attempt to showcase the leader or any other member on this recording. Throughout, Helseth and her cohorts are members of the tight ensemble. The recording quality is top notch with 68 minutes of varied listening pleasure. Unfortunately, the disc is devoid of any biographical information, which is particularly annoying for the lesser known figures such as Dutch composer Jan Koetsier, who gets no mention although his three movement Brass Symphony, Op.80 and another shorter work are included.


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