05 Buzz BrassHeritage – Bohme; Ewald; Jergensen
Buzz Brass
ATMA ACD2 2897 (atmaclassique.com/en)

Buzz Brass (Buzz Cuivres), a Canadian but globally recognized brass quintet, has been dependably putting out strong recordings and concertizing around the world for over two decades. For an ensemble such as this – two trumpets, horn, trombone and bass trombone – the challenge, it seems, is what to play. First, the aggregation itself is relatively young in comparison to other classical music forms, dating back to 1833 with the Distin family. Secondly, although such well-known composers as Joseph Haydn were indeed known for fine chamber music contributions, the canonical repertoire for this unique instrumental setting belongs primarily to a handful of such wonderful composers as Victor Ewald, Axel Jørgensen and Oskar Böhme, who were all new to me and who Buzz Brass does a marvellous job at broadcasting more widely. 

With such titles as Brass Quintet No.1 in B-flat Minor and Brass Quintet in A-flat Major, we are clearly in the territory of so-called “absolute music,” where the music itself, fine playing and cohesive blend of beautiful brass instruments is the point, rather than some extra-musical theme or programme intended to give the pieces further meaning. And with Héritage, the group’s first recording for ATMA Classique (following two on  the Analekta label), nothing additional is needed. Like slipping into a warm bath of wonderfully resonant and round brass timbres, this 2024 recording is immersive and enveloping, capable of washing over the attuned listener with beauty, lyricism and expressiveness.

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