Brass Ensemble of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Omar Tomasoni, Miroslav Petkov, Bert Langenkamp, Jacco Groenendijk, trumpet
Laurens Woudenberg, Fons Verspaandonk, horn
Jörgen van Rijen, Bart Claessens, Nico Schippers, Martin Schippers, trombone
Perry Hoogendijk, tuba
The Brass Ensemble of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam fascinates its listeners with virtuosic playing and captivating music.—
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764):
Suite from “Platée” (arranged by Steven Verhelst)
Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901):
La forza del destino (arranged by C. Holding)
Enrique Crespo (1941–2020):
Bruckner Etude for low brass
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750):
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048 (arranged by Christopher Mowat)
George Frideric Handel (1685–1759):
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (arranged by Paul Archibald)
Johann Sebastian Bach:
Two chorales preludes (arranged by Enrique Crespo)
Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992):
Suite from “María de Buenos Aires” (arranged by Steven Verhelst)
Béla Bartók (1881–1945):
Rumanian Folk Dances (arranged by Manu Mellaerts)
Chris Hazell (*1948):
The first brass bands were formed in the coal-mining regions of England in the course of early industrialisation in the mid-19th century. This musical activity had a dual purpose. It served as a means of entertainment, and it was also hoped that the intensive effort involved in blowing a brass instrument might prevent the lung damage that was an occupational hazard among miners. Soon, official work bands were formed to represent the different mines and to attract new workers.
On 28 December 2022, the brass players of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam will be our guests in the Gotthard region. They naturally don’t work in an English coal mine, being members of the world-famous Concertgebouw Orchestra. But just like the early brass bands did, this classical Dutch brass ensemble plays arrangements of melodies from well-known operas such as Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Platée” – the latter being a suite arranged especially for the brass players of the RCO. Their repertoire, however, goes far beyond potpourris of popular opera tunes. With “Jesu, joy of man’s desiring” and “Sleepers, wake!” they are including two chorale preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach, while they will also play what is arguably the most famous piece by George Frideric Handel: The “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from his oratorio “Solomon”. Their programme also includes Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto” No. 3 in G major, which was originally composed for strings, but here shines forth in the beautiful, powerful splendour of a brass arrangement, and the Rumanian Folk Dances by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.
The Brass Ensemble of the RCO also features two original compositions that exemplify the broad spectrum of music for brass, namely Enrique Crespo’s “Bruckner Etude for low brass” and Chris Hazell’s brass classic “Mr. Jums”. One of the many highpoints of their concert programme will be the suite from Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera “María de Buenos Aires”, arranged for the RCO by Steven Verhelst, who writes: “Piazzolla has one of the most easily identifiable sounds in the history of music, so it’s an absolute joy to experiment with his music. And what about these incredible musicians? They’re brass players of the highest calibre. They’re breath-taking!”.
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