Written for players at the Centre for Young Musicians in London where the composer Gordon Carr taught for thirty years. Review: "Music for CYM (Centre for Young Musicians) Brass is an exciting piece that should be embraced by both young and more experienced brass quintets. The beginning of the first movement starts with some counter melodies and shared melodic material between the trumpets. This movement contains some very nice fanfare like figures that build toward the end and then die away. The texture of the first movement is angular with the horn, trombone and tuba providing a stiff ostinato that supports the two trumpets. It is marked Alla Marcia and has a very strict and pointed style. The second movement is in 6/8, marked Andante, and should be performed with a quasi legato articulation. Flowing muted melodies contrast the fanfares nicely. It begins a Moderato but moves quickly to Allegro. This movement has a frantic feel that should be played with a great deal of energy. Performers must be aware of the 7/8 and 5/8 bars. There are seven bars near the last half of the piece where the first and second trumpet are in syncopation with each other, requiring careful precision. The third movement changes meter from duple and triple to compound and to compound complex. It is frenetic and requires a hight developed sense of time on the part of the players. Generally, the piece is tonal by shifts tonality frequently. This composition is recommended for competent high school or young college brass quintets. It incorporates some well placed rests, keeping endurance issues at a minimum. Numerous syncopated rhythms require careful counting and concentration." – Southeastern Brass (the Louisiana University Student Brass Quintet) in the International Trumpet Guild, 2004
Gordon Carr was born in Matlock, Derbyshire in 1943 and educated at Dulwich College and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied the horn with Barry Tuckwell. He has enjoyed a varied freelance career, which encompassed playing with all the major London orchestras. As a session musician he played on the soundtrack of numerous films including 'The Boys from Brazil', 'The Spy who Loved Me' and 'Straw Dogs' and on the backing tracks of much pop music. As a soloist he appeared at the Wigmore Hall, on the South Bank and around the UK, Italy and Belgium. In his twenties he began to write music, and wrote several large scale works for the Locke Brass Consort whilst a member of this group. In all he has written in excess of 130 works. For thirty years he taught at The Centre for Young Musicians and throughout his career has coached and conducted on holiday music courses. Conducting engagements have been with The Locke Brass Consort, London Brass Consort, London Youth Symphonic Band, London Youth Chamber Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music Brass Ensemble, London College of Music Symphonic Band and the International Summer School Orchestra at Keele.
The Swan is the most famous movement from The Carnival of the Animals, usually represented by the 'cello which emulates the swan elegantly gliding over the water with only its reflection for company. In this arrangement for brass quintet it is the trombone with its lush tenor sound, that should be played in the style of Tommy Dorsey, that gives the swan its grace. The other instruments accompany the trombone with rolling chords which represent the feet of the swan hidden beneath the water propelling it along. This powerful melody will leave your hair standing up and a tear in your eye.
This arrangement of familiar nursery rhymes was intended as a means of introducing younger children to the medium of the brass quintet. Each rhyme is dressed in a musical identity, with each player given plenty of note activity. Some rhymes are slightly tongue in cheek while others are blatantly satirical. The work opens and closes with the rhyme Oranges and Lemons and the medley runs logically lasting for 5 to 6 minutes. It is an ideal encore item or light alternative to follow a quintet that might have challenged both performer and listener. A Medley of Rhymes for Five Brass is a popular addition to serious concert programmes.
This arrangement by Robin Benton uses just two of the numerous themes from Richard Wagner's overture to his 1868 opera The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. The opening theme represents the Mastersingers themselves. This dignified melody is stated and then developed contrapuntally, leading to the second theme - this theme is used in the opera for the entry of the Mastersingers. The music builds to a climax that introduces a short reprise of the majestic Mastersingers theme, and triumphant fanfares bring the piece to a rousing finish.