The Eastman Wind Ensemble and Canadian Brass, two of the most prestigious wind groups in North America, will release their first-ever joint recording on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
Titled Manhattan Music and available exclusively from online classical music retailer ArkivMusic (www.arkivmusic.com), the disc celebrates and continues the tradition of the Canadian Brass and more than 50 years of Eastman Wind Ensemble recordings.
“This recording project continues the long tradition of the Eastman Wind Ensemble to bring fresh sound ideas and interesting works to the public,” said current Eastman Wind Ensemble Conductor Mark Scatterday, who also chairs the Conducting and Ensembles Department at the Eastman School of Music. “It gave Eastman students the experience of working professionally alongside musicians from one of the world’s leading brass ensembles.”
The idea for a joint album was envisioned by Eastman School of Music alumni and former Eastman Wind Ensemble tuba players Chuck Daellenbach, co-founder of Canadian Brass, and Dixon Van Winkle, a recording producer/engineer who has worked with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, Paul Winter, and Paul McCartney. Both played tuba in the Eastman Wind Ensemble under legendary conductor Donald Hunsberger in the 1960s. Daellenbach and Scatterday came up with this groundbreaking project to create new repertoire for the combination of brass quintet and wind ensemble during discussions they had in 2006 when Daellanbach was at the Eastman School to receive an honorary doctorate.
The resulting CD, which was recorded in Eastman Theatre in the fall of 2007, celebrates New York City with special arrangements and new compositions created for the release: the title track Manhattan Music by Bramwell Tovey; Michael Sweeney’s Suite from Bernstein’s Mass; Scatterday’s arrangement of Shaker Suite by Rayburn Wright, former director of jazz studies at the Eastman School; and the premiere recording of New York CityScape, by Eastman alumnus and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Pops conductor, composer, and arranger Jeff Tyzik.
The Eastman Wind Ensemble has been in the forefront of elevating the wind repertory through recordings since its founding by Frederick Fennell at the Eastman School of Music in 1952. The Ensemble has made dozens of recordings on the Mercury, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Summit Records labels, and has premiered more than 150 new works, many with former conductor Donald Hunsberger. Fennell’s Mercury recordings, made in the 1950s and early 1960s, were notable for pioneering new audio recording techniques.
Composed of a core of about 50 undergraduate and graduate students, the Eastman Wind Ensemble has done major tours both across the country and aboard. The ensemble’s 2004 tour of Japan with Scatterday, its seventh in that nation, also included performances in Taiwan and China.
Audience favorite Canadian Brass, hailed as the “world’s leading brass ensemble” by The Washington Post, is a pioneer in establishing the brass quintet as a serious concert ensemble. Founded by Daellenbach and trombonist Gene Watts in Toronto in 1970, the group has developed a repertoire of classical, popular, jazz, and contemporary concert music that has created fans around the world. Canadian Brass has made 70 recordings, performed for visiting heads of state in Canada, and has appeared on such television shows as Today, The Tonight Show, Evening at Pops, and numerous PBS specials.
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