On Sevenfive, Chicago quintet Gaudete Brass explores the influence of composer John Corigliano | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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On Sevenfive, Chicago quintet Gaudete Brass explores the influence of composer John Corigliano


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In 2013, Chicago chamber quintet Gaudete Brass were invited to play in a celebration for the 75th birthday of the American classical composer John Corigliano. His writing for their particular instrumentation, though, numbered exactly two brief works. So the ensemble commissioned a number of Corigliano’s disciples to create original music reflecting his influence, which they’ve compiled on their new album, Sevenfive: The John Corigliano Effect (Cedille). The record includes the first recordings of Corigliano’s “Antiphon” and “Fanfares to Music,” both for double quintets, but the real coup is the lineage it traces between Corigliano and his musical progeny—whether it’s the way Jonathan Newman’s four-movement “Prayers of Steel,” inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg, collides early jazz rhythms with muscular patterns that evoke Chicago skyscrapers, or the way Jeremy Howard Beck’s twitchy “Roar” generates tension with a relentless series of staccato stabs. Some of the pieces veer toward brass-ensemble cliches, like jaunty rhythms that recall a Copland-esque vision of America, but the ensemble deliver all the material with precision, energy, and snap. At the second annual Thirsty Ears Classical Music Street Festival, Gaudete Brass will perform Joan Tower’s 2006 “Copperwave” and the five-movement “Legends of Olympus,” a work written for the group by Chicago composer Stacy Garrop.   v

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