Brass on disc | Brass recordings

- 29 March 2013

Looking at recent and upcoming releases, bandmaster, tuba player and industry insider Carl Woodman makes his pick for the year






Songs from the heart: Philip Cobb (trumpet/cornet/flugel horn); International Staff Band of the Salvation Army 

Philip Cobb is undoubtedly one of the finest trumpet players of his generation and, as joint principal trumpet of the LSO, enjoys the opportunity of music-making in a wide variety of situations, be it concert hall, film studio or Olympic Stadium. The major work on this, his second solo album, is The Maestro, a tour-de-force for trumpet and brass band by Andrew Pearce (of Cinema Symphony fame) which places great demands on the soloist and band alike.






James Watson Greatest hits; Prozone Music

This is a stunning new compilation produced in memory of the great James Watson who died suddenly in February 2011 at just 59. As well as a committed educator, Watson was the ultimate lyrical trumpet player. This CD is a collection of his finest recordings. All proceeds from this disc will go to the James Watson Fund for Brass Players, a flexible fund aiming to help brass musicians through their studies and in other times of need.






Brass taps: Superbrass

Superbrass is a collective of some of the finest brass and percussion players working on the professional music scene in London. Inspired by water, Brass Tapsconsists entirely of brand new works for brass dectet and percussion by composers such as Paul Denegri, Tom Harrold, Mark Lockheart and Gareth Wood. it was recorded at Henry Wood Hall in March this year and is due for release in the autumn. Also check out previous release, Under the Spell of Spain.






Tine: Tine Thing Helseth (Trumpet) with Kathryn Stott (Piano); EMI classics

The first two albums for EMI Classics by the young Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth (Storyteller and tenThing’s 10) were critically acclaimed, with Gramophone praising her ‘soulful approach to phrasing, quite astonishingly outstanding intonation and open and honest sound’. Now Helseth presents a personal choice of transcribed songs and original works which reveal the trumpet’s lyric voice and takes us on a varied journey through the musical landscape of the late 19th and 20th centuries.






Dragons’ rise: Marylebone Brass featuring Chris Avison (Trumpet); Prozone Music

This album is another fundraiser for the James Watson Fund for Brass Players, and a tribute to the late James Watson, who was professor of trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music. Marylebone Brass had already released two critically acclaimed CDs conducted by Watson himself and many of the players wanted to make one more disc in tribute to him. The result is this wonderfully diverse, enjoyable and emotional disc played by Watson’s final generation of RAM students.





Title tbc: Onyx Brass; Meridian

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in brass chamber music, inspired by the pioneering early years of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Although the group has commissioned well over 100 new works, its next album will showcase romantic music. Some of Onyx’s larger ensemble arrangements will be featured enabling eight- and ten-part motets by Brahms to sit alongside quintet versions of his fabulous works for piano, arranged for the group by the trombonist James Maynard.

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