Gustav Holst's The Planets for brass quintet and organ expertly performed Melanie Barney and the Buzz Ensemble. This recording is not to be missed! Excellent Performance and Sonics!
"René Laflamme's recordings on the Fidelio label have always been favorites of mine... SSI (Salon Son & Image 2009) was my first chance to hear high-resolution versions of some Fidelio recordings, played back from René's laptop feeding data via asynchronous USB to the dCS Scarlatti upsampler set to do nothing other than translate the USB datastream to AES/EBU at 96kHz to drive the dCS Elgar Plus D/A. As this has a volume control it was connected directly to a pair of Nagra VPA tube monoblocks which in turn drove the Verity Sarastro 2 speakers that Fred Kaplan reviewed for Stereophile in April. Cabling was all-Shunyata. René uses all-tube microphones and records directly to a Pyramix digital audio workstation. The sound of a transcription for brass and organ of "Mars" from Holst's The Planets was to die for on this system, one of my "best of shows." - John Atkinson, Stereophile
New Planets discovered! "Master recordist Rene LaFlamme of Fidelio Records marked the release of his first LP a remastering of Melanie Barney's and the Buzz Brass Ensemble's colorful recording of Holt's The Planets... the sound was, youll pardon the expression, f-king amazing: How LaFlamme manages to achieve a combination of both openness and sheer flesh-and-blood solidity in his recordings is utterly beyond me!" - Art Dudley, www.stereophile.com, April 7, 2011
Modifying a works instrumentation is a bit like translating a text into another language: one must first understand the composers intention, then find the appropriate vocabulary. So, to create a version for brass quintet and organ of Gustav Holsts suite for large orchestra The Planets, Enrico O. Dastous needed to engage in an exercise of analysis and reflection.
At the heart of Mr. Dastous approach is his respect for the content of the original score, for its mechanics and for its architectural outline. Generally speaking, the musical material of the orchestras brass section has been redistributed within the quintet while that of the string quartet and of the woodwinds has been attributed to the organ. By doing so, the arranger has restored the orchestral dialogue among the performers and has thus avoided creating a concerto for brass. Despite the reduction of the timbral palette, Mr. Dastous has reproduced the original contrast effects by resorting to all kinds of instrumental combinations, of which those offered by the organ stops. Among the brass, the use of mutes has partly allowed them to substitute for the woodwinds, notably in Mercury. In regard to the particularity of the orchestral writing and to the use of two womens choirs in the suites last movement, Neptune, the arranger had to take more melodic liberties to recreate the original mood.
Central to Buzz musicians and organist Mélanie Barneys interpretation of The Planets is their own respect for Mr. Dastous vision of the work. Buzz, mainly known for the quality of its multidisciplinary performances and pedagogical productions, confirms with this third recording the first to devote itself to a repertory work the seriousness and the rigor of its approach as well as its intrinsic musical qualities and its artistic sensitivity.
"Fidelio's recording, made in a Montreal church, is stupendous, with subterranean bass, a seemingly unlimited dynamic range, huge soundstage, startling clarity, and a realistic recreation of Saint-Viateur d'Outremont's large, vaulted interior. The recording was made using all-analog, all-tube (Neumann) microphones, electronics, and tape recorder, and encoded onto two dead-quiet 45rpm black discs. How can you resist?"- Mark Lehman, The Absolute Sound, October 2012
Mastered by Bernie Grundman
2010 ADISQ Album of the Year Nominee
Melanie Barney, organ
Frederic Gagnon, trumpet, piccolo
Sylvain LaPointe, trumpet, flugelhorn
Marc-Antoine Corbeil, horn
Jason de Carufel, trombone, euphonium
Sylavin Arseneau, bass trombone
Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
The Planets - Arrangement for Brass and Organ
LP1 - Side 1:
1. Mars, The Bringer of War
2. Venus, The Bringer of Peace
LP1 - Side 2:
3. Mercury, The Winged Messenger
4. Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity
LP2 - Side 3:
5. Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age
6. Uranus, The Magician
LP2 - Side 4:
7. Neptune, The Mystic
Recorded March 22,23,25 & 26, 2009 at L'Eglise Saint-Viateur D'Outremont, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.