Music for Brass, Piano and Percussion

The outstanding gem in this collection is the Concerto by Dalibor Vackár, a little known Czech composer. It is a brilliant, energetic piece scored for an unusual combination of trumpet, keyboards and percussion. Virtuoso interaction between all the soloists generates and essential driving force which contrasts with plangent tonal colours from trumpet floating over a backcloth of vibraphone and piano. Whilst more conventional, the Hindemith and Janácek explore the full potential of the piano - brass combination providing added variation and excitement to the brass ensemble medium.



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Dalibor Vackar's Concerto is a lively, jazzy piece, making surprisingly effective use of its unusual instrumental combination: it does rather pale beside the Janacek and Hindemith though, and while it's the shortest item on the disc (just over sixteen minutes), it's the only one that seriously outstays its welcome. I've no complaints about the performances: Kvapil's gritty determination in the Capriccio reminds one that Janácek's original working-title for the piece was "Defiance", and the almost childlike simplicity of the Adagio's opening melody is as touching as I can remember it; and in the Hindemith Kvapil, Wallace and his team capture well the Leviathanesque serenity of the opening movement and the brassy brilliance of the second.

In many ways a valuable disc—how often does Hindemith get such enthusiastic advocacy as this?
S.J., Gramophone

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