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CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Gomalan Brass Quintet
La forza del destino sinfonia (Verdi)
Turandot : Nessun Dorma (Puccini)
Nabucco sinfonia (Verdi)
La Boheme suite (Puccini)
Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Tarrega)
Forrest Gump theme (Silvestri)
Moment for Morricone (Morricone)
Schindler's List theme (Williams)
Olympic Fanfare (Williams)
Nel blue d pinto di blu - volare (Modugno)
Libertango (Piazzolla)
The Flintstones (Curtin)
Gomalan Brass Quintet
rec. no date/location given
SUMMIT DCD386 [62:59]

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Swingin' Pool
That's A Plenty!
'Chicago' The Musical
Buster Keaton Blues
An American In Paris
Divinamente Musica
Over The Rainbow
Brass Basics
Ciao Fred!
Sing Sing Sing
Guarda Che Luna
Mi Sono Innamorato Di Te
Soul Bossa Nova
Gomalan Brass Quintet
rec. no date/location given
SUMMIT DCD432 [69:32]
Experience Classicsonline

Here are two fun discs in which a quintet of utterly superb Italian brass players romp through arrangements of light and cinema classics. I am not going to go into detail but let’s put it this way - you will be entertained, amused, impressed and even outraged by excessive sentimentality or the occasional whoops and shouts of the players in each of the two discs. Of the two I prefer the first. The second is a shade too light to be comfortable for me.

How on earth was it that I discovered the Gomalan? After all it is hardly my usual fare. It came about through chance discovery when wandering aimlessly through YouTube. What caught my attention was their arrangement (made by Marco Pierobon and J-P. Bouchard) of Williams’ Raiders of the Lost Ark. An astonishing piece of playing it has wit and flair and rather improbably does not sound at all scaled down.

As with the two under review here the new recording was made in a church near Cremona with a wonderful acoustic. It was made - we are assured - with only 5 panoramic mics, one audio card and taken down direct onto hard disk. There’s no overdubbing, re-balancing, reverbs or compression. It’s just five brass instruments and the acoustic of the church of Palazzo Pignano.

They've recently finished their third project which has been edited and mastered, and they’re asking the big-name-labels if there's any interest in it. If it is picked up by one of them it will be under the title Moviebrass and will include transcriptions from soundtrack music by Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story) John Williams (Indiana Jones Theme, Space Brass), Samuel Barber (Adagio for Strings) and others. I am rather disappointed that they have not picked up on the stratospheric excesses of the trumpet-lavish theme for Dynasty. Perhaps some time soon.

Gomalan Brass comprise Marco Pierobon, principal trumpet of the Maggio Musicale Opera Orchestra, Florence; Marco Braito, principal trumpet of the Orchestra della Toscana, Florence; Nilo Caracristi, 3rd horn of the Arena Opera Orchestra, Verona; Gianluca Scipioni, principal trombone of the Regio Theater, Turin and Oswald Prader, trainee/probationer tuba of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra.

Crack playing. Highly skilled arrangements worthy of Philip Jones at his most unbuttoned. Jollity, the odd tear and exultation.

Rob Barnett 



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