Error processing SSI file

Janko NILOVIC (b.1941)
Double Concerto for seven trombones (1975) [22.45]
Suite Balkanique for seven trombones and four percussion (1974) [18.59]
LíEnsemble de Trombones de Paris
Rec. 1977 ADD


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

This disc is a straight transfer of Crystal LP S223. It still sounds well with hiss undetectable to my ears. The intrinsic sound of the instruments is strong though not up-front - more of a believable concert ambience.

Nilovicís two pieces are similar in style as you might expect from their close dates. His work in jazz and film music lends a popular air to these movements without being simplistic or superficial. Especially in the Suite I began to think of him as a sort of hybrid between Malcolm Arnold and Robin Holloway. Arnold is known internationally and his brass ensemble music includes a forbidding Symphony written for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Holloway is less well known contemporary figure in his sixties. In the brass ensemble world he should be much better known for his tragic-poignant- pastoral triptych of brass band pieces written around the world of A.E. Housman (to date I have only heard Men Marching and From Hills and Valleys). In Nilovic letís say 1 part each Holloway and Rutter to 3 parts Arnold. A simplistic formula, I know, but itís the best I can do to give you some impression of the sound.

The Concerto is salty, Weill-like, airy and fruitily recorded. It shows a great feeling for soft playing (lovely quiet misteroso playing in the Interlude) and for gritty on-the-edge rhythmic patterns: spirited to the point of aggression. The Theme and Variations incorporates some very beautiful soliloquising including an extraordinary sound like the quiet cycling of a siren. In the Finale I noted at 5.30 a slow sliding upward whoop to pp and punctuating rhythmic pattern-impacts suggestive of Beethovenís Ďfateí motif. Compare this with the similarly highly inventive seven movement Suite with its rip-snorting jazziness, determination, gentle sway (like Bolero more than once) and acrobatic levity. Nilovic was born in Montenegro, is now based in France and has written prolifically including some 1000 jazz and classical compositions. In December 2001 his suite for piano and orchestra Toutes les Musiques du Monde had its world premiere.

This music would go down well in any company. Fears of dry monotony prompted by seven trombones and memories of Vinko Globokars arid 1970s experiments are misplaced.

Rob Barnett

Error processing SSI file

Return to Index

Error processing SSI file