Born, in 1964, in Minneapolis, and raised in Portland, Oregon,
David Dzubay studied with Donald Erb, Frederick Fox, Eugene O'Brien,
Lukas Foss, Oliver Knussen, Allan Dean and Bernard Adelstein.
He earned his D.M. in Composition at Indiana University in 1991.
He’s been championed by many of today’s leading musicians and
ensembles and has quite a list of recordings to his credit.
is my first contact with this composer and I’m not sure that
a complete disk of music for brass quintet makes such a good
introduction. It’s often said that the two most difficult chamber
combinations to write for are the wind quintet and string trio
– because the sound range within each group is too similar and
it takes a great deal of thought and expertise to make music
for these combinations work. To this one could add the brass
quintet, which is equally severely limited in its sound world.
three quintets recorded here – the Fanfare is for horn,
trumpet and trombone and Solus is for horn solo – inhabit
the same sound world, use the same gestures, are consistently
heavily scored with little consideration for light and shade
and, in general, it’s all too unrelenting – fast trumpet writing,
accompanied by off–beat chords from trombones can, so easily,
become tiring. What makes the best works for brass quintet –
such as John McCabe’s Rounds – work so well is the variety
in timbre, the pacing of the music, the use of different groups
of instruments and the interplay between these groups. I find
all these things lacking in this music – as well as any discernable
melodic interest. Even the solo work Solus containes
little to which one can relate.
every possibility that Dzubay has written some fine music but
it’s impossible to tell that from these rather dull and lack-lustre
pieces. The performances are, I am sure, excellent and the notes
are what you want when listening to music which is new to you,
but without music of interest these latter are unnecessary.
I really cannot find anything which grabs my attention here
and it would be unfair of me to say that this music is worth
giving a chance for there is insufficient interest in the pieces
to make the listening experience worthwhile.