Demilitarised Zones - Marches
Sergej PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Marsch (from: Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen)
Kurt WEILL (1900-1950)
Kanonensong (from: Die Dreigroschenoper)
Emanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894)
Joyeuse Marche
Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971)
Poème Héroïque, op.33
Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Marschlied (from: Egmont), Marcia alla turca (from: Ruinen von Athen)
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Funeral March (from: Götterdämmerung)
Heinz Karl GRUBER (b.1943)
Demilitarised Zone
Wolfgang RIHM (b.1952)
Mauricio KAGEL (1931-2008)
10 Marches to miss the victory
Giacinto SCELSI (1905-1988)
I Riti
Anton HOLZMANN (1874-1939)
“Feuert los”, Marsch op. 103
Johann STRAUSS (1804-1849)
Radetzky-Marsch, op.228
Scott JOPLIN (1868-1971)
New Rag
HR brass/Lutz Köhler
rec. Hessischer Rundfunk Sendessaal, May 1993. DDD
CAPRICCIO C5121 [68:00]

HR Brass is an ensemble populated from the ranks of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. The playing has weighty impact yet is light on its toes.
As for the programme it’s a strange yet provocative assemblage that defies conventional grouping and lurches agreeably from genre to genre. The reference to Demilitarised Zones in the title points two ways: to the brass ensemble as a non-military phenomenon and back not that long ago to a divided Germany.
There’s a nice abrasive edge to the playing of Prokofiev’s famous march from the mad-zany For the Love of Three Oranges. Weill’s Kanonensong from The Threepenny Opera is suitably vainglorious and heartless. Chabrier’s Joyeuse Marche is as familiar as the Prokofiev and is heard here in a tasty little arrangement. It’s jocular and owes more to the Beaujolais than the foaming stein. Dupré’s Poème Héroïque is a substantial and regal piece running to eight minutes. Beethoven’s Marschlied from Egmont receives well thought through attention to varied dynamics, It’s followed by the skirling and janissary tones of the march from The Ruins of Athens. The Wagner Trauermarsch (from Götterdämmerung)is well enough handled. This seemed a mite too impassive; it could have done with more bite. H K Gruber's march Demilitarised Zone is a jaunty little piece with no shortage of ragamuffin tongue-poking. Rihm’s little Abschiedsmarsch has no trace of satire and is most effective. Kagel’s Ten marches to miss the victory are all very short components: no trace of a swagger and majoring instead on aggressively mordant satire. Scelsi’s I riti is a lopsided example, straining at the definition of march. Holzmann’s Feuer Los is jaunty as all get-out and to British ears has Monty Python and Sousa resonances. The familiar Radetzky is given a bloomy treatment. We end with Scott Joplin’s New Rag - a witty essay around Tin Pan Alley. It’s all vividly recorded as the Dupré illustrates - listen to those drums.
If the blend appeals then this reissue of a CD first published in the 1990s should set your feet tapping and your mind racing.
Rob Barnett 

If the blend appeals then this should set your feet tapping and your mind racing.

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