Brazen Cartographies



Chestnut Brass Company


Brazen Cartographies




New Music For Brass by:


Richard Wernick, Leslie Bassett, Eric Stokes, Timothy Greatbatch & Jan Krzywicki






The Chestnut Brass Company has received international acclaim for brilliant performances on modern and historic brass instruments. The much sought-after ensemble has performed at international festivals in Rome, France, Germany and the Caribbean and has made guest appearances with many American orchestras. A professional touring and performing organization, the CBC presents up to a hundred performances each year in the United States and abroad and serves as Ensemble in Residence at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University.




Since its founding in 1977 as a street band in Philadelphia the ensemble has been active in the commissioning and performance of new music. The National Endowment for the Arts has recognized the ensemble's leadership role by awarding the Chestnut Brass Company one of its largest consortium grants to commission compositions from Richard Wernick, Eric Stokes, Warren Benson and Richard Yardumian. The quintet has also received awards and grants from the NEA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Chamber Music America, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and Meet the Composer.




In addition to the works on this disc, composers whose music was commissioned or premiered by the Chestnut Brass Company include Peter Schickele, Theodore Antoniou, Lois V. Vierk, Harry Lockwood, Paul Basler and Margaret Brouwer.




As curators of the sounds of ancient and antique brasses, the Chestnut Brass Company has been on the forefront of the period instrument revival with performances and recordings on cornetti, sackbuts, natural trumpets, keyed bugles and saxhorns. Their numerous recordings, both on modern and period brasses, can be found on the Sony Classical, Polygram, MusicMasters/Musical Heritage Society and Crystal labels.






Richard Wernick




Richard Wernick was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1934. He received his B.A. from Brandeis and his M.A. from Mills, studying under such teachers as Irving Fine, Harold Shapero, Arthur Berger, Ernst Toch, Leon Kirchner, Boris Blacher and Aaron Copland. He has taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Chicago; 1996 saw his retirement from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Magnin Professor of Humanities.




The recipient of the 1977 Pulitzer Prize in music for his Visions of Terror and Wonder, Mr. Wernick also is the only two-time, first-prize Friedheim Award recipient (in 1991 for his String Quartet No. 4, and in 1986 for his Violin Concerto), and has been honored by awards from the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Aspen Festival Conference on Contemporary Music and the Chestnut Brass Company. Mr. Wernick has composed numerous solo, chamber, and orchestral works, vocal, choral and band compositions, as well as a large body of music for theater, films, ballet and television. From 1983 to 1989, he served as the Philadelphia Orchestra's consultant for Contemporary Music, and from 1989 to 1993 served as Special Consultant to the Music Director.




Mr. Wernick has written pieces on commission for some of the world's leading performers and ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Juilliard String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet. In addition to his two first prizes, Mr. Wernick also was awarded second prize in the 1992 Fiedheim Competition for his Piano Concerto, where it was performed during the competition's concert by Lambert Orkis.






Musica Ptolemeica: Richard Wernick




Musica Ptolemeica, for brass quintet, was composed in the Spring of 1987. It was written as a consortium commission, generated by the Chestnut Brass Company, for them as well as the Nashville Contemporary Brass Quintet and the New Mexico Brass Quintet, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.




The title makes reference to the ancient system of astronomy developed by Ptolemy. It places the earth at the center of the solar system, and was the accepted "scientific" basis for astronomy and astrology for 500 years. (Astrology, as a matter of fact, is still based on the Ptolemeic system). The most significant aspect of any astronomical theory of the solar system is planetary motion. And if one posits the earth is the center, the other planets, when observed from the earth, will appear to have highly irregular motions. Their apparent motion is not only forward, but backward as well. In turning from direct motion to retrograde motion they must, at least to observer's eye, perform irregular "loop-the-loops," which the Ptolemeic astronomers called "epicycles." It's all very amusing, given our "modern" second sight, to see huge astronomical bodies jumping through hoops so that the physics can come out "right."




Each of the three movements of Musica Ptolemeica is given the overall name Epicycle, and these consist of groups of large "circles" that contain smaller "circles" and brief musical canons. The disposition of these smaller and larger "circles," along with their associated canons, creates the forms which define each movement individually. These relationships become more complex as the piece progresses. In Epicycle I the large "circles," small "circles" and canons appear in consecutive order only. Starting with Epicycle II the newer "circles" and canons appear not only in consecutive order, but overlapped with each other, and this process is continued into Epicycle III.




It was not my intention that any of these processes should be audible to the listener, certainly not on a first or second hearing. The knowledge that they exist, however, may guide the listener toward understanding the compositional design.




--Richard Wernick






Leslie Bassett




Leslie Bassett, the Albert A. Stanley Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Michigan, was born in Hanford, California, January 22, 1923, and served as trombonist and arranger with Army bands in the United States, France and Germany during World War II. Mr. Bassett was a pupil of Ross Lee Finney, Roberto Gerhard, Nadia Boulanger and Arthur Honegger.




He received the Pulitzer Prize for his Variations for Orchestra, following its U.S. premiere by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and has held the Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris. He was the 1984 Henry Russell Lecturer at Michigan, has received Distinguished Artist Awards from the State of Michigan and California State University, major grants from the Koussevitsky Music Foundation, the National Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a number of commissions.




His orchestra music has been performed by the Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Rome, Zurich, Chicago, Detroit, Florida, Oporto, Baltimore and other orchestras, and there are several other works for brass solos or ensembles, including Concerto Grosso for Brass Quintet (with bass trombone) and Wind Ensemble.






Brass Quintet: Leslie Bassett




Leslie Bassett's Brass Quintet was composed late in 1988 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy, for the Chestnut Brass Company, which gave the premiere performance in Philadelphia on March 27 of the following year. The first of the five movements begins with a series of "pyramids," (the piling up of chord notes), in which the harmonic progress moves relentlessly forward, yet with quixotic interruptions by the tuba. Five-note chords in unison rhythm constitute the central area, followed by a return to pyramids and the conclusion on A.




The slow and quiet second movement opens with a solo line by the horn, followed by imitation and a suggestion of the preceding pyramids. The third movement is fast, loud, brilliant, aggressive and virtuosic, almost entirely in unison rhythm. Whirling scales and tricky rhythms lead to the tuba's fast dive toward the final "stinger."




The fourth movement opens with muted, quietly contrapuntal music, followed by chorale-like phrases, each of which receives a low comment by the tuba. The finale, fast, loud, aggressive, in unison rhythm, and relentlessly driving forward, soon arrives at a return of the pyramids and material of the opening movement, to end on A.




--Leslie Bassett






Timothy Greatbatch




Timothy Greatbatch studied composition at the University of Pennsylvania with George Crumb, Richard Wernick and George Rochberg. Mr. Greatbatch has received numerous awards including the Barlow International, the Abraham Frost Prize, the David S. Bates Award, the Nebraska Sinfonia Competition, the Edward G. McCollin Memorial Prize and, most recently, the 1995 West Virginia Museum in the Community Composer's Award for his Nonet (winds and strings). His commissions include works for Richard Stoltzman, TASHI, The Chestnut Brass Company and Music from Angel Fire.




In addition to his work as a composer, Mr. Greatbatch has developed a successful career as a visual artist. His canvases reflect his interest in the French Art Nouveau and Surrealistic styles. He is also frequently commissioned to create murals or elaborate wall paintings for both residential and commercial settings in styles ranging from the Etruscan to Impressionistic periods. (His work, Brass Topography, acrylic on canvas, is reproduced on the cover)




Scenes from the Brothers Grimm (Book I): Timothy Greatbatch




Scenes from the Brothers Grimm (Book I) was commissioned by the Chestnut Brass Company with additional support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Completed in 1989, the work received its premiere in Philadelphia on April 16, 1990 by the ensemble. In 1991, Scenes was named the winner chosen from more than 100 new brass quintets worldwide of the prestigious Barlow International Competition.




The music was inspired by the fairy tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Each movement takes its musical point of departure from a line or two of the text (presented below). As a whole, the work forms a fast-slow-fast suite; with the outer movements emphasizing rhythm and texture, while the middle movement provides lyrical opportunities for the ensemble.




I. Giocoso (a Dwarfian prospect)




"There were seven dwarfs whose work it was to dig underground among the ruins." (Snow White)




II Lento, molto sostenuto (enchantment of the Beast)




"Now the lion was an enchanted prince, who was a lion by daybut at nightreassumed human form." (Beauty and the Beast)




III Vivace (Rumpelstiltskin's firedance)




"I saw a little house, and in front of the house a fire was burning. And around the fire a most ridiculous little man was leaping." (Rumpelstiltskin)




--Timothy Greatbatch






Jan Krzywicki




Jan Krzywicki, born in Philadelphia in 1948, began composition studies with Joseph Castaldo, and then studied at the Juilliard School of Music with Vincent Persichetti and Elliott Carter, at the Ecole de Beaux Arts (Fontainebleau, France) with Nadia Boulanger, and at the Aspen Music Center with Darius Milhaud. He subsequently received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Kansas and a Master of Music degree from the Philadelphia Music Academy. He has taught at the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now the University of the Arts), at Haverford College, and at the New School of Music.




Since 1987, he has been a member of the music theory department at Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music, teaching courses in ear training, analysis, and performance practice.




As a composer, Mr. Krzywicki has been commissioned by prestigious performers and organizations such as the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Network for New Music and others, and has been performed by ensembles such as the Colorado Quartet, the Chestnut Brass Company, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His music has been heard at conferences of contemporary music (College Music Society, Society of Composers, Inc.), at various universities, and on national public radio.




A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, his work is published by Alphonse Leduc & Cie, Theodore Presser Co., Penn Oak Press, and Heilman Music. Mr. Krzywicki's works have been recorded for Capstone Records and North/South Recordings. As a conductor, Mr. Krzywicki has led performances of music from the Middle Ages to the present, having conducted a large number of local and world premieres. He is currently active with the Philadelphia-based contemporary ensemble Network for New Music.




Deploration for brass quintet: Jan Krzywicki




Deploration was written in 1988 for the Chestnut Brass Company and is dedicated to the memory of composer Vincent Persichetti (1915-87), my teacher and mentor. Few composers have inspired as much love, admiration and music as Vincent Persichetti did in his decades of writing and teaching. In the months following his death, as I considered writing a piece, I remembered Josquin's moving tribute to his contemporary, the great Renaissance composer and teacher Johannes Ockegham, and chose to write a work of similar character.




Musically, Deploration is a lament which features the horn as the leading, expressive voice of the ensemble. After an opening section, the piece builds to a clangorous bell-like climax that eventually subsides into a quiet, muted trumpet solo that quotes a folk lament from Southern Italy. After a chorale-like section with horn descant, the work ends as the horn intones the syllables of Persichetti's name in long spaced notes.




--Jan Krzywicki






Eric Stokes




Eric Stokes was born in Haddon Heights, New Jersey in 1930. He was awarded a B.M. from Lawrence College, an M.M. from New England Conservatory and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His principal studies were with Evelyn White, Frederick Happich, James Ming, Carl McKinley, Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento.




He served as Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota from 1961-88, where he founded the University's electronic music program in 1970 and the new music ensemble program including the performance group "The First Minnesota Moving & Storage Warehouse Band" in 1971. In the early sixties in collaboration with Thomas Nee, he initiated and directed the "Here Concerts," a new music series.




Among the more than 80 works by Eric Stokes are those commissioned by the New Hampshire Music Festival; Minnesota Opera; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; St. Olaf College; Minneapolis Pops Orchestra; Cabrillo Music Festival; London Sinfonietta; San Francisco Symphony; Electric Phoenix; Zeitgeist; Meet the Composer; Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Wales; Barlow Endowment with the American Composers Orchestra; Sylmar; Chamber Music America; Cincinnati Symphony; and Lontano. His music has been performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and Europe.




Stokes recent opera Apollonia's Circus, premiered in May, 1994, David Zinman conducting, with the University of Minnesota Opera, has been noticed as "a major new opera." His works have been recorded on the Louisville, CRI and Innova labels and his publishers include Horspfal Music, Smith Publications and MMB, Inc.




Brazen Cartographies: Erik Stokes




I was first called to a life in music by Sunday radio broadcasts of concerts and opera with which my mother and sister would sing along throughout the house. The grammophone and radio also introduced me to ragtime, early jazz, swing bands, country western and popular song.




I first participated in music making as a boy soprano from age six until my voice changed whereupon I switched to the bass section of the choir and sang in it until going off to college.




One day at the piano in the "back bedroom" where I was supposed to be practicing for my weekly piano lessons with Evelyn White but, bored with that, had drifted into endless improvisings, my younger sister opened the door and said, "You're just making that up as you go along." She was right! and that's what I've been doing ever since: just making it up.




So I was delighted to be asked by the Chestnut Brass Company to make up something for them. This is it: Brazen Cartographies and it pleases me no end how they have polished its performance to full-toned clarity.




I enjoy reading maps. They offer the reader innumerable imaginary trips to exotic places; to deserts, coasts and mountains named in foreign tongues; to epic scenes where history's great are locked forever in their time and place; to the million wonders of the world and the moon and planets and their moons too.








Music is for the people. For all of us, the dumb, the deaf, the dogs and jays, the quick, handclappers, dancing moon watchers, brainy puzzlers, abstracted whistlers, finger snapping time keepers, crazy, weak, hurt, weed keepers, the strays. The land of music is everyone's nation her tune, his beat, your drum one song, one vote.




--Eric Stokes










Bruce Barrie: (Wernick & Stokes) Blackburn C trumpet-Bell MD 19A24, Leadpipe 19-352X, mouthpiece 1 C/21 throat #4 Bach backbore. (Krzywicki) Bach D tpt.-L bore, 239 bell. (Greatbatch) Bach D tpt.-M bore, 309 bell. Mpc. for D tpts. Bach 3C 21 throat #4 Bach backbore. (Wernick) Schilke piccolo tpt. in B Flat-mpc. Giardinelli 75.




Christopher Moore: Bach Stradivarius tpt. in C-Model 229L. Bach Stradivarius tpt. in B Flat-Model 37. Mpc. Bach 1 1/2C.




Marian Hesse: Lawson 1995 Fourier model Horn #1242. Mpc. Holton-Farkas.




Brett Shuster: Bach/Selmer Stradivarius trombone model 42 with Thayer axial flow valve.




Jay Krush: Yamaha tuba in F-YFB-621 (small model). Mpc. Dennis Wick 4L. In Stokes 3rd mvt. Yamaha euphonium-YEP-321S. Mpc. Dennis Wick 4AM.




Note: All instruments in the final movement of Brazen Cartographies are "prepared" by removing one valve slide.




Recording engineer: George Blood




Producer: Michael Johns




Recorded March and May 1996 at the Samuel and Elaine Lieberman Auditorium of the Germantown Branch of the Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.




Funding for this recording was graciously provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Daniel Dietrich Foundation, Temple University and the University of Michigan.




Special thanks to Patricia Manley and Settlement Music School.




Musica Ptolemeica by Richard Wernick is published by Theodore Presser Co., Bryn Mawr, PA. Brass Quintet by Leslie Bassett is published by C.F. Peters Co., New York, NY. Scenes from the Brothers Grimm by Timothy Greatbatch can be ordered from the composer at 38 Terrace Road, Rosslyn Farms, PA 15106. Deploration by Jan Krzywicki can be ordered from the composer at The Boyer College of Music, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122. Brazen Cartographies by Eric Stokes can be ordered from the composer c/o Horsphal Music Concern, 1611 W. 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408.




Cover art: ©1996 Timothy Greatbatch




The Chestnut Brass Company is represented by:




Joanne Rile Artists Management




100 Old York Road, Benson East Suite 1206




Jenkintown, PA 19046-3613




Telephone: 215-885-6400










The Chestnut Brass Company






Richard Wernick


Musica Ptolemeica* (1987)


Epicycle I (2:49)


Epicycle II (7:22)


Epicycle III (4:09)




Leslie Bassett


Brass Quintet* (1988)


= 132 With a solid beat (3:55)


= 60 Lyrical (2:59)


= 144 Fast (2:18)


= 80 Flowing (237)


= 144 Brilliant (2:45)




Timothy Greatbatch




Scenes from the Brothers Grimm (Book I)* (1989)


Giocoso ca. 138 (a Dwarfian prospect) (4:38)


Lento, molto sostenuto, ca. 66 (enchantment of the Beast) (5:28)


Vivace, ca. 80 (Rumpelstiltskin's firedanse) (3:35)






Jan Krzywicki


Deploration* (1988) (9:19)




Eric Stokes


Brazen Cartographies** (1988)


Pike's Peak Ramble (3:24)


That Sea-Blue, Blue (4:38)


To the Fortunate Isles (2:02)


Poquito Conquistador (2:21)






Bruce Barrie: trumpets in C & D,


piccolo trumpet




Christopher Moore: trumpets in C & B Flat




Marian Hesse: horn




Brett Shuster: trombone




Jay Krush: tuba & euphonium




*Trumpet I: Bruce Barrie




**Trumpet I: Christopher Moore




Total Time = 65:26