Septura CD Release
Written By: Ross Learmonth Comments: 0
After earning plaudits for their debut album, pioneering brass group Septura return with their second recording in a 10-disc deal for Naxos, Music for Brass Septet 2: Handel, Purcell, Rameau, Blow. It will be released on Monday 30 March, prior to a launch concert at St Cyprian's Clarence Gate in London on Friday 1 May at 7.30pm.
For their second disc, Septura - a brass ensemble described as "pure gold" (Ritmo) - explores the glorious sound world of 17th Century theatre music, with a collection of four contrasting works by leading composers of the Baroque era reimagined for brass septet. Among them are suites from Rameau's opera Dardanus and Handel's Rinaldo, alongside Purcell's The Curious Impertinent and a mournful masque from John Blow's Venus and Adonis - the first English opera. Each of these works demands especially inventive arrangements and by incorporating the stylistic elements of 'period performance', the pieces are vividly brought to life. The exhilarating result is a dazzling set of new Baroque works for brass.
Septura Founder and Artistic Director Simon Cox explains:
"Brass instruments have a really strong link to the Baroque period, but due to the limitations of the natural trumpet, there's little chamber music from that time. With modern instruments we're now able to perform some of this thrillingly virtuosic music and so in our second disc, we seize the opportunity to trace the evolution of opera in England in works arranged for brass septet."
This new repertoire will be showcased in Septura's forthcoming concert on Friday 1 May entitled 'Unmasking May Day'. The programme looks at the different meanings of the first day of Summer, reflected in music - from the festive dances of Purcell and Rameau, to the Marian devotions of Bruckner and Victoria, and Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet representing International Worker's Day.
Comprised of distinguished young brass players, many of whom hold principal positions in leading UK orchestras, Septura breaks the mould of traditional chamber ensembles by bringing together three trumpets, three trombones and a tuba in a septet formation. This combination of instruments is familiar in symphony orchestras, but rarely heard as an independent ensemble on the concert platform. Septura explores the distinct sound world of the brass septet through transcriptions, arrangements and commissions, creating an extensive body of works recorded over 10 discs for Naxos, each focused on a particular period, genre, and set of composers. The group's first album, featuring 19th Century choral and organ music, reached the top 10 in the UK Classical Charts.
Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood comments:
"Septura's innovative approach to repertoire and recording is raising the interpretative stakes for brass music. Their unique configuration creates a palette of sound which is both stable and varied, lyrical and powerful — but not overwhelming. It gives me great pleasure to host the ensemble's live launch at the Royal Academy of Music where many of the group's members embarked on their professional lives."
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To hear from members of Septura about the disc please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tzxd3tD4Mg
Septura's latest release "Music for Brass Septet 2" is available for pre order here
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