CHICAGO GARGOYLE BRASS AND ORGAN ENSEMBLE
NIGHTS BRIGHT DAYSMusic and Transcriptions for Brass and Organ with Chorus
Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Peter Meechan, Henry Purcell
CHICAGO GARGOYLE BRASS AND ORGAN ENSEMBLE
Lev Garbar, Andrew Hunter and Joe Loeffler, trumpet, piccolo trumpet and flugelhorn
Kathryn Swope and Renée Vogen, horn
Ian Fitzwater, trombone
Philip Bessette and Akshat Jain, tuba
Joe Beribak, Logan Fox and Michael Schraft, timpani and percussion
Heike Burghart Rice, Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, organ
Oriana Singers and City Voices of Chicago; William Chin, conductor
Kevin Gudahl, narration
Mark Sudeith piano
STEPHEN SQUIRES, conductor
"The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble was formed by students of the University of Chicago, whose faculty buildings, I am reliably informed, feature many, albeit faux, gargoyles. There is nothing faux about the exuberance of the playing of the eight brass and three organ-playing gargoyles, with their three percussionists, all of whom feature at times – but never all together – on this well-played and diverse programme. [the arrangements are by] Craig Garner, who is without doubt an accomplished arranger. His treatment of the Symphony from Purcell’s ode Come, ye sons of art is nicely done, and the lyrical acuity of the succeeding aria is replicated in Holst’s Song without Words... The cream of the crop on the disc, however, are the arrangements for brass, organ, piano and timpani of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia [which] is truly electrifying, as intense an account as I have encountered."
Guy Rickards, Gramophone [December 2019]
"[The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble is] a top-quality grouping of these particular instruments... [Garner's arrangement of Song without Words] is certainly a well-made arrangement of the music [Britten’s Peter Grimes] is highly effective, especially when the Passacaglia is added at the end. And Garner’s sensitive arrangement works particularly well... the Britten material is out-and-out special."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2019]
"Kevin Gudahl is [a] fine narrator... Two movements from Henry Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Arts sound quite natural for brass, organ and timpani. Also fitting for these instruments is Gustav Holst’s melancholy ‘I Love My Love’... I enjoyed Garner’s arrangement [of Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes] very much."
Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [November/December 2019]
“What I said in October, 2015 about the awesome performances and demonstration- class recorded sound of the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble’s earlier album Flourishes, Tales and Symphonies still goes in their latest release, Nights Bright Days. Under the direction of conductor Stephen Squires, and including the Oriana Singers and City Voices of Chicago under artistic director William Chin in Love Songs by Peter Meechan, we have here a fabric of sounds and hues that can be nothing short of ravishing in their beauty... The arrangements and performances in this recording [of Britten's Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia] are in fact so inspired that it made a deeper impression on me than any of the orchestral versions I’d previously heard.”
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [May 2019]
PROGRAM NOTESThe Chicago Gargoyle Brass was founded in 1992 by its Artistic Director, H. Rodney Holmes, as a chamber group of faculty and students at the University of Chicago, whose campus architecture boasts a charming variety of the ensemble’s namesake. By 2006, the ensemble had slowly professionalized and established a residency in the western suburbs at a major church with a full-time professional organist. Over the next five years, the group transformed itself into a specialized brass and organ concert ensemble, comprised of classically trained musicians, performing a wide variety of repertoire in an equally diverse range of settings. Well into its third decade, the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble maintains its position at the cutting edge of music for brass and organ, commissioning and performing new arrangements and compositions for that instrumental pairing. [ www.gargoylebrass.com ]
Craig Garner has been arranging music for more than 30 years, and has performed with the Boston Pops, Boston Opera Company Orchestra and other Boston area orchestras. As an arranger, Garner has for the last 20 years concentrated on music for brass instruments, having has published more than 120 works. During that time, he co-founded Dorm 40 Music, a publishing company specializing in music for brass. Garner focuses on arranging long-form symphonic works, not typically found in the brass ensemble repertoire. Garner attended the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory, where he received a Master of Music degree.
The works of Winnipeg-based British composer Peter Meechan (born 1980 in the Midlands town of Nuneaton) have been performed internationally, while his music is included in more than one hundred commercial recordings. Meechan’s appointment as the first “Young Composer in Association” with the famous Black Dyke Mills Brass Band reflects his preoccupation with music for bands of different kinds. He progressed to Composer in Residence with Black Dyke Mills (2006-7) and held the same title with the Band of the Coldstream Guards from 2012-15. He has also held the position of Musical Associate with the equally distinguished Fodens Band. Among the various prestigious orchestras, wind orchestras and brass bands which have performed or recorded his works are “The President’s Own” US Marine Band, the USAF Band, the US Army Band, the Black Dyke Mills Band and the Coldstream Guards Band, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Meechan’s more recent works include a symphony for wind orchestra, another large-scale wind-orchestra piece entitled Athabasca (after the glacier), a trumpet concerto and a tuba sonata.
The Oriana Singers, an international-prize-winning vocal ensemble, was founded by its Artistic Director, William Chin, in 1979 as part of the vanguard of small choral ensembles performing a wide repertoire that includes historically informed performances of Early Music. City Voices, one of Chicago’s most versatile community choruses, was founded in 2009, also by William Chin, under whose direction the two ensembles have performed large scale choral works throughout the region.
Recorded 28 September 2018 [Purcell], 11-13 February 2018 [Meechan and Holst] and 29-30 January 2016 [Britten] at the First United Church, Oak Park, Illinois.
Recorded by Atelier HudSonic, Chicago. Producer and engineer: Hudson Fair
PROGRAMHENRY PURCELL (1659-1695)
Reconstructed by Rebecca Herissone | Arranged by Craig Garner
COME YE SONS OF ARTS
II. Come ye Sons of Arts
PETER MEECHAN (b.1980)
I. Lost Love: Shakespeare Sonnet 71
II. Love’s Betrayal: Shakespeare Sonnet 147
III. Love’s Dream: Shakespeare Sonnet 43 (“Nights Bright Days”)
IV. Love’s Ideal: Shakespeare Sonnet 116
GUSTAV HOLST (1874-1934)
Arranged by Craig Garner
SONG WITHOUT WORDS “I LOVE MY LOVE”
BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Arranged by Craig Garner
FOUR SEA INTERLUDES from PETER GRIMES
II. Sunday Morning
PASSACAGLIA from PETER GRIMES