ALONG THE CONTINUUMMusic for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano
Jacques Castérède, Herbert L. Clarke, Eric Ewazen, Jeffrey Holmes, Anthony Plog, Joseph Turrin
ERIC BERLIN & GREG SPIRIDOPOULOS
LUDMILA KRASIN, piano
"The music on this disc fizzes with energy, brought to life by three fabulous performers. All pieces achieve perfectly what they set out to do, and that they do so in reduction is all the more remarkable."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [January/February 2022]
"Two anchors of the ASO’s brass section have teamed up to produce “Along the Continuum” (MSR Classics), a lively collection of duos for trumpet and trombone...Throughout a raft of music, the gentlemen maintain a trademark clean and radiant sound. It’s quite a ride."
Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union 
"The work runs through a gamut of styles, giving these brass players ample opportunity to show strength, flair, and dazzling commercial skills... Every time I hear a Plog piece, I am more impressed than before. What a terrific piece... This is an outstanding recording."
Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [September/October 2020]
"nicely played and well-recorded CD."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2020]
PROGRAM NOTESAn Introduction from Eric Berlin | As Principal Trumpet and Principal Trombone of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, colleagues in the Majestic Brass Quintet and Empire Brass Quintet, and faculty members at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Greg Spiridopoulos and I have enjoyed a nearly two-decade long friendship and working relationship. This album is an outgrowth of all those years of collaboration. In the midst of recording my album Fantastique [MSR Classics MS1506], I commissioned our University of Massachusetts colleague, Jeffrey Holmes, to write a piece for trumpet, trombone and wind ensemble to conclude the disc. The resulting work, Continuum, utilized our commercial music experience while showcasing our overall strengths—a rare opportunity to show what we love to do. We were so pleased with Jeff’s composition that we asked him to create a piano reduction for more performance opportunities. Using the reduced version of Continuum as a starting point, we put together a recital program with our pianist colleague, Ludmila Krasin, and toured throughout the northeast and Texas, concluding with performances at the American Music Festival in Troy, New York and the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2017.
This program takes the listener backward in time, along the continuum of music for trumpet, trombone and piano. Starting with the Holmes work, which is the most recently composed, we then turn to three of our favorite living composers for brass: Eric Ewazen, Anthony Plog and Joseph Turrin. We then cross the Atlantic to mid-20th century France for the only composer not based in the United States, Jacques Castérède, and finally return to America, to an imagined Sousa Band gazebo concert, performing a classic 1904 work by Herbert L. Clarke. Greg and I are indebted to pianist Ludmila Krasin for her tireless work as a band, orchestra and brass ensemble, as all of these works are piano reductions of scores for those larger forces.
Eric Berlin is Principal Trumpet of the Albany Symphony, Associate Principal Trumpet of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Empire Brass Quintet. In addition to his titled positions, he has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. As a soloist, Berlin has appeared most notably with Albany Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki University Orchestra, and the United States Coast Guard Band. A champion of the music of our time, he has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous new works for trumpet and can be heard as soloist in recordings on the MSR Classics, Naxos and Albany Records labels. Stephen Paulus’ Concerto for Two Trumpets on Fantastique, an album of commissioned works with the UMass Wind Ensemble, received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The Albany Symphony Orchestra commissioned George Tsontakis’ True Colors for Berlin, who gave its premier performance in March 2012. The resulting recording was honored as one of National Public Radio’s “Top Ten Classical Recordings” of 2017. Berlin is Professor of Trumpet at the University of Massachusetts, where he hosted the 2007 International Trumpet Guild Conference. He has given master classes worldwide and has a recurring column, “Eric Berlin’s Workshop”, in the Brass Herald. Berlin, who has served as Director of the International Trumpet Guild and is a Lifetime Member, is a Yamaha Performing Artist. [Yamaha YTR-8310Z “Bobby Shew” B-flat Trumpet with Monette B2 mouthpiece ; Yamaha YTR-9445CHS “Chicago” C Trumpet with Monette C2 mouthpiece -; Yamaha YCR-6330S B-flat Cornet with Custom Monette B2FL mouthpiece ; Ingram-MuteMeister Cup Mute, TrumCor Copper Bottom Straight Mute]
Greg Spiridopoulos has gained recognition as one of the most sought-after trombonists in New England. Since 2001, Spiridopoulos has been Principal Trombone of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. He is also Principal Trombone of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, a member of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Empire Brass Quintet. As an active free-lance musician, he frequently performs with a wide variety of ensembles in the greater Boston area and throughout New England. Spiridopoulos has made several notable guest soloist appearances—his performance of Christopher Rouse’s Trombone Concerto, with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, was hailed by the Albany Times Union as a highlight in live classical music performances. As an educator, Spiridopoulos is Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has appeared as faculty soloist with the University of Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, and Concert Band. Beyond the UMass campus, Spiridopoulos has presented recitals and master classes at numerous schools, including Yale University, Eastman School of Music, McGill University, University of North Texas, Boston University, East Carolina University, and Ithaca College. Spiridopoulos has extensively recorded new American music with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, as well as other ensembles. His more than 30 commercially released recordings can be found on Naxos, Albany Records, Arsis Audio, Koch International Classics, CORO, Boston Brass Series, Mark Records, and Capstone. Spiridopoulos is an S.E. Shires Artist Performer. [S.E. Shires Custom Trombone with TII 7GTS8 Bell; Axial Valve; TB47GL Slide; Giddings Kadja mouthpiece]
Ludmila Krasin is a Senior Lecturer in Piano at the University of Massachusetts, teaching classes for music majors and serving as a collaborative pianist for students and faculty. Her recent appearances as a guest artist include performances with the Association of Brazilian Trumpeters in Brazil and a recital tour in Ohio with Josh and Allyson Michal, which included Ohio State University, Bowling Green University and Ohio University. As a chamber musician, Krasin has appeared at Yale University, McGill University, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, North Texas University, Baylor School of Music and Oklahoma State University. Born in Russia, Krasin graduated Summa Cum Laude from both the Rimsky-Korsakov School of Music of the Leningrad Conservatory and the State Academy of Culture, where she received Artistic and Teaching Diplomas in Piano Performance and Choral Conducting. Before coming to United States in 1996, she worked for the Leningrad State Youth Philharmonic, served on the faculty of the Teachers State College of Leningrad and was an accompanist for the Komissarzhevskaya State Theater. [Steinway Piano]
PROGRAMJEFFREY HOLMES (b.1955)
ERIC EWAZEN (b.1954)
DOUBLE CONCERTO (2012)
I. Allegro vivace
III. Allegro energico
ANTHONY PLOG (b.1947)
II. Very slow
III. Allegro vivace
IV. Valse triste
JOSEPH TURRIN (b.1947)
JACQUES CASTÉRÈDE (1926-2014)
I. Allegro energico
II. Andante sostenuto
HERBERT L. CLARKE (1867-1945)