VIBRANT COLORSBrass Music of Douglas Hedwig
Altus Trumpet Ensemble
James Boldin, horn
Adam Johnson, trombone
Mel Mobley, vibraphone and chimes
Joe Moore III, suspended cymbal and timpani
Mary Rudd, piano
Richard Seiler, piano
Eric Siereveld, trumpet, piccolo trumpet and flugelhorn
Claire Vangelisti, soprano
“Hedwig has a keen awareness of the sonic possibilities of brass chamber music and skillfully combines timbres and tone colors to create interesting harmonic progressions, melodic ideas, and engaging music, which is especially apparent in his brass quintet and trumpet ensemble music… This recording serves as an excellent reference for the brass music of Douglas Hedwig and is a must have for not only trumpet players, but brass chamber music enthusiasts as well.”
International Trumpet Guild Journal [June 2023]
"…brilliant music…sinuous, limber lines…[with] a wide range of color and texture…the musical result is entirely satisfactory.
…deliciously subtle…beautifully scored and evocative...as much a gratifying experience for the performers as for the listener…
...well-crafted, brilliantly and beautifully performed."
Karl Henning, Ear Relevant [May 2023]
"I am always surprised when a brass player proves to be a capable composer. That’s certainly the case with Douglas Hedwig. Here he shows compositional imagination and a way of making brass players sound good. New music often has brass players working like acrobats on a high wire, negotiating complexities, rarely doing what really sounds impressive—playing a perfectly tuned chord at fortissimo, for instance. Hedwig’s music includes that basic brass element... This is an outstanding album; all performances are excellent."
Kilpatrick, American Record Guide [May/June 2023]
"If you aren't familiar with the music of Douglas Hedwig, this disc is a wonderful introduction. Beautifully performed by all the musicians, Hedwig's imaginative soundscapes are endlessly interesting and are sure to engage the ears...not only in his choice of instrumentation, but also compositional language and style."
Lydia Van Dreel, Journal of the International Horn Society (The Horn Call), February 2023
"As a trumpeter [Hedwig] is completely familiar with the timbre of brass instruments and his new album Vibrant Colors proves this... This American composer uses different musical genres and loves contrast. As a listener, you therefore do not know what to expect when you listen for the first time. It's kind of an auditory adventure... Hedwig brings unusual colors and combinations with this album... It opens the doors to chamber music in a brass jacket."
Helen Gaudeus, Klassiek Centraal, Belgium [February 2023]
"Hedwig uses brass adeptly and in widely varying combinations... A Certain Slant of Light (2015), on its face the longest work on the disc at almost 18 minutes, is actually another suite-like piece, a set of five movements written for brass quintet, organ and percussion... the five small tone paintings – essentially, from a musical standpoint, variations on a theme – explore the instrumental possibilities with skill... [the] chorale-like finale most effectively employs the full brass complement... Hedwig’s brass music, as heard here, is skillfully constructed and will be of as much interest to brass players."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [January 2023]
"Vibrant Colors' is an inspiring album of great complexity, accomplished with equally impressive competence and love: it showcases the eloquent sincerity of a contemporary American voice."
Aloma Bardi, President, The International Center for American Music [January 2023]
"What is striking is the coherent yet adventurous character of these compositions… the music is fabulously good… energetic and colorful…inventive."
Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek, Netherlands [December 2022]
"Vibrant Colors celebrates the expressive range of the family of brass instruments in a variety of Douglas Hedwig’s tonal and atonal compositions... For anyone who enjoys the sounds of horns, trumpets, trombones and flugelhorn, this recording stands out as a 'must have,' as a result of its range of compositions, powerful musicianship and potent, clear, resonant sound."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [December 2022]
PROGRAM NOTESVIBRANT COLORS: Brass Music of Douglas Hedwig features a wide range of musical styles, from intimate to epic. Central to the compositional style of Douglas Hedwig are contrast and variation. Some of the works on this album are tonal, while others explore the dramatic and expressive realm of atonality. Some are smooth and lyrical, while others are more angular and declamatory. Some feature the more mellow sounding, conical bore instruments (horn, flugelhorn and tuba), while in other works the more brilliant-sounding cylindrical bore instruments (trumpets and trombone) are more prominent. Taken together, the compositions showcase the rich and varied palette of the brass family of instruments.
Douglas Hedwig’s instrumental, vocal and electronic compositions have been performed at major festivals, in concert halls and cathedrals, and at colleges and universities throughout the world. Large-ensemble premieres and concerts include performances by the North/South Chamber Orchestra in New York City, Concerto Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, California, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, U.S. Army Band at West Point, Chesapeake Brass Band, Chestnut Brass Company, and by members of The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. In March 2023 his Symphony No.1 “Journey in 4 Movements” will receive its World Premiere by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Kayoko Dan, conductor.
Hedwig’s chamber music works have been featured at the London New Wind Festival, Festival (UK), Festival Osmuse in Belgium, Frontwave New Music Festival in Florida, New Music on the Bayou Festival, and SonoKlect New Music Festival in Virginia. His fixed-media electronic music was performed at the Seoul International Computer Music Festival in South Korea, and in February 2020 two concerts in celebration of The Music of Douglas Hedwig were presented at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
His music has been especially well-received in Italy, including performances in Venice, Siena, Orvieto, Milan, Brescia, Trento and Desenzano del Garda by established ensembles including the Dèdalo Ensemble, MotoContrario, NED Ensemble Orchestra d’Archi, Orvieto Musica and the Banda Città del Palio. His l’Altre Stelle for guitar was recently premiered at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, presented by the Società Italiana Musica Contemporanea, and performed at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro.
Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Dr. Hedwig also served on the faculty of The Juilliard School. He is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Siena Art Institute, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts and Willapa Bay AiR. He is a winner of both the Gaetano Amadeo Prize in Italy and the American Prize in composition. Hedwig is an elected-member of the American Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Prior to turning his full creative energies to composition in 2012, Hedwig was an internationally recognized concert and recording artist, having played trumpet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 27 years and recorded more than 40 commercially released albums in a variety of idioms, including participation in the 1978 Grammy-Award winning recording of Porgy and Bess with the Houston Grand Opera. He is included in the 2013 publication, Trumpet Greats, edited by David Hickman, Edward H. Tarr and Michel Laplace, as one of the most important trumpet players, internationally, since 1594. [ www.douglashedwig.com ]
PROGRAMDOUGLAS HEDWIG (b.1951)
ONYX for brass quintet (2007; rev. 2015)
HELIODOR for brass quintet (2022)
OBSIDIAN for solo trumpet (2020)
TROMBONE SONATA: ANTARĀ for tenor trombone and piano (2020)
I. Maestoso e ritmico
III. Molto ritmico ed energico
UDDMĀYA for six trumpets (2021)
NEW WORLDS for soprano, trumpet and piano (2020)
I. Lunar Neighbors
II. In Their Turns to Rise
III. Our Moon
MUT(E)NT COLORS for six trumpets (2021)
BROOKLYN FANFARE for four trumpets (1998; rev. 2019)
DA LONTANO for brass octet: three trumpets, trombone / three flugelhorns, horn (2022)
ITS SOUL OF MUSIC SHED for solo flugelhorn and narration (2005, rev. 2016)
A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT for brass quintet, organ and percussion (2015)
I. Heavenly Hurt
II. Internal Difference
III. Landscape Listens
IV. Shadows Hold Their Breath