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Tackling Schumann: The Canadian Brass Scores!

Let's face it, for most people thoughts of brass conjure up either college football halftime bands or worse, the "sad tuba and trombone" music cues marking a game show loser (think The Price Is Right when the contestant gets the price wrong and doesn't win the car). Personally, the holidays are what comes to mind when I think of brass.

Enter the Canadian Brass.  Sure, they've fielded their share of light, pops and "fun and games" music - holidays, too - but they also take the snap on the serious stuff.  When their newest CD, Carnaval, tackling transcriptions of Robert Schumann's Carnaval and Kinderszenen? was released, it was thought they might have gone out-of-bounds.  But, as is usually the case, it was a touchdown. What a team.

Carnaval and Kinderszenen? were composed by Schumann for piano.  The technical and virtuosic prowess needed to perform these works approach the outer boundaries of many pianist's abilities.  Transcribing the works for brass quintet were two of the Canadian Brass's trumpeters, who also happen to be virtuoso pianists, Chris Coletti and Brandon Ridenour.  They, along with MB Daellenbach, the recording's producer - also a pianist - made sure that any and all decisions were music-based, without regard to any technical challenge that might be presented to the players, while making sure Schumann's intent for the works remained intact.

Listen to the result as the Canadian Brass's tubist and founding member, Chuck Daellenbach, returns to Crossover to speak with Jill about the CD (on the Opening Day label), play excerpts from the disc and update us on the latest happenings with the group.

Crossover with Jill Pasternak airs Saturday mornings at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM, with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.  Both times, the show is simulcast on the All-Classical web stream at wrti.org.

It's his parents' fault. For Joe's sixth birthday, they gave him a transistor radio. All of a sudden, their dreams of having a doctor or lawyer (or even a fry cook) in the family went down the tubes.