A 1996 compilation of two previously released albums: The Virtuoso Brass Of Three Great Orchestras Performing The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrielli (1968, tracks 1-13) and Music For Organ And Brass: Canzonas Of Gabrieli And Frescobaldi (1959, tracks 14-32).
In brass circles, this is a seminal CD with the brass sections of three major orchestras (Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago) playing the antiphonal Renaissance music of Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/1557 – 1612). The latter part of the disc has the brass from the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing alongside E. Power Biggs on the organ. I prefer the first half to the latter half. The contrapuntal writing is wonderfully complex and the performances here are exquisite, with a beautiful ensemble sound with regard to articulation, dynamics, and intonation. However, that doesn't mean I necessarily want to hear this music for over an hour. For me, it's definitely more fun to perform this music than to listen to it. I don't mean to disparage the album at all; it's just not something I'll pull off the shelves very often.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Many years ago, I performed several of the pieces on this disc (Canzon à 12, Canzon Noni Toni, Canzon Per Sonare No. 3), but my performances pale compared to these recordings. These recordings also remind me of Kelly, a friend for a brief time, who moved away before we had time to really bond over our similar, but eclectic, musical tastes.