Rotterdam Philharmonic Low Brass | Low Brass

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Ben van Dijk New Trombone Collective Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchest

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Low Brass

by Rotterdam Philharmonic Low Brass

The RPhO Low Brass is the trombone/tuba group of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. They have been working together for 15 years. This recording shows the group's special sound and style in interesting and spectacular pieces.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Slide O Mix
2:22 $0.99
2. Bastasia
7:34 $0.99
3. Symphonic Adventure
8:35 $0.99
4. Monumental Brass
6:57 $0.99
5. Concerto Brabajo
7:28 $0.99
6. Low Brass Special
5:12 $0.99
7. Fiesta Brava
5:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The fact that an orchestra section, consisting of musicians who have been playing to­gether for years as part of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, can also form a suc­cessful independent ensemble, has been proved by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Low Brass.

This ensemble has been performing in Rotterdam(NL) and vicinity since 2000 and has met with great acclaim. Generally to promote the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, but also regularly with its own concert programme. During recent orchestra tours abroad the ensemble, as representative of the orchestra and of the city of Rotterdam, has per­formed several times during meetings at embassies and other locations.

The repertoire built up by the ensemble over the past 14 years consists of the most varied styles of music. A lot of the repertoire was specially composed or arranged for them by the young Belgian com­poser Steven Verhelst.

The repertoire now consists of four different concert programmes which have been mainly composed and arranged by Steven Verhelst.

There is the programme “To the Movies”, in which well-known film themes have been beautifully arranged.

There is also the programme “To the Musical” which includes a medley of the greatest hits from musicals from the past. For example “Oklahoma” and “My Fair Lady”, but also more recent musicals such as “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Finally there is also the surprising “To the Popera”, in which Steven has cleverly interwoven well-known pop songs with arias from popular operas.

In the fourth programme “Around the world” the ensemble takes you on a musical voyage of discov­ery across various continents and there is even a trip into space.

For this recording the ensemble has chosen a number of favourites from the past and added to it the new repertoire.

-Slide O Mix – Steven Verhelst
This work was composed as the opening piece for a concert, and on this CD it also functions
as an ‘opener’. It’s a light piece that clearly carries the signature of Steven Verhelst,
with beautiful melodic material packaged in an up-tempo South American rhythm with
striking and surprising twists and turns. As is all of Steven’s work, it’s a joy to listen to as
well as to have the privilege of performing.

-Bastasia – Steven Verhelst
Bastasia is one of Steven’s first serious compositions and was written at the request of
Ben van Dijk for his recital during the first Slide Factory trombone festival in 2005.
The title of the piece is derived from ‘bass’ and ‘fantasia’, both of which aptly describe
this work in which two bass instruments play leading solo roles. As during the opening
performance in 2005, the solos are accounted for by Hendrik Jan Renes and Ben van
Dijk, accompanied by a trombone quartet consisting of Alexander Verbeek, Pierre Volders,
Remko de Jager, and guest bass trombone player Brandt Attema. In Bastasia the
composer treats us to a melodic and harmonic interplay between both soloists and the
quartet. ‘Singing with the instrument’ is what Hendrik Jan and Ben both love to do, and
in Bastasia they have ample opportunity to do just that.

-Symphonic Adventure – Steven Verhelst
This is definitely one of the ensemble members’ favourite pieces. It was originally composed
for the presentation of the ‘Rotterdam Promotion Award’ to conductor Valéry Gergiev
at Rotterdam City Hall in 2006.
It’s a brilliant compilation of themes from classical masterpieces performed with a great
deal of success in the past by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra led by its principal
conductor at the time, Valéry Gergiev.
Steven has succeeded in showcasing the themes, played by five brass instruments, in
such a convincing manner that, after the world premiere, Maestro Gergiev was quoted
as saying, ‘If the composers had heard this performance, they probably would have orchestrated
it in the same fashion!’
The listener, of course, can try to figure out and recognize the various works and composers

-Monumental Brass – Steven Verhelst
Steven composed this beautiful and monumental work especially for this CD. Inspired by
Wagner, Bruckner, and perhaps even by a well-known contemporary musical composer,
this really sublime composition highlights the strengths of the ensemble. It also makes
clear once again why the Rotterdam Philharmonic Low Brass received compliments
from conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Valéry Gergiev, and Yannick Nézèt Seguin, the
principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, for their tight ensemble,
homogenous sound, broad dynamic range, and collective sense of phrasing.
This could very well become a bestseller under the symphonic low brass sections all
over the world.

-Concerto Brabajo – Steven Verhelst
This work by Steven was also originally composed for a flamenco concert in which the
ensemble performed in the “Classical Club Nights” series by the Rotterdam Philharmonic
Orchestra together with a flamenco group consisting of a ‘cantaor’ (singer), two
‘bailaoras’ (dancers), three flamenco guitar players, and a flamenco cajon player. In the
original version, Alexander Verbeek did the bass trumpet solo accompanied by three
trombones and a tuba.
On this CD, you can hear an updated version in which a leading role is reserved for the
beautiful “ADAMS” tenor tuba, played by Pierre Volders.
It’s a melancholy piece, composed in the Spanish style, in which Pierre is given ample
opportunity to demonstrate his melodic talents.
Brabajo is definitely not your standard virtuoso ‘theme with variations’ for tenor tuba but
rather a work that plumbs the depths. The entire range of the instrument comes into play,
and in Pierre’s hands the result is a new tenor tuba masterpiece.

-Low Brass Special – Tomasz Stolarzcyk
Ben van Dijk came across the talented young trombone player and composer Tomasz
Stolarzcyk during one of his master classes in Poland. After listening to some works
composed by Tomasz, Ben asked him to compose a piece especially for this CD. The request
was for a not too difficult, brisk, and easy-listening piece of music. Tomasz definitely
succeeded with two of these aspects, as it moves along quite nicely and is fun listening
to. But Tomasz apparently interpreted ‘not too difficult’ in his own fashion. It turned out
to be a very virtuoso and rhythmically difficult work that demanded a great deal from the
ensemble. Every member had his work cut out for him, and especially the person who
originally came up with the idea, Ben himself.
Ben was given several beautiful solo moments in this composition, which was written for
tenor tuba, two tenor trombones, bass trombone, and bass tuba.

-Fiesta Brava – Steven Verhelst
This work by Steven was also originally composed for the flamenco concert referred to
above. It’s a spectacular and virtuoso piece of music in which the composer has magically
transformed well-known Spanish melodies into a delicious potpourri in ‘Paso Doble’
style. España Cani, Asturias, Malagueña and a great many more Spanish favourites can
be recognized in this feast for music lovers.



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