Sound the trumpets, blow the horns: the German Brass Heralds proclaim hope and joyful anticipation of Advent with music by Bach and his contemporaries.
When the ten virtuoso musicians of German Brass unpack their lustrous horns, trombones, trumpets and tubas and strike up Johann Sebastian Bach's "Ratswechsel" Cantata, written to mark the election of a new city council, celebration is in the air: "Let a glad song of thanks sound, to please the Lord!" (Aria, BWV 69)
Following on from their successful album "Bach on Brass", the ensemble now presents a joyful selection of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries, notably Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel, just in time for the run-up to Christmas.
From Bach's Ratswechsel Cantata, by way of the aria "Bist du bei mir" from the "Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach" through to his famous Doric Toccata and Fugue, this album includes works that express hope, consolation and courage. The arrangements are all showcase pieces for brass ensemble. Here are familiar works in a new, unexpected garb; they radiate a high degree of homogeneity and their sound is at once pleasing to the ear. German Brass's performance validates the musicians' reputation as brilliant exponents of the genre and marks them out as heralds of the happiest season of the year.
The ensemble has been contributing to the history of brass music in Germany for forty years now. With their virtuosity, their brilliant musicality and their special charm, the players have left an indelible mark on the culture of brass music. Their declared role model in sound is the voluminous and multi-hued sound of the organ: the instrument has inspired arrangers and members of German Brass to produce an inimitable sound that has placed this ensemble at the pinnacle of music-making for decades.
"You always ask yourself how on earth they do it. With just ten players of brass instruments the ensemble sounds like an entire orchestra – flamboyant, versatile and highly persuasive!" Clarino, May 2013
Listeners sometimes feel the ensemble's brass sound is so close to that of a majestic organ that they imagine they are hearing the lovely sound of a festive organ playing on Christmas Eve; it is so easy to be carried away into another world when listening to this ensemble.
The fact that German Brass has enjoyed success with this approach is reflected both in the many sold-out concert tours they undertake throughout all of Europe, and in their winning an ECHO Klassik Award in 2016 for "Bach on Brass". This Christmas "Brass Heralds" offers a compilation of music for all lovers of brass music and for the whole family – a first-class delight for the ears and a perfect prologue to a joyous Christmastide!