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Paul Terracini: Music for Brass

Sydney Brass
Soloists: Paul Goodchild, Scott Kinmont
Conductor: Paul Terracini

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Paul Terracini, himself a top-notch trumpeter, has been quietly writing beautiful works for brass ensemble over the last five years. These works, which have been performed all over the world in recent years, have now been recorded by the venerable Sydney Brass with the composer conducting. Sydney Brass last appeared on Tall Poppies with brass ensemble works by David Stanhope (TP199).

It is a great pleasure to hear well-written works performed with such expertise. The chorale-like texture of some of this brass music is deeply moving. Of particular interest to Australians will be the first work written to commemorate the tragic bushfires in the Blue Mountains town of Winmalee, west of Sydney, in 2013, and which concludes with customary optimism. All of this music is a chance for brass players to do what they do best - perform with virtuosity and scintillatingly in tune. One can hardly dare ask for more!

"The music of Paul Terracini is a unique journey to be joined by all. Energy, colours, textures, melancholy, tempest, passion, peace, and love. A true pleasure to listen to; an ode to life that leaves no-one indifferent!"
Sergio Carolino - Renowned tubist, International Yamaha Artist and Clinician

"Paul Terracini is a Renaissance man. In 40 years of friendship, he has revealed many fascinating dimensions as a musician, historian, academic and author. He has an insatiable curiosity to understand humanity through its culture and history. Paul’s music speaks directly and broadly to his audience reflecting the breadth of his interest in them.

I have witnessed the deep impact of his works on audiences around the world. I had the privilege to conduct the world premiere of Gegensätze with the Chicago Symphony Brass. Not only did the performance steal away the audience, my colleagues were so taken with the work, that it was quickly reprogrammed in concerts here in Chicago and on tour.
Michael Mulcahy - Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Northwestern University

Paul TerraciniGegensätze (2010)
Behind the Shining Door (2010)
Concerto for Brass (2003, revised 2010)
Exaudi Orationem Nostram (2010)
Winmalee Mourning (2014)


I feel I should begin by wholly recommending that one gives oneself a few moments of quiet, reflective time before pressing the play button to Sydney Brass’s new recording; for what you are about to receive not only will you be eternally thankful, but immersed in a world of musical sublimity, dexterity and sheer brilliance.

From the outset, the utter class is so blatantly obvious, with brass playing as good as anyone could wish to hear. No. Far, far more than that. There is a true panache throughout, which serves Paul Terracini’s exquisite and deeply enchanting work so well.

For instance, the horn playing in Gegansätze is angelic and the whirlwind of brass polyphony is simply breathtaking. The ensemble playing is polished to an absolute tee, with so very much to admire and relish throughout.

Terracini’s writing and, indeed, scoring is so beautifully thought out, but of course it takes a stellar group of musicians to give justice to such beauty. The sounds created by the crop of Australia’s finest shines so delightfully. Such warmth and such colour is continually emanated.

One track that will be sure to take you a step closer to eternal bliss is Exaude Orationem Nostram, written for eight trumpets. This is such a wonderfully reflective work, which is performed with the respect and dignity it so richly deserves. Melodious trumpet allurement that leaves the listener speechless and tears not very far away.

I can only finish off by saying that this CD of Sydney Brass, once bought and listened to many times. will sit happily amongst one"s collection of other phenomenal brass albums. But I would be wrong. I believe this to be of the highest quality brass recording, in every aspect, that I"ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Therefore, it shall be cherished and placed in pride of place ... always.

Simon Cowen - Principal Trombonist, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Brass Band World February 2017

More brass — this time for works of American composer and trumpeter Paul Terracini performed by the top-notch ensemble Sydney Brass, made up largely of Sydney Symphony players under artistic director Paul Goodchild
This is a cracking album starting off irresistibly with Gegensatze, which features some lively flurries before settling into a noble anthem-like section which tugs at the heartstrings. The work was composed in 2010, which seems to have been a bumper year for Terracini as the next track, Behind the Shining Door, and his dynamic Concerto for Brass and serene Exaudi Orationem Nostram which follow all date from that year.

There’s a moving local link here as well in the three-part Winmalee Mourning, a musical tribute to the tragic 2013 bushfires in the Blue Mountains. After the evocative Inferno section, and the despair and shock of Aftermath, the resilience of the bush and the people who lost everything is brought out in the optimistic Hope conclusion.
Steve Moffatt, NewsLocal
July 8, 2016

Following on the heels of their previous successful recording that featured the music of David Stanhope, the Sydney Brass have put together a wonderful compilation of brass music by highly acclaimed composer Paul Terracini. A talented trumpeter in his own right, Terracini is obviously at home composing for brass in various settings. His music is full of emotion, intensity, character, and originality, all of which is communicated masterfully by the Sydney Brass. The profound interpretation of Terracini"s music is especially notable in numerous moments throughout Concerto for Brass and Winmalee Mourning. The second movement of Concerto for Brass, based on the medieval chant "Pange Lingua," is a wonderful reminder of the beauty that can be created by a professional brass ensemble. Natural disasters are depicted vividly in Winmalee Mourning, written to commemorate the tragic bushfires that occurred west of Sydney, Australia, in 2013. Listeners are taken on a wild journey of the spreading fire, aftermath and loss, and hope for rebuilding. This tragic event is explored and commemorated through Terracini’s use of varied colors and textures and by a virtuosic performance by some of Australia’s most talented brass musicians. All five works on Music for Brass are world-premiere recordings.
International Trumpet Guild Journal, March 2016

If brass music is your thing, try Paul Terracini’s recently released disc…Recorded at the Western Sydney Institute of Entertainment, Nirimba College, WSI of TAFE, this disc features five world premiere recordings by Paul Terracini.

Beautifully majestic playing is featured here, creating a sense of calm and contentment. As with string players, if a brass player is out of tune, it’s the first thing you notice.

This ensemble is perfect in intonation and ensemble work, and achieves a wonderful sonorous chorale-like quality.

Works featured include: Gegensatze, Behind the Shining Door, Concerto for Brass (the lively third movement is brilliant in its energy) and Exaudi Orationem Nostram.

Winmalee Mourning was written in 2014 by Paul Terracini, and is the first work to have been written to commemorate the tragic bushfires in the Blue Mountains in 2013.

A quiet thoughtful opening of only a few voices is followed by a section with a contrapuntal section with many different melodic lines, in what can only be described as a joyous and triumphant mood, which is very much helped along by some dramatic timpani notes.

Perhaps this represents the community and the wild gradually recovering, getting back on their feet, determined not to let the tragedy break them.

A great way to end a lovely disc.

Meldi Arkinstall, December 2015, http://www.thecultureconcept.com/

We've become so used to referring to Paul Terracini as a composer and conductor that many may have forgotten that he started his musical career as a trumpeter, in Sydney with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and in Denmark with the Danish Chamber Players. That remembered, we shouldn't be surprised that his latest CD release is of compositions which he has written for brass ensemble. CD covers announcing Music for Brass more often than not consist of a lot of oompahpah music, not this one however. It consists of five beautifully constructed works for brass ensemble, beginning with a piece called Gegetsatte, (Contrasts), which was given its world premiere by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass in 2011 and is scored for four trumpets, four horns, three trombones and a tuba. It's an exhilarating piece of writing, some of it wandering close to the jazz idiom Without ever quite reaching there. Not surprisingly three of the five works on this CD have religious motifs, given that Paul has a PhD in Religious Studies from Sydney Uni. Behind the Shining Door is a beautifully reflective work based on a text by Thomas a Kempis; Concerto for Brass, written when the composer was living in Denmark, has as its second of three movements, a mediaeval chant Pange Lingua (Praise, my tongue); and the fourth work is titled Exaudi Orationem Nostram and was a commission from the International Trumpet Guild for their annual conference. The final work, the longest at just over 23 minutes, is called Winmalee Mourning and is a wonderfully evocative work based on the dreadful bush fires which devastated the Blue Mountains in July 2014. All in all this is a great CD for the collection. I defy anyone not to find beauty in it. even if you aren't a great fan of brass music.
Fine Music August 2015

Music for Brass, with compositions by Paul Terracini, is a tremendous reflection of the creative power of this writer. For those unfamiliar with Terracini, he was a brass player before turning his hand to composition and his understanding of the entire family is showcased here. From sublime melodies to powerful tutti sections, his mastery of this medium is clear.

While Terracini’s works have been premiered internationally, including by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass, the ensemble for this recording is Sydney Brass, a veritable who’s who of orchestral and symphonic players from Sydney and the immediate area. It is testament to Terracini’s writing that he’s able to assemble such a powerhouse lineup and produce such fine playing. It is clear from the first note of this album that the musicians not only respect the music but connect deeply with it.

The album opens with the impressive Gegensatze, followed by the delicate Behind the Shining Door. Oncerto for Brass follows, a much more contemporary sounding work from this mostly tonal writer. While the entire album is sensational, particular mention of needs to be made of Exaudi Orationem Nostram, a sublime piece with a captivating melody premiered at the ITG conference in 2010 in Sydney. The album concludes with the stunning Winmalee Mourning, a tour-de-force featuring the complete brass ensemble with percussion.
Highly recommended album.
(TW) 2015 Mouthpiece Volume 17, Issue 2

In so much brass music. the boundaries between church and state are blurred: ceremonial. processional. elegiac. prayer-like. The music of Paul Terracini straddles both worlds. Born into a Salvation Army family. Terracini has brass music running through his veins. He seems to have been born with a trumpet at his lips. Later. he became a celebrated soloist. ensemble leader and conductor. and an academic whose work encompasses liturgical music and theology. Most recently. as artistic director of the Penrith Symphony since 2010. he has emerged as a music activist in western Sydney. He is widely known to television audiences for his arrangements of Hymns of the Forefathers. released by ABC Classics. The music on this hour-long album ventures into more open territory. but not too far. with its prolonged genuflections to Gregorian chant and Catholic hymnody. Terracini writes the kind of music brass-players pray for and revel in. It is well-crafted. solid and uplifting. with an occasional flourish of flamboyance. Here he is blessed with performances from long-time colleagues and eager exponents in the Sydney Brass. A pity. then. that the sound seems constrained. almost boxed-in. where a cathedral-type resonance would lift performances to a state truly moving. even thrilling. The best music and performances emanate from the three-movement suite at the close. Winmalee Mourning laments the devastation caused by the October 2013 bushfires in the Blue Mountains. where Terracini now lives. The second movement. Aftermath. contains some of the finest playing heard in a long time. particularly from trumpeter Paul Goodchild and trombonist Scott Kinmont.
© Vincent Plush
The Australian 18 July 2015

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