Simone Mantia (1873 - 1951) was born in Italy and moved with his family to USA in 1881. He developed an early interest in playing the euphonium and from 1898 to 1904 was the euphonium soloist of the Sousa Band. This solo was written by him to demonstrate both the operatic qualities of his instrument as well as its outstanding technical possibilities. The solo is based on themes by the Italian composer Ermano Picchi (1811 - 1856), Mantia weaving his virtuosic variations around the thematic material provided by Picchi.
The Carnival Of Venice is arguably everyone's favourite solo, especially the version by Arban (1820 - 1869), author of the famous brass-playing method book still in regular use today. Young soloists aspire to master the necessary techniques, accomplished soloists know that it is a "sure fire" winner with audiences and listeners love to be dazzled by a virtuoso display of variations on a theme they easily recognise.
Arthur Pryor is remembered primarily for his 12 years as the amazing trombone soloist with The Sousa Band. However, he was also a prolific composer and conductor, forming his own band following his years with Sousa. He wrote many trombone solos designed to dazzle audiences with his virtuosity.
From The Shores Of The Mighty Pacific is an all-time favourite rondo-caprice cornet solo and was first published in 1912. A brass band arrangement was requested by Chris Lichtler, principal cornet of Brass Band of the Western Reserve, musical director Dr. Keith M. Wilkinson. Chris has performed it many times with BBWR and it was recorded by them on the CD, Without Reserve!.
In 1723 Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed four concerti for violin and small orchestra entitled The Four Seasons. Winter is the fourth of these and the Largo is its central slow movement depicting a cosy scene by the fireside watching the falling rain.
This arrangement was prepared at the request of Brett Baker and has been recorded by him accompanied by Brass Band Of The Western Reserve, music director Dr Keith M Wilkinson, on the CD Slides Rule!
Leopold A Zimmerman (1866 - 1935) was trombone soloist in the Sousa Band, succeeding Arthur Pryor in that position, in the early part of the 20th century. This famous solo dates from that period. The brass band arrangement has been requested by Brett Baker who gave the first performance of this version in August, 2012.
Herbert L Clarke (1867 - 1945) is regarded by many as one of the finest cornet players of all time, noted not only for his amazing technique but also for his warm, lyrical tone. He has left a multitude of cornet solos as well as collections of studies which are still very widely used. He was a member of The Sousa Band briefly in 1893 and then from 1898 to 1917 where he was not only the distinguished cornet soloist but also became assistant director.
The Maid Of The Mist dates from 1912 and is named after the famous sightseeing boat trips at Niagara Falls.
This famous aria is from the opera Gianni Schicchi. Lauretta, daughter of Gianni Schicchi, has fallen in love with Rinuccio but there are huge tensions between their two families which threaten to keep the young couple apart. The rather discordant music which opens portrays these tensions before giving way to Lauretta's tender appeal to her father to allow her to marry the man she loves.
The origins of this melody are unknown but, set to the poem by Robert Burns, this has become one of the most popular Scottish songs.
This arrangement was prepared at the request of Brett Baker for one of his many visits to perform as a soloist with Brass Band of the Western Reserve and its musical director Keith M Wilkinson. It has been recorded by Brett with BBWR on the CD Slides Rule!
Frederick Innes (1854 - 1926) was born in London and studied at the London Conservatory Of Music. After touring as a trombone soloist around Europe he settled in USA where he was one of the featured soloists of the Gilmore Band, later forming his own touring band. He is credited with being a pioneer in demonstrating the abilities of the trombone as a solo instrument.
This arrangement was prepared at the request of Brett Baker.
In 1723 Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) composed four concerti for violin and small orchestra entitled The Four Seasons. Winter is the fourth of these. Each concerto is comprised of three movements and paints sound pictures of the particular season. In this one we hear music describing harsh winter winds and icy snows, enough to make teeth chatter, in the first movement, a cosy scene by the fireside watching the falling rain (second movement) and the harsh winds, ice and snow return in movement 3.
This beautiful music is from the end of Act 2 of the opera Hansel and Gretel by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921). The duet is a prayer by the brother and sister as they seek the protection of angels before falling asleep on the forest floor. The opera, Humperdinck's most famous composition, is based on the fairy tale by the Grimm brothers, and has libretto by the composer's sister. It was first performed in December, 1893.