WQXR New York: Album of the Week

First of all, we have to marvel at the fact that the Royal Academy of Music, a top conservatory in London, has a brass ensemble in residence: not a regular occurrence among major music schools. Judging by this recording, Septura lives up to its title, comprised of players from several major British orchestras, including the London Symphony and London Philharmonic. Trumpeter and artistic director Simon Cox has arranged four suites from stage works composed in the late 1600s and the first half of the 1700s: Rameau’s Dardanus, John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Purcell’s The Curious Impertinent and Handel’s Rinaldo. The performances are what one expects from U.K. brass players – bright, clear, full and rounded in tone, with the right blend of heft and lyricism when called for.

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