Music for Brass Septet 5 – Fauré, Debussy and Ravel – is released today!
Our latest recording has been quite a long time coming – we actually recorded it 2 years ago in November 2015. Hopefully you’ll think it’s worth the wait – we certainly enjoyed recording it, and this music has proved to be a fantastic addition to our concert repertoire over the past two years.
Our recordings generally focus on a specific period and group of composers, and this allows us to spend lot of time really getting into a particular style. The incredible music on this disc presented some challenges: lots of it is piano music, which is always tricky. The effect of the sustain pedal is a very difficult thing to imitate on other instruments. Perhaps more significantly though, we have to reproduce the work of a single pianist using seven individual musicians. This means that it is incredibly important that we’re all exactly of one mind musically, especially in music like this that requires a lot of rubato – the ebb and flow that a pianist would naturally give to the music. We have to take great care in the arrangements and in rehearsal to make sure that we have a united musical intention. Luckily Septura’s members have honed their chamber music skills – the most important of which is listening – over many years, and so progress is always pretty speedy.
Septura’s players are also all active as soloists, and so it was great to be able to feature a lot of them on this disc as soloists in various Fauré songs. We believe that brass instruments are fundamentally vocal in nature, and so these mélodies seemed to be a natural fit. Even so, it’s a great challenge to pull off convincing renditions of some of Fauré’s best-known songs. Although we’ve stripped the originals of their texts, our aim is always to retain all of the nuance and colour, and most importantly to capture the musical essence.