Romantic Age Brass is a digitally remastered disc of reel-to-reel tape recordings performed by one of the most historically significant and talented brass quintets... This ensemble redefined the role of brass instruments to include opportunities in chamber music. As the title implies, the recording includes all works by Romantic composers and represents some of the most important compositions in the repetoire for the modern Brass Quintet.
The sound quality on this disc is quite good, with no hint of the "hiss" normally found on converted tape recordings. It may not be quite as "warm" a sound as modern recordings, but that did not bother this reviewer in the least. The overwhelming impression taken from these performances is that of supreme musical artistry and technical command. Additionally impressive is that all the tracks were recorded during live performances , with the Exception of the Maurer Five Pieces. The NYBQ plays with remarkable balance and blend and with great attention paid to melodic and harmonic nuances specific to Romantic music. Enormous dynamic ranges allow the players to be extremely expressive and to demonstrate the versatility of such an ensemble. Furthermore, there is surely no lack of technique exhibited by all members of the ensemble. The ease with which triplet figures flow from all members during the Ewald Quintet No. 2 is nothing short of remarkable.
This recording of some of the most important literature for brass quintet shows off the intimate possibilities of brass chamber music and demonstrates clearly why the NYBQ stands as one of the most influential ensembles in the history of brass chamber music.
-- David Bohnert, associate professor of music, Wayne State College, Wayne, NE