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Name of Work

Pezel, Johann Christoph (1639-1694)
Pieces for Brass Quintet

Movements:
Intrada
Courante
Bal
Sonata #22
Bal
Allemande
Intrada
Bal
Sarabande
Bal
Gigue

Performances:


Mar 21, 2010



Barbara Butler, Trumpet
Charles Geyer, Trumpet
Gail Williams, Horn
Michael Mulcahy, Trombone
Randall Hawes, Bass trombone


Mar 22, 2010



Barbara Butler, Trumpet
Charles Geyer, Trumpet
Gail Williams, Horn
Michael Mulcahy, Trombone
Randall Hawes, Bass trombone

PEZEL - Music for brass ensemble

Composed between 1661-81

Johann Pezel, who played both stringed and wind instruments, arrived in Leipzig in the early 1660s and became a Ratsmusiker: a town bandsman. According to Professor Adrienne Simpson, Ratsmusiken were "a humble yet privileged class of musicians that derived from the old town watchmen-trumpeters [from the time when towns were routinely fortified] and became increasingly important as musicians for civic functions during the 17th century." Music was played from Leipzig's Rathaus Tower twice daily, and judging from Pezel's two big volumes of tower music, the instrumentation was two cornets and three trombones. Pezel eventually achieved the title of Stadtpfeifer: municipal piper, or trumpeter. He also applied for, but did not achieve, the post of Kantor (music director) at Leipzig's St Thomas Church, a position that would become historic a couple of generations later when it was taken over by Johann Sebastian Bach.

When a plague epidemic hit Leipzig in 1681, Pezel left and moved on to the town of Bautzen, where he spent his remaining years.

Pezel's two brass books are Hora Decima Musicorum -- roughly, Musical Hours -- and Fuenff-stimmigte blasende Music: Brass Music in Five Parts (or Voices). The first volume contains short sonatas that generally alternate between duple and triple meters and may have been intended to be played in pairs: some of the adjacent pieces are in identical or related keys, giving another logical reason to think of them as two-movement works. The second collection consists of pieces described as Intradas -- preludes, or entrance pieces -- and quite a few in such popular Baroque dance rhythms as courante and sarabande. CCM Brass has selected from both volumes for tonight's concert.

Program Notes by Andrea Lamoreaux

Performed March 21 & 22, 2010



Performance Audio

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