Review of Ancient Airs For Brass & Organ · Summit DCD 250

How times change! It seems not long since poor Respighi was being criticized for habitually arranging the works of other composers. Now comes a new arrangement, by Phil Snedecor, for organ and brass, of Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, which are themselves arrangements of 15th- and 16th-century Burgundian and Italian composers' lute music.

Snedecor's arrangements of seven movements ... work well — often very well. The new work opens in grand style with a bravura performance of the Gagliarda ( Vincenzo Galilei) from Suite 1, No. 2. Often sounding like imposing ceremonial music, it is exhilarating with plenty of bite and attack, a mighty closing organ swell and well-conceived interplay of organ and brass parts. ... Organist William Neil grasps his opportunity to shine in his solo showpiece, the Passacaglia from Suite 3.

Of the other transcriptions, the Bach Christmas Oratorio excerpts sound... quite magnificent.

"Como poden per sas culpas"... enters with a bang... with dueling between two piccolo trumpets accompanied by chiming bells and rhythmic percussion. This track is worth the price of the CD alone.

Ian Lace
Fanfare Magazine
May/June 2000
Vol. 23, #5

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