Resounding Brass, Crossing Time

Omaha Symphony artists play American music and more.


The countdown is on for the arrival of brass music spanning the centuries from our own, celebrating an international venture into space, to an Elizabethan’s yearning for a beautiful damsel. “Brass Alive,” a concert by Omaha Chamber Music Society, crosses the boundaries of time and place. America’s Nolan Gasser, interested in all kinds of harmonic covergences, heralds the launch of NASA’s Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope in his “GLAST Prelude”  actually written for the 2008 blast-off. There’s also a salute to American traditions in a suite by G.W.E. Friedrich wherein he re-works a piece written for George Washington’s inaugural as well as a waltz and a quickstep.

Likewise from our shores, 1954-born Eric Ewazen celebrates life across the pond amid English pubs in that nation’s oldest town, Colchester, which appears to have appeared as far back as 20BC. And, from that island domain, madrigal composer John Wilbye (1574-1638) might seem quite modern as he evokes centuries-enduring feelings in his lament about failing to marry the woman of his choice, “Down in a Valley,” and calls forth “Sweet Honey Sucking Bees.” Further, Russia’s Victor Ewald’s 1905 Quintet No. 2 sparkles allegro con brio, arriving been preceded by the 1982 fanfare-like “Mini Overture” by Polish provocateur Witold Lutoslawski. The artists who perform such a variety are Omaha Symphony members Craig Bircher and Scott Quackenbush on trumpets, trombonists Patrick Pfister and Jay Wise plus horn player Ross Snyder. Quite an array, indeed, of talent and repertory.

Brass Alive is performed Sunday, June 14 at First Congregational Church, 421 S. 36 St. 3 p.m. Tickets $5-$20. www.omahachambermusic.org


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