- Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) for piano, Op. 15
- Carnaval for piano, Op. 9
16.42 In Stock
It's not clear what made the Canadian Brass decide that Schumann's large sets of piano music needed to be turned into brass quintet pieces, but this is its second such effort, following an adaptation of "Kinderszenen" several years earlier. Part of the appeal is that Schumann's studies of counterpoint left their mark, even if he didn't write fugues, and there's plenty for the lower brass to do in the Canadian Brass' arrangements. These arrangements are confusingly credited here; the booklet indicates that the group "waited until the right arrangers came along," but the track list attributes them to the group's trumpeters, Christopher Coletti and Brandon Ridenour. The trademark Canadian Brass ensemble has survived impressively through numerous changes in personnel, and the group transforms Schumann's more lyrical pieces into warm little brass-choir moments. This is, as annotator Daniel Guss is at pains to point out, not far from what arrangers of Schumann's time would have done, and it's not hard to imagine some of these arrangements ringing out in a North American German-immigrant social hall of a century and a quarter ago. The problem is that those earlier arrangers would never have seen a reason to transfer an entire set of Schumann's piano works into the brass format. They would reasonably enough have done the ones that worked well. There were a few more of those in "Kinderszenen" than in "Carnaval," which is a work that taxes a pianist's full capabilities, and this album has a higher proportion of runs that are executed successfully but uncomfortably. A selection of Romantic piano favorites arranged by the Canadian brass? That would be something to step out for. This experiment, although as usual there are beautiful moments, is less so.