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Cinemusical, January 2011

Naxos also released a fun collection of film music on a collection called Movie Brass which features brass quintet versions of film favorites by Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, David Arnold, and a take on Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story Dances. It’s all good fun and well done.

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, December 2010

To end with some fun do try Movie Brass from Gomalan Brass. I wouldn’t normally go for brass quintet recitals—yet this one is a delight! Tirelessly enjoyable stuff, elite playing with a smile and cheer. The recording is nothing short of superb—never a moment of distortion. Whoop it up with the Gomalan.

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, May 2010

The present disc is there for pleasure—mostly fun—often scatty fun. This is not for the strait-laced. Gomalan Brass whoop it up with the casual mastery of virtuosos. The instruments, including the most ungainly, sing, bark, lament and exult. Everything is spot-on yet not in the way of stultifying perfection—with the delight rehearsed out of existence. Instead the playing is full of character and individuality. More than that: each of the five players registers as an engaging presence even in the accompanimental lines.

The recording is nothing short of superb—never a moment of distortion. This is not really my sort of disc—at least not at first blush. I wouldn’t normally go for brass quintet recitals—yet it’s a delight! The Bernstein is a triumph in every department. I had a few reservations about the Barber which translates awkwardly from its original string choir. As for the rest of the tracks they are tirelessly enjoyable—the most impressive being the Indiana Jones medley.

I hope that there will be other Gomalan CDs. Would that Marco Pierobon turns his attention to Bill Conti’s exuberant Dynasty theme for that exultant hymn to 1980s excess. Who can forget the part played in that call-to-glamour by studio trumpeter Bob DiVall, long of the LA Phil. Then again, having romped through John Williams, why not step back to the 1940s and go for a Korngold medley. Don’t forget to include the scherzo from the Korngold symphony.

Whoop it up with the Gomalan. Not for purists but none of this disc is.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2010

Music from top selling films and popular television programmes arranged for a small brass chamber group, Bernstein’s West Side Story providing much of the disc. Based in Italy, Gomalan’s two trumpets,French horn, trombone and tuba have travelled much on both sides of the Atlantic following their winning performance in the 2001 City of Passau International Brass Competition. These highly effective arrangements are largely the work of their trumpeter, Marco Pierobon, who is adept at using brass sounds in a way that they cover the original orchestral scoring. Maybe the shift in the texture for Stephen McNeff’s adaptation of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings is questionable, while the dramatic opening to Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, with the tuba pumping out the timpani part, sounds distinctly odd as the opening of Space Brass, a fantasy on space-movie themes by John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and David Arnold. But the reason to buy the disc is Pierobon’s suite from West Side Story, he works superbly with his limited resources, moving through the original score’s ever changing moods. The theme from Indiana Jones; the theme from the television cartoon, The Simpsons, and two versions of the main music to the film Lupin III complete the disc. Good and well-balanced playing and vivid recording make this a self-recommending release.

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