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Brass music in the baroque era would have been played on 'natural' instruments, meaning that no valves were used to change the pitch.  Instead, trumpets and French horns changed the pitch by bending the notes, an imprecise and difficult method.  Still, composers such as Monteverdi and Gabrielli composed for brass choirs, often two or three such groupings arranged antiphonally at various places around the performance area.

Brass instruments were transformed after the invention of the rotary and piston valves around 1815.  Valves enabled the player to change the length of the tubing, allowing for a full chromatic scale.  Thus the modern instruments could be more easily played in tune with woodwinds, and Berlioz, Wagner and others began to score for ever larger brass sections.  Pure brass ensembles followed, and the typical brass quintet of two trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba became popular in the 20th century.  The interplay of voices in Baroque music suits the brass quintet well, and we hope you enjoy these selections of Brass from the Baroque and beyond.

Featured Releases:

ARMIN, Rosin: Baroque Trombone and Brass Chamber
Brass Music Arrangements - BACH, J.S. / CLARKE, J. / GABRIELI, G. / BRAHMS, J. (Sacred Brass) (London Symphony Brass, Crees)
Brass Quintet Arrangements - SCHEIN, J.H. / MONTEVERDI, C. / BACH, J.S. / COUPERIN, F. / GABRIELI, G. / IVES, C. (Eastern Brass Quintet)
CANADIAN BRASS: CBC Radio Recordings
Chamber Music (Baroque Italian) - GABRIELI, G. / LAPPI, P. / GUAMI, G. / GUSSAGO, C. / MASSAINO, T. / FRESCOBALDI, G. (Canzonas) (HR Brass, Tarr)
Chamber Music (Brass Ensemble) - GABRIELI, G. / HASSLER, H.L. / PRAETORIUS, M. / LASSO, O. di / SCHUTZ, H. / HESSEN-KASSEL, L.M. von (Guttler)
Chamber Music (Brass Quintet) - SCHEIDT, S. / FERRABOSCO II, A. / MORLEY, T. / HOLBORNE, A. / WEELKES, T. / SIMPSON, T. (American Brass Quintet)
GABRIELI, G.: Chamber Music (Gabrieli and St. Mark's - Venetian Brass Music) (Wallace Collection, Wright)
GABRIELI: Music for Brass
GABRIELI: Music for Brass, Vol. 1
GABRIELI: Music for Brass, Vol. 2
GABRIELI: Music for Brass, Vol. 3
Organ and Brass Music - CAMPRA, A. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / KARG-ELERT, S. / GABRIELI, G. / MUFFAT, G. / STRAUSS, R. (DA's Blech, Enders)


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