In 2017 The Prince Regent’s Band will be exploring early 20th century Russian repertoire for brass ensemble. This has been inspired by the forthcoming centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolutions. In November 2017, to mark the centenary of the “October” Revolution PRB will be releasing a disc, “Russian Revolutionaries - Böhme & Ewald” (Resonus Classics) and undertaking a UK tour as part of the promotion of this disc.
Brass playing and the Russian aristocracy was intimately linked. Tsar Alexander III (father of Tsar Nicolas II) had been an "impassioned and highly talented cornet à pistons, baritone and tuba player” who did much to promote Russian music and in particular, his most beloved brass music. He established regular brass soirées which brought together other likeminded members of the nobility under the direction of Alexander's cornet teacher Wilhelm Wurm.
The programme we’d like to propose includes music that would have been familiar to participants at these soirees. Victor Ewald’s Quintets for Brass are a mainstay of the modern brass quintet repertoire - however PRB perform these works on the instruments of the era, the instruments that Ewald intended for his quintets, with cornets instead of trumpets and Russian/German style “alto” and “tenor” horns instead of the French horn and trombone. Oskar Böhme’s life reflects the turmoil of this period - a German virtuoso, fêted in early 20th century St Petersburg, only to be exiled by Stalin and to meet his death working as a prisoner on the Turkmenistan Canal. Finally, the most well known of the composers on our programme, and giant of the early 20th century Russian scene, Alexander Glazunov.
Victor Ewald Brass Quintet No.1 ,Op. 5 (12 mins)
Oskar Böhme Prelude and Fugues, Op. 28 (9 mins)
Oskar Böhme Two pieces for brass quintet Op. 44 (8 mins)
Alexander Glazunov Brass Quartet, Op. 38 “In Modo Religioso” (5 mins)
Oskar Böhme Trumpet Sextet Op. 30 (16 mins)
Victor Ewald Brass Quintet No.2, Op.6 (18 mins)