CRYSTAL RECORDS – Brass Ensembles

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"probably the world's best brass catalog",    says Fanfare

“Crystal is the go-to place for wind and brass chamber repertoire”,  says Gramophone 

CD102 coverAn LP classic is reborn as a spectacular CD.
When the first LP of the Los Angeles Brass Quintet was released in 1967 it set high standards to which other quintets could strive. This recording introduced fabulous trumpeter Thomas Stevens and tuba player Roger Bobo to the world, along with Miles Anderson on trombone, Mario Guarneri on trumpet, and Ralph Pyle on horn. Now on Compact Disc with additional pieces from the LABQ’s 2nd LP, the playing still proves to be some of the best brass playing anywhere 

This CD, CD102,  features Paganini Three Caprices, Bartok Suite from For Children, Wilder Brass Quintet No. 1, Hindemith Morgenmusik, Schmidt Variations on a Negro Folk Song, Cheetham Scherzo, and pieces by J.S. Bach, and Pezel. UPC 009414710222  BUY NOW     

“Brass quintet playing at a near peerless level can be heard on this CD release of LP recordings from 1967 and 1968 by the Los Angeles Brass Quintet…Despite the passing of decades, the Los Angeles Brass Quintet recordings still present an exceptional level of performance.”  International Trombone Association Journal (Greg Spiridopoulos)

The players were all members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the time this recording was made. Formed in 1966, the LABQ toured the U.S. and Europe, playing its last concert in 1975, At the time they retired from the orchestra, Thomas Stevens had been principal trumpet for 25 years; Roger Bobo tubist for 25 years. All of the players had long tenures with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and continued after retirement from the orchestra to perform and teach throughout the world. 

Stevens and Bobo have four solo CDs each on Crystal Records. They are considered some of the finest solo brass recordings ever made. 


CD102 Sound samples (mp3 files) Click on the link to hear up to 35 seconds of the movement shown. (to return to this page after listening to samples, please use your browser back button)
Pezel: Five Dances  I. Intrade   II. Sarabande   III. Bal   IV. Sarabande   V. Gigue    Paganini: Three Caprices  I. Moderato   II. Sostenuto, Andante   III. Theme and Variations    Bartók: Suite from “For Children”  I. Children at Play   II. Children’s Song   III. Play   IV. Children’s Game   V. Study for the Left Hand   VI. Quasi Adagio   VII. Allegro Robusto    Wilder: Brass Quintet  I. Trumpet Prelude   II. Horn Elegy   III. Tuba Showpiece   IV. Trombone Lyric   V. Toccata   VI. Finale    Hindemith: Morgenmusik  I. Massig Bewegt   II. Langsame Viertel   III. Bewegt    Bach: Fantasie in C Major   Air pour les Trompettes   Prelude & Fugue in E Minor    Schmidt: Variations of a Negro Folk Song  I. Theme   II. Fanfare   III. Ostinato   IV. Chorale   V. March   VI. Fugato    Cheetham: Scherzo


BONUS: To have a little joy to help alleviate CoronaVirus anxiety, hear the entire Intrade from Pezel’s Five Dances, performed by the Los Angeles Brass Quintet: Thomas Stevens and Mario Guarneri, trumpets; Ralph Pyle, horn; Miles Anderson, trombone; and Roger Bobo, tuba. Los Angeles Brass Quintet  Pezel Five Pieces  Intrade


CD109  for iTunes 1400Another LP classic on CD from the Los Angeles Brass Quintet, now with the Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble; Stanley Chaloupka, Harp; and Sharon Davis, Piano.
 The third LP from the Los Angeles Brass Quintet, released in 1974, also garnered attention for its spectacular playing and exciting repertoire. Now on CD109, the playing and recording quality are still among the best. Brass performers, same as on the first LABQ LP and CD, are fabulous trumpeter Thomas Stevens and tuba player Roger Bobo, along with Miles Anderson on trombone, Mario Guarneri on trumpet, and Ralph Pyle on horn. The Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble, the brass players, and Stanley Chaloupka, harpist, were all members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the time this recording was made. Sharon Davis is a famous recording artist and touring pianist.

CD109. William Kraft, Nonet for Brass Quintet and Percussion; Frank Campo, Madrigals for Brass Quintet; Rayner Brown, Concertino for Harp and Brass Quintet; William Schmidt, Concertino for Piano and Brass Quintet.  UPC 009414710925  BUY NOW     

These works were all written for the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. The Kraft Nonet is unique in its instrumentation and its 22 minutes are an exciting listening experience. Rayner Brown was Dean and State Chairman of the American Guild of Organists. He wrote a wonderfully listenable piece for this recording. William Schmidt is well known for his hundreds of works for brass and woodwinds, which are staples in the repertoire for concerts throughout the world. Frank Campo was a Professor at California State University Northridge for 25 years, and his many works are performed regularly.


"Nonet for Brass and Percussion by William  Kraft, heard here under the composerճ baton, is a superb piece, uncompromising and massively exciting... The performance is impeccable, here and elsewhere. One notices the careful balancing of simultaneities, the superb, consistent spot-on attack from all players... There are three Madrigals by Frank Campo...The sheer accuracy of the opening trumpet line is astonishing... The sound of a harp at the opening of Rayner Brown's Concertino For Harp And Brass Quintet is quite a shock on first blush.  How surprising it seems in this context to find the sound of harp and muted trumpet are so closely aligned. The recording balance helps; each instrument clear as a bell...Finally, there comes William Schmidt's Concertino For Piano And Brass Quintet. The writing here indeed speaks of fluency. Jazz, post-Impressionism, and a goodly dollop of spikiness to combine to make for an enjoyable romp, made all the more relishable thanks to the tightness of ensemble between Sharon Davis and the brass" (Fanfare, Colin Clarke, March/April 2019) 


"This recording is terrific." (American Record Guide, Kilpatrick, March/April 2019)

“Brass Roots is a hallmark of collaboration and musicianship, and a  welcome addition to our library…challenging, virtuosic music.”  (International Trombone Assn. Journal, Jeremy Marks, April 2021)>


CD109 Sound samples (mp3 files) Click on the link to hear up to 35 seconds of the movement shown. (to return to this page after listening to samples, please use your browser back button)
Kraft: Nonet for Brass Quintet  I. Presto   II. Andante   III. Interlude 1 – Scherzo a Tre   IV. Allegretto; quasi Scherzando   V. Interlude 2 –Scherzo a Quatro   VI. Maestoso e Rubato     Campo: Madrigals  I. Indifference   II. Unrequited Love   III. Aria Perduta     Brown: Concertino for Harp and Brass Quintet  I. Allegretto   II. Adagio   III. Allegro con brio   IV. Adagio   V. Allegretto     Schmidt: Concertino for Piano and Brass Quintet  I. Allegro con Brio   II. Largo   III. Allegro con Spirito

CD121-scan-for-iTunesCD121:  PHILHARMONIC BRASS, Los Angeles Brass Society* & Los Angeles Philharmonic Brass Ensemble**, conducted by Lester Remsen. Rayner Brown, Five Pieces for Organ, Harp, Brass, and Percussion* (with Ladd Thomas, organ, and Dorothy Remsen, harp; Rayner Brown, Fantasy-Fugue**; Fisher Tull, Liturgical Symphony*; Fisher Tull, Variations on an Advent Hymn**; William Schmidt, Sequential Fanfares**; Robert Henderson, Fanfare 1964**; various composers: Fanfares 1969*(Jeffrey Reynolds, Irving Bush, Frank Campo, Fred Dutton, William Kraft, William Schmidt, Leonard Rosenman).   UPC 00941471212-7 BUY NOW 
     Lester Remsen is one of the most influential brass players and teachers of the 20th century. His Los Angeles Brass Society and Philharmonic Brass, with as many as 20 players each, were comprised of many of the best brass players in Los Angeles.


Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown. 
Brown: Five Pieces  Mvt 1 (Toccata)  Mvt 2 (Adagio)  Mvt 3 (Scherzo)  Mvt 4 (Passacaglia)  Mvt 5 (Fugue)    Tull: Liturgical Symphony  Mvt 1 (Lento; Allegretto)  Mvt 2 (Pesante)  Mvt 3 (Allegretto)    Fanfares 1969
  Mvt 1 (by J.Reynolds)  Mvt 2 (by I.Bush)  Mvt 3 (by F.Campo)  Mvt 4(by F.Dutton)  Mvt 5 (by W.Kraft)  Mvt 6 (by W.Schmidt)  Mvt 7 (by L.Rosenman)    Henderson: Fanfare 1964    Tull: Variations on an Advent Hymn    Schmidt: Sequential Fanfares    Brown: Fantasy-Fugue

CD122-scan-for-iTunesCD122:  The Venetian Brass Album. Members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony Brass sections; Peter Sacco, tenor. Four, five, and eight part music by Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, Guami, Correggio, Antegnati, Frescobaldi, Chilese, Bartolino, and Lappi.  Special bonus work:  Peter Sacco, Three Psalms for Brass Quintet and Tenor Voice. UPC 00941471222-6    BUY NOW
Music of the 16th century lends itself very well to brass ensembles. This recording, originally released on LP in 1978, features some of the best brass players around at that time. Most of these players, including Thomas Stevens, Malcolm McNab, Miles Anderson, Jeffrey Reynolds, and Roger Bobo have become icons of excellence in the brass world.

Sound samples (uses RealPlayer) Click on the link to hear up to one minute of the movement shown.
Ricercar Del Duodecimo Tuono   Canzon 6   Canzon Vigesima Terza a 5   Ricercar Del Sesto Tuono   Canzon Vigesima   Canzon 9   Canzon Vigesima Prima a 5   Canzon Secondavo   Canzon Vigesimaquarta a 8   
Canzon Trigesigesimaseconda   Canzon Trigesima a 8   Canzon 26 (La Negrona)   Canzon Vigesimatottava   Canzon Vigesimanona a 8   Psalm 13, How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me, O Lord?   Psalm 18, the Sorrows Of Death Compassed Me   Psalm 83, Keep Not Thou Silence, O God

CD200:  BRASS BONANZA!  New York, Berlin, Annapolis, Dallas, I-5,   St. Louis, & Metropolitan Brass Quintets.   Gabrieli:  Canzone per Sonare;  Speer:  Sonatas 4 & 6;   Malcolm Arnold:  Quintet;  Hovhaness:  Six Dances;   Dutton: