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The versatile American trumpeter and Emmy award-winning composer Anthony DiLorenzo writes visually evocative music for the concert stage as well as film and television. His Baltasar: A King's Journey
[listen -- track 15, 1:50-2:44],
was commissioned in 2002 by the Carmel (California) Music Society to celebrate the Spanish heritage of the City of Monterey, founded in 1602 by Sebastian Vizcaino. Baltasar was one of the Three Kings, who arrived in Bethlehem on 6 January, or Epiphany. Listen with your mind and you can see the mystical, oriental, determined and majestic royal procession.
DiLorenzo also wrote a small suite, The Toy Maker, which tells the tale of the inventor, Daedalus. In the first movement -- 'The Golden Palace' -- an experimental ship that sits on a wheeled chassis goes slightly awry at the beginning, but regains control of itself at the very last moment. Judging by the music, the contraption is a 'twittering machine' as conceived by Rube Goldberg! Marvelous, indeed.
The next project for the inventer is 'The Magic Clock', which apparently functions correctly. It is a spectacular clock, with doors that open and all sorts of characters -- animals and other creatures -- parade in and around and through the interior of the clock. The parade begins at the first stroke of twelve o'clock, but when the last stoke occurs, the clock returns to normal again. The parade is a stately process, indeed.
After this success, Daedalus decides to help a friend, Nicholas, who needs a huge conveyance to carry gifts to all the children whom Nicholas befriends. Slightly ahead of his time, Daedalus creates 'The Magnificent Sled', and the two friends enjoy the first trip together, as church bells ring out in the city below. Joy and triumph reign supreme!
The final track sums everything up in fine style
[listen -- track 21, 4:11-5:05],
. The Burning River Brass asked Dean Sorenson, composer and trombonist from the University of Minnesota, for a medley of Christmas classics. Season's Greetings: A Christmas Medley is his reply. One could hardly ask for more! He chose Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, O Christmas Tree, Let it Snow, and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, bringing this CD to a rousing finale.
It's a CD that should appeal to almost any musical taste. The Burning River Brass is a first-rate ensemble, with wonderful articulation and immaculate intonation. This would be a superb addition to anyone's holiday music collection. Total playing time is 73:35.
Next week, 22 and 23 December 2004, The Burning River Brass will appear at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, along with Todd Wilson, organist for two very special Holiday concerts. For information or tickets, as available, visit The Cleveland Orchestra's web site. This CD is also available at that site (in the store) or directly from Burning River Brass.