Brass Quintet

Composer: Jan Koetsier (b. 1911 - d. 2006)
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Composer: Jan Koetsier (b. 1911 - d. 2006)

Performance date: 30/06/2018

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1991

Duration: 00:11:22

Recording Engineer: Ciaran Cullen, RTÉ

Instrumentation Category:Brass Quartet

Instrumentation Other: tpt, tpt, frhn, tbn

Artists: London Chamber Brass Seb Philpott [trumpet], Cai Isfryn [trumpet], Oli Hickie [French horn], Barnaby Philpott [trombone]) - [brass ensemble]

Brass Quintet

Jan Koetsier [1911-2006]

Kleiner Zirkusmarsch from Kinderzirkus Op.79 [1991]

Brass Quintet Op.65 [1991]      

1. Andante Con Moto

2. Andantino

3. Molto Vivace


Jan Koetsier was born in Amsterdam and studied in Berlin before becoming the second conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and later the Principal Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. His many works for brass have enjoyed enduring success. The Zirkusmarch is the first movement of a larger work, Kinderzirkus, which explores the many colourful aspects of the circus, depicting clowns, high-wire artists and dancing bears. This movement serves as a fantastic introduction to the capabilities of the modern brass quintet, which evolved throughout the 20th century.

Koetsier’s Brass Quintet explores the humour and joy often found in his work. He relished in writing for this instrumentation, which he claimed had had its origin in the many universities and colleges of the United States. He commented that, with an American insouciance, heterogeneous instruments like trumpet and trombone on one side and French horn and tuba on the other are combined, and amazingly, against all doubts of European composers, an interesting and vibrant picturesque sound emerged.

After a calm and chorale-like introduction, the first movement whisks the listener into a salsa of shifting meter s and exciting rhythms. The second movement begins with a wordless hymn, during which the trumpets signal a sense of peace, which is immediately contrasted by the boisterous dance of the lower brass. After going through several variations, these opposing ideas are finally brought together to form a tranquil resolution. The final movement is written in a vigorous 6/8 meter, only occasionally interrupted by a few mischievous 7/8 bars. The rollicking finale builds in intensity, including the return of the original chorale, before a thrilling finish.

Seb Philpott