KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Brant, Henry – “Henry Brant Collection Vol 5 – Autumn Hurricanes, The ” – [Innova/American Composers]

Thurston Hunger   9/10/2008   A Library, CD

Wind is whipped here by operatic vocals, gusts of strings,
and some nearly cataclysmic deep brass pockets. As a
hurricane whips on several fronts, evidently so did this
massive ensemble, with five separate conductors taking cues
from Brant himself at the calm center. The recording
evidently took place appropriately in Florida, albeit out
of season in April of 1986. The engineering is fantastic,
you feel the pull that unites the disparate fronts. The
drums often hit hard and heavy, the snare snap on #5 is
like a lightning shot cracking a tall tree. The underlying
music often has a big-band near-crime jazz or even sixties
sci-fi ponderous vibe. Many were the times I felt I could
look out the window and see some gargantuan dinosaur
looming on the horizon, even if it were just a mass of
dark clouds. The libretto work may be what blows some people
away, in both senses of the verb. At times the voices do
meld with the force of the music, at other times they feel
a bit stagey, more singing in the rain than drowning in
the flood plain, even at times they felt a bit comical.
The horns and drums alone though deliver a powerful burst
of energy repeatedly, and the strings capture the reeling
feeling of lost moorings. The idea of being surrounded by
this is as impressive as the music itself.

-Thurston Hunger

you heard it 17 times on kfjc! most recently:
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  • 3675 days ago, Cousin Mary played September 8, 1900. Galveston Bay
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