"Carol of the Bells" was an arrangement by David Hamilton which is also on my favourite Christmas CD by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. You hear so much more though when it's performed live. The beginning had percussionists on two xylophones and the chimes, which sounded awesome and larger dynamic ranges than I recalled from my ISO version. The music for Mrs. Santa Claus was composed by Jerry Herman (of Mame and Hello, Dolly! fame) and starred Angela Landsbury (incidentally she also starred in Mame). "The Best Christmas of All" is a sweet song with a catchy tune, emphasizing the family/being together aspect of the holiday season.
|The Men of Canadian Brass (Chris, Achilles, Chuck, Eric, and Brandon) with their|
24 caret gold plated instruments
|Gene Watts |
In the second half the strings were dismissed as Canadian Brass joined forces with the TSO brass section (including trumpet and trombone principal players) to play two arrangements by Stan Kenton. Kenton switched up the big band sound by replacing the saxophones with more brass, and the sounds of "O Holy Night" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" were different yet a welcome variation on the traditional. The combined brass sounds was magnificent.
It was a wonderful concert and Canadian Brass picked up at least one new fan, as the friend I went with purchased some of their music. The gentlemen were very generous with their time, signing autographs after the show. They have the best autographs I've seen, each incorporating some aspect of the instrument they play. (photo to come)