The Vienna Brass Connection's gifts for Anton Bruckner's 200th birthday

2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the composer Anton Bruckner. For the Vienna Brass Connection, this is more than just a reason to celebrate and so there will also be a Bruckner focus in the varied concert program... But there are even more presents!

THE FINALE OF THE 8TH SYMPHONY BY ANTON BRUCKNER DURING THE INTERMISSION FILM OF THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIC NEW YEAR'S CONCERT

The Vienna Brass Connection can be seen and heard in over 100 countries worldwide at the New Year's Concert 2024 in the intermission film produced by ORF and the WIENER PHILHARMONIKER, which this year revolves around Anton Bruckner! Directed by Felix Breisach.
Broadcast date: January 1, 11:15 AM, among others on ORF 2, as LiveStream und noch eine zeitlang nach der Ausstrahlung z.B. in der ORFTVthek.

ONLINE EP BRUCKNER GOLD

Bruckner Special  A gift from the Vienna Brass Connection to Anton Bruckner for his 200th birthday with selected, hand-picked music: an excerpt from a symphony, a well-known choral work and motets for smaller ensembles... Happy Birthday!

From January 1, 2024 only available online as a stream on all platforms!

Label: TSB RECORDS
Vienna Brass Connection – Johannes Kafka (conductor) Gerhard Berndl, Michael Schwaighofer, Michael Stückler, Peter Lengyelvari (instead of Manuel Huber), Manuel Egger, Klaus Leherbauer, Wolfgang Nagl (instead of Patrick Prammer), Christian Poitinger, Thomas Märzendorfer (instead of Christian Winter), Stefan Obmann, Raphael Stieger, Martin Riener
Wiener Horn Ensemble – Michael Stückler, Peter Lengyelvari (instead of Manuel Huber), Manuel Egger, Klaus Leherbauer
Trombone Attraction – Stefan Obmann, Christian Poitinger, Martin Riener, Raphael Stieger

Concerts in 2024

February 14, 2024 | A-4701 Bad Schallerbach | Atrium
Bruckner. And so on...
Info & Tickets: www.musiksommerbadschallerbach.at

February 26, 2024 | A-9500 Villach | Congress-Center
Bruckner. And so on...
Tickets: www.oeticket.com

June 28, 2024 | A-4974 Ort im Innkreis | Woodstock of brass music, Mainstage
Best of Vienna Brass Connection
Info & Tickets: www.woodstockderblasmusik.at

July 11, 2024 | A-6020 Innsbruck | Imperial Palace
Bruckner. And so on...

Info & Tickets: www.promenadenkonzerte.at

July 27, 2024 | A-3485 Grafenegg | Wolkenturm
Bruckner. And so on...

Info & Tickets: www.grafenegg.com

... exept of Best of Vienna Brass Connection at Woodstock der Blasmusik on June 28, 2024 the Vienna Brass Connection will play the new program Bruckner. And so on...!

The new program of the Vienna Brass Connection with works by Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, John Williams, Billy Joel etc.

2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the composer Anton Bruckner. For the Vienna Brass Connection, this is more than a reason to celebrate and so there will also be a Bruckner focus in the varied concert program to pay tribute to this powerful music, and so on...

And this etc. offers a unique blend of soundscapes, rousing rhythms and emotions expressed through music that tell stories but leave room for interpretation and stimulate the imagination and so on...

The musicians of the Vienna Brass Connection are members of top orchestras (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Volksoper, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra of Lower Austria, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Graz Philharmonic Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and so on...) and are active in a wide variety of ensembles. Although their professional careers are widely dispersed, they all share a long-standing friendship and a wide range of musical interests etc. - probably this etc. is the recipe for the Vienna Brass Connection.

The ensemble plays selected music that reflects the whole spectrum of life: sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, sometimes cheerful and sometimes sad, sometimes high, sometimes low, sometimes Bruckner, and so on...


The Vienna Brass Connection at the Nieder-Moos Concert Summer in August 2023

The floor shook... The Vienna Brass Connection wowed audiences at the Nieder-Moos Concert Summer with its esprit and incredible variety!

(...) The Vienna Brass Connection demonstrates their virtuoso mastery of their instruments with powerful and powerful voices, but can also be discreet and restrained when necessary. (...) These are thoroughbred musicians, perfectly attuned to each other. (...) The last musical contribution sends the completely enthusiastic audience almost into ecstasy, the floor vibrates again... (...) - Ditte von Dietze, Lauterbacher Anzeiger (Photos & Article)

Bruckner. And so on...

Das neue Programm der Vienna Brass Connection mit Werken von Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Giacomo Puccini, John Williams, Billy Joel usw.

2024 jährt sich der Geburtstag des Komponisten Anton Bruckner zum 200. Mal. Für die Vienna Brass Connection ist das mehr als ein Grund zu feiern und so wird es auch einen Bruckner-Schwerpunkt im vielseitigen Konzertprogramm geben, um diese kraftvolle Musik entsprechend zu würdigen usw.

Und dieses usw. bietet eine einzigartige Mischung aus Klanglandschaften, mitreißenden Rhythmen und durch Musik ausgedrückte Emotionen, die Geschichten erzählen, aber Raum für Interpretationen lassen und die Fantasie anregen usw.

Die Musiker der Vienna Brass Connection sind Mitglieder in Top-Orchestern (Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Volksoper, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Grazer Philharmoniker, WDR Symphonieorchester Köln, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks usw.) und in den verschiedensten Ensembles tätig. Obwohl sie beruflich weit verstreut arbeiten, verbindet alle eine langjährige Freundschaft und ein breitgefächertes musikalisches Interesse usw. – wahrscheinlich ist eben dieses usw. das Rezept für die Vienna Brass Connection.

Das Ensemble spielt ausgewählte Musik, die das ganze Spektrum des Lebens widerspiegelt: mal laut, mal leise, mal heiter und mal traurig, mal hoch, mal tief, mal Bruckner usw.

–> Concert dates!

South Tyrol - Merano

Sound magic. (...) artistry and intensity of sound (...) in a brilliant manner (...) unreal and surreal at the same time, music that has to be played as well as the 20 instrumentalists of the brass ensemble (...) instrumental sophistication (...) - Dr. Ferruccio Delle Cave, South Tyrolean daily newspaper "Dolomiten"

LIVE Alte Oper Frankfurt

mission@turan.imp (excerpts)
LIVE @ Alte Oper Frankfurt
Lalo Shiffrin, Giacomo Puccini | Arrangement: Leonhard Paul (Mnozil Brass)
Brass Machine
LIVE ENCORE @ Alte Oper Frankfurt
Mark Taylor | Arrangement: Vienna Brass Connection


eurowinds

"Open Minded" presented in eurowinds - the european trade magazine for brass players
 
 
 (...) The first CD, "Take One", released in 2013, focused on film music; the second CD, "Open Minded", follows on from this, but broadens the perspective considerably, as the title suggests. What remains is the concentrated power and incredible energy with which the young group makes music. Trumpet legend Hans Gansch put it this way: "When I heard the 'Vienna Brass Connection' for the first time, my mouth was left open and my ears were amazed." That's saying something!
 
Against this background, “Godspeed!” by Stephen Melillo, which starts with youthful vigor and irrepressible energy, is an ideal introduction to the CD “Open Minded”. Their name says it all: The seven titles testify to the ensemble's cosmopolitan, unprejudiced, unbiased and open-minded attitude to music. Most of the arrangements come from ensemble members and are due to the extraordinary line-up of six trumpets, four viennese horns, five trombones, two tubas and three
percussionists.
 
This also applies to the theme tune for the film “Superman” (arranged by trombonist Raphael Stieger) and the soundtrack excerpts from “How to train your Dragon” (like “Godspeed!” arranged by drummer Patrick Prammer), which act as links to the debut CD may apply. “mission@turan.imp”, one of the main works on the recording, is also inspired by film music. Leonhard Paul, known as the trombonist with "Mnozil Brass", crosses boundaries in the work written especially for the CD, as he combines music from the film "Mission Impossible 5", which was largely shot in Vienna, with a cross-section of Puccini's opera "Turandot" - without The aria “Nessun Dorma”, sung by tenor Vincent Schirrmacher, is of course not possible.
 
The combination in the “Carmen” fantasy, which was also arranged specifically for the Connection by horn player Manuel Egger, is at least as adventurous: having a solo string instrument (the violinist Marie-Christine Klettner) accompanied by a large brass ensemble requires a lot Courage and - even more than other pieces on the recording - a conductor: Johannes Kafka at the podium always knows how to dose the sound appropriately in the seven tracks; sometimes as powerful as a large orchestra, sometimes as delicate as chamber music. Egger also convincingly translated the “O Magnum Mysterium,” originally written for choir by the American Morten Lauridsen in 1994, for the wind instrumentation. And during Elton John's "Don't let the sun go down" even recording manager and exceptional trumpeter Lorenz Raab takes up the flugelhorn for a beautiful solo. This was by no means planned and is a sign of great musical openness in which only one thing counts: the moment that the CD captures permanently.
 
Daniel Gramespacher
eurowinds · July/August 2018

THE BRASS HERALD

The VIENNA BRASS CONNECTION has just released its second CD called “Open Minded”. Markus Bebek interviews Stefan Obmann, trombone player and organisational mastermind of this extraordinary ensemble for THE BRASS HERALD, a international magazine for brass musicians.

The Brass Herald: Mr. Obmann, let me start by congratulating you on the Vienna Brass Connection‘s new CD “Open Minded”. How did this CD project come about?

Obmann: In 2012, we released our first CD (“Take One”) which mainly revolved around film music. Now from time to time, every ensemble has to think about where their journey is headed and how they want to evolve. We wanted to add some other styles of music to our repertoire while, of course, not cutting film music completely. As we are all interested in a wide variety of musical styles, that is exactly what you hear on our new CD. The title “Open Minded” not only describes the broad selection of music you get to experience on the CD, but also the mind-set of each and every musician in the Vienna Brass Connection. In the world in which we live today, we feel that being open-minded, unprejudiced and unbiased is more important than ever. That is another message we would like to send through this CD.

The Brass Herald: Let’s talk a bit about the Vienna Brass Connection: When was the ensemble founded?

Obmann: Everything started when Manuel Huber, principal horn at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, wanted to form a truly extraordinary brass ensemble. He fulfilled his own wish in 2011, by getting together a group of like-minded musicians, all of them great friends. This huge group of brass players is supported by three percussionists. And to harness the power this ensemble generates, it is conducted by Johannes Kafka. 

The Brass Herald: On the CD we get to hear three soloists: the violinist Marie-Christine Klettner, the opera tenor Vincent Schirrmacher and the trumpet player Lorenz Raab. How did this cooperation come about?

Obmann: Each soloist adds their own touch to the CD making it more vibrant and emphasising its eclectic nature. The special arrangement of the famous Carmen fantasy for violin solo, for example, was done by us for a festival. There we had such a lot of fun working with the young violin virtuoso Marie-Christine Klettner that we decided at once to record the piece. A string instrument playing a solo part and being accompanied by a brass ensemble: This is another way we want to deliberately stretch and cross the limits (which only exist in our heads anyway). 

One of the CD’s centre pieces is a selection of music from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot. Of course we couldn’t leave out one of the opera’s most famous arias, Nessun Dorma. Here, we were able to enlist the help of the tenor Vincent Schirrmacher who we knew very well from productions at the Vienna Volksoper. To record Nessun Dorma with this special combination of instruments was a new experience for him and for us, but it was definitely worth the effort. And that our friend and colleague Lorenz Raab joined us for the CD was not even planned in the beginning. He started out as our recording manager but when we were recording the last piece, we just asked him on a whim if he wanted to join in. That is how the wonderful and unexpected flugelhorn solo came to be on the CD…

The Brass Herald: Were all pieces on the CD arranged specially for the ensemble?

Obmann: Yes. Normally, all the music is arranged by us as we are fortunate enough to have very talented arrangers within the ensemble. One the one hand, we do it ourselves because there are only very few pieces for this combination of instruments. On the other hand, it gives us the possibility to tailor the music to our needs. Apart from that, we love creating something new. It can happen that we commission an arrangement from musicians or arrangers who are also good friends. Leonhard Paul, for example, wrote a piece specifically for this CD: mission@turan.imp. The idea for this piece popped into my head while I was in the cinema watching “Mission Impossible 5”, which was largely filmed in Vienna. One very long scene takes place in the Vienna State Opera during a performance of Puccini’s Turandot. I was able to convince Leonhard Paul that bringing together the theme of “Mission Impossible” and music from the opera Turandot would be a good idea. And he composed a brilliant piece of music from it. His own, unique style of writing gives it, and therefore the music in our program and on our CD, a very special feel. 

The Brass Herald: How often do you get together as an ensemble and how regularly do you give concerts?

Obmann: Well, that is a very interesting question. To coordinate rehearsals for the whole ensemble is a big challenge. With 21 musicians who all have a lot to do, this can prove extremely tricky. Some of the musicians are very successful and sought-after freelancers, most have a position in a renowned orchestra. Just recently, I counted them and found out that we combine musicians from ten different orchestras: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the Vienna Volksoper, the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Tonkünstler Orchestra of Lower Austria, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Carinthian Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra Graz. To bring together 21 busy schedules and find time for rehearsals and concerts requires foresight and good planning. We try to have blocks of rehearsals: We work on a new program, rehearse it and then we start planning the concerts. As there is considerable effort involved on all parts, we are currently only playing about six concerts a year. However, we are trying to plan more concerts as we love playing together and the rehearsals and concerts give us the possibility to see each other more often and to have fun together. After all, we are all really close friends.

The Brass Herald: Is there a certain repertoire or genre you enjoy playing more than others?

Obmann: With 21 musicians you get a lot of different opinions and tastes. Everyone has a particular repertoire or genre he likes most. But I think the best pieces don’t necessarily have to come from one particular genre. As long as they sound great and we all have fun playing them, they’re perfect. That fun and joy also spreads to the audience quite quickly. My personal indicator: If I get goose bumps while playing, then the music can be used for the Vienna Brass Connection.

The Brass Herald: What was your personal highlight with the Vienna Brass Connection? Was there a concert you will always remember?

Obmann: With this ensemble, each and every concert is special and unique in its own way. It always depends on the setting, the hall and the audience. Nearly every concert has some moments where you can feel the energy crackling. However, there was one concert at a big brass festival in France that I will always remember. On the day of the concert, most airlines were on strike and it became apparent that not all musicians would make it in time for the concert. So we played the first half of the concert as the trombone quartet Trombone Attraction. This ensemble consists of four of the Vienna Brass Connection’s trombone players. We then played the extended second half with the whole ensemble. The whole day was just incredibly stressful but when the moment came and we all stood on the stage together, everything just fell into place. We, as well as the audience, were just so happy and relieved to be there. The atmosphere was just fantastic.

The Brass Herald: For you personally, what do you think is the secret? What is so appealing about the sound of brass ensembles

Obmann: I’m always fascinated by the enormous range a good brass ensemble offers. From extremely delicate and soft tones to very powerful parts, you can transmit a host of different atmospheres and feelings to the audience. Those moments during a concert when a raptured audience is silently listening to the music and nobody dares to clap or even move after a piece: those are the moments I savour every time.

The Brass Herald: You, yourself are very active as an orchestra and chamber musician. What fascinates you about chamber music?

Obmann: As a trombone player in an orchestra you have quite little to do some of the time. Apart from that, a host of different conductors tells you in great detail how you are supposed to play certain parts. As a chamber musician you get to take over responsibility for yourself, the interpretation, the music etc. Nevertheless, or maybe just because of that, it is very important to add your creativity and your personality to the music. I love playing in the orchestra. But at the same time, I find it incredibly appealing, interesting and exciting to work as a chamber musician.

The Brass Herald: Which projects are planned for the Vienna Brass Connection in the future?

Obmann: We have a great deal planned for the future: some live concerts and many ideas for new arrangements and projects which still have to be brought to fruition. You’ll definitely hear from us.


OPEN MINDED IN HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO

Ideal for sound gourmets: 
High Resolution Audio Music with the highest sound quality

High Resolution Audio (HiResAudio) is the highest sound quality currently available. Much better than the compressed formats that you can find online. But also better than an usual CD. The recordings in HiResAudio sound far more detailed, the quality is breathtaking.

The album OPEN MINDED by the Vienna Brass Connection can also be ordered in HiResAudio!

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