Seven-piece Septura have played a blinder with this album, which presents classic Christmas music played on brass.
Septura, a group that brings together London’s leading players “to redefine brass chamber music”, manages to sound both non-brass band-y and non-Christmas-y on an album that offers a brass band playing Christmas music. It’s a Christmas miracle.
By this we mean they avoid clichés in both departments: not sounding so flat-cap brassy as to put off people who would otherwise recoil at a brass band, and avoiding that clichéd Christmas style that means a CD gets played for a week in December and then stored away with the decorations for 11 months and 50 weeks. Rather like nice choral music, this is music that suits Christmas, but could be played at any time and, while they’re a seven-piece brass band, they sound more like an orchestral brass section than a band.
The CD features Christmas music from the likes of JS Bach, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, as well as more populist tunes such as Bleak Midwinter and The Three Kings, and some Messiah of course.
The other plus is that Septura sound like a metal band. “Yeah, just getting into the new Septura,” you can tell the kids and sound cool. They don’t need to know the only heavy metal is the tuba.
Out on Naxos, 8573719.
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