The brass septet is a brand new invention, and therein lies the root of our compulsion to steal: we have no canon of repertoire, no grand history of great compositions. And so we’re inventing one. Like musical Robin Hoods we thieve from the richest ensembles to create a counterfactual history – a parallel universe in which, in the world of chamber music, the brass septet rules. The 18th-century orchestra of Handel’s Rinaldo and Rameau’s Dardanus is brought to life in borrowings for brass. Septura’s Pergolesi, by contrast, is third-hand: Stravinsky got there first, and his neoclassical Pulcinella is re-imagined for brass, alongside some early neoclassical piano works by Prokofiev.

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