Brass Quintet Standard Repertoire

Through all my travels, I am constantly hearing and performing quintet literature. I am often asked what I consider standard repertoire and repertoire I think will hold in time as great music to play and listen to. I know Canadian Brass has been very active in commissioning over 100 works of music for the modern day brass quintet and feels that it is important to continue the awareness of the quintet as an authentic chamber ensemble.


I am inaugurating a process to establish a standard repertoire for brass quintet. These lists will be added to as time goes and I welcome your ideas as well. As modern instruments making up a chamber ensemble, we do not have the wealth of repertoire dating back to the baroque and classical era; therefore, I have worked on finding the best works that can be transcribed while maintaining the musical wishes of the composer and keeping with the style of the era. Speaking as a former member of Canadian Brass, we have an obligation as musicians to not only continue commissioning new repertoire, but to also appreciate and keep alive the great music and masters in our rich musical history. One of the great abilities of being brass players is that our instruments can traverse the wide range of musical styles and genres. We feel that in order to have a complete performance, all these styles must be programmed and can be entertaining to the ears of our audiences. All music is to be taken seriously, and approached with the best musical intentions. If this is done correctly, both performers and audience alike will enjoy the complete performance.


Before beginning with the performance repertoire for professional or college formed quintets, I feel it necessary to discuss several books available from Canadian Brass for the purpose of developing repertoire for the beginning or newly formed quintet. By recognizing the dearth of quality of repertoire for young players, the Walter Barnes Books were created in response for this purpose. They have had success with over 400,000 copies sold. Titles include: Book of Easy Quintets, Book of Intermediate Quintets, Book of Favorites, Book of Advance Quintets, and other recommended books from Canadian Brass are: Classic Favorites, Wedding Essentials, and Play-a-Long with Canadian Brass (Intermediate and Easy level).


These are samples of proven repertoire that work well in performance as legitimate "classical" repertoire. Please keep in mind that while programming, all styles must be presented and taken seriously. Programming should always be done with the audience in mind.


Arnold, Malcolm – Quintet
Arutunian, Alexander – Armenian Scenes for Brass Quintet
Bach, Jan – Laudes
Bach/Vivaldi arr.David Baldwin – Concerto Grosso
Bach-Frackenpohl – Goldberg Variations
Bach-Mills – Art of the Fugue
Bach-Mills – Little Fugue in g minor
Bach-Mills – Toccata and Fugue in d minor
Bernstein, Leonard – Dance Suite
Boehme, Oscar – Sextet
Bozza, Eugene – Sonatine
Calvert, Morely – Suite from Monteregian Hills
Dahl, Ingolf – Music for Brass
Delerue, G. – Vitrail
DiLorenzo, Anthony – Fire Dance
Ewald, Victor – Quintet 1 and 3
Ewazen, Eric – Colchester Fantasy
Forsyth, Malcolm – The Golyrdes Ground
Friedman, Stanley – La Pittura for Solo Trumpet and Brass Quintet (for advanced soloist)
Kamen, Michael – Quintet
Koetsier, Jan – Brass Quintet
Kulesha, Gary – Jazz Music for Brass Quintet, Percussion and Piano
Lutoaslovski, W. – Mini Overture
Mauer, Ludwig – Three Pieces
Plog, Anthony – Four Sketches
Previn, Andre – Four Outings for Brass
Reynolds, Vern – Centone #5
Reynolds, Vern – Suite for Brass
Sampson, David – Morning Music
Turner, Kerry – Ricochet


It is impossible to list every piece or to know every piece written. Please feel free to email me and let me know your thoughts. Perhaps you know another composition that you feel should be added to these list. I welcome your input.


Ryan Anthony


Please check back for another list to come of popular favorites such as selections by Luther Henderson, Jack Gale and Renwick’s "Dance", Cheetham's "Scherzo" and Horowitz' "Music Hall Suite" to name a few.


Another list will include standard repertoire for the working quintet such as:


Sonata from Bankelsangerlieder, Gabrieli Canzonas, Handel's "Overture to Berinice, Byrd's "Alleluia", Pezel "Three Pieces", Susato "Renaissance Dances" and Sheidt's "Galliard Battaglia" to name a few.

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