Georges Delerue

Given my last two posts, I feel as though I am on a film composer kick, so why not continue the trend? Perhaps that will be the future direction of this blog. However, I feel as though many film composers do not actively pursue concert works on the side, so this theme may run its course soon. However, in the meantime, let’s explore the brass ensemble music of Georges Delerue!


Georges Delerue (1925-1992), was a French composer of film whose oeuvre consists of over 350 scores for film and numerous instrumental solo works, operas, and ballets.  Delerue, who moved to Los Angeles in 1982, is, like our last two composers, an Academy Award winner, for his score to A Little Romance.  He subsequently also contributed to the TV series Amazing Stories. Delerue wrote several pieces featuring brass, including:

Madrigal for trombone ensemble

Fanfares Pour Tous Les Temps for brass

Cérémonial for brass ensemble

Cérémonial was recorded on the album “Heroic & Ceremonial Music for Brass and Organ” by the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble.  Here is an excerpt:


Bruce Broughton

Bruce Broughton (b. 1945) is an American composer of film, television, and concert music (as well as many other genres) whose musical influence, despite his relatively recent absence in the cinematic spotlight, is wide reaching.


My own personal experience with Broughton’s work started with his veritable cinematic masterpiece, Silverado.  Additionally, I grew up loving the music he composed for several Disney World attractions, such as Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, and, Spaceship Earth, to name a few.  (As a side note his scores to the relatively short-lived series Amazing Stories are amusingly genius)

In regards to his works for brass ensemble, he has many works, including:

Excursions for Trumpet and Brass Band

Harlequin for Brass Band

A Frontier Overture for Brass Band

California Legend for Brass Band

Masters of Space and Time for Brass Band

Hornworks for Five Horns and Tuba

And the work which I am featuring today…

Fanfares, Marches, Hymns & Finale for Brass Ensemble and Percussion.

Fanfares… was written for the Bay Brass, and recorded on their CD “Sound the Bells.”  The piece consists of four movements, each with a style indicative of their respective titles.  It is a technically difficult work, but musically very rewarding.  Here is an excerpt:

Click Here to Listen


John Williams

I may say this for several other composers on this blog, but the one who needs the least amount of introduction, in my opinion, is John Williams.


John Williams’ melodies for film permeate modern society, often times more lasting and instantly recognizable than the films themselves.  However, he has composed a wealth of concert works, including many concertos, symphonic works, and chamber works of various orientations.

For the brass ensemble, Williams has written:

Fanfare for Fenway (2012)

Fanfare for Prince Philip (1992)

Winter Games Fanfare (1988)

Fanfare for a Festive Occasion (1980)

and Sound the Bells! (1993), which we will briefly explore.

Sound the Bells! was written as a gift to the Japanese princess Masako and premiered during the Boston Pop’s 1993 Japan tour.  The piece is a single movement fanfare featuring both brass and percussion.  This piece was later rearranged for full orchestra, and served as the opening number for PBS’ broadcast “Evening with the Pops.”  Here is a short clip performed by the Bay Brass on their CD “Sound the Bells!”


The Shape of Things to Come

As my first post I’d like to briefly explain the purpose of this blog and what you will find on subsequent posts.  In short, this is a blog focusing on influential modern composers who have contributed at least one work to the brass ensemble genre.  I will include a brief bio on each composer, a list of all (or most) works they have written for brass ensemble(s), and pick one work to focus, hopefully providing an audio or visual example for support.

As a composer myself, I find the study of newer works especially interesting.  It seems to me that music, perhaps as a product of ever-increasing globalization (and subsequently a shrinking world, so to speak), is really a melting pot of ideas and cultures.  This is, of course, especially in relation to strictly defined and rule-bound pieces from our friends in the Renaissance and Baroque period.  This is perhaps an unjust comparison, but never the less the amount of ‘unexpected’ in modern brass ensemble music is much greater, and in my opinion, much more exciting.

Today, I leave you with a piece from the composer who will be the subject of my next post, John Williams.  The timing here is appropriate, as he just (2/8/13) celebrated his 81st birthday.  Here is Quidditch, from the score to Harry Potter, as performed by the Boston Pops.