Episode #1988

In the Studio with Brandon Ridenour

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Brandon Ridenour is a rising trumpet player and composer. Brandon Ridenour is a rising trumpet player and composer. (Jiyang Chen)

Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour, who became the youngest-ever member of the quintet Canadian Brass when he joined the ensemble at 20, came to the Showcase studio back in 2014 to perform his arrangements of Gershwin and Ravel. For this most recent session, Brandon brought pianist Naomi Kudo and members of his ensemble USEFULchamber to perform new arrangements of Bach, Bartók, Debussy, Mompou and a mid-century British group called The Beatles

Concert Artists Guild will present Ridenour, Kudo and USEFULchamber at Carnegie’s Weill Hall next Tuesday, March 22.

Program Playlist:

Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances No. 4-5-6
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Naomi Kudo, piano

Ridenour: Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Naomi Kudo, piano

Debussy: from Preludes, Book I — Minstrels; Girl with the flaxen hair; Puck's Dance (arr. Ridenour)
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Naomi Kudo, piano

Vivaldi: Sento in seno ch'in pioggia di lacrime from Il Giustino, RV 717
Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Naomi Kudo, piano

J.S. Bach: Agnus Dei (arr. Ridenour)
USEFULChamber: Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Ben Russell, violin; and Kris Saebo, bass

Federico Mompou: Secreto (arr. Ridenour)
USEFULChamber: Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Ben Russell, violin; and Kris Saebo, bass

Paul McCartney: Blackbird (arr. Ridenour)
USEFULChamber: Brandon Ridenour, trumpet; Ben Russell, violin; and Kris Saebo, bass

Debussy: Bruyeres from Preludes, Book II
Naomi Kudo, piano

(recorded live in the YAS studio)

Comments [1]

Aileen Robbins from NYC

This was one of the most fascinating, rewarding groups I've ever heard. I was supposed to go out tonight, but I couldn't leave until this program ended. Brandon is very articulate, and amazingly creative--not only as an arranger of incongruous instruments from iconic sources, but also in how he explores and pushes the envelope of his own instrument. He can indeed produce an extraordinary range of timbers, not usually associated with the trumpet. All the pieces were terrific; especially loved the Debussy, the jazzy Bach and the Beatles. It is mind-blowing that he can achieve balance between such unusual mixes of instruments, all of which work while resisting definition--no frame of reference. TRULY original. Was it the Dadaists who talked about the chance meeting of a lobster and an ironing board? But this odd mix of sounds and styles immediately makes sense, while it challenges the listener, making one listen closely and carefully. I am a classically trained musician myself, and listen to QXR all the time, but this made me stop dead in my tracks and really pay attention. Talk about not touching the dial.
Has "Useful Chamber" made any recordings?
Kudos to Naomi, as well! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Love the Young Artists Showcase, but I was particularly thrilled by this one. Will try to get to Weill Hall next Tuesday. Bravo tutti.

Mar. 16 2016 10:05 PM

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