Suite for Brass
Verne Reynolds (1926 – 2011)
Verne Reynolds was born in Lyons, Kansas, and learned violin and the rudiments of composition from his father at an early age. He took up the French horn while in high school, and served for two years with the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1950, and his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1951. He also received a Fulbright grant for study at the Royal College of Music in London, England. As a horn player, Reynolds has been a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the American Wind Quintet and, the Eastman Brass. As a teacher, he has been on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-MU, Indiana University, and Professor of Horn at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his teaching and arranging duties, Reynolds was a prolific composer. He received awards and commissions from many orchestras, solo performers, universities, and chamber groups, including the Eastman Brass, the Cincinnati Symphony, and Doc Severinsen. Reynolds published numerous original works and is particularly well known for his transcriptions of Renaissance and Baroque music for brass quintet and horn choir. His oeuvre spans nearly every genre, including solo, chamber and pedagogical works, as well as compositions for orchestra and wind ensemble.
Something New... Contemporary Works for Brass Quintet by Mardi Brass: London Independent Records, 2008.
Stravinsky - Previn - Bernstein: Music for Brass Ensemble by Johan Silvmark, Stockholm Chamber Brass, Stockholm Chamber Ensemble, Roland Pontinen & Love Derwinger: BIS, 1995.
Music for Chamber Winds by US Army Field Band & Colonel Finley R. Hamilton: Altissimo Recordings Inc., 2012.
Types of Instruments/Mutes
Standard formation. All, except the tuba, are marked with mute.
Reynold’s Suite for Brass Quintet is another fine work in the brass quintet repertoire. The piece is composed in five movements, based on traditional genres with contemporary writing. The mixed-meter opening movement is comprised of canonic passages and some tricky rhythms. The second movement is a chorale that begins with unison drama that becomes more and more energetic with the addition of solo passages that grow together, only to finish somber again. The third movement is full of Latin dance syncopated rhythms and alludes to the Brazilian choro. Idyll, the fourth movement, begins with a solo tuba melody that is later joined by the other instruments one by one. The last movement is an up-tempo march with cross rhythms resembling horse gallops that concludes with a high-energy Bb major chord. The only challenge for a student quintet would be putting it together, as the constant change of meters could be tricky.