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The 5 Browns - Christmas with the 5 Browns

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Christmas with the 5 Browns

The 5 Browns

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The 5 Browns, piano-playing siblings from Utah, suggested comparisons to the Osmonds or the Jackson 5 when they came on the scene in the early 2000s. Juilliard trained, they have approached their careers seriously. They have commissioned and performed a concerto for five pianos by Nico Muhly, and their celebrity has survived the wearing-off of the initial novelty, and also a sexual abuse trial that has seen their father imprisoned for ten years. In 2013, they were signed to the Steinway & Sons label, which specializes in recordings that evoke the golden age of pianism; while this kind of piano quintet has no precedent, piano spectaculars were part and parcel of that golden age. Christmas with the 5 Browns is an enjoyable example of their style. Here, as typically, they don't play every piece with five pianos; each member of the quintet gets the spotlight for a time, and there are pieces with smaller groupings. Here these include Carl Czerny's delightful arrangement of "For Unto Us a Child Is Given" from Handel's Messiah, HWV 56. The full group opens the show with excerpts from The Nutcracker and reunites for a spectacular Carol of the Bells at the end. Along the way, there are popular pieces like Waldteufel's Skaters' Waltz and forgotten scraps like the finale of Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony. The program ebbs and flows satisfyingly, and it's accessible without being overdone. Recommended.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Christmas with the 5 Browns

The 5 Browns

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The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, TH 35 (Excerpts Arr. J. Shumway for 5 Pianos) (Pyotr Illitch Tchaïkovski)

1
I. Miniature Overture
The 5 Browns
00:03:14

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

2
IIa. Danses caractéristiques. March
The 5 Browns
00:02:31

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

3
IIb. Danses caractéristiques. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
The 5 Browns
00:01:51

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

4
IIc. Danses caractéristiques. Russian Dance
The 5 Browns
00:01:11

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

5
No. 10, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Arr. H. Bauer for Solo Piano)
Ryan Brown
00:03:40

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Ryan Brown, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Messiah, HWV 56 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

6
No. 12, For unto Us a Child Is Born (Arr. C. Czerny for 3 Pianos)
Melody Brown
00:03:35

Deondra Brown, Artist - Desirae Brown, Artist - Melody Brown, Artist, MainArtist - George Frideric Handel, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

O Holy Night (Arr. J. Shumway for 2 Pianos) (A. Adam)

7
O Holy Night (Arr. J. Shumway for 2 Pianos)
Deondra Brown
00:04:17

Deondra Brown, Artist, MainArtist - Desirae Brown, Artist - Adolphe Adam, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Sleigh Ride (Arr. G. Anderson for 5 Pianos) (Leroy Anderson)

8
Sleigh Ride (Arr. G. Anderson for 5 Pianos)
The 5 Browns
00:03:04

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Leroy Anderson, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Still, Still, Still (Arr. M Wilberg & M. Brown for 5 Pianos) (Mack Wilberg)

9
Still, Still, Still (Arr. M Wilberg & M. Brown for 5 Pianos)
The 5 Browns
00:04:07

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mack Wilberg, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (Arr. M. Brown for Solo Piano)

10
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (Arr. M. Brown for Solo Piano)
Melody Brown
00:03:44

Melody Brown, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Mariä Wiegenlied, Op. 76 No. 52 (Arr. for Solo Piano) (Max Reger)

11
Mariä Wiegenlied, Op. 76 No. 52 (Arr. for Solo Piano)
The 5 Browns
00:02:09

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Max Reger, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Weihnachtstraum, Op. 17 No. 9 (Max Reger)

12
Weihnachtstraum, Op. 17 No. 9
Gregory Brown
00:01:53

Gregory Brown, Artist, MainArtist - Max Reger, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

The Skaters' Waltz, Op. 183 (Arr. First Piano Quartet for 5 Pianos) (Emile Waldteufel)

13
The Skaters' Waltz, Op. 183 (Arr. First Piano Quartet for 5 Pianos)
The 5 Browns
00:05:19

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Emile Waldteufel, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Elegien, BV 249 (Ferruccio Busoni)

14
No. 4, Turandots Frauengemach
Melody Brown
00:03:18

Melody Brown, Artist, MainArtist - Ferruccio Busoni, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Carol Symphony (Victor Hely-hutchinson)

15
IV. Finale (Arr. K. Olson for 5 Pianos)
The 5 Browns
00:04:46

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Victor Hely-Hutchinson, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Carol of the Bells (Arr. J. Shumway for 5 Pianos) (Mykola Leontovych)

16
Carol of the Bells (Arr. J. Shumway for 5 Pianos)
The 5 Browns
00:03:13

The 5 Browns, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mykola Leontovych, Composer

(C) 2019 Steinway and Sons (P) 2019 Steinway and Sons

Album Description

The 5 Browns, piano-playing siblings from Utah, suggested comparisons to the Osmonds or the Jackson 5 when they came on the scene in the early 2000s. Juilliard trained, they have approached their careers seriously. They have commissioned and performed a concerto for five pianos by Nico Muhly, and their celebrity has survived the wearing-off of the initial novelty, and also a sexual abuse trial that has seen their father imprisoned for ten years. In 2013, they were signed to the Steinway & Sons label, which specializes in recordings that evoke the golden age of pianism; while this kind of piano quintet has no precedent, piano spectaculars were part and parcel of that golden age. Christmas with the 5 Browns is an enjoyable example of their style. Here, as typically, they don't play every piece with five pianos; each member of the quintet gets the spotlight for a time, and there are pieces with smaller groupings. Here these include Carl Czerny's delightful arrangement of "For Unto Us a Child Is Given" from Handel's Messiah, HWV 56. The full group opens the show with excerpts from The Nutcracker and reunites for a spectacular Carol of the Bells at the end. Along the way, there are popular pieces like Waldteufel's Skaters' Waltz and forgotten scraps like the finale of Victor Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony. The program ebbs and flows satisfyingly, and it's accessible without being overdone. Recommended.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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