Review: Canadian Brass celebrates 108 years with ‘Canadiana’

The Canadian Brass is marking its 108th anniversary by issuing its latest album, which turns out to be “Canadiana.” Like the band’s last CD, “Legacy,” the group’s latest sets several prominent Canadian songs over…

Review: Canadian Brass celebrates 108 years with ‘Canadiana’

The Canadian Brass is marking its 108th anniversary by issuing its latest album, which turns out to be “Canadiana.” Like the band’s last CD, “Legacy,” the group’s latest sets several prominent Canadian songs over brass arrangements with a focus on patriotic fare. There are hymns in there, of course, including Neil Young’s “Helpless.” What’s different is the vocal vocal arrangements, the choir and the gentle waltz theme, “Mary’s Feast,” taken from a hymnbook.

Only one new song makes the CD, “Canada Day.” The mood is grandiose — it has the grand orchestration of Don MacLean’s “God Is a Canadian.” Producer Rod Young wanted it to be made into a concert piece and he did it beautifully. Another tune is “O Canada” based on a Canadian folk song and sung with quiet solemnity.

There are about a dozen hymns on the album, the counterpoint, subtle and hard-hitting to come, is one of them.

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(c)2018, Washington Post Writers Group

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