Friday, May 6, 2016

The Modern Age of Brass (Roger Voisin)

A couple of months ago, I was researching old Schwann catalogues to try and discover the deletion date of this LP by the New Art Wind Quintet, Since a work by Nicolai Berezowsky was the guiding force behind my posting that recording, I searched under Berezowsky's name in the Schwanns that I have from the late 50s, and found that there was one other LP available with his music, a brass piece coupled with music by Dahl, Hindemith and somebody else unknown to me. I saw this several times before I realized, "hold on, I think I may have that LP!" I checked my collection and sure enough, there was a copy, which I had found some 30 years ago when I wanted to hear the Dahl piece. I had learned that its second movement was the theme for WQXR's long-running radio program "Music at First Hearing" - on which a panel of well-known music critics like Irving Kolodin, Martin Bookspan and others reviewed new record releases on the spot without advance knowledge of what they were, a sort of "What's My Line" for record collectors. Here is the LP in question:

"The Modern Age of Brass":
Ingolf Dahl: Music for Brass Instruments (1944)
Hindemith: Morgenmusik (1932)
Nicolai Berezowsky: Brass Suite, Op. 24 (pub. 1942)
Robert Sanders: Quintet in B-Flat (1942)
Roger Voisin and His Brass Ensemble
Issued in December, 1956
Unicorn UNLP-1031, one LP record
Link (FLAC files, 96.71 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 69.65 MB)

Roger Voisin (1918-2008) was the principal trumpeter of the Boston Symphony from 1950 to 1966, and he leads an ensemble of fellow BSO members on this recording, made for an independent Boston label called Unicorn Records (not to be confused with the much better-known British label of the same name from two decades later). The label, whose recordings were produced by Peter Bartók, the composer's son, lasted only two or three years before being subsumed by Kapp Records in 1958.  Kapp kept most of Voisin's Unicorn records in its own catalogue through the 1960s, including this one.


  1. Alternate links:



  2. The second mvt of Music for Brass Instruments brings back very fond memories of First Hearing. But the whole record is most enjoyable. Thanks very much as always!

  3. Great sound--outstanding transfer work. Thanks.
    Ray Pratt

  4. I just received about 50 Columbia Masterworks covers. Who would want to buy them? Is there a market?

  5. I just received about 50 Columbia Masterworks covers. Who would want to buy them? Is there a market?

  6. Thank you, as ever! Difficult to transfer, brass recordings, and you've done a great job. I didn't grow up with the Dahl theme tune but it's attractive music, if totally smothered by Stravinsky's influence (to my ears, anyway), as so many were then - tough to escape! Thanks again and best wishes, Nick