Paul Gilson: La Fanfare Wagnerienne

New discovery of a lost brass masterpiece

The first recording ever of this lost work! At the turn of the twentieth century, Belgian composer Paul Gilson penned a large-scale suite for brass that was inspired by and a homage to the new brass sound that was invented by Wagner while composing The Ring. This suite covered a wide range of style and theme, and was one of the first brass suites of substance. These works were performed, but during the course of The Great War they were lost. In 2011 they were re-discovered by Eric Crees – the leading arranger for brass in the UK, principal trombone of the Royal Opera house, a 30-year veteran of the London Symphony Orchestra, and professor at the Guildhall School. He had the first performance of this suite since WWI and subsequently made this world-premiere recording with the Guildhall Brass Ensemble.

The CD booklet includes extensive notes by Eric Crees:
“Between 1894 and 1909, Gilson wrote six substantial pieces for the Fanfare Wagnérienne, all beautifully crafted and of an original and diverse style, the longest being the ‘Variations’, lasting 20 minutes… I examined the original scores (there being no existing parts), was immensely impressed by the quality and decided to make a performing edition. The task was somewhat herculean, but I feel that these original and fascinating pieces will soon be standard repertoire for brass players.”

Additionally, Eric Crees has written a separate guide which elaborates on the history, instrumentation, and notation of his re-creation and orchestration of these pieces. Please click here to view Editorial Procedure for the Eric Crees Performing Edition (13 pages).