Brubeck, Classically


Jazz great Dave Brubeck has done far more in his 89 years than create his unforgettable recording Time Out. The pianist and composer has written a large number of classical compositions, many of which are sacred in nature. Four of these, recorded in glorious high-resolution SACD Surround Sound on Telarc's 2003 Classical Brubeck, reflect the spiritual principles that have informed his long history as a war resistor and proponent of racial equality, and his embrace of Catholicism at age 60.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios by the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Voices, baritone Alan Opie and the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the two-disc set includes three works based on sacred texts. Each features improvisatory sections, which were recorded in real time by either the Dave Brubeck Quartet or Brubeck on piano.

Beloved Son (1978) is a three-movement Easter oratorio, Pange Lingua Variations (1983) honors the holy sacrament of the Last Supper, and The Voice Of The Holy Spirit "Tongues of Fire" (1985) tells the story of Pentecost. The sole instrumental work in the collection, Regret (2001), was composed for string orchestra, and includes a solo improvisation by Brubeck.

These compositions show a different, and far more serious side of Brubeck than reflected in his early jazz works. Enriching our understanding of this remarkable musician and human being, they are given the most loving treatment imaginable.