The same probability that governs the chance that ninety toothpicks poured out upon the floor will arrange themselves into the twenty-six letters of the alphabet applies to the project of bringing together nineteen busy musicians from the top three orchestras of three states.
– Andrew Kazdin, producer of The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli (1968)
Fast-forward 47 years and make that 26 busy musicians from the top 9 orchestras in 7 states. When David H. Stull (then Dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music) and I sat down for lunch in the spring of 2011, I could not have imagined that we were beginning a journey that would lead to this recording. Our conversation quickly turned to our favorite musicians and recordings. Almost immediately, we both named the famous 1968 Gabrieli recording, which featured brass groups from the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This was the iconic recording that set the bar for American brass playing excellence. Every player of our generation and since has a story about the first time we listened to it and how we were awestruck by what we heard. We agreed how wonderful it would be to assemble a similar project now, as both an homage to the 1968 recording and as a modern version of the concept, with all that today’s talent and technology could deliver.
As we celebrate the completion of this project, we also pause to honor those who made it possible. Above all, we thank Oberlin alumnus Joseph and Phyllis Markoff, to whom we are indebted in more ways than we can ever say. Our profound gratitude extends also to David H. Stull (President of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music), whose great vision and creative energy literally willed this to happen. I think I can speak for everyone on this recording when I say that we are all honored to be part of this project that took the efforts of so many, the generosity of a special few, and the inspiration of a generation.
– Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet, The Cleveland Orchestra