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Brass instruments have always shone in Max’s output (his official Op 1 was a fine trumpet sonata) and his ear for sonic allusion has never been clearer than on the current disc. Haunting miniatures for solo instruments (a Litany for trumpet, Sea Eagle for horn) rub shoulders with ensemble pieces, chief among which is the 1981 brass quintet: cast in three huge movements, and taking up over half the well-filled CD, it casts a lasting spell in this definitive performance.

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