Mnozil Brass (pronounced No-Zeel with a silent M), is an Austrian Brass Septet formed by graduates of the Vienna College of Music in 1992. Renowned for their immense technical skills and amazing improvisational talents, the group plays music ranging from hit tunes, jazz and pop to classical, opera and operetta, with its selection appealing to people from all ages.
With a typical Viennese Schmäh / “shmay” (a kind of sarcastic charm or slapstick fun), and entertaining audiences at almost 130 annual shows all over the world, the septet performed for the first time in Singapore to an enthusiastic mix of mostly brass players at the Esplanade last night.
Despite the absence of Tubist Wilfried Brandstötter who took the season off, the brass group did not fall short of producing an impressive performance with Albert Wieder in his place. It was noted that the audience gave long standing ovations in appreciation of their comedic brilliance, virtuosity playing and what seemed like an extraordinary show that cannot be put into words.
The Band Post speaks to several members of the audience on why did they decide to attend the concert, and what part of the show do they love the most.
“I went to the Schagerl Brass Festival in 2014 to hear them, and I wanted to listen to them live again as my first experience was amazing. I enjoyed the whole show, it was fantastic. I think it is good for everyone as it showed how much playing an instrument can do.” Ng Tiac Woo, trumpet player.
“I became a huge fan of them after watching their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube. The best moment in the concert was when they performed MacArthur’s Park, which is one of the pieces I love, made famous by Maynard Ferguson. It was a super solid night with great moments!” Yeo Wee Aik, trombone player.
“I bought the ticket simply because they are the Mnozil brass, and it’s their debut show in Singapore! I had always wanted to watch them live as it is a different experience… they sing, dance and act, compared to a typical brass ensemble performance. Apart from their virtuosic playing and comedic performances, they engaged audiences to clap and sing. I enjoyed their singing the most; not only do they sing through their instruments beautifully, they literally sing well too!” Gabriel Song, tuba player.
“Initially, I did not want to go for the concert because it is a little pricey. Although they are popular, I thought it’s alright to miss it since I’m a clarinetist. Fortunately, my brass friends managed to convince me to get the ticket at the last minute. The whole show was breathtaking! I really enjoyed the part where Leonhard Paul multitasked with his upper and lower limbs. I believe some band enthusiasts have seen it before on YouTube, but what’s better than witnessing it live on a show? I like it when the members synchronise in their playing, regardless of where they are in the hall. This reminds me that music is a language where members need to be open minded in order to communicate well with each other.” Nigel Tng, clarinet player.
“Mnozil Brass has always been a favourite on my YouTube playlist. They are a constant reminder of the many possibilities in brass ensemble music. Their music isn’t just acrobatically challenging, but they also present a diversity of tonal spectrum. Seeing them live in Singapore is a dream come true. They have this special affordance to engage the audiences through not just music (sound), but also through the sight and smell. This is especially so during the Lonely Boy performance when Paul was sniffing through his socks. I particularly enjoy the trio by Gansch, Paul and Wieder. The beautiful lyrical expression and artistic coordination between the trio is extremely pleasing to the ears. It seems so free forming, yet every note has its place.” Ang Guangyi Stuart, horn player.
Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Thomas Gansh, Robert Rother, Roman Rindberger
Trombone/Bass Trumpet: Zoltan Kiss, Gerhard Füssl, Leonhard Paul
Tuba: Albert Wieder
(Cover photo credits: Kelvin Chye)