At noon yesterday, undaunted by threatening clouds and the noise of nearby construction, the Old Dominion Brass Quintet marched to a grassy plot near the corner of 19th and H streets NW, raised their two trumpets, trombone, French horn and tuba, and launched into a brief, brilliant fanfare by Paul Dukas.
As planned, it grabbed attention. Lunch-hour strollers stopped as much as half a block away and began drifting toward the sound. Listeners gathered on the corner, applauded at the music's end, and followed the quintet into the Western Presbyterian Church, where the Music at Noon series of free lunch-hour concerts began its seventh season.
Musically, the opening program was mixed: arrangements of non-brass works by such composers as Domenico Scarlatti, Mozart and Joplin mingled with music composed for brass quintet by Ludwig Maurer, Victor Ewald, Joseph Horovitz and Morley Calvert -- household words to brass players if not to the average music-lover. On the whole, the quintet's pitch and attacks were more secure in the work of Ewald et al. than in the transcriptions -- a sign of deeper affection and longer rehearsal, perhaps. But they did play remarkably in a transcription of the last movement from "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" that was both unusual and stimulating.