Certainly the greatest appeal of that five-man band called the Canadian Brass is that they are fun.
For instance, there was the piece called "Saints Hallelujah" with which they concluded the regular part of their program with the National Symphony Orchestra last night at Wolf Trap.
Apparently they decided that that if they pressed peoples' patience with two concluding works they might end up with a thud, so they created an amalgam of the classic chorus from Handel's "Messiah" with "When the Saints Go Marching In." There was a little phrase of this, and a little phrase of that. All of it was more or less in sync. The deeper thematic implications of the two works remained unexplored in the casual but delightful maze.
Their light touch was less felicitous in "A Sousa Collection."
The most lyric moment came in a "Beatle's Medley." Who would have dreamt that "Yesterday" would have lent itself to french horn and tuba?
An impressive figure was the young conductor, Leif Bjaland, whose name sounds Scandanavian, but actually comes from the University of Michigan. He was alert, decisive and sensitive. His overture to Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" was broadly and emphatically paced.