The airy Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles provided a cordial setting for the Meridian Arts Ensemble on Sunday afternoon. Whether addressing the polyphony of Bach or the manic music of Frank Zappa, the clear playing of this subtle and unaggressive brass quintet resonated warmly amid the polished wood, ornamental cast ironwork, open-cage elevators and brick interior walls of this National Historic Landmark.
The musicians were Jon Nelson and Josef Burgstaller, trumpets; Daniel Grabois, horn; Ben Herrington, trombone, and Raymond Stewart, tuba.
As a prelude, the quintet offered a bright sonata by Scarlatti, played on one of the landings of an upper staircase. Then they walked down a floor for music by Bach (Prelude and Fugue in D minor, S. 539), Debussy ("Pour invoquer Pan" and "Sarabande"), and works by Tom Pierson, Freddie Hubbard, Jason Forsythe and Zappa.