Topping Billboard's Classical Chart at NO. 1 for 8 weeks in a row with their debut album, the original all-sibling piano phenomenon the 5 Browns proved that they are classical music's five irresistible new champions. The 5 Browns - Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody and Ryan - made history at New York's Julliard School where, for the first time, it accepted five members from the same family and had them attend the prestigious institution simultaneously for five years. Having been seens on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and 60 Minutes, as well as featured in USA Today, People Magazine, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, the 5 Browns are ready to continue capturing the hearts of millions with their new album No Boundaries. Red Seal Current. 2006.
This piano-playing team of five siblings could be easily dismissed as just another crossover ploy, but that would be a mistake. My initial surprise turned into an hour of pleasant listening and, on rehearings, to admiration for this unique ensemble of talented young artists. For one thing, they've got the chops to bring off some fiendishly difficult works. Listen to the way sisters Desirae and Deondra tackle modernist Witold Lutoslawski's Variations on a Theme of Paganini, or brother Ryan's colorful romp through Ginastera's tricky dance rhythms. The fivesome also achieve carefully balances in their concerted works, with a scrupulously turned version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and their arrangement of highlights from Stravinsky's Firebird. Those in doubt should hear tracks two through four, for irresistible versions of Lecouna's popular Malaguena, a fetching combination of Dvorak and Copland, and a piano rag by John Novacek. A delightful, spirited disc that never fails to please. --Dan Davis