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Winds Of Nagual - Dvorak, Gillingham, Rimsky-Korsakov, Et Al / Mikkelson, Ohio SU Wind Symphony


Release Date: 01/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570244   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín DvorákDavid GillinghamMichael ColgrassNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Russel C. Mikkelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ohio State University Wind Symphony
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This nicely programmed and expertly performed disc will be of interest to wind ensemble fans primarily for the imaginative and colorful score by Michael Colgrass. Titled Winds of Nagual, it's a series of little tone pictures or "scenes" depicting characters and incidents from the writings of Carlos Castaneda, specifically "the tales of his experiences in Mexico with a Yaqui Indian sorcerer named Don Juan Matisse." Colgrass offers a thoroughly entertaining drama that has the thematic interest and evocative qualities of good film music--although this work is more cohesive in its more or less continuous, seamless flow from one section to the next. Most impressive are the appropriately forceful "The gait of power" Read more and the intricately drawn, sensuously woven lines of "Asking twilight for calmness and power". "Don Juan clowns for Carlos" is definitely goofy and lighthearted, but the jumpy, irregular rhythms are not managed with ideal precision. There are moments where we might think we're listening to an Alban Berg score, and others where John Williams briefly appears, and in the final section we might think of a kind of demented Great Gate of Kiev--but Colgrass ultimately proves a master of his medium, seemingly utilizing every instrument to its maximum colorful and characterful effect.

The Dvorák arrangement is an interesting idea, but the winds simply are too limited in articulation, especially in tremolos and some fast runs, to render the original string conception with an acceptable array of nuance. The instruments and the playing technique distract from the music rather than complementing it. And there are several instances--the Scherzo, for example--where the ensemble could be tighter and the essential rhythmic elements more exactly together.

David Gillingham's elaborate realization of the tune "Great is Thy Faithfulness", one of the great standards of American Protestant hymnody, makes a powerful statement and is a worthy tribute to its dedicatee, Ohio State University Bands secretary Lois Brock. The work's lively middle section makes a knowing reference to the university's famed marching band's acclaimed sound and highly polished routines. Finally, Donald Hunsberger's transcription of Flight of the Bumblebee shows just how accomplished the members of this college band are. In a work that requires uniform, unfaltering precision from all the group's members, we hear not a flaw or flub. These musicians really did practice their chromatic runs to the extreme! The sound in the Dvorák is a bit close for maximum comfort, but otherwise we're treated to a very satisfying, first-rate wind band experience.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Russel C. Mikkelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ohio State University Wind Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Bohemia 
Venue:  Weigel Hall, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 
Notes: Arranger: Russel C. Mikkelson. 
2.
No Shadow of Turning by David Gillingham
Conductor:  Russel C. Mikkelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ohio State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Weigel Hall, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 
3.
Winds of Nagual by Michael Colgrass
Conductor:  Russel C. Mikkelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ohio State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; USA 
Venue:  Weigel Hall, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 
4.
Tale of Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 - Flight of the bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Russel C. Mikkelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ohio State University Wind Symphony
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Venue:  Weigel Hall, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 
Notes: Arranger: Donald Hunsberger. 

Sound Samples

Serenade in E major, Op. 22 (arr. R. C. Mikkelson for band): I. Moderato
Serenade in E major, Op. 22 (arr. R. C. Mikkelson for band): II. Tempo di Valse
Serenade in E major, Op. 22 (arr. R. C. Mikkelson for band): III. Scherzo
Serenade in E major, Op. 22 (arr. R. C. Mikkelson for band): IV. Larghetto
Serenade in E major, Op. 22 (arr. R. C. Mikkelson for band): V. Finale
No Shadow of Turning
Winds of Nagual: I. The Desert: Don Juan emerges from the mountains
Winds of Nagual: II. Carlos meets Don Juan: first conversation
Winds of Nagual: III. Don Genaro appears
Winds of Nagual: IV. Don Genaro satirizes Carlos
Winds of Nagual: V. Carlos stares at the water and becomes a bubble
Winds of Nagual: VI. The gait of power
Winds of Nagual: VII. Asking twilight for calmness and power
Winds of Nagual: VIII. Don Juan clowns for Carlos
Winds of Nagual: IX. Last conversation and farewell
Tale of Tsar Saltan, Op. 57 (arr. D. Hunsberger): The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Op. 57: Flight of the Bumble-Bee (arr. D. Hunsberger for band)

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