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Vintage America / Calico Winds


Release Date: 08/31/2004 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 693   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Edward MacDowellWilliam Grant StillJohn Philip SousaArthur Farwell,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

W. MASON Dance Antique. MACDOWELL Fireside Tales. D. G. MASON Divertimento. FARWELL Prairie Miniature. STILL Miniatures. Folk Suite No. 4. JOPLIN The Cascades. Maple Leaf Rag. D. B. CHADWICK Sea Sketches. SOUSA The Stars and Stripes Forever

Calico Winds is a quintet consisting of Eileen Holt Helwig, flute and piccolo; Rong-Huey Liu, oboe and English horn; Kathryn Nevin, clarinet; Rachel Barry, horn, and Theresa Treuenfels, bassoon. They play with a mellow tone appropriate for this music; clarinet, horn, and bassoon predominate; even the oboe is warm and intimate. This disc cultivates a rustic American atmosphere and does it well. Seven of these eight composers were all alive at the turn of the 20th century, born as early as
Read more 1829 (William Mason) and living as long as 1978 (William Grant Still); the exception is David Chadwick, born in 1946. Some of these works are original wind quintets, but most are arrangements. They share a Romantic simplicity, and all have an easy-going, irresistible charm. William Mason’s Dance is conservative, pleasant music. Edward MacDowell’s piano miniatures gain interest in imaginative wind arrangements by one R. Hess. Daniel Gregory Mason, William’s son, wrote his two-movement Divertimento for wind quintet, and it shows; the instrumentation sounds honest, interesting but never flashy—so many arrangements are written by performers, who can’t resist the virtuoso touch. An opening March, the largest piece here and a thoroughly satisfying one, is followed by a bright, witty fugue.

Arthur Farwell’s Prairie Miniature packs all of his “Indianist” movement into two minutes. There is a lot of William Grant Still here: his five Miniatures and the three-movement Folk Suite deal with folk tunes from all over: gospel, the American West, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil. Scott Joplin’s familiar rags maintain their freshness in Arthur Frackenpohl’s knowing arrangements. Chadwick’s three Sea Sketches, based on old sea chanteys—the final one the familiar “Sailor’s Hornpipe,” gently stretch the harmonies into a later era, but they still fit right in. Sousa’s great march loses much of its snap and drive in the arrangement but gains a compensating humor.

Despite a full hour of similar styles, the music never pales, a tribute to the performers as well as the composers and arrangers. The recording is very resonant, which causes no problems for a wind quintet. The sepia-toned booklet is filled with old photographs and ink drawings, depicting city, country, and the high seas. Another is snuck in under the disc: a horse-drawn bus with “Calico Winds–Vintage America Tour” painted on its side. It completes the pleasant, slightly tongue-in-cheek atmosphere that permeates this release.

James H. North, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 by Edward MacDowell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; USA 
2.
Folk Suite no 4 by William Grant Still
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; USA 
3.
Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; USA 
Notes: Arranged for winds 
4.
Prairie Miniature by Arthur Farwell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
5.
Sea Sketches (3) by David B. Chadwick
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
6.
Divertimento for Winds by Daniel Gregory Mason
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 
7.
Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; USA 
Notes: Arranged for winds 
8.
The Cascades by Scott Joplin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 
Notes: Arranged for winds 
9.
Dance Antique by William Mason
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
10.
Miniatures for Flute, Oboe, and Piano by William Grant Still
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Calico Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Notes: Arranged for winds 

Featured Sound Samples

Fireside Tales (MacDowell): No 2: Of Br'er Rabbit
Sea Sketches (Chadwick): No 3: Sailors Hornpipe
Stars and Stripes Forever (Sousa)

Sound Samples

Dance Antique, Op. 38 (arr. for wind quintet)
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 1. An Old Love Story
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 2. Of Br'er Rabbit
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 3. From a German Forest
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 4. Of Salamanders
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 5. A Haunted House
Fireside Tales, Op. 61 (arr. for wind quintet): No. 6. By Smouldering Embers
Divertimento, Op. 26b: I. March
Divertimento, Op. 26b: II. Fugue
Prairie Miniature, Op. 20
Miniatures (arr. for wind quintet): No. 1. I Ride and Old Paint
Miniatures (arr. for wind quintet): No. 2. Adolorido
Miniatures (arr. for wind quintet): No. 3. Jesus Is a Rock in the Weary Land
Miniatures (arr. for wind quintet): No. 4. Yaravi
Miniatures (arr. for wind quintet): No. 5. A Frog Went A-Courtin'
Folk Suite No. 4 (arr. for wind quintet): I. El Monigote
Folk Suite No. 4 (arr. for wind quintet): II. Anda Buscando de Rosa en Rosa
Folk Suite No. 4 (arr. for wind quintet): III. Tayeras
The Cascades (arr. for wind quintet)
Maple Leaf Rag (arr. for wind quintet)
Sea Sketches: No. 1. Haul Away Joe
Sea Sketches: No. 2. Tom's Gone to Hilo
Sea Sketches: No. 3. Sailors Hornpipe
The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. for wind quintet)

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