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Finale / Wizards!

Wizards / Powning / Collier / Freihofner / Pozajic
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Crystal   Catalog #: 876   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Louis-Emmanuel JadinAnge FlégierJerzy MlodziejowskiMladin Pozajic,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



WIZARDS! FINALE WIZARDS! CRYSTAL CD876 (63: 23)


JADIN Nocturne No. 1. FLÉGIER Wind Quartet. MLODZIEJOWSKI Wind Quartet. POZAJIC 3 Stavka. COLLIER Fantasy. POWNING Read more Sextet. FREIHOFNER Das Golem, Part 2


Wizards! was a quartet of double-reed instrument players – oboists Mark Weiger and Andrea Gullickson, English hornist S. Blake Duncan, and bassoonist Greg Morton—active from 1990 to 2008, when it disbanded upon the death of Weiger, its founder. It has at least three other CDs currently in print on the Crystal and Boston labels. Two of these, both on Crystal, were previously (and positively) reviewed in Fanfare by John W. Lambert (22:4) and John Bauman (24:2).


The repertoire offered here draws upon the ensemble’s own collection of more than 500 different original works and arrangements; most of the composers here are sufficiently obscure as to have no entry in Grove’s . Louis-Emmanuel Jadin (1768–1853) was a teacher at the Paris Conservatory and composer of some 40 operas. His Nocturne from 1812 was originally scored for flute, clarinet, horn, and bassoon; in this arrangement the second oboe plays an oboe d’amore instead. Ange Flégier (1846–1927) was also primarily an opera composer; his 1901 Quartet presented here was originally penned for two oboes and two bassoons. The remaining works, all written in various conservative 20th-century idioms, are presented in their original scorings. Little is known of the Polish composer Jerzy M?odziejowski (1909–85), who sometimes used the pseudonym Jerzy Korab; from 1940 to 1945 he was interred by the Nazis in the Woldenburg (Dobiegniew) Oflag (prisoner of war camp reserved for officers). His quartet dates from 1952 and is written in a neoromantic style with clear influences of Polish folk idioms. Mladen Pozajic (1905–79) was a Croatian music professor and opera orchestra conductor in Zagreb and Sarajevo; his Tri Stavka (literally, Three Items) from 1925 draws upon Croatian folk melodies. A student of composition with Hindemith, Martin?, and Piston, and of conducting with Bernstein and Monteux, Gilman Collier (b.1929) was a longtime professor of music at Monmouth College in New Jersey; his 1994 Fantasy was premiered in Monmouth and is the most harmonically adventurous piece on this disc, with an eclectic use of neoclassical and blues motifs. Australian oboist Graham Powning (b.1949) has, according to his publisher’s Web site, written more than 800 works for double reed instruments. In the puckish four-movement Sextet (for which I could not locate a date), Wizards! is joined by guest artists Jack McCauley (English horn) and Jeff Tilghman (bassoon). Finally, Phil Freihofner (b. 1957) is a freelance composer and oboist active in California. Das Golem was composed in 1999 as a film score to a 68-minute German silent film from 1920, Der Golem, Wie er in die Welt kam ; the excerpt presented here draws upon the popular Greek dance song Miserlou and its use of the klezmer idiom.


The pieces on this disc were recorded in 2007. In his review of a previous disc, Lambert described the playing as “pretty miraculous ... magic abounds.” I concur completely; this group had glowing tone, immaculate technique, pristine intonation, ideal ensemble blend, and spirited interpretations; its premature demise engenders the most profound regrets. The recorded sound is clear and intimate; the booklet notes provide details on the composers, works, and performers. If, like me, you are a devotee of double-reed music, you’ll want to snap this delectable item up forthwith; others interested in pleasantly entertaining musical diversions are encouraged to do so as well.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturne No. 1 in D minor, for double reed ensemble by Louis-Emmanuel Jadin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 7 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2.
Quatuor, for double reed ensemble by Ange Flégier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 9 Minutes 8 Secs. 
3.
Kwartet, for double reed ensemble by Jerzy Mlodziejowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 9 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
Tri Stavka, for Oboes (2), English horn and bassoon by Mladin Pozajic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5.
Fantasy, for double reed ensemble by Gilman Collier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 
6.
Sextuor, for double reed ensemble by Graham Powning
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 7 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7.
Das Golem, Part 2, for double reed ensemble by Phil Freihofner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wizards!
Period: Contemporary 
Date of Recording: 07/2007 
Venue:  St. Bridget's Church, Morse, Iowa 
Length: 11 Minutes 49 Secs. 

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