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Dvorak Arragements For Wind Quartet / Windscape

Release Date: 09/18/2007 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1175   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Tara Helen O'ConnorJeremy DenkDavid JolleyFrank Morelli,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Windscape
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

DVO?ÁK Piano Quintet (arr. Jolley). String Quartet op. 51 (arr. Jolley). Romance for Violin and Orchestra (arr. Kay) Windscape; Jeremy Denk (pn); Daniel Phillips (vn) MSR 1175 (78:48)

Once you’ve heard the opening theme of the Quintet played by David Jolley’s horn, there’s no going back. It captures the whole tenor of a Romantic century, in a handful Read more of notes. The extensive and endlessly detailed booklet notes make an apology for arrangements in general, but there’s no need when the results are so beguiling. Elliott Hurwitt’s flatulent annotations offer such additional windy insights as: “Dvo?ák is clearly more a German composer than a French, Italian, or Russian one.”

Winds record better than solo strings, I feel, and these well-balanced 2006 Queen’s College, New York, tapes project Windscape, and also Denk’s piano, in lifelike fashion. Phillips plays the violin Romance beautifully, and passionately. Without disrespect, I wish Alan Kay (Windscape’s clarinetist) had gone the full distance and made an all-wind arrangement of this Schubertian piece. Otherwise: no serious complaints, really. An unsupported flute is no substitute for a violin in a string quartet, but these arrangements are more subtle, mixing and matching doublings and solo passages, and exploiting the disparate tonal nature of the wind family members.

The Quintet interpretation is positive, dramatic, and involving in its own right. The opening of the Dumka is tense and closely argued, rather than gently melancholic. With the winds, it could have gone the other way, possibly to its advantage, but it’s of a piece with the whole account. The Quartet’s quicker sections work best in this arrangement. I can imagine more compelling readings of the inner movements, but the jolly finale actually sounds better in Jolley’s arrangement, than with strings. Yes, everyone could have relaxed a little more, all through, but these are vigorous, pioneering accounts. This CD works just fine as background music, or for serious listening, or as a challenge to your own wind group, if you have one. I hope other professional ensembles record these arrangements, in time. Great fun, stimulating, and recommended.

FANFARE: Paul Ingram
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Works on This Recording

Quintet for Piano and Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 81/B 155 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Tara Helen O'Connor (Flute), Jeremy Denk (Piano), David Jolley (French Horn),
Frank Morelli (Bassoon), Randall Ellis (Oboe), Alan R. Kay (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Windscape
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: David Jolley. 
Romance for Violin and Piano in F minor, Op. 11/B 38 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Randall Ellis (Oboe), Alan R. Kay (Clarinet), Tara Helen O'Connor (Flute),
David Jolley (French Horn), Jeremy Denk (Piano), Frank Morelli (Bassoon),
Daniel Phillips (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Windscape
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1877; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: Alan R. Kay. 
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 51/B 92 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Tara Helen O'Connor (Flute), Frank Morelli (Bassoon), David Jolley (French Horn),
Alan R. Kay (Clarinet), Randall Ellis (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Windscape
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; Bohemia 
Notes: Arranger: David Jolley. 

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