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Portrait Of Karel Husa - Works For Winds / Steele, Et Al


Release Date: 08/21/2007 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 957   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karel Husa
Performer:  Momoko Gresham
Conductor:  Stephen K. Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Karel Husa is a phenomenal composer for wind band. His tragic, powerful Music for Prague 1968 has justly become a classic. The remaining works on this well-played and very naturally recorded CD, while perhaps less emotionally violent (no bad thing), are every bit as colorful and arresting. Al Fresco in particular does just about everything you possibly can with a wind ensemble in terms of timbral inventiveness, while still sporting distinctive melodic and motivic ideas that make the music much more than just a dry exercise in texture. The Concertino for Piano and Winds, an arrangement originally composed for standard orchestra, is an early work in a deliciously spiky neo-classical idiom, and it
Read more finds a very sympathetic soloist in Momoko Gresham.

Stephen Steele leads an especially talented group of young musicians. The reeds play with a notably full sonority and the brass section takes the music's challenges in stride, while the percussion supports the larger ensemble with rhythmic verve and lots of vivid color. The climaxes of Music for Prague are positively terrifying. The engineering, as already suggested, is big and open, but remarkably clear, with ideal sectional balances and plenty of "head room" to capture the tuttis. If you collect music for symphonic wind ensemble, you owe it to yourself to hear this remarkable disc.

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

1.
Smetana Fanfare by Karel Husa
Conductor:  Stephen K. Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1984 
2.
Al Fresco by Karel Husa
Conductor:  Stephen K. Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
3.
Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble by Karel Husa
Performer:  Momoko Gresham (Piano)
Conductor:  Stephen K. Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; USA 
4.
Music for Prague 1968 by Karel Husa
Conductor:  Stephen K. Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969 

Featured Sound Samples

Al Fresco
Music for Prague 1968: I. Introduction and Fanfare

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