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Husa, Copland, Vaughan Williams, Hindemith / Eastman Wind Ensemble


Release Date: 05/11/1989 
Label:  Cbs Masterworks Catalog #: 44916   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karel HusaPaul HindemithRalph Vaughan WilliamsAaron Copland
Performer:  Wynton MarsalisPhilip Koch
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An unusually intriguing program. There is no better wind band curtain-raiser than Vaughan Williams's Toccata marziale, and his Variations for brass is from his 'autumn' years, boldly harmonized and dark hued.

Telarc may well have spoiled us forever with their exceptional recordings of this marvellous band. CBS miss something of the bloom, the ripeness and range of the sonorities with their tighter and drier imaging. But it's a harsh comparison on which to start and I wouldn't want to discourage you from investigating an unusually intriguing programme. There is, of course, no better wind band curtain-raiser than Vaughan Williams's Toccata marziale, a classic of its kind, despatched here with all due regimental swagger,
Read more but I have returned already to Donald Hunsberger's expanded scoring of the richly inventive Variations for brass band. Here's a piece from Vaughan Williams's 'autumn' years, boldly harmonized and dark hued, bearing something of Percy Grainger's celtic bleakness in its moments of solitude. The low brasses are generously accommodated (and tellingly supported here by string bass and harp), there are piccolo trumpets and flugelhorns, indeed the whole gamut of possibility on offer from the contemporary American wind band. This is a beautifully made scoring from one who plainly knows his forces from the inside.

For the rest, we've the baby brother of Hindemith's Symphony for concert band—his earlier Konzertmusik for wind: an edgy, slightly sinister mix of poker-faced military gestures and an almost enforced Weillian jazziness shot through with Hindemith's dry, characteristically academic counterpoints. Each to his own. Karel Husa's Music for Prague 1968 is essentially a dramatic colour piece, a cry from the heart for a lost homeland, full of obvious Nationalistic symbols: a recurrent bird-call (symbol of liberty), an old Hussite war-song (symbol of resistance), feverish climaxes built upon fanfares of distress, bells of alarm and victory remembered from the ancient Czech capital's countless church towers. What counts here is impact, visceral impact, and Husa's musical engineering is entirely geared to just that.

-- Gramophone [11/1989]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Music for Prague 1968 by Karel Husa
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969 
2.
Konzertmusik for Winds, Op. 41 by Paul Hindemith
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Germany 
3.
Toccata marziale by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; England 
4.
Variations for Brass Band by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; England 
5.
Quiet City by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Wynton Marsalis (Trumpet), Philip Koch (English Horn)
Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 

Sound Samples

Taccata Marziale
Theme: Andante maestoso
Variation No. 1: Poco tranquillo
Variation No. 2: Tranquillo cantabile
Variation No. 3: Allegro
Variation No. 4: Allegro (Canon)
Variation No. 5: Moderato sostenuto
Variation No. 6: Tempo di valse
Variation No. 7: Arabesque; Andante sostenuto
Variation No. 8: Alla Polacca
Variation No. 9: Adagio
Variation No. 10: Allegro moderato (Fugata)
Variation No. 11: Chorale
Konzertante Ouvertüre: Maestoso
Sechs Variationen über das lied "Prinz Eugen, der Edle Ritter"
Marsch
Quiet City
Introduction and Fanfare: Adagio
Aria: Moderato molto
Interlude: Misterioso
Toccata and Chorale: Vivace

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