WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Old Wine In New Bottles

Grantham / Youngstown State University Symphonic
Release Date: 08/28/2012 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572762   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Donald GranthamGordon JacobSteven BryantCarter Pann
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES Stephen L. Gage, cond; Youngstown St University Wind Ens. 1 Dana Chamber Winds 2 NAXOS 8.572762 (63:06)


GRANTHAM 1 Starry Crown. JACOB 2 Old Wine in New Bottles. 2 More Old Wine in New Bottles. Read more BRYANT 1 Ecstatic Waters. PANN 1 Hold This Boy and Listen


Here we have yet another entry in Naxos’s ongoing Wind Band Classics series and the second in the series by the Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble. First up is Donald Grantham’s Starry Crown . Grantham has penned several distinguished scores for wind band including a symphony and the brilliant Southern Harmony . In Starry Crown , he sets three gospel tunes from the Deep South in a jazzy, bluesy style. Though certainly enjoyable in its own right, the work has Leonard Bernstein’s fingerprints all over it.


Englishman Gordon Jacob has also contributed a number of excellent works for band, most notably Music for a Festival and my own personal favorite, Flag of Stars , a thrilling concert overture dedicated to the United States. The two suites for small wind ensemble, Old Wine in New Bottles and More Old Wine in New Bottles , are comprised of clever settings of eight British folk songs, four in each suite. Those who know the magnificent band settings of similar material by Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, and Jacob’s own teacher, Ralph Vaughan Williams, might find these two works a bit mundane.


The most ambitious work on the disc is Steven Bryant’s Ecstatic Waters , a 21-minute work that incorporates computer generated sounds into the music’s sonic tapestry. The composer describes the work thusly: “ Ecstatic Waters is music of dialectical tension—a juxtaposition of contradictory or opposing musical and extra musical elements and an attempt to resolve them. The five connected movements hint at a narrative that touches upon naiveté, divination, fanaticism, post-human possibilities, anarchy, order, and Jungian collective unconscious. Or, as I have described it more colloquially, W. B. Yeats meets Ray Kurzwell in the Matrix.” Well, okay if you say so. In addition to the electronic sounds, the work is characterized by bubbling, gurgling repetitive patterns, bold fanfares, chorale fragments, and lots of percussion. While there is no doubt that Bryant has created a fascinating soundscape, this does not in and of itself add up to a satisfying musical and emotional statement nor does it necessarily convey the extra-musical concepts on which the work is based. It’s one of those pieces that requires one to constantly refer to the accompanying program notes in order to “get it,” which is just another way of saying that the music has trouble standing on its own. And I have to be honest; the electronic sounds, which consist mostly of little pops, bleeps, squiggles, and grunts, made me think of R2D2 from Star Wars. The disc closes with Carter Pann’s gorgeous Hold This Boy and Listen . With lovely melodies and lush, sensuous harmonies, this “soft and subdued song for band” beautifully conveys the wonder and love of a newborn child; in this case, the composer’s nephew.


The student musicians of the Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble account for themselves well, delivering highly proficient performances of the full band works. The Dana Chamber Winds, which seems to be made up primarily of members of the Youngstown music faculty, also performs well on the two Jacob suites, and the interpretations of conductor Stephen Gage make a strong case for all of the music, especially the lovingly shaped Hold This Boy and Listen . The sound is good, though the electronics in Ecstatic Waters seem to have been overdubbed after the fact.


FANFARE: Merlin Patterson
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Starry Crown by Donald Grantham
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Old Wine in New Bottles by Gordon Jacob
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
3.
More Old Wine in New Bottles by Gordon Jacob
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978 
4.
Ecstatic Waters by Steven Bryant
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble
5.
Hold This Boy and Listen by Carter Pann
Conductor:  Stephen L. Gage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble

Sound Samples

Starry Crown
Old Wine in New Bottles: I. Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
Old Wine in New Bottles: II. The Three Ravens
Old Wine in New Bottles: III. Begone Dull Care
Old Wine in New Bottles: IV. Early One Morning
More Old Wine in New Bottles: I. Down Among the Dead Men
More Old Wine in New Bottles: II. The Oak and the Ash
More Old Wine in New Bottles: III. The Lincolnshire Poacher
More Old Wine in New Bottles: IV. Joan to the Maypole
Ecstatic Waters
Hold this Boy and Listen

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In