Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|William Mason, Edward MacDowell, Daniel Gregory Mason|
Vintage America: A Musical Meritage
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
America began forging its own cultural identity in the 19th Century with music reflecting a vast array of cultures coming together. By the time the first music conservatory opened in 1865, European classical music had begu... more »
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America began forging its own cultural identity in the 19th Century with music reflecting a vast array of cultures coming together. By the time the first music conservatory opened in 1865, European classical music had begun to be mingled with music influenced by Native American themes, African-American styles of ragtime and spirituals, Latin American and rural American folk music, and the traditional military band. With Vintage America, Calico Winds showcases these American musical roots. Known for exploring the full palette of tone colors available to the wind quintet, Calico Winds plays "in perfect balance with each other, each [member] contributing lovely tone quality and flawless intonation?" (The Times Herald, Olean, NY) It is with these attributes that Calico Winds brings to life America's rich musical legacy.
Saucy, Melodic, Old-Fashioned American Wind Quintet Music
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 09/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"[Disclaimer: I'm a pushover for wind quintet music. There is something about the uneasy combination of timbres that unfailingly engages my interest and admiration.]
I found myself having trouble getting beyond the first band on this delightful release from Albany Records featuring the playing of a Los Angeles-based wind quintet calling themselves 'Calico Winds.' I kept pushing the repeat button to hear it one more time. It's that rhythmically invigorating and melodic. The music presented here is almost all by Americans, some from among those first conservatory-trained American composers of the 19th-century: William Mason, his nephew Daniel Gregory Mason, and Edward MacDowell. The more recent composers tend to write in conservative style so that the most recent work, 'Sea Sketches' by the only non-American, Briton David B. Chadwick, could be mistaken for something by an early twentieth-century writer. Some of the pieces are skillful transcriptions for quintet: Mason's 'Dance Antique,' that infectious first band I'd mentioned; MacDowell's 'Fireside Tales,' William Grant Still's folk-song based 'Miniatures' and 'Folk Suite,' Scott Joplin's 'Two Rags' ('The Cascades' and 'Maple Leaf Rag'), and the rousing closer, Sousa's 'The Stars and Stripes Forever.' Indeed, the only works originally written for wind quintet are Daniel Gregory Mason's 'Divertimento,' Arthur Farwell's brief and delightful 'Prairie Miniature,' and Chadwick's 'Sea Sketches.' That latter, by the way, has a catchy setting of 'The Sailors' Hornpipe,' another piece I couldn't get enough of.
Calico Winds consists of five women: Eileen Holt Helwig, flute and piccolo; Rong-Huey Liu, oboe and English horn; Rachel Berry, horn; Kathryn Nevin, clarinet; and Theresa Treuenfels, bassoon. I'd never heard of this expert and musicianly group before, although I gather they have made at least one prior recording on the humorously named 'Occasionally Sober' label and containing music from Bach to Zappa. I expect we'll be hearing from them again, if we're lucky.
This is not profound music. This is joyful music. It's worth hearing, and more important, worth coming to love. A real keeper, this.