Outstanding Work by Eastman Performers
127 | Michigan | 11/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellently performed CD with numerous powerful moments. Although Wynton Marsalis's name is prominent on the cover, he only plays on one piece - Copland's Quiet City. Quiet City is a duet between trumpet and English horn and Marsalis's playing here is very beautiful and expressive. Another excellent Quiet City recording (played by Phil Smith) can be found with a strong Copland 3rd Symphony by Bernstein/ NY Phil on DG. Both recordings get top marks. The Vaughn Williams and Hindemith works here are fairly straightforward and are also well performed. The Husa Music for Prague 1968 is extremely powerful although not as initially listener-friendly as Copland and Vaughn Williams. The music has to do with the invasion of Prague by the Soviets in 1968 and while I enjoy the entire piece, I find the very end extremely powerful. Among the more avant garde techniques used in the piece, Husa also uses a Hussite war song as a chorale. At the end of the piece, as the ensemble sustains a long chord, the snare drum repeats a martial pattern that grows louder and louder. When the snare drum reaches its loudest, everything else drops out, leaving the snare drum to sound alone, as though the Soviets are marching into Prague. This moment of triumph is short, though, as the snare drum is quickly smothered by a full ensemble statement of the Hussite war song. It is a very poweful moment.I enjoy this CD very much, but don't be fooled by the Marsalis name into thinking that this is an all Marsalis album. This CD covers a wide variety of emotions and is another excellent album from the Eastman Wind Ensemble."
Continuing to set the standard
127 | 10/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am really enjoying this CD, particularly the Toccata Marziale. I enjoy how Hunsberger interpreted the piece and allowed a lot of the clarinet lines to project. On other recordings, I've found the clarinet lines to be rather obscure. But not this one!! Excellent balance within the brass. The Variations for Brass Band (wind band in this case) is played very well, and the excellent transcription is worth noting. Excellent recording!!"