Random Image

Reviews

back to reviews

- Fandango CD review

"FANDANGO - Eric Rombach-Kendall, cond; University of New Mexico Wind Symphony. Philip Smith (tpt); Joseph Alessi (tbn) - SUMMIT SMT 271 (62:53) GOLDSTEIN Colloquy. TURRIN Chronicle. Fandango. BOURGEOIS Concerto for Trombone and Concert Band. GRYC Evensong Another fine CD of wind music from Summit. Two exceptional first-desk New York Philharmonic players-Philip Smith on trumpet and Joseph Alessi on trombone-team up with the outstanding University of New Mexico Wind Symphony for a program of compositions that neatly balance virtuosity, instrumental color, and substance. The CD steps off in high spirits with Colloquy for trombone and symphonic band by New Jersey-bom William Goldstein (b. 1942), a former student of Giannini and Flagello at the Manhattan School of Music, and a veteran composer for TV and films. Written in 1967 "during a most difficult period of national angst," the youthful influence of Copland and Bernstein is felt, as the composer was "filled with a desire to inspire." The music is somewhat jazzy (with a particularly Bemsteinesque slow central section) and is infectiously swinging in its finale. A good showpiece. Chronicles for trumpet and wind ensemble and Fandango for trumpet, trombone, and symphonic band are the first commercially recorded works of Joseph Turrin (b. 1947), whose splendid NYP-commissioned Trumpet Concerto of 1988 is one of the highlights of the 1990 WQXR/NY Philharmonic Radiothon Special Edition, Vol. 111, CD. Turrin, like Goldstein, New Jersey born, a former student of Flagello at Manhattan, and a veteran composer for TV and films, thus considers Chronicles (1998) his unofficial Second Trumpet Concerto; it is both driving and melodic, with a fanfare figure that recurs as a unifying element. The expected lyrical middle movement is nonetheless not devoid of tensions that are released in the somewhat processional finale. The Trombone Concerto (1988) of English-bom, 59-year-old composer Derek Bourgeois has already become a staple of the trombone literature-in all three of its versions: with orchestra, with brass band, and, as recorded here, with concert band. Formal though the concerto is-it is conservative and Romantically tuneful-the piece is just plain irresistible. Themes are aubum-hued, and the nearly 10-minute first movement is nearly a miniature trombone concerto in its own right. The second movement, featuring a trombone quartet in places, offers elegant, rich lines of a Malcolm Arnold-like, folksy character. The third movement, a broad march in rondo form, is a slide-and-tongue twister for the soloist. Stephen Gryc (b. 1949), a St. Paul native, contributes Evensong for trumpet and symphonic band (1999-2000), commissioned by the forces heard here. As its church-service title implies, Evensong is restrained and hymnal. Ancient dorian and mixolydian modes tend a slightly dark edge to the music, and soloist Smith produces a beautifully controlled plaintive tone. Joseph Turrin returns with the CD's eponymous Fandango for trumpet, trombone, and symphonic band (2000). The piece is pure color and syncopated, triple-time Spanish rhythms. Though rather fluffy, the duo-solo composition provides a lively and satisfying summertime band-concert conclusion to the program. Music fans, ahoy! Regardless of the temperature as you read this, the winds are up, and you should prepare to voyage to a Web site or store to seek out Fandango. Stephen Ellis"

back to reviews