by John Plant
Disc: Amazing Wonderments on Symbol
Recording:Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble
Conductor:Adam F. Brennan
Soloists: Joseph Murphy – Alto Saxophone; Richard MacDowell – Clarinet
Publisher:MARK Records 55626 MCD
The latest recording from the Mansfield University Concert Wind Ensemble features two very contrasting solo works along with four repertoire works for band. Concert Fantasia-Rigoletto (Luigi Bassi/L.P. Laurendeau arr. Mark Rogers) is a famous clarinet display work based upon themes of Verdi’s opera magnificently interpreted by soloist Richard MacDowell. Faustus: A Sax Opera (John Plant) was inspired by Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights; Gertrude Stein’s libretto on the Faust myth. I would strongly suggest going to John Plant’s website to find an in-depth analysis of this saxophone adventure but don’t let that deter you from appreciating the professionalism of soloist Joseph Murphy. The band sparkles in performances of Marche Hongroise (Berlioz/Smith), Blue Shades (Ticheli), Variations on America (Ives/Schuman arr. Rhoads) and Lincolnshire Posy (Grainger arr. Fennell). Another excellent recording from Mansfield.