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by David Maslanka, Richard Beale

Album Title:  ALCHEMIZE
Recording:  University of Southern Mississippi
Wind Ensemble
Conductor:  Catherine A. Rand
Soloists: Jackie McIIwain-clarinet
Jonathan Yarrington-tenor
Publisher: NAXOS 8.573587                Purchase

This recording is dedicated to the memory of David Maslanka; a most prolific composer of unparalleled music for wind ensemble. He is represented by Hosannas for Wind Ensemble; a seven-movement suite resplendent with virtuosity, simplicity, chorale melodies, and philosophy. The Logic of all my Dreams (Steven Bryant) is the first movement from Alchemy in Silent Spaces. The music relies on delicate scoring with its drama coming from silence, space and passages of ethereal quiet which swells to a climax and then retreats back to its calm. The opening work is Joseph Schwantner’s Luminosity (Concerto for Wind Orchestra). Schwantner is sometimes thought of as a “one-hit wonder” with “…and the mountains rising nowhere” but his compositional styles are extraordinary in all his music and should be performed more often by wind ensembles ready to embrace the challenges. Catherine A. Rand and the University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble excel in this program of mature music few ensembles can rival.

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