by Joseph Willcox Jenkins
Disc: American Symphony
Recording: University of Texas at El Paso Wind Symphony & Messiah College Wind Ensemble
Conductor: Bradley J. Genevro
Publisher: MARK Masters 55872- MCD
An excellent performance of the hallmark Symphony No. 4 “West Point” of Morton Gould is the centerpiece on this recording of original band symphonies. The band mastery of the prolific Robert Jager is featured on the premiere recording of his Symphony No. 3. “The Grandeur of God”. Jager refers to this as a tone poem symphony composed in memory of his wife and is influenced by the writings of Jesuit Irish priest Gerard Manley Hopkins. Joseph Willcox Jenkins is wrongly considered a “one hit wonder” composer by many (American Overture for Band) but has written several other band works (Cumberland Gap, Cuernavaca and more). Symphony No. 5 Op. 153 (premiere recording) is a very mature piece for full wind ensemble including a synthesizer. This is a fascinating well crafted symphony that will hopefully inspire band directors to look into this and other works by Jenkins.