MONUMENTS Wind Band Music

This much lauded series continues with a sequence of four première recordings played by the elite Illinois State University Wind Symphony.

"This much-lauded series continues with a sequence of four premiere recordings played by the elite Illinois State University Wind Symphony, featuring Roy Magnuson’s House Plants in Terracotta Pots; Sydney Hodkinson’s expressive Duae Cantatae Breves; Jayce John Ogren’s richly imagined Evening Music; and Francesco José Martínez Gallego’s exciting, monumental Sinfonía No. 1 ‘Kaprekar’." --Midwest Tape, January 2016 

"American music for wind orchestra in a modern idiom composed during the past twenty-five years, here gathered together with the album name, ‘Monuments’. Composed last year, the disc opens with the oriental sounds of Roy Magnuson’s brief and uncomplicated three minute crescendo and diminuendo that pictures House Plants in Terrcotta Pots. Still living in the atonal world of his mentors, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt, the Duae Cantatae Breves, was written by Sydney Hodkinson in 1995, and belongs to an era that internationally seems to have died a death in its own lifetime.

In two movements it is an experiment in the quiet and meditative sounds that can be produced by a wind ensemble. Very different is the other extended work on the disc—Francisco Gallego’s Sinfonia No.1 ‘Kaprekar’. Loaded with noisy brilliance, it reflects ‘Kaprakar’s Constant’, a mathematical formulae that always ends up with the figure 6174. In one continuous movement divided into several sections and written for a band of around one hundred, it thereby gives the album its title. As an interlude in the disc, Jayce Ogren’s Evening Music is scored for a soprano voice and wind ensemble. Better known as a conductor, Ogren’s piece is the disc’s jewel in its delicacy and refinement, the words translated into English from Abend, by the 20th century German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.

Often high in the register, Allyss Haecker deals admirably with the challenge. The Hodkinson and Gallego scores are taxing, and one must admire the spirited response from the Illinois State Univerisity Wind Symphony, though I wish the recorded sound had been more detailed in densly scored passages." --David's Review Corner, December 2015

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