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Works By Husa, Copland, Vaughan Williams, And Hindemith

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 6, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Works By Copland, Vaughan Williams, And Hindemith / Eastman Wind Ensemble

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Product Details

  • Performer: Mark Kellogg, Wynton Marsalis, Philip Koch
  • Orchestra: Eastman Wind Ensemble
  • Conductor: Donald Hunsberger
  • Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Paul Hindemith, Aaron Copland, Karel Husa
  • Audio CD (January 6, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CBS Records
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000026PX
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an excellently performed CD with numerous powerful moments. Although Wynton Marsalis's name is prominent on the cover, he only plays on one piece - Copland's Quiet City. Quiet City is a duet between trumpet and English horn and Marsalis's playing here is very beautiful and expressive. Another excellent Quiet City recording (played by Phil Smith) can be found with a strong Copland 3rd Symphony by Bernstein/ NY Phil on DG. Both recordings get top marks. The Vaughn Williams and Hindemith works here are fairly straightforward and are also well performed.
The Husa Music for Prague 1968 is extremely powerful although not as initially listener-friendly as Copland and Vaughn Williams. The music has to do with the invasion of Prague by the Soviets in 1968 and while I enjoy the entire piece, I find the very end extremely powerful. Among the more avant garde techniques used in the piece, Husa also uses a Hussite war song as a chorale. At the end of the piece, as the ensemble sustains a long chord, the snare drum repeats a martial pattern that grows louder and louder. When the snare drum reaches its loudest, everything else drops out, leaving the snare drum to sound alone, as though the Soviets are marching into Prague. This moment of triumph is short, though, as the snare drum is quickly smothered by a full ensemble statement of the Hussite war song. It is a very poweful moment.
I enjoy this CD very much, but don't be fooled by the Marsalis name into thinking that this is an all Marsalis album. This CD covers a wide variety of emotions and is another excellent album from the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD primarily to have a recording of the Husa composition Music for Prague. This is the first Eastman Wind Ensemble recording I've listened to that wasn't conducted by Frederick Fennell.

I am not familiar with most of the music on the CD; the only piece I've heard before is the Toccata Marziale. The music seems to be well-executed to me.

While I admire what Frederick Fennell did in bringing the Eastman Wind Ensemble to the top of the list of wind ensembles and symphonic bands, I've always thought the final result was a little bit too well blended. The Fennell sound was so homogenous that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the saxophones and the cornets. With Hunsberger, the blend is still there, but each section of the ensemble has a distinct flavor -- a shade closer to the University of Michigan concept of a band sound than Eastman. The intonation was outstanding, and the group turns in a virtuoso performance on very difficult music that would challenge most elite college bands.

I don't know for a fact, but I'm assuming this recording was made in the Eastman Concert Hall in Rochester. There are a few times when the forte and fortissimo passages get away from the engineer. Otherwise, there's a very nice balance with just the right amount of reverberation and echo (well, maybe a tad too much, but that is a matter of my personal taste).

I recommend this CD, which is affordably priced.
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By A Customer on October 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I am really enjoying this CD, particularly the Toccata Marziale. I enjoy how Hunsberger interpreted the piece and allowed a lot of the clarinet lines to project. On other recordings, I've found the clarinet lines to be rather obscure. But not this one!! Excellent balance within the brass. The Variations for Brass Band (wind band in this case) is played very well, and the excellent transcription is worth noting. Excellent recording!!
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By granger on October 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am referring to the sound first off. This is a very well recorded CD with an excellent soundstage, clean sound, and appropriately impactful bass. In other words, this is a recording that's like being there. And what a place to be. I have another recording of Copland's Quiet City and I thought it was a nice piece of music from my favorite composer but this performance is transcendent. Hunsberger's score for band keeps the focus on the emotion in the trumpet and other wood winds. And the trumpet is so critical to this piece that having a performer of Marsalis' ability and sensitivity takes it to a whole new level for me.

I also think the Vaughan Williams music is some of his best to my ears - less edgy than his symphonies for example. Very enjoyable with his trademark other worldly harmonies. Hindemith and especially Husa are for ears accustomed to modern tonalities and rhythms. Fine in their own right and well performed but they don't take me to the same place as the other music. To put it all into perspective, the Copland piece alone is enough reason to have this CD!
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