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Monumental Works for Winds

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 31, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Monumental Works for Winds is a collection of some of the greatest pieces ever written for wind band. Persichetti's 1956 Symphony for Band, Op. 69 is not only one of his greatest works, but has become one of the most frequently performed original American

Review

10/10 for Artistic Quality & Sound Quality -- ClassicsToday.com
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: United States Marine Band
  • Composer: Giuseppe Verdi, Igor Stravinsky, Vincent Persichetti, Jaromir Weinberger, Aaron Copland, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 31, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos Wind Band Classics
  • ASIN: B000I2IUX4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,287 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm not quite sure why this album is entitled 'Monumental Works for Winds.' Why 'monumental'? Be that as it may, most of the works included here are among the most popular and most often played by good (emphasis on the word 'good') wind bands. Of course, some of them are actually transcriptions. The works here originally written for wind band are Copland's 'Emblems', Persichetti's Symphony No. 6, Grainger's 'Children's March' and Stravinsky's 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments'. The other works are orchestral pieces that in their originals have a preponderance of wind/brass sonorities.

The first track, Verdi's 'Triumphal March' from Aida, was transcribed by that bandmaster of a bygone era, Giuseppe Creatore (now mostly remembered as 'the great Creatore', so-called by Professor Harold Hill in 'The Music Man.') It is indeed a monumental piece if only because one cannot hear it without thinking of an opera stage crowded with elephants, soldiers and Egyptian dancing girls. It is given a terrific performance by the United States Marine Band who let us know immediately that they are among the very best such ensembles in the world.

Stravinsky's great neoclassic 'Symphonies of Wind Instruments' is given in its original 1921 version. The playing here is extremely subtle, with conductor Michael J. Colburn fashioning a flexible, almost impressionistic rendition. One becomes aware of just how expert this band is. The clarinet section is one of the best I've ever heard with their ability to play softly and smoothly very much like a good violin section might.

Perschetti's mighty symphony for band, his No. 6, has been recorded many times and is surely one of the greatest works for wind band ever written by an American.
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This display of virtuosity from "The President's Own," the U.S. Marine Band, now ranks right alongside the extensive discography of the Eastman Wind Ensemble with Frederick Fennell in my pantheon of wind ensemble/wind band/concert band recordings. Start with the Persichetti Symphony #6, where all discussions of transcendent 20th Century wind ensemble writing must start -- this actually surpasses Fennell in my estimation, because there is not a ragged bar in it (once or twice, the Eastman rushes a little as it transmits its enthusiasm for this great work). But then add in Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments and the other great performances on this disk and you a stupendous, fulfilling piece of programming and consummate performance.
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Format: Audio CD
A great title and a great CD. From start to finish I found this CD a pleasure to listen to. The music is significant yet entertaining. The playing is first class, maybe flawless is a better description. My favourite track is the "Crown Imperial" March by William Walton. The band achieves a huge sound in this dramatic and pompous march, at times you would swear you are listening to a symphony orchestra. I particularly like the discipline and the precision in the performances on this CD. All sections project well, achieving a pleasant balance of instruments.
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