FRANK ERICKSON (1923-1996): Symphonies for Band Nos. 1-3.
Catalogue Number: 10S065
Label: Mark Records
Description: Erickson seems to have been the victim of his own success; well known as a composer of music for school bands, he had trouble getting anyone to pay attention to his larger, more 'serious' compositions. He wrote of Grainger and Holst as the 'giants' of the wind band genre, and these influences are clear in these three engaging, tonal symphonies, full of skilled, idiosyncratic wind orchestra writing. All three are cyclical in overall structure, but each has its own character. The concise First is in five sections played without pause, and combines lyricism and drama; the Second is more expansive, neo-romantic in expression and emotionally rich, in three movements. This and the leaner Third are more harmony-oriented and less contrapuntal than the first. The Third is much later than the first two, and suggests a terser, less optimistic narrative, with an almost concertante part for the percussion section. California State University, Northridge Wind Ensemble; Lawrence Stoffel.