STANISLAW SKROWACZEWSKI (b.1923): Music for Winds, DONALD GRANTHAM (b.1947): The Barons, SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953): Ode on the End of the War, Op. 105, WILLIAM GRANT STILL (1895-1978): Summerland, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Divertimento (transcr. Clare Grundman [1913-1996]).
Catalogue Number: 07Q082
Description: A nicely varied program of typically colorful and attractive music for wind orchestra. The curtain-raiser is Prokofiev's absurdly extravagant Ode, a piece of Soviet bombast that makes the most Technicolor Khachaturian or Tishchenko sound like models of restraint. Grantham's piece depicts four characters from the immensely complicated pantheon of spiritual personalities in Haitian Vodou. This is very much an American perspective; such Caribbean musical inflection as is detectable is much more Cuban than Haitian, and of the African-derived drumming, chants and songs of Vodou ritual there is not a trace. The pieces are lively, immensely catchy big-band style dances, jazzy and inventively orchestrated. Skrowaczewski's piece stands somewhat apart from the rest of the program; a serious, even tragic, dark-hued work full of tenebrous unease and foreboding, its four movements form a readily identifiable symphonic form. Pungent dissonance pushes the envelope of tonality more than is common in music for wind orchestra in a tersely dramatic narrative of unsettled dynamism and somber lyricism, scored with an original and creative approach to timbre. North Texas Wind Symphony; Eugene Migliaro Corporon.