JOHN MACKEY (b.1975): Asphalt Cocktail, This Cruel Moon, Fanfare for Full Fathom Five, Sheltering Sky, High Wire, Hymn to a Blue Hour, Antique Violences - Concerto for Trumpet and Band (Christopher Martin [trumpet]), The Frozen Cathedral, The Ringmaster’s March.

Catalogue Number: 08V065

Label: Reference Recordings

Reference: RR-144

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $18.98

Description: Like our previous offerings featuring this composer’s music, this full-length collection displays his gift for writing colorful, extrovert, immensely appealing works for wind orchestra. Four short, high-energy pieces (Asphalt Cocktail, a deliriously hyperkinetic portrait of New York life; Fanfare for Full Fathom Five, stormy, with a noble theme engulfed in the depths; High Wire, a deliberate exercise in writing as flashy and raucously unbuttoned a piece as possible; and the riotous circus music of the Ringmaster's March) are exhilarating and exciting, propulsive and tumultuous. By contrast, Sheltering Sky (nothing to do with Paul Bowles) and Hymn have somewhat in common with Maslanka's noble and exalted folksong and chorale-based slow movements. The title of the trumpet concerto suggests the fact that historically, the trumpet has been associated with violence or its aftermath, in war and funerals. The first movement is the ancient battlefield, the second an Elizabethan or early Baroque spectacle, suddenly smeared into decay. This leads directly into the lonely, inconsolable lament of the third. The title of the finale - "The Curtain Calls" - and the intrusion of the 20th Century Fox fanfare suggests that the contemporary answer to all this violence is to make an action movie about it. Confronted with a commission that had to be a work of significant scale for general wind orchestra use, that was also an in memoriam piece and had ties to Alaska, the composer came up with The Frozen Cathedral, an imposing landscape that suggests not only the monumental, frozen mountains but the spiritual solace and uplift that people experience among them. Dallas Winds; Jerry Junkin.


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