KAREL HUSA (b.1921): Smetana Fanfare, Al Fresco, Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble, Music for Prague.
Catalogue Number: 09J070
Reference: TROY 957
Description: Works for wind ensemble spanning some two decades, showcasing Husa's attractive and personal take on mainstream 20th-century styles. Despite the strong European background to Husa's music, a strain of jazzy Americana frequently surfaces (he has been a respected faculty member at Cornell since 1954, and clearly took to the American tradition of wind-band writing naturally). The lively and genial little Concertino exudes an engaging vitality in its outer movements, and the more serious Al fresco suggests a variety of vividly depicted scenes in a tough, dramatic style. Music for Prague, Husa's most celebrated composition, is the major work here, exploring more modern techniques than the other pieces (though always strongly grounded in tonality) in its depiction of the city's thousand-year history. Momoko Gresham (piano), Illinois State University Wind Symphony; Stephen K. Steele.