Album Title: OF SHADOW AND LIGHT
Recording:University of Kansas Wind Ensemble
Conductor: Paul W. Popiel
Flute Soloist: Sarah Frisof
Publisher: Klavier K-11216
There is nothing short of professionalism with Of Shadow and Light; an excellent recording from the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble. Radiant Joy (Steven Bryant) is an aptly named opener followed by Only Light (Aaron Perrine); an essay in hope and healing. The prolific composer James Barnes is next with his 1981 Ostwald Award winning Visions Macabre. Knells for Bonnie is short elegy for flute and chamber winds by Joel Puckett; Sarah Frisof is featured soloist. John Mackey’s Sheltering Sky was commissioned for a junior high school band yet its musical content can easily fit on the programs of upper level bands. The final composition is The Moon Glistens (Joni Greene); an intriguing work based on Greene’s Autumn Reflections for Choir. One of the more enticing CDs of wind ensemble literature; well worth getting acquainted with.
Album Title: FERENC FARKAS: MUSIC FOR WIND ENSEMBLE
Recording: Budapest Wind Symphony
Conductor: Laszlo Marosi
Publisher: Toccata Classics TOCC-0349
Ference Farkas was a very popular composer and one of the Hungarian music legends alongside Bartok & Kodaly. The Budapest Wind Symphony is an ideal ensemble to showcase the works of Farkas. The delightful Early Hungarian Dances from the 17th Century (arr. Zempleni) lead off the program followed by the Sly Students: Suite (arr. Kurmann); a ballet idiomatic with folk and modern music stylings. Timon of Athens (arr. Kurmann) is inspired by the Shakespearean play of the same name while Csinom Palko: Mischievous Tune (arr. Eordogh & Kurmann) is music reconstructed from a radio play and cinema. The original Farkas works include two brass pieces (Tower Music from Nyirbator and Musica per Ottoni) as well as a pair of full band compositions; Contrafacta Hungarica and Intrada Passacaglia, Saltarello. The entire recording is a true treasure that should be enjoyed by all.