Old Euro Standard
Westwind Brass (WWB) is excited about sharing the music of The Old Euro Standard with you. So much of the foundation of today's music comes from this wonderful heritage. We want to let you hear this music that we love, being played in the brass quintet format for the first time.
And The Halls Resound contains the oldest and newest music on this disc. The initial theme is Guillaume de Machut's haunting love song Comment qu'a moy. It is presented spatially from the four corners of the performance area. The tuba then enters with the anonymous estampie Lamento di Tristan, also from the 14th century. The rest of the composition is a working out of these two themes with an increasingly more modern sense of counterpoint. The composer's intent was to resound something from the distant past and bring it resoundingly into the frenetic present.
Giovanni Palestrina (1525-1596) was one
of the seminal composers of the Renaissance. His contrapuntal writing
is the model of excellence by which all composers of his era are measured.
He is represented here by his motet Filiae Jerusalem (1584) and
by his outstanding mass, L'Homme Arme.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was a prolific composer of concertos and sonatas for all instruments. WWB plays his A flat Major Trumpet Concerto in an artful arrangement by our own John Wilds. The delicate articulations of the string orchestra's accompaniment to the piccolo trumpet's solo line are emphatically laid down by the other four brass players in this compelling version of this well known classic of the trumpet solo literature.
Thomas Arne (1710-1778) was one of England's premier composers of the Baroque era. He had the misfortune to be working in London at the same time as the era's most renowned composer, Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759).
Perhaps this helps explain why he is not as well remembered as we believe he should be. WWB is trying to remedy this by playing music from Arne's 1740 Masque, Alfred Rule Britannia is the best known piece from Alfred, but of equally impressive quality are the March and the Sinfonia.
The wonderful folk music tradition of Europe is touched upon in From A Finnish Wedding. Three tunes: Vanha Haamarssi (Old Wedding March), Haavsalssi (Wedding Waltz) and Haihintulopeli (Let The Party Begin) are brought rousingly to life in this happy music. They make you aware that weddings are joyous events that make everyone want to dance!
American Revolutionary War Medley:
Civil War Brass Journal:
Simple Gifts is a clever transcription by Jari Villanueva of Aaron Copland's (1900-1990) setting of that Shaker hymn from his ballet Appalachian Spring. Scott Joplin (1868-1917) was named the "King of Ragtime". His first major hit was Maple Leaf Rag (1899), here arranged by Arthur Frackenpohl. A gentle: side of Joplin's music can be found in his Solace (1909) arranged by WWB's own Brent Dutton.
If Joplin was the "King of Ragtime", then surely John Philip Sousa was the "March King". Sousa's marches are at the core of American popular music culture. The Liberty Bell is one of his best known efforts.
Dixieland is another form of purely American music and WWB presents Iwo stellar examples of this style. The Original Dixieland One-Step, the first Dixieland work to ever be recorded, and That's A-Plenty, a classic of the style, are rousingly arranged by Jack Gale.
Glen Miller's (1904-1944) dance band music will always recapture the 1930's and early 40's for many who were growing up at that time. WWB features a mini-set of Miller music with In The Mood (arranged by Barry Toombs and Richard Gordon), Moonlight Serenade (arranged by Bill Holcombe) and American Patrol (arranged by Toombs and Gordon).
For many people, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) was the greatest jazz bandleader of all time. His compositions and arrangements have influenced all that have come after him. Arranger Jack Gale has made outstanding versions of three of the Ellington Band's classic works: In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington), Take The A-Train (Billy Strayhorn), and Satin Doll (Ellington).
Suite of The Americas came about because WWB needed some accessible music from the Americas that it could include on its Around The World children's programs. Brent Dutton, WWB resident composer and tubist, decided to compose and arrange (comp/range) music from Canada, USA, Mexico and Brazil. Hat Dance takes the traditional Mexican folk dance and personalizes it by adding little snips of Brahms, Bach and Moncayo. Une Feuille Errante combines the French Canadian folk song Un Canadien Errant and the English Canadian tune The Maple Leaf Forever (two pieces that are never heard together!) and melds them into a wistful work which translates as A Wondering Leaf. Desafinado is a straightforward setting of Brazilian Jobim's infectious Bossa Nava of the same name. Joplisousiana combines the music of Joplin and Sousa at the same time to make an off balance but joyous closing salute to the United States of America.
The Centennial Fanfare is a festive work commissioned by the San Diego State University Centennial Steering Committee for the 100th anniversary of the University in 1997. The fanfare pays homage to the last 100 years and looks forward to the next 100 years by using the letters S.D.S.U and the centennial's numerology to generate the thematic material that comprises the entire piece.
Pour Les Quivres:
The Siren of Urak:
Ceremonial Piece for Brass was composed during the celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States of America 1976 - one of many such projects sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts. It is a short, occasional piece featuring individualistic use of triads. The tone is one of excitement and anticipation, heralding a ceremony.
Voluntary on Hyfrydol:
A Mighty Fortress: