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Classical Music Review

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Composers: John Williams, Gernot Wolfgang, Bruce Broughton, John Mackey and Michael Daugherty
Conductor: Eugene Migliaro Corporon
Performed by: North Texas Wind Symphony
Label: GIA Publications
RRP: £13.99
GIA CD-1004
7 85147 00042 6
Release Date: 24 February 2017

The creation of the WindWorks label represents an expanded relationship between the North Texas Wind Symphony and GIA Publications. GIA’s support and ongoing dedication to wind music has made it possible for the ensemble to continue producing recordings. Inventions is a collection of works by John Williams, Gernot Wolfgang, Bruce Broughton, John Mackey and Michael Daugherty, under the conductorship of Eugene Migliaro Corporon...

Inventions is an interesting collection, not least because it features music by some well known Hollywood film composers. The diversity of the pieces makes this essential listening and the quality of the recording is also impressive. The CD contains 10 tracks (1 hr, 14 min, 25 sec).

The album opens with John Williams's 'For the President's Own' (4 min, 24 sec). The piece is a tribute to The President's Own United States Marine Band, which has been in operation since 1801. Williams is a former member of an Air Force Band and has worked with The President's Own on a number of occasions. This piece was specially composed in 2013 when he was commissioned to write music to celebrate the ensemble's 215th anniversary. If like me you're a huge follower of Williams's music, you'll spot elements of his work for both Jaws and Star Wars. It's an interesting, and rather ceremonial piece, which gets things off on an impressive note.

This is followed by Gernot Wolfgang's Three Short Stories (15 min, 20 sec), a jazz infused work in three parts. It weaves together ideas influenced by Jazz and Latin American music. The version presented here is a reworking of the original which was composed as a duo for viola and bassoon - something I'd love to hear just to compare the difference in texture. It's a rich and varied work that is probably this album's most upbeat and memorable. There's a theme incorporated that sounds like it could have been used as a film noir private detective score.

Bruce Broughton's 'In The World Of Spirits' (11 min) which is a representation of the energy of the world of the spirit - the engine that drives the physical world. It reminded me a little of his work on Young Sherlock Holmes movie as well as Alan Silvestri's work on Back to the Future III.

You'd be forgiven for thinking you were at the circus with John Mackey's 'The Ringmaster's March' (3 min, 01 sec). It's the final movement of The Soul Has Many Motions, which was commissioned in recognition of Richard Floyd's passionate advocacy for music education in Texas.

'Winter Dreams' (9 min, 20 sec), is Michael Daugherty's tribute to Iowa artist Grant Wood, being inspired by Wood's black and white bleak winter scene lithographs of the 1930s.

John Mackey's 'Wine-Dark Sea' (31 min, 21 sec) was commissioned in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music. Part 2, 'Immortal Thread, So Weak' is probably this album's most beautifully melancholic piece. It's effortlessly simple, yet engaging.

It's so hard to pick out favourite moments on this album, as each track will mean different things to each listener at various times. Overall, this is an incredibly impressive collection of wonderful pieces that all Classical music lovers should own.

Track listing:

01 - For the President’s Own (John Williams)

Three Short Stories (Gernot Wolfgang)
02 - Uncle Bebop
03 - Rays of Light
04 - Latin Dance

05 - In the World of Spirits (Bruce Broughton)
06 - The Ringmaster’s March (John Mackey)
07 - Winter Dreams (Michael Daugherty)

Wine-Dark Sea (John Mackey)
08 - Hubris
09 - Immortal Thread, So Weak
10 - The Attentions of Souls


Darren Rea