Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Eastman Wind Ensemble - Works by Husa, Copland, Vaughan Williams, & Hindemith (1989)

Conducted by Donald Hunsberger.

According to the liner notes: "The Eastman Wind Ensemble, America's Premier Wind Band, is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester." I'm not a part of that world anymore, so I'm not sure if that's still true, but it certainly was at the time of this release. I was familiar with most of the music on this disc, having performed it at one time or another. While the performances are first-rate, the nuances of recording the performances seems to have been beyond the capability of the recording engineer. Maybe it was the equipment or the recording venue, but there are some missed opportunities here. Even though his name is prominently displayed on the cover and CD spine, Wynton Marsalis' only contribution here is the trumpet solo on Copland's Quiet City.

Tracks: I've enjoy listening to Vaughan Williams' Toccata Marziale and Copland's Quiet City. The three other pieces, Husa's Music For Prague 1968, Vaughan Williams' Variations For Wind Band and Hindemith's Konzertmusik Für Blasorchester, Op. 41, are, well, let's just say they're more fun to perform than to listen to.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I taught band junior and senior high band classes for ten years and, to be honest, the last thing I wanted to listen to after work was more band music. As a result, this disc hasn't received much play. Purchased in '89, I bought this disc mainly because it was what I thought I should be listening to at the time.

I have particular bad memories of participating in a sub-par performance of the Husa piece, so this listening is somewhat cathartic for me. (That performance was April 27, 1987 in Commerce, Texas. Be glad you weren't there.)

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