Fragments no raksta:
[Ed. note -- Our long-time contributor Steve Hicken is usually to be found helping out in the CD review section of S21. But a recent shipment of a number of band music CDs prompted Steve to group them together as a larger essay, and we thought it should end up here on the main page. Recordings discussed in this essay: BARNES: Symphonic Overture; Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Nicolo Paganini; GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue (Hunsberger, arr.); Overture on Themes from Porgy and Bess (Barnes, arr.); REED: Ballade. Raimonds Petrauskis, p; Oskars Petrauskis, a sax; RIGA Professional Symphonic Band/Andris Poga. PPOR-CD002 -- GRAINGER: Band Music. Dallas Wind Symphony/Jerry Junkin. Reference 117 -- GRAINGER: Transcriptions for Wind Orchestra. Ivan Hovorun, p; Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra/Clark Rundell. Chandos 10455 -- CORIGLIANO: Circus Maximus; Gazebo Dances. University of Texas Wind Ensemble/Jerry Junkin. Naxos 8.559601].
The third large category is that of original compositions. Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Holst, Arnold Schoenberg, and Paul Hindemith were among the many major early 20th-century composers who wrote music for band. As the century progressed, however, band composition came to be a specialty — people that wrote band music tended to write little else, and people who were not band composers never touched the medium.
One composer who was well-known in both musical worlds was the Australian Percy Aldridge Grainger. He was a key figure in the development of the concert band out of the military band, and much of his band music sounds like the discovery of a new sonic landscape. Grainger worked in all three of the categories of band music. His extensive catalog of original band music includes marches as well as suites (his masterpiece, Lincolnshire Posy, is a suite based on folk tunes), fanfares, and songs (Irish Tune from County Derry, based on “Danny Boy” is particularly lovely). A disc of Grainger’s original music for band by the Dallas Wind Symphony, led by Jerry Junkin, is a testament to the enduring quality of the composer’s music. The disc itself is documentation of the extraordinarily high quality of playing that is found in professional wind ensembles—the performance of Irish Tune is a good example, with the excellent ensemble playing and careful, expressive phrasing maintained at a very slow tempo.
Grainger’s orchestration predates the band music routines described above. Compared to the gleaming aluminum surface of contemporary band music, Grainger’s sounds like deeply-stained wood. This is true as well of the disc of transcriptions, expertly played by the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell. Most of the pieces Grainger transcribes are from either the Baroque or Romantic periods. They are expertly done, but they lack the immediacy and personality of the composer’s own compositions.
Another disc by a professional wind ensemble includes both original compositions and transcriptions. The Riga (Latvia) Professional Symphonic Bands produced a disc for its 35th anniversary that would not be out of place as a concert program at any college music department in the United States. In fact, while the performances on the disc are excellent, the music conforms to all of the aspects of band music outlined earlier, and by the end of the disc (which is very enjoyable if taken in parts) aural fatigue sets in, due not to the loudness of the music (there are plaenty of concerts of all kinds that are loud throughout and that don’t produce fatigue), but rather to it’s generally unchanging color.
The original music of today’s superstar band composers, people like John Mackey, David Maslanka, Donald Grantham, and David Gillingham, has a great deal in common with the marches and transcriptions described above: it tends to be tonal, even if this is a very expanded tonality, it’s loud (sometimes really loud), and the melodic burden is carried by the flutes and clarinets, with the brass and percussion usually playing a supporting, coloring, and loudnessincreasing role.
Many of these composers’ pieces follow a similar structural scheme—a loud, brassy opening section, followed by a relatively softer, more lyrical section which is, in turn, followed by a return to the original material, which is often both elaborated and truncated. They are designed to draw people in at the beginning and to bring them out of their seats at the end. And they frequently succeed.