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Grainger: Transcriptions for Wind Orchestra
     

Grainger: Transcriptions for Wind Orchestra

by Clark Rundell
 
Percy Grainger was one of the principal architects of the symphonic wind orchestra in modern times, and Chandos' Grainger: Transcriptions for Wind Orchestra is a survey of much of the arrangements Grainger made for wind groups from non-original sources. While the sources may have been non-original, Grainger's totally transformative approach to these musical

Overview

Percy Grainger was one of the principal architects of the symphonic wind orchestra in modern times, and Chandos' Grainger: Transcriptions for Wind Orchestra is a survey of much of the arrangements Grainger made for wind groups from non-original sources. While the sources may have been non-original, Grainger's totally transformative approach to these musical texts certainly qualifies these efforts as "original"; they reflect Grainger's own personality and taste rather than those of the source works and composers. Of the 14 works in the program, eight have never been recorded; many belong to a series published by Schirmer under the rubric of "Chosen Gems for Winds" and first heard at the Interlochen Summer Camp in Michigan, where Grainger taught from 1937 to 1944. Clark Rundell and the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra perform this music with precision and a clean, secure tone quality, though not with an overabundant amount of spirit, in this Chandos recording. Many of the pieces Grainger worked from betray his interest in very old music; perhaps strangest of all is his arrangement of "Ballade No. 17" by Guillaume de Machaut, better known in its original form as "Sans Cuer m'en vois," here played in only one of several possibilities that Grainger mapped out as possible realizations of the piece. Some of these works fall under Grainger's designation of "elastic scoring," where a basic musical text is provided and numerous options for realization given in terms of instrumentation. There is a very late arrangement, for piano and band, of Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Fantasy," an amusing recasting of Fauré's early "Tuscan Serenade," and a ravishingly beautiful retread of Johann Sebastian Bach's aria "Seht, was die Liebe tut." It is similar in approach to "Blithe Bells," Grainger's rewrite on Bach's aria "Was mir behagt" from the "Hunt Cantata" for what he called tuneful percussion; while it has a lovely sound, any resemblance to Bach is purely coincidental. One really wishes the Royal Northern could inject a little verve into these sterile performances; certainly with the kids at Interlochen the tone would have been less absolute, but enthusiasm and a sense of occasion would have taken hold to make this music captivating. However, with so many of these things never recorded before, to those who are interested in hearing Grainger's lesser-known works for band, this remains a viable option.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/29/2008
Label:
Chandos
UPC:
0095115145524
catalogNumber:
10455

Tracks

  1. Angelus ad Virginem, transcription for winds (after anonymous 13th cent. hymn)  - Percy Grainger  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (01:58)
  2. Sanz cuer/Amis, dolens/Dame, par vous, ballade for 3 voices  - Guillaume de Machaut  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (02:14)
  3. La Bernardina, song for 3 parts  - Josquin Des Prez  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (01:19)
  4. Tiento del secondo ton for organ  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (04:19)
  5. Four-note pavan  - Alfonso Ferrabosco (The Younger)  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (03:09)
  6. Fantasy a 5 No. 15 in D major  -  John Jenkins  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  - Arnold Dolmetsch  (03:19)
  7. March for keyboard in D major (by CPE Bach, not JSB; Anna Magdalena Clavier-Büchlein No. 2/16), BWV Anh. 122  - Johann Sebastian Bach  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (01:35)
  8. Cantata No. 85, "Ich bin ein guter Hirt," BWV 85 (BC A66): Aria. See what His love can do

    • Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
    1. Aria. See what His love can do  (03:04)
  9. O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross, chorale prelude for organ (Orgel-Büchlein No. 24), BWV 622 (BC K51)  - Johann Sebastian Bach  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (03:42)
  10. Hungarian Fantasy (Fantasie über ungarische Volksmelodien), for piano & orchestra, S. 123 (LW H12)  - Franz Liszt  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  - Ivan Hovorun  (16:41)
  11. Chorals (3), for organ, M. 38-40: Chorale No. 2

    • César Franck
    • Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
    1. Chorale No. 2  (11:51)
  12. Sérénade toscane ("O tu che dirmie riposata stai"), for voice & piano in B flat minor, Op. 3/2  - Gabriel Fauré  -  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra  (02:52)
  13. Ballades (2), Op 38: No. 1. Folk-Tune

    • Eugene Goossens
    • Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
    1. No. 1. Folk-Tune  (02:35)
  14. Musical Sketches (4), for piano: No. 2. Down Longford Way

    • Katharine ("Kitty") Parker
    • Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
    1. No. 2. Down Longford Way  (02:09)

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