JOSEPH SCHWANTNER (b.1943): Luminosity (Concerto for Wind Orchestra), DAVID MASLANKA (1943-2017): Hosannas for Wind Ensemble, STEVEN BRYANT (b.1972): The Logic of all my Dreams.
Catalogue Number: 02T058
Description: Three very different works, all sharing a basically tonal language, an uplifting message and superbly crafted use of the wind orchestra, but little else. Schwantner's piece prominently features his beloved percussion - a large section assuming a concertante role at the front of the stage - almost qualifying the outer movements at least as a percussion concerto almost as much as the actual work with that title (07N090). Reflecting the title, the work does indeed seem infused with radiant energy, the outer movements propulsive, incandescent and magnificent, the slow movement mysterious and haunting, with the clarinet in a solo role. Maslanka's Hosannas were completed only two years before his death, and much of the work is inward-looking and restrained, though the long melodic lines in several movements are are accompanied by Maslanka's familiar post-minimalist pulsations. Three movements are based on chorales, and only the central fourth movement approaches the large-scale extroversion of much of the composer's output. The finale sets a poem by Richard Beale, which in context sounds like a fitting epitaph for the composer. The meditative mood continues in Bryant's piece, a self-contained movement from his Alchemy in Silent Spaces. The music begins with spare, bell-like textures, and gathers warmth and harmonic richness as it progresses. University of Southern Mississippi Wind Ensemble; Catherine A. Rand.