Winnipeg Wind Ensemble | Saturn Sky

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Saturn Sky

by Winnipeg Wind Ensemble

The ensemble's première recording includes transcriptions and original works for Wind Ensemble.
Genre: Classical: Band Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Overture to Candide
4:33 $0.99
2. Praetorius Suite: I. Courante
4:08 $0.99
3. Praetorius Suite: II. Spagnoletta
2:13 $0.99
4. Praetorius Suite: III. Gavotte
2:05 $0.99
5. Praetorius Suite: IV. Volte
3:03 $0.99
6. Variations sur Le Carnaval de Venise (feat. Gary Pollard)
8:05 $0.99
7. Saturn Sky: Sunrise
5:36 $0.99
8. Irish Tune From County Derry
3:33 $0.99
9. Children's March - "Over the Hills and Far Away"
6:34 $0.99
10. Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn
12:53 $0.99
11. Selections from Porgy and Bess
11:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In our 13 year history, the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble has been involved in two prior recording projects. The first, a compilation of graded literature for use by school bands, was conducted by Glenn D. Price and underwritten by St. John's Music Ltd. The second was a demo recording of band arrangements and transcriptions by Texas music publisher Harold Gore. When the idea came up for the band to make a third recording, we decided that the repertoire should be chosen from our recent concert programs and represent a variety of styles and moods. Each member of the band was asked to fill out a survey naming their ten favourite selections performed over the past four years. Through this democratic process came a rather eclectic mix of works; some lighter some heavier, some older, and some newly written, such as the evocative title work, Saturn Sky: Sunrise, composed by one of the ensemble's own members and premièred by the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble.

Some are transcriptions and some are original works for band. Many of the selections are familiar standards in the repertoire, while others are less known. Our wish is that the music be entertaining, exciting, and representative of what can be accomplished when talented players with a love of music unite for a common purpose. Enjoy!

Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), one of this century's most remarkable musicians, was a charismatic figure from the time he became the first American born conductor of a major American symphony orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, until his death in 1990. Bernstein seemed to express such unparalleled vitality in so many capacities - composer, conductor, pianist, and above all, teacher - someone with the gift of communicating and making music more accessible. The sparkling Overture to Candide (1957), transcribed by Clare Grundman (1913 - 1996), is frequently performed and ably reflects the brash optimism and tunefulness of its composer.

Jan Bach
Jan Bach, born in Illinois in 1937, attended the University of Urbana where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition. He has written for a number of musical genres, including orchestral, chamber, theatrical, as well as music for wind ensemble. The source for the four arrangements included in his Praetorius Suite (1984) is Terpsichore (1612), the only secular work of Michael Praetorius (1571 - 1621) that has survived to the present day. This Renaissance composer is perhaps best known for the Christmas Madrigal Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming. During his lifetime, however, he composed over one thousand sacred works based on Protestant Hymns, and was a frequent collaborator with Martin Luther in contributions to the Latin liturgy. Revered as a gifted organist, Praetorius was also an early musicologist; his Syntagma Musicum remains our chief resource for knowledge of Renaissance musical instruments. Terpsichore is a collection of dances popular around the turn of the seventeenth century.

From his own account, we know that Praetorius often rearranged the dances from this collection for the instruments of his day, and so it is fitting that Jan Bach has "freely arranged" these once again for the modern wind ensemble.

Jean Baptiste Arban
Variations sur Le Carnival de Venise evokes an era before radio, movies, television, the internet and other mass media, where the outdoor band concert was one of the main forms of entertainment available. At these weekly concerts in the park, community and professional bands would feature marches, orchestral transcriptions, and band members as soloists, often playing variations on traditional melodies. Jean Baptiste Arban (1825 - 1889) wrote many such arrangements for cornet, The Carnival of Venice being among the most famous. This particular version was first recorded in 1994 by Wynton Marsalis and the Eastman Wind Ensemble, arranged and conducted by Donald Hunsberger.

David Taubner
It is a special treat for our ensemble to have a composer within its ranks. String bass player David Taubner (born 1951) began his musical career at the age of twelve, when a piano appeared in his home, and by age thirteen was composing on the keyboard. He studied composition with Robert Turner, first privately and then at the University of Manitoba School of Music. His writing career came to a halt for about twelve years during which he taught piano and classical guitar and played piano, guitar and electric bass is various blues and jazz bands. For the next several years he took time to establish a career in computers while raising a family. He has spent recent years re-learning the art of music composition and writing mainly for small ensembles such as flute and piano and string quartet, but more recently exploring larger forces as in Saturn Sky: Sunrise (1997, revised 1998). In David's own words, "[Saturn Sky] was originally conceived as a tone poem in three movements for full orchestra, of which Sunrise is the first. [It was] suggested to me that this movement might work well for wind ensemble, so I then transcribed it, and the band gave it a reading. I was unhappy with the result - it was after all my first effort for band, and there were still many things I was learning about how to write for an ensemble that had no string section - but it was all instructive. I felt that the original idea was too difficult for me to make work with my limited experience, so I took the primary melody and totally rewrote the piece with only band instruments in mind. The piece begins with the bass clarinet playing the theme upon which all subsequent musical ideas are based. ”

Percy Grainger
The Australian Percy Grainger (1882 - 1961) is one of the most interesting characters in the history of twentieth century music. A prolific and inventive wind ensemble composer, he was a pioneer in folk melody collection and many of his most memorable works for band are folk song settings, such as Irish Tune From County Derry (1909), also known by the title Danny Boy, and Children's March - "Over the Hills and Far Away" (1919). The latter work is an example of Grainger's habit of writing substantial parts for piano in his orchestral and band works. Being a concert pianist, Grainger meant those parts for himself when the music was premièred, and they add an interesting colour to the texture of the ensemble.

Norman Dello Joio
Norman Dello Joio (born 1913) received his earliest musical training from his father on the organ and also with Pietro Yon, the famed organist of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. After composition studies at both Juliard and Yale where he came under the influence of Paul Hindemith, Dello Joio went on to establish himself as one of the foremost figures in American music. According to the composer, Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn (1968) "is based on a theme from a composition for piano by Joseph Haydn. The subtly conceived theme, I concluded, offered an opportunity to fantasize in the musical language of today. The three movements are a constantly varied examination of Haydn's basic idea. The bubbling humour of the first and third fantasies flank a second, which is intensely lyrical. In the final sense, it is my homage to a composer who will always remain contemporary. "

George Gershwin
George Gershwin (1898 - 1937) occupies a unique place in the history of American music. A gifted writer of popular songs, musical comedies, piano concertos and other art music, he was able to combine the styles of tin Pan Alley and Carnegie Hall in a way which seemed perfectly clear to him, but never quite right to many music critics of the time. In today's cultural climate of "cross-over" artists and greater blending of artistic styles, history has been kind to Gershwin. He is now given full credit for a successful synthesis of popular and serious art forms, bringing listeners of both to a common ground. Gershwin’s legacy, and his mastery of American song os masterpiece, Porgy and Bess (1935). Having aspired to write the American opera, Gershwin eventually found his longed for Negro subject in Dubose Heyward’s tragic love story Porgy, set in South Carolina. “The great music of the past”, he wrote at the time of its composition, “…has always been built on folk music. This is the strongest source of musical fecundity…Jazz I regard as an American folk music, not the only one but a very beautiful one which is the blood and feeling of the American people.” Robert Russell Bennett’s 1943 medley is an admirable synthesis of the opera’s both darker and lighter moods.

Andrew Klassen

Andrew Klassen graduated from the University of Manitoba with Bachelor degrees in both music and education. He has studied conducting with Stanley DeRusha, Craig Kirchoff, and Dale J. Lonis as well as in the University of Calgary’s Wind Band Conducting Diploma Programme. Andrew holds an ARCT (National Gold Medal) and Associate in Music diploma (Silver Medal) in saxophone performance. Andrew has taught at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute since 1987, where his ensembles have long received acclaim for superior performance and musicianship. He has guest-conducted the Manitoba Central Region Honour Band and is a sought-after clinician and adjudicator. Andrew has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on saxophone and plays viola with the Bel Canto String Quartet.
Gary Pollard’s love of music was passed down from his parents who both played in the army band in Windsor, Ontario. Trumpet lessons began for him when he was six years old, and he soon became a member of the Windsor Junior Symphony Orchestra. Gary continued to study music at Bemidji State University and received Bachelors and Masters degrees in music education. He has studied trumpet with Peter Allen, Ramone Parcells, Charles Decker, Dan Geminder and brian Sykora. Gary has played in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and has been a featured soloist on CBC’s Hymn Sing and the The Musikbarock Ensemble.



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