The Naxos
Composer of the Month

In July, Naxos released its recording of Roy Harris’s Symphonies 3 and 4, part of a complete cycle of the composer’s symphonies.  

Roy HARRIS: Symphony No. 3 and No. 4, “Folk Song Symphony”
Colorado Symphony and Chorus, Marin Alsop

CD of the Month

Toru TAKEMITSU: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden, etc.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

Roy Harris: Symphonies 3 and 4
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John Tavener: Lament for Jerusalem
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Classical Music Spotlight presents a special interview with Maestro Leonard Slatkin
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William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience
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Monday, April 10, 2006
Strike Up the Band: U of Kansas Wind Ensemble on Naxos

The number of American ensembles on Naxos has been steadily increasing over the last couple of years, and later this month we'll be introducing a new homegrown group to our label with the relase of Redline Tango: Music for Wind Band performed by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble.

Led by John P. Lynch, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble is strongly committed to new music and has regularly commissioned and recorded a number of new works for the genre. Their new Naxos album is a vibrant collection of recently-composed pieces that includes the world premiere recording of the title track, Redline Tango by John Mackey.

Redline Tango, the 2005 winner of the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association Ostwald Composition Contest, has become a bona fide wind band hit that sounds equally exciting on the concert stage and in the basketball arena. As described by the composer in the liner notes, Redline Tango consists of a “demented . . . sleazy” tango framed by two propulsive, virtuosic sections that test the skills of the ensemble (Mackey explains that title refers to the practice of “redlining” an engine, pushing it to its mechanical limits).

Originally commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic as an orchestral piece and premiered in 2003, Mackey re-worked the piece for band in 2004 as requested by a consortium including the University of Kansas Ensemble. The band arrangement has been performed over 75 times worldwide. In addition to winning the Ostwald Award, Redline Tango also won the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize.

The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble performs other new works as well, including Carter Pann’s Slalom, Michael Mower’s Concerto for Flute and Wind Band (2004) with flutist David Fedele, and John P. Lynch’s Were You There?