top of page

Concerto for Marienthal

"The UNLV Wind Orchestra’s Klavier release Concerto For Marienthal is so titled because the featured work is Michael Kamen’s Concerto For Saxophone and Orchestra (1998), initially composed for David Sanborn, as performed by jazz Saxophonist Eric Marienthal, best know for his work as a solo jazz artist and as a member of the Rippingtons, Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, and other jazz groups.  Marienthal—like Kamen once said—maintains a strong connection to both the practical and formal ends of music, publishing three books on saxophone technique, producing teaching videos, coaching hgh school and college wind players, and booking the occasional straight concert.  Kamen’s concerto is a generally outstanding outstanding sax concerto that has two very strong, serious, and richly scored movements and a third that is less so owing to its TV theme-like character.  Marienthal performs it winningly and with a little more roughness of tone than would Sanborn; at time it’s a little like Cannonball Adderly stepping in to blow a little on the Kamen.  As good as the performance is, there are some listeners who might not be able to get through the third movement, which can tend toward the monotonous.


Apart from the concerto, the strongest music on Klavier’s Concerto For Marienthal is Morton Gould’s tiny Fanfare for Freedom (1943) and Malcom Arnold’s by-now familiar overture Tam O’ Shanter (1955) and Johan Halvorsen’s very fine remembrance of author Bjornstjerne Bjornson In Memoriam (1910). Masami Kimura’s None But The Lonely Heart is pleasant but feels like filler between Clark McAllister’s This Is The Day and Anthony LaBounty’s Prayer For Asia.   As neither of these pieces are particularly strong—although the McAllister works starts out well, it doesn’t hold the attention—this creates a kind of impasse in the center of the disc.  That issue, however, to the programming rather than the playing, which is first-rate throughout; the UNLV Wind Orchestra is one of the best in the land and Klavier is consistently good at producing high-quality symphonic band discs; from the start of the Gould, you are there and the sound is rich, full and nuanced.  The program itself was meant as a memorial to some of the family members, supporters, and at least to one musician within the UNLV Wind Orchestra and given as a live concert before recording.  What works in the concert hall is not always what is best in a recording’s sequence, so perhaps some reshuffling of the program sequence might have helped.  Nevertheless, Klavier’s Concerto For Marienthal is everything that UNLV intended it to be, and perhaps there’s a way to reprogram the order for flow." - AMG, American Guide to Classical Music (David Lewis), June 2011

"It is always nice to hear the UNLV Wind Orchestra with their professionalism and unique programming.  The cornerstone of the recording is “Concerto For Marienthal” is the Michael Kamen  “Concerto For Saxophone and Orchestra.”   This nearly half hour concerto was written for famed soloist David Sanborn, and Zane Douglass transcribed the work for wind orchestra with another famed soloist at the helm, Eric Marienthal.  The recording opens with Morton Gould’s “Fanfare For Freedom, written during the same period as a certain Aaron Copland fanfare.   The mood shifts after the saxophone concerto to the somber sounds of “In Memoriam,” Op. 30 (Halvorsen/Bourgeois). “This Is The Day”, by Clark McAlister is taken from the composer’s “Pascha: Iconoclastsis for Wind Orchestra.”  The composer has extracted and developed three pieces from this symphony, one of which is heard on this recording.   Also included is a sensitive recording of None But The Lonely Heart, Op. 6 No.6 (Tchaikovsky/Kimura).  Takayoshi Suzuki and Anthony LaBounty are two names associated with the UNLV Wind Orchestra; Maestro Suzuki conducts “Prayer for Asia, composed by Professor LaBounty.  The recording comes to a thrilling close with Tam O’Shanter Overture Arnold/Paynter)." - Bandworld Magazine, July, 2010

bottom of page