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Concerto for Marienthal

"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 

 "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.  - American Guide to Classical Music                                                    (David Lewis), June 2011

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