“Wellington Winds celebrate international music”, an article by Valerie Hill in The Record on February 25, 2012 describing the concert Winds Around the World.
Wellington Winds concert celebrates international music
by Valerie Hill, Record staff , Fri Feb 24 2012
KITCHENER — Amazing, a crowd pleaser and riveting.
Conductor Daniel Warren just can’t come up with enough adjectives to describe this weekend’s Wellington Winds concert, Winds Around the World.
First of all, the music does indeed cover the world: Canada, France, the United States and Mexico, featuring Paul Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Darius Milhaud’s Suite Francaise, Vince Gassi’s Tsunami, JamesSwearingen’s In All Its Glory and Arturo Márquez’ Danzon #2 as well as pianist Olena Klyucharova performing Sergey Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a piece of music described as poetic and brilliant.
Dukas, a French composer, wrote Sorcerer’s Apprentice as a sort of symphonic poem. It was meant to accompany a story; most famously used in the 1941 Walt Disney animated film Fantasia. This is the piece Warren describes as “amazing” and a “gift to the American people.” It’s a compilation of folk tunes from Dukas’ homeland so that “Americans could know melodies from every province in France.”
But Warren added that “this is one of the most difficult arrangements, it’s brutal.” Fortunately, Wellington Winds is highly skilled, a “great band” and well able to perform such a challenging piece of music.
The piece entitled Tsunami was composed by Gassi in the spring of 2004, just months before an Indian Ocean tsunami killed 150,000 people.
French composer Milhaud’s Suite Francaise has long been considered a masterpiece within the wind band repertoire.
American composer Swearingen is best known for writing band music, among the most often performed.
“It’s a standard band piece,” said Warren. “Every band in high school would have played it. It is a crowd pleaser.”
Mexican composer Márquez, was well known in his home country, but it was the series of Danzons, the music of Cuba and Mexicothat brought him international acclaim. Danzon # 2 was particularly responsible for Márquez’s worldwide success.
Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was chosen for this concert as a vehicle for the exceptional talents of Klyucharova, a pianist who came to Kitchener from Ukraine with her husband jazz pianist, Andriy Tykhonov, a decade ago.
The Ukrainian-born Prokofiev, considered a true original in his time, completed the concerto in 1912, using a novel approach to composing. He premiered the piece himself. However, Warren said “some consider Prokofiev as contemporary, but he’s not really. It’s definitely a very listenable piece. Rhythmically, it’s very driving, very exciting … The guy was a genius.”
Winds Around the World
Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m.
Knox Presbyterian Church, 50 Erb St., W., Waterloo
Tickets on line or at the door
$20 adults, $15 seniors, children under 12 free