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Taiwan Ministry of National Defence Symphonic Wind Orchestra

Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990)Fanfare for the Common Man
Yiu-Kwong Chung (b.1956)The Hunting Festival
Darius Milhaud(189 2 - 1974)Suite Française
Sheng-Tong Tsai (b. 1933)Hero of the Century March
Chih-Cheng Hou (b. 1968)Pastoral Sentiment
Toshio Mashima (b. 1949)Formosa Symphony
Franco Cesarini (b. 1961)Bulgarian Dances

Day one featured two Taiwanese bands, the Taiwan Ministry of National Defence Symphonic Wind Orchestra and the leading youth band of Taiwan, the China Youth Corps Wind Orchestra. Both programmes were an excellent balance of East and West, the opening concert with a repertoire ranging through America, China, France, Japan, ending with Bulgarian dances by a Swiss, the second concert with the first half of Chinese music, the second of Western. Both included major Western traditional works, Milhaud's Suite Francaise and Miaskowky's Symphony no 19, both unfortunately in rather correct but dull performances, without much in the way of phrasing or interpretation.

Especially disappointing was the Symphonic Poem: Taiwan by Toshio Mashima, superbly scored with his usual skill, but too clearly influenced by American models though the middle section did have some mixed metres and more energy, but this work was not for me. The outstanding work of the first concert was Franco Cesarini's Bulgarian Dances, gorgeously scored as is all his music an object lesson in using folk material skilfully.