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Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Wind Symphony

John Bell, conductor

Dennis Johnson, Guest Conductor

Soloist: James Hinson, clarinet

Michael Markowski (b. 1986)Instinctive Travels (2009)
Katherine Salfelder (b.1987)Crossing Parallels (2010)
Kevin Walczk (b. 1964)Concerto for Clarinet (2011)
Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987)Masquerade for Band
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) Arrangement by Michael Sweeney Suite from Mass (1981)
Kimberly Archer (b. 1973)March from Symphony No. 2 (2002)

Concert 11 was by the only American College group to make the journey, and was of the usual high USA University standard. Michael Markowski's Instinctive Travels  is full of effective scoring and business, though I found the melodic material and harmonic movement less  compelling. This is not in my top twenty five, but it might work for you if you are looking for a bright breezy exciting opener which does not frighten the horses. I found Katherine Salfelder's Crossing Parallels interesting but less compelling than her first work, Cathedrals, but she has a wonderful grasp of the wind ensemble and its potential. Ostinati alternate with menacing chordal passages, replaced by a slightly academic fugue, and again I need to listen to the recording. The Clarinet Concerto I also need to revisit when my CDs come, because I found it on first hearing to be not very interesting. It was good to hear Masquerade again and confirm my doubts about how good this old war-horse is; the Bernstein arrangement does not ring my bell, but the final march by Kimberly Archer is very amusing; if you enjoy the Marsch by Marcel Wengler, or some of the marches commissioned by the Norwegian military to celebrate the Millennium, you will certainly enjoy this one. I would love to hear the whole Symphony. There must have been solo writing for, say, oboes or bassoons in the concert, but I came out as from so much music of this genre, without ever noticing these instruments in the welter of brass and percussion.