Eric Berlin / James Patrick Miller

Fantastique: Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

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As promised, this release delivers new music for trumpet and wind ensemble, forces commonly available in university settings. The performances from the large UMass Wind Ensemble and especially trumpeter Eric Berlin are sharp, and the recording at the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center sounds very fine, with a damped-down sound that keeps the polyphonic textures of much of the music clear. The program is accessible and lively, not breaking new ground, but offering plenty of variety to those who enjoy music for band. In both form and mood the program achieves considerable contrast. Two of the works are accurately called concertos, deriving their three-movement structures from solo-ensemble oppositions, but they're quite different in feel, with Evan Hause's Trumpet Concerto elegantly working Ivesian disjunctions into a traditional framework. The other works put the trumpet and the band together in different ways; James Stephenson's Duo Fantastique, bringing the whole group together from an unassuming beginning, may be the most attractive work on the album. Recommended for those who enjoy windband music, with some well-executed compositions.

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