Wynton Marsalis

Quiet City

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While Wynton Marsalis gets prominent billing on the spine of this Donald Hunsberger/Eastman Wind Ensemble CD, he actually plays on only one composition, Aaron Copland's wonderfully pensive "Quiet City." Written to evoke the thoughts of brooding urban dwellers in the wee small hours, "Quiet City" is heard in a composer-sanctioned transcription for wind band here, with Marsalis smoothly tracing the questioning solo trumpet part in a performance that doesn't quite reach the fervent climax of rival recordings by the composer or Leonard Bernstein. Marsalis' classical fans should also check out the other pieces on this thoughtfully programmed CD of 20th century music: Karel Husa's frighteningly inspired "Music for Prague 1968," Vaughan Williams' busy "Toccata Marziale" and valedictory "Variations for Wind Band," and the exuberantly industrious counterpoint of Hindemith's "Concert Music for Wind Orchestra."