Philip Glass’ Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, composed in 2000 and transcribed for wind ensemble by Mark Lortz in 2004, is a significant addition to the repertoire of large-scale works for timpani. The work is rhythmically galvanizing, sonically alluring, and features virtuoso cadenzas for both soloists. Symphony No 4 ‘In the Shadow of No Towers’ is Mohammed Fairouz’s first major work for wind ensemble, and its inspiration is the provocative comic book by Art Spiegelman, written shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Spiegelman himself has commented: “I’m moved by [this] scary, somber, and seriously silly symphony…I’m honored that the composer found an echo in my work that allowed him to strike a responsive chord and express his own complex responses to post 9/11 America. He emerges from the rubble with a very tony piece of high-brow cartoon music.”
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
I remember watching Don Kirshner's Rock Concert in the early 70's and seeing a band called KANSAS playing a song I loved; it was "Can I Tell You." I recall that night as if it was yesterday. They were different, unlike anything I had ever heard before, although I did not truly discover the power of Kansas until their fourth album Leftoverture. What a mistake it was for me to wait and pass on KANSAS and ''Song For America''. Thanks to the incredibly successful remasters market I get second chances all the time, and this is one of those sweet returns to the past.