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.
One of the chief characteristics of Benjamin Britten's music is his masterful and highly distinctive orchestration, and the works on this album are among his most prized for that hallmark of his originality: the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, the Sinfonia da requiem, and the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from the opera Peter Grimes.
Voted five-time winner of Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Overall Guitarist,” and a member of the prestigious Gallery of the Greats, Steve Morse continues to be one of the world’s most inventive guitar players. He is well-known for his years with the Dixie Dreggs, Kansas, Deep Purple and his own group, the Steve Morse Band. He has played solo performances at Carnegie Hall and toured with Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Paco DeLucia. Steve has also written and performed on many Grammy Award-nominated albums and appeared on major television shows.