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.”
In the course of an astonishing long life, Leo Ornstein (1893 - 2002) had many shifts of fortune. Recognized as a child prodigy on the piano, Ornstein's family fled the Russian pogroms and moved to New York City in 1906. Ornstein studied piano and composition and graduated from what would become the Juilliard School of Music. From 1915 through the mid 1920's, Ornstein was famous as a concert pianist and notorious as a composer of highly dissonant, futurist works of avant-garde music. Coming from a poor Russian Jewish family, Ornstein married a wealthy heiress, Pauline Mallet-Provost. In the 1920s, Ornstein abruptly retired from the concert stage and founded a music school in Philadelphia.
The Blackbyrds were a jazz-funk group with thick R&B streaks running down their backs. Assembled by Donald Byrd in 1974, the group's original members – percussionist Pericles "Perk" Jacobs, Jr., drummer Keith Killgo, keyboardist Kevin Toney, reeds player Allan Barnes, bassist Joe Hall, guitarist Barney Perry – were mined from Howard University's music department, where the doctor and jazz legend was an instructor. (Other key players included guitarist Orville Saunders and saxophonist/flautist Steve Johnson.)
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is the debut studio album by Jeff Wayne, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, released September 6, 1978. A concept album, its main format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. The two-disc album remains a bestseller, having sold millions of records around the world, and by 2009 it was the 40th best selling album of all time in the UK with sales of 2,561,286. It has since spawned multiple versions of the album, video games, DVDs, and live tours.
This hybrid SACD contains stereo and 4.1 multi-channel audio and I think it's fantastic!
Many of us Tomita fans wondered why he put a mono recording of an old cartoon on the OKHOTSK FANTASY album, instead of doing a DAPHNIS AND CHLOE - ULTIMATE EDITION in discrete 4.1 channel Quadraphonic sound… Now it is clear, the OKHOTSK FANTASY album was his last. It was released in March 2016, and he passed away two months later. So he probably wasn’t able to finish it. Knowing this, we can wish that he had started putting his Quadraphonic albums on SACD sooner, but we can’t blame him for the last two SACDs, because he was 83 and 84 when he did them.