The Legacy of John Barnes Chance
Illinois State University Wind Symphony & Stephen Steele
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I was very excited to see this on iTunes, as I have been looking for a good recording of Variations on a Korean Folk Song for years. This one is gorgeous! Every note is true, the tempo the conductor chose is spot-on for each of the 4 movements. The other tracks on this album are fabulously done, as well. Bravo! I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves Chance's music.
As a professional classical saxophonist I would say that these recordings are nothing but the best quality. I personally saw Illinois State University play at the National Music Educators Conference in Chicago a couple years ago and their musicality and passion that goes into the music is unparalleled. This recording has been met with the same expectations and there is no other recording in the industry that compares to the quality and precision of Illinois State University's performance.
Trying to be impartial, but....
...since I performed and worked behind the scenes on this recording, I'll give it the five stars because I know exactly how much work went into this project, and the care that was taken to follow Mr. Chance's musical intent as closely as possible. Just because other bands have been doing things differently does not make them right or wrong; the goal here was a close interpretation of the original music. This is a reference; feel free to interpret as you see fit. As for the reviewer who claims his band of freshmen and sophomores played this music better, I'd love to hear it. There just might be some outstanding bands that could surpass this recording, but their directors wouldn't be bragging about it on an iTunes review board. They'd be too busy rehearsing Symphony #2.