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Corigliano: Symphony No. 3 "Circus Maximus" & Gazebo Dances for Wind Ensemble

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Customer Reviews

it helps to read the program notes

Fantastic recording by the way....Professor Junkin and the UT students did a remarkable job! I. Introitus Trumpets and percussion surrounding the audience play fanfares, signaling the opening of the work. The full band enters with a primitive call from the clarinets. A short central section features the lowest winds and brass followed by the joining of the offstage and onstage ensemble playing together this time, and reaching the first climax of the work. II. Screen/Siren A saxophone quartet and string bass call from the 2nd tier boxes in seductive inflections. Other instruments scattered around the hall (clarinet, piccolo, horns, trumpet) echo the calls, which are suddenly interrupted by… III. Channel Surfing Our need for constant change echoes the desires of the ancient mob, only now we can access it all by pressing a button. Music in this section is constantly interrupted by other music and comes from all sections of the hall. IV. Night Music I Tranquility in nature. Away from cities, forest sounds suspend time. Animals call to each other. V. Night Music II The hyper night-music of the cities pulse with hidden energy and sudden flashes. Sirens and distant battles onstage build the tension to… VI. Circus Maximus The peak of the work incorporates all the other movements and is a carnival of sonoric activity. A band marching down the aisles counterpoints the onstage performers and the surrounding fanfares. Exuberant voices merge into chaos and a frenzy of overstatement. VII. Prayer In answer to this, a long-lined serene melody is set against a set of plagal (IV-I) cadences that circle through all the keys. The rising line grows in intensity against the constantly changing harmonies as the chords overlap from stage to surround trumpets and back. VIII. Coda: Veritas Music from the Introitus enters almost inaudibly, but grows in intensity until it dominates the "prayer" music, and the surrounding trumpet calls reach an even higher peak. A gunshot ends the work.

Monumental addition to the wind repertoire

Circus Maximus has truly lived up to its name and Corigliano again suceeds at creating a musical environment that is riveting, exciting, horrifying, entertaining, and expressive. Circus Maximus has a double meaning and one must read the program notes to understand why a movement called "Channel Surfing" does appear in this context - that aside this recording is monumental in its stature. The U of T ensemble executes Circus Maximus to the highest level. It is a massive undertaking both musically and literally. When you witness Circus Maximus in person it is no longer a concert experience, but an "event." Gazebo Dances is Corigliano's first venture into the wind medium and dates from an earlier compositional style, but nonetheless showcases Corigliano's apt style, personality, and musical gesture. The performance here is somewhat terse at times, but is a happy compliment to the 8 movements of the Symphony No. 3. Corigliano is one of the great composers of our time and this CD spans some of his earlier period of composition to his very distinctive contemporary voice.

Great playing

I've never understood how Corigliano has made a career as a composer. I find his music a little less then interesting ( btw what is a movment called "Channel Surfing" doing in a piece called Circus Maximus?) but the playing of the UT Wind Ensemble is top drawer. It's worthy enough purchase to buy it just for their musicianship alone.

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Corigliano: Symphony No. 3 "Circus Maximus" & Gazebo Dances for Wind Ensemble, Jerry Junkin
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