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Two New CDs Feature World Premiere Recording of John Mackey’s Redline Tango by University of Kansas Wind Ensemble; Music of Persichetti with Winds of London Symphony Orchestra

On April 18th, Naxos will release the first two CDs in its new Wind Band Classics series devoted to presenting the best in symphonic band music.

Redline Tango: Music for Wind Band,performed by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and John P. Lynch, is a vibrant collection of recently-composed works that includes the world premiere recording of the title track, Redline Tango by John Mackey.

Redline Tango was the 2005 winner of the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association Ostwald Composition Contest and has become a bona fide wind band hit that sounds equally exciting on the concert stage and in the basketball arena.  As described by the composer in the liner notes, Redline Tango consists of a “demented . . . sleazy” tango framed by two propulsive, virtuosic sections that test the skills of the ensemble (Mackey explains that title refers to the practice of “redlining” an engine, pushing it to its mechanical limits). 

Originally, Redline Tango was commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic as an orchestral piece and premiered in 2003.  In 2004, Mackey re-worked the piece for band as requested by a consortium including the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble. The band arrangement has been performed over 75 times worldwide.  In addition to winning the Ostwald Award, Redline Tango also won the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize.

Redline Tango: Music for Wind Band also includes an arrangement of Charles Ives’s “The Alcotts” from the “Concord” Sonata by Jonathan Elkus, Carter Pann’s Slalom, Michael Mower’s Concerto for Flute and Wind Band with flutist David Fedele, and John P. Lynch’s Were You There?

The new release of band music by Vincent Persichetti, whose works have become staples of the repertoire, features the Winds of the London Symphonic Orchestra under David Amos.  The disc includes Persichetti’s major works in the genre, from the direct and playful Divertimento for Band, Opus 42 to Parable for Band, Opus 121.

Naxos will release two more Wind Band Classics in May: a compilation entitled Strike Up the Band and a disc of music by Vittorio Giannini.

Redline Tango: Music for Wind Band

John MACKEY: Redline Tango; Carter PANN: Slalom; Charles IVES (arr. Elkus): “The Alcotts”; Michael MOWER: Concerto for Flute and Wind Band; John P. LYNCH: Were You There?

University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, John P. Lynch; David Fedele, flute


Vincent PERSICHETTI: Music for Wind Ensemble

Winds of the London Symphony Orchestra

David Amos



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