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Patrick Hanudel
American Record Guide, November 2012

Russian pianist Anatoly Sheludyakov is the soloist in Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments…a neo-classical work with romantic weight, percussive inflections, and splashes of ragtime…D Ray McClellen appears on Juilliard composer Wayne Oquin’s Tower Ascending…a soaring portrait of construction in New York City…soprano Ellen Ritchey sings University of Missouri Kansas City professor James Mobberley’s intensely elegiac Words of Love…for voice and winds.

The performances are confident and prepared. The soloists meet the challenges of the scores, and the wind ensemble boasts several very good players. The Oquin and Lorenz have colorful scoring, and the Mobberley is justly affecting… © 2012 American Record Guide

William Hedley
MusicWeb International, November 2012

The programme of this excellent disc showcasing an outstandingly fine American student wind band has been carefully thought out. The booklet could serve as a model to others. The recording is rich, clear, and immediate to the point that the clicking of the brass instruments’ valves can be heard in places.

The first piece on the disc is Tower Ascending by Wayne Oquin…the piece is brilliantly written for the medium, contains many very beautiful sounds and comes to a most satisfyingly noisy conclusion.

Street Song…is in three linked sections, the first of which is rather like Hindemith with a strong dash of Americana. The second is pensive with lots of very close harmony, a feature of the work as a whole. There is a fair amount of jazz in the third section, but this is treated with great subtlety, and indeed restraint and impeccable taste are features of this impressive short work. The music of the three “songs” comes together near the end in a beautifully scored and gentle coda. The performance is remarkable….

The players clearly relish the rumbustious bustle of Vaughan Williams’ Toccata Marziale, and play most sensitively the sustained notes and chords of James Mobberley’s Words of Love.

Anatoly Sheludyakov is the impressive soloist in Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, his combative style perfectly suited to the percussive nature of most of the work. He is most competently supported by the young musicians, who will surely have found the work a challenge, and very different indeed in aims and in style from the rest of the programme. The collection ends with a suitably imposing performance of Copland’s celebrated Fanfare for the Common Man. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Igor Stravinsky
BandWorld, October 2012

… Street Song is another prime program under the direction of John P. Lynch. Three well known standards of wind ensemble repertoire round out Street Song; a most impressive performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Toccata Marziale (Ralph Vaughan Williams) and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man…Street Song is definitely worth your interest. © 2012 BandWorld Read complete review

Wind Band Today, July 2012

The University of Georgia Bands have released their latest album on the Naxos label. The mix of new pieces with standards is a testament to the work that John Lynch has been doing. He achieves his mission to commission and program original works for band by including Wayne Oquin’s Tower Ascending. This beautiful piece in two parts is a tremendously exciting addition to the wind band repertoire, providing both a beautiful serene opening and a thrilling conclusion, and is highlighted by D. Ray McClellan’s lyrical and bold solo playing. Ricardo Lorenz’s El muro is a sonic tour through a variety of Latin American musical styles.

The highlight of the album is Michael Tilson Thomas’ Street Song, an unexpected treat from the musician more commonly known for his work as a conductor. Not enough can be said for the beautiful, lush sound that the University brass achieves throughout the work. Producer Bradley Genevro and Engineer Bruce Leek should be commended on their masterful work of editing these three tracks in particular.

Toccata Marziale and the Stravinsky Concerto are both well played…Closing the recording with the Copland Fanfare for the Common Man is an interesting choice, and after the three preceding pieces, it is a choice that is rewarded. The power of the brass section is once again highlighted, and it brings the album to a strong finish.

Congrats to the staff, players, and engineering and production team for a fine contribution to the Naxos library and the wind band catalog! © 2012 Wind Band Today Read complete review

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