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BandWorld, April 2013

I applaud Dr. Boyd for offering a fresh interpretation to this classic…I hope to hear more from the Taiwan Wind Ensemble, a very impressive debut with Naxos. © 2013 BandWorld

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2013

Formed in 2004, the Taiwan Wind Ensemble, which brings together leading musicians from throughout the country, perform an eclectic programme. At the centre of the disc is the extensive suite of Armenian Dances by the American composer, Alfred Reed. One of the most prolific writers in the genre of concert bands, he left more than two hundred works on his death in 2005. Using authentic Armenian folk-songs gathered together by the priest, Gomidas Vartabed, the first five of the eight songs form a continuous work, with the remaining three given a more extensive treatment in divided movements. It is not a score full of catchy tunes, some passages being quite melancholy, but as a whole it is highly enjoyable light music, the end of the first part, Gna Gna (Go Go), pictured in a swirling dance in the style of Khachaturian. It is surrounded by the vivacity of Bernstein’s overture to the opera, Candide, and Shostakovich’s big and brassy Festive Overture. The band give a warm and sonorous reading of the conductor’s arrangement of Bach’s Fantasia in G major; a brisk account ofClaude Thomas Smith’s concert overture, Emperata, while their atmospheric A Chasing After The Wind comesfrom the young Taiwanese composer, Chia-Ying Chiang. Technically this is all very assured playing…Very good sound quality. © David’s Review Corner

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