Tomorrow’s Air – Contemporary Works for Orchestra – The Moravian Philharmonic Wind Ensemble / Ovidiu Balan, Vít Micka, Pety Vronský, and John Page – Navona

Tomorrow’s Air – Contemporary Works for Orchestra and Large Ensemble – The Moravian Philharmonic Wind and Percussion Ensemble conducted by Ovidiu Balan, Vít Micka, Pety Vronský, and John Page – Navona Catalog # NV6108 (9/8/17) ****:

Lovely contemporary music well performed and recorded.

Tomorrow’s Air is a most agreeable CD with a collection of contemporary music of varied moods and styles. I doubt the composers names will be familiar to our readers, but that is no reason to steer clear of this interesting disc.

The album opens with Hilary Tann’s Anecdote for solo cello and orchestra. Inspired by Wallace Stevens’s nature musings in his poem “Anecdote of the Jar”. It’s a lovely piece, with shimmering strings and dynamic contrasts.

Next is Hans Bakker’s Cantus, a darker and expressive work for string orchestra. Bakker has his own unique style, and the piece is a good listen.

The third track is Daniel Perttu’s lyrical overture To Spring. It was written in honor of his daughters; To Spring was inspired by William Blakes poetic ode of the same name. Although not thematically related to the music of Alan Hovhaness, it evoked similar emotions as I listened, but Perttu uses more brass. It’s uplifting music, and I enjoyed it more in subsequent auditions.

Jan Järvlepp honors the memory of his late brother with In Memoriam, a piece that captures the composers intense grief.

Following In Memoriam is Pierre Schroeder’s Late Harvest, an emotional work for strings, clarinet, and piano.

Closing the album is Paul Osterfield’s concertante wind ensemble piece, Silver Fantasy, a celebration of the flute and piccolo with lyrical melodies, dynamic rhythmic energy, and some echoes of Charles Ives at his most inventive.

These works are all nicely performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Wind and Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Ovidiu Balan, Vít Micka, Pety Vronský, and John Page.

The recording is very nicely done, with particularly nice string sounds, and wide dynamics. The music is well served by the overall production.

If you like contemporary music, this disc is an ‘easy’ buy. I think you’ll listen often to this collection, and enjoy these fresh compositions.

Recommended.

—Mel Martin

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