Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a standout work based on the theme for the week. We call them Morning Glories.
Wind band music — that is, compositions for large ensembles without string instruments — may be a bit neglected on the radio, but it holds a special place in many a brass or woodwind player's heart.
As part of Back to School Month on Classical MPR, we'll hear five of the most beloved works in wind band repertoire, to encourage the kids who are just learning their first scales and inspire everyone else to dust off those old horns.
Darius Milhaud: Suite Francaise
United States Air Force Band; Capt. Philip Chevallard, conductor
Milhaud wrote Suite Francaise expressly for high school students, after identifying a need for moderately difficult contemporary band music by leading composers.
Eric Whitacre: Ghost Train Triptych
North Texas Wind Symphony; Eugene Corporon, conductor
As a recently developed genre, there isn't as much music for wind band as there is for orchestra or piano. As a result, composers have found wind bands to be enthusiastic in embracing new works. One example is Eric Whitacre's first composition for wind orchestra, Ghost Train, whose success encouraged Whitacre to become a full-time composer.
David Maslanka: A Child's Garden of Dreams
Dallas Wind Symphony; Jerry Junkin, conductor
David Maslanka is best known for his compositions for wind ensemble, which showcase the ensemble's ability to express a huge range of emotion. A Child's Garden of Dreams is based on a case study in Carl Jung's Man and His Symbols about a young girl's extraordinary dreams.
Paul Hindemith: Symphony in B-flat
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony
One of the first major works written specifically for wind band, Hindemith's Symphony might not be as popular today as it was decades ago. The success of this piece, with Hindemith's distinctive harmonization and innovative instrumentation, encouraged other composers of the era to seriously consider writing for wind ensembles.
Percy Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy
Eastman Wind Ensemble; Frederick Fennell, conductor
Grainger's music helped establish the wind band movement in America, giving ensembles something to play beyond transcriptions of orchestral favorites and Sousa marches. Lincolnshire Posy has been a mainstay of wind band repertoire since its composition in 1937.