#19– December 02, 2019
Music for Winds
The magnificent “Music for Winds” by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is our Composition of the Week. A rare gem, this four-movement work is certainly one of the greatest contributions to the Wind Ensemble literature of the last decade.
Written in 2001, and published in 2009, it has a duration of about of 21 minutes. The music is available on rental by Schott.
Skrowaczewski himself tell us about his work:
“Music for Winds was commissioned by a consortium of nine orchestras in four countries (the United States, Germany, Austria, and Japan). The initiator of this project is Dr. Frederick Harris, director of the wind orchestra at MIT in Boston. He knew that I had long since wanted to write a kind of symphony or concerto for winds, or more precisely for symphonic winds, the wind instruments that appear in the symphonies of the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, from Beethoven to Shostakovich and beyond. The repertoire for the instruments is rather scarce, compared to the great repertoire for strings. I added three saxophones, of which two are less common and less often played, soprano and baritone saxophone. They enrich the wind section by extending the possibilities of sound quality; and to that I brought in percussion, very gently along with piano, celesta, and harp”.
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (1923 – 2017) was a Polish – American conductor and composer. Studied piano, violin, composition and conducting in the Academy of Music in Krakow, becoming very soon associate conductor of major orchestras in Poland, such us the Warsaw National Orchestra. Studies with Nadia Boulanger followed in 1956, as well as the first prize in the Santa Cecilia Competition for Conductors. George Szell invited him to conduct the Cleveland Orchestra in 1960, launching his outstanding international career. Two times nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for his compositions, he received the Commander Order of the White Eagle, the highest order conferred by the Polish government, as well as the Gold Medal of the Mahler-Bruckner Society among other distinctions.