About the Album
The oldest musical instrument is undoubtedly the one that resides inside the human body; the voice. If music-making first emanated from the capacity of the human voice to create expressive sounds of all kinds, it is natural that instrumentalists often strive to “sing” through their chosen musical tools in an effort to evoke their organic and emotive qualities. This concept runs through all of the music on the present album. The title “arioso” is borrowed from Carol Adler’s poem of the same name that served as the impetus for the seminal work of American composer Joseph Schwantner: and the mountains rising nowhere. While the poem’s lines conjure many vivid images, its title encapsulates what could be considered the central spirit of music, which is to sing. Indeed, Schwantner even incorporates wordless singing into his instrumental work, as does James Stephenson in his powerful and innovative Symphony No. 2, which was written specifically for “The President’s Own” and is also featured on this recording. These two substantial original works for winds anchor a collection of pieces each influenced in some distinct manner by the voice and by the act of singing, from the deeply lyrical music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the instrumental settings of English folk song in Gustav Holst’s iconic Second Suite, to the beautiful new clarinet concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff featuring the exceptional guest soloist for whom it was composed, Ricardo Morales. Together, these diverse works celebrate the human voice and how it has influenced an incredibly rich and expressive tapestry of music for the modern symphonic band.
an afternoon sun blanked by rain
and the mountains rising nowhere
the sound returns
the sound and the silence chimes
“Arioso” by Carol Adler, Copyright 1975, Pentagram Press, Milwaukee, Wis.
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1-2. Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Edward Elgar, trans. Capt. Ryan Nowlin*): Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537
3-6. Gustav Holst (ed. Colin Matthews): Suite in F for Military Band, Opus 28, No. 2
4. Song without Words, "I'll love my love"
5. Song of the Blacksmith
6. Fantasia on the "Dargason"
7-9. Jonathan Leshnoff (Symphonic wind transcription made by composer): Clarinet Concerto, Nekudim (2015)
8. Chesed, Fast
Ricardo Morales, guest soloist
10. Joseph Schwanter: and the mountains rising nowhere
11-13. James Stephenson: Symphony No. 2, Voices (2016)
11. Prelude: Of Passion
12. Shouts and Murmurs
13. Of One
*Member, U.S. Marine Band