MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Northern Winds
Louis APPLEBAUM (1918-2000)
High Spirits - A Short Overture for Concert Band (1986) [3:53]
Michael COLGRASS (b.1932)
Dream Dancer (2001) [19:28] ¹
Henry KUCHARZYK (b.1953)
Some Assembly Required (1998) [14:29]
Gary KULESHA (b.1954)
Ensembles (1999) [9:11]
Henry FREEDMAN (1922-12005)
Laurentian Moods - Suite of French Canadian Folk Songs (1957) [8:05]
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
Oiseaux exotiques (1956) [15:22] ²
Wallace Halladay (saxophone) ¹
Simon Docking (piano) ²
Toronto Wind Orchestra/Tony Gomes
rec. Country Day School, King, Ontario, January 2007
NAXOS 8.572248 [70:28]
Experience Classicsonline

There's a strong Canadian feel to this disc as most of the composers hail from North of the Border. Michael Colgrass was born in Chicago but now lives in Toronto. Harry Freedman left his native Poland in 1927 when he was five so we can call him Canadian. Messiaen, not, obviously.

The Toronto Wind Orchestra is a versatile ensemble and takes on a variety of repertoire in its concerts, as it does here on disc. Louis Applebaum kicks things off with his zippy, sparky High Spirits - A Short Overture for Concert Band which he wrote in 1986. He keeps the percussion discreetly busy throughout. For a 'sounds like' think a bit of Holst - I thought of Mars from time to time. If Applebaum had been around in c.1942 Walter Legge would have got him writing an ENSA overture.

Back in 2001 Colgrass wrote Dream Dancer which is an altogether different kind of animal from the ebullience of High Spirits. Featuring the saxophone of Wallace Halladay this has some pluralistic agendas to fulfil and the ex-Jazz drummer explores a gamut of music from Jazz lines to sinuous light Asian percussive sounds. The scherzo writing is nervous and edgy, and the percussion and saxophone exchanges have an air of Jazz 'trading fours'. There are some yearning moments too and plenty of colour in this invigorating opus.

Some Assembly Required is the jokily entitled work of Henry Kucharzyk. There is room for latitude here regarding the ordering of movements and also room for improvisation. Febrile but insistent and also insidious the first of the three movements grips from the start. The central movement has more open air to it, before a brass and percussion dance pattern emerges; and then comes the finale (though in other performances this movement could come first) which is freewheeling, portentous but with a jazz-inflected quality. Gary Kulesha wrote Ensembles in 1999. Again it's a three movement affair but here all similarities stop. This one has a statuesque aura, one of quietude that does display a nervous tension in the middle movement - where the piano is used to heighten things and terse elements do abound - but the finale reasserts a Chorale like thread and nobility. There's a sense of space and gravity too.

Freedman's Laurentian Moods - Suite of French Canadian Folk Songs is a light hearted affair, with the melodies nicely distributed amongst the band. It's a tuneful work but not condescendingly so - it doesn't sound like Vaughan Williams but it has similar warmth. Finally there is the Messiaen, where Simon Docking is the precise and hard working pianist. The bird call panorama is verdant as ever in this fine performance.

But all the performances receive tip-top performances in good sound to boot. There are good things here - and not just for Canucks.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Julie Williams



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.