JULIE GIROUX (b.1961): Just Flyin’, J, Radiant Shadows, Shine, Hymn for the Innocent, No Man’s Land, Opa!, The Hearthstone, Shadow Falls, Medalist Fanfare, The Grace in Being, Dragon Sky.
Catalogue Number: 05T078
Reference: K 11221
Description: Giroux' works sum up the essence of what the wind orchestra tradition in the USA is all about. She worked extensively in film and video game music before turning her attention to wind ensemble works in the 1990s, and she clearly retains a film composer's knack for establishing an atmosphere, emotion or mood in a short span. There are some works that are irresistibly catchy and instantly appealing - Kabalevsky's Colas Breugnon overture, or Bernstein's Candide overture come to mind. Giroux seems to have an uncanny knack for pulling this sort of thing out of the hat at will, using similar devices; sprightly rhythms, sprung by syncopation, and clever, unexpected chromatic shifts in harmony, as inevitable-sounding as they are unpredictable. All the energetic pieces here - Just Flyin', Fanfare, the propulsive conclusions of Shine, Opa!, and Dragon Sky, sound like this. Heartfelt (heart-on-sleeve) emotion in the thoughtful, commemorative, reflective pieces recalls another great composer for winds; the Grainger of Lincolnshire Posy, and his emotionally wrenching and overflowing Shallow Brown, Colonial Song, or the Irish Tune from County Derry, with a very similar sense of sumptuous chromatic harmony. UNT Symphonic Band; Dennis Fisher.