CARL VOLLRATH (b.1931): Music for Wind and Percussion Ensemble - Dragon Land, The Land of Lanterns, And Bugles Sang.
Catalogue Number: 09T064
Label: Navona Records
Description: “Warrior Monks” (the disc’s title) is a sequence of concerti on an underlying subject, much like the composer's cycle of piano concerti (05R066). These are similarly tonal, approachable works, colorful and atmospheric, with a cinematic quality. The idea of the 'warrior monk' - trained in the arts of war but embodying a rich spiritual and cultural heritage - spans ancient and modern, and Vollrath was inspired by this juxtaposition in Chinese culture during a visit there. The clarinet concerti explore aspects of this duality, with pentatonic melodies in the solo part denoting the cultural origins of the work's ideas against a rich neo-romantic backdrop. The title of the trumpet concerto is a slight misquotation from 'But I was Looking at the Permanent Stars' by Wilfred Owen, in which the imagery of bugles is associated with the tragedy of the fallen soldier. The work explores imagery of somber remembrance as well as the trumpet's rôle in celebratory triumph, the military march, and the charge into battle. Moravian Philharmonia Wind and Percussion Ensemble; Petr Vronsky.