The Music and Art of J. Clifton Williams
Group Name Rountree Wind Symphony
Conductor Barry Ellis
Event Composer Series
Album ID - 8514-MCD

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1. Dramatic Essay
2. Pandean Fable
3. Symphonic Dances: No. 1 Comanche Ritual
4. Symphonic Dances: No. 2 Military Ball: The Maskers
5. Symphonic Dances: No. 3 Fiesta
6. Symphonic Dances: No. 4 Square Dance
7. Symphonic Dances: No. 5 New Generation
8. Strategic Air Command March
9. The Sinfonians

The Rountree Wind Symphony, Dr. Barry Ellis, director is presenting works which were previously lost to the world.

Included on this disc is the world premiere recording of the lyrical and demanding Pandéan Fable, for bass flute and wind ensemble, which was originally premiered by Dr. Mark Thomas in 1970 with the Lamar State University Band. It was dedicated to Fred Wilkins, a well-known flute soloist, clinician and flute designer. Margaret Cornils Luke is the soloist.

Another solo feature is the virtuosic Dramatic Essay, with trumpet soloist Dr. David Cooper. In describing this work the composer states: “Dramatic Essay was the first serious piece for solo trumpet and band. The entire scope of trumpet technique is contained in Dramatic Essay; this includes single and multiple tonguing, rapid slurs, good range, endurance, phrasing, and a wide range of dynamics.” Previously, only such composed works featured the cornet with band.

Also included on this CD are the only commercially available recordings of Strategic Air Command and The Sinfonians with wind band and men’s chorus.

However, the crown jewel is the first commercial recording of the Five Symphonic Dances for wind band. These works, originally for orchestra, had never been available in their complete set for wind band until now. Williams transcribed Symphonic Dance No. 2: The Maskers, No. 3: Fiesta and No. 5: New Generation for wind band However, only Dance No. 2 and No. 3 were published. Using Williams’ original orchestral scores, Symphonic Dance No. 1: Comanche Ritual was transcribed by Francis McBeth and Symphonic Dance No. 4: Square Dance by Michael Brown.

The first performance of the entire five movements of Symphonic Dances on Jan. 30, 1965, marked Williams’ thirty-first podium appearance with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. This is the first recorded version of Clifton Williams’ orchestrations and McBeth’s and Brown’s transcriptions in their wind band form.

Bandworld reviewer Ira Novoselsky writes: “Concert band aficionados worldwide owe a great deal of thanks to Dr. Barry Ellis and the Rountree Wind Symphony for their unparalleled tribute to James Clifton Williams.”