Canadian Panorama marks Canada’s 150th Anniversary with an outstanding variety of native classical music. It’s the first commercial recording of the Winds of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s a release of new music for wind ensemble. And it’s also a survey of living Canadian composers that are both diverse and inviting.
Happily, Canadian Panorama succeeds on all levels. The music is both accessible and well-written. While all the works are tonal, many are quite substantial. All yield additional insights with repeated listens.
Some works draw on Canadian folk traditions. Chris Meyer’s “Fundy: A Poem of Wind and Waves” references Celtic folk music. Alex Eddington blends several folk songs together for “Saturday Night at Fort Chambly.” Howard Cable’s “McIntyre Ranch Country” uses cowboy tunes common to both the American and Canadian west.
Ronald Royer’s “Travels with Mozart” mine classical music’s common heritage (in this case, “The Magic Flute.”). As does John S. Gray’s “Allemand” and Alexander Rapoport’s “Whirligig.” Both are also exceptionally well-written works.
The winds of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra has a rich ensemble sound I don’t normally encounter with wind ensembles. This compact group is filled with first-rate players. They step forward for solos, then blend seamlessly together as an ensemble.
If you like wind ensemble music, this disc is for you. If you want to further explore Canadian music, this disc is for you. Heck, if you just want a great listening experience, Canadian Panorama is a disc for you.
World Premiere Recordings
Winds of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra
Ronald Royer, conductor