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Sounds from the West Shore

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Catalog Number: CPS-8673
Audio Format: Digital Stereo
Playing Time: 57:06
Release Date: 1999

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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Capriccio (4:59)
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    for two trumpets, strings and percussion
  Rouman Gurov and Vesselin Bojilov, trumpets
  Sounds from the West Shore
  2. Shifting Skies, Surging Waves (6:06)
  3. Quiet Winter (5:39)
  4. Ebullient Spring (4:23)
  Concerto for Two Flutes and Small Orchestra
  5. Vigorously (9:03)
  6. Passacaglia (7:28)
  7. Spritely, showy, impetous (4:12)
  Georgy Spassov and Hristo Dobrinov, flutes
  8. Opener (8:33)
  Concerto for Horn and Small Orchestra
  9. Dolce, then playful (4:26)
  10. Expressive, with serenity (9:36)
  11. With lots of spirit and drive (9:15)
  Vladimir Kanazirev, horn



20th Century Music - by Mark Alburger

"William Gay Bottje has a bit of Stravinsky and Shostakovich, a bit of academia and saucy jazz, and a lot of experience in such works as Capriccio for Two Trumpets, Strings, and Percussion. This and other music collected on Capstone's Sounds from the West Shore are from the composer's later years after an exemplary educational career (graduate of Juilliard and Eastman; studies with Gianini, Hanson, and Boulanger, professorships at the Universities of Mississippi and Southern Illinois).

The West Shore in question is that of Lake Michigan, where the composer resides on a dune (one assumes in a house, and wonders of the Biblical and science-fiction connections). The title work is atmospheric, geographic, and downright meteorological. The weather shifts in all sorts of ways from distant breezes provided by the Bulgarian New Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rossen Milanov. The snow in the "Quiet Winter" second movement sounds like Mahler's goats in the Symphony No. 7 — little random jingles that permeate the texture. The concluding "Ebullient Spring" is filled with energetic schizoscherzic grotesqueries.

Since both the composer and his wife are flutists, it seems appropriate that Bottje has produced a fine Concerto for Two Flutes and Small Orchestra, particularly in the second movement passages with harp. The conclusion has a nice balance of the measured and jaunty, including sustained chorale-like suggestions and Shostakovichian double-eighth-quarter rhythms. By rights he should be a hornist as well with the related command he brings to Concerto for Horn and Small Orchestra. Befitting its brassy soloist however, this work has a more demonstrative quality and bursts forth with a bit of Strauss's Til Eulenspiegel near its conclusion. Ha ha.

Opener is one of those short overtures that tries its darnedest to impress by setting off all the Bartókian bells and American whistles of color and rhythm. It almost closes the album. OK, fine. Why not?"