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New Works for Trombone and Wind Ensemble

Jeffrey Holmes, Salvatore Macchia, David Mallamud, Felipe Salles

UMass Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band



"As a whirlwind tour of the world of the trombone, this delightful release can hardly be surpassed. For most classical listeners the trombone’s world isn’t prominent... [one hears] the astonishing virtuosity of soloist Greg Spiridopoulos... As more than a passing compliment, Spiridopoulos’s intonation is perfect, reminding me that hitting every note squarely is a challenge when so much depends on large-muscle arm movements with the slide... this is a release to delight wind-band enthusiasts, with wider appeal to general listeners—it will surprise them as much as I was by such outstanding music-making... Five stars: A triumph for all concerned, including the scintillating trombonist."
Huntley Dent, Fanfare [May/June 2023]
"Synchronous is a celebration of the trombone, be it the instrument’s tonal beauty, technical versatility, or capacity for virtuoso display. And Greg Spiridopoulos proves an ideal advocate. Whether the piece calls for an extended singing line, brilliant passagework, security throughout the registers, or at times, a penchant for humor, Spiridopoulos plays gloriously. How wonderful to hear his rich and attractive tone allied with a flawless precision and facility. Both the UMass Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band, under Matthew Westgate’s direction, play with the utmost distinction as well. And the performances are captured in superb sound. The liner notes include composer biographies, as well as their commentary on the works. This is a marvelous recording, recommended with the greatest pleasure."
Ken Meltzer, Fanfare [May/June 2023]
"This is a superbly entertaining disc, performed to the very highest standard. Spiridopoulos is a true virtuoso."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [May/June 2023]
"Throughout, the musicianship of the UMass ensemble and band members conducted by Matthew Westgate could not be better, while the trombone playing by Spiridopoulos is absolutely stellar. As we have come to expect from MSR, the music was superbly recorded."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [March 2023]
Featured Title in Quarterly New Release Info
Pan Pipes , SAI Journal [Spring 2023]
"Greg Spiridopoulos wears quite a few hats: principal trombone of the Albany Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Boston Philharmonic orchestras; member of Portland Symphony and Empire Brass Quintet; and trombone professor at the University of Massachusetts. Here he presents four new works that were written for him... Trombonist Spiridopoulos has all the power and range needed in order to be heard over band accompaniment. Fine playing by the UMass bands."
American Record Guide [May/June 2023]
"Holmes also has a sure hand on the tiller, so to speak, in the orchestration of this work, with the solo trombone and wind ensemble developing their own personalities and also managing to merge their differing sounds to very good effect."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [March 2023]
Just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic halted all live musical  endeavors, Matthew Westgate and I had scheduled an ambitious recording project of standard works for trombone and piano that had been orchestrated for wind ensemble accompaniment. Our project, slated for recording with the UMass Wind Ensembles during the fall semester 2020, was postponed indefinitely. As we  struggled through remote classes, outdoor rehearsals and “asynchronous” concerts, it became clear that pivoting to an even more ambitious recording project, of all new works, could be a creative solace, and offer optimistic anticipation for resuming live music. I asked my UMass colleagues, Professors Jeffrey Holmes, Sal Macchia and Felipe Salles, for new compositions featuring solo trombone with wind ensemble  accompaniment. To complete the project, I commissioned David Mallamud, whose music I had recorded with the Albany Symphony, to compose a whimsical multi-movement work. This CD, the result of distressing circumstances and remote collaborations, celebrates the return of “synchronous” live music.

Greg Spiridopoulos is a prolific and versatile performer as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. He is Principal Trombone of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Rhode Island Philharmonic and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a member of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Empire Brass Quintet. Spiridopoulos has appeared as soloist with the Albany Symphony, Harvard Summer Pops, The Valley Winds, and other New England ensembles. Before joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2010, Spiridopoulos led a distinguished freelance career, with regular appearances with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras, Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera and the Handel and Haydn Society. As an educator, Spiridopoulos has presented numerous solo recitals and master classes, including Yale University, Eastman School of Music, McGill University, the University of North Texas and Boston University.
I. Asynchronous
II. Spiridopoulos
III. Synchronously

LACRIMA (2020)

I. Zephyr
II. Fin Tale
III. Catamaran

*I. Elvis Entrance/Your Other Left on Bourbon Street
II. The Coney Island Two-Step Strut
III. The Lusty Latin Lounge Land Lunge
IV. Cover Your Eyes, Harold!
*V. 1157 A.D. The Battle of Mahl
*VI. Elvis Outrance

* Available online (stream and download) only.

Recorded October 2021 [4, 8-10] and March 2022 [1-3, 5-7] in the Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall at the Bromery Center for the Arts on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Producers: Felipe Salles [1-3], Morihiko Nakahara [4, 8-10] and Jeffrey Holmes [5-7]. Recording, editing and mastering engineer: Mateusz Zechowski.

MSR Classics
Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble ERIC BERLIN