The Other Side

Volume VII
Luis Serrano Alarcon
Nigel Clarke
Kit Turnbull
University of St Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Matthew George
Catalog Number: 
#1 007
new classical
wind band

St. Paul, MN

Release Date: 
Mar 8, 2019
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

With a tally of more than ninety commissioned works for band, Matthew George and the Minnesota-based University of St. Thomas [UST] Symphonic Wind Ensemble are blazing the trail in spurring new works for the medium.

The Other Side is the seventh installment of their on-going UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble Commissioning Series. This golden volume has something for everyone: symphonic Romanticism, allusions to Surrealism and Abstract Art, and virtuosic solos performance, not to mention the unlikely pairing of a rock group with wind band.

The music of Spanish composer Luis Serrano Alarcón bookends the album, starting with his B-Side Concerto. A rock/jazz fusion band and the symphonic wind ensemble tackle and support each other over the course of three sections in a concerto that Vivaldi could never have imagined.

Nigel Clarke’s Mysteries of the Horizon was inspired by the artwork of René Magritte, and the four movements are named after some of his most popular paintings. The performance features the virtuosic cornet soloist, also from Belgium, Harmen Vanhoorne whom the composer had in mind while writing this dazzling and colorful work. 

Another British composer and another work inspired by art follow; this time Kit Turnbull and Wassily Kandinsky respectively. The title, Everything starts from a dot, is a direct quote from Kandinsky when answering a question about how he goes about starting a painting.

Staying with Russia for the final work on the album, Serrano Alarcón’s Second Symphony for Wind Orchestra pays tribute to the era of Russian Romantic symphonic composers (think Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, et al). The emotional content of the music matches the powerful forces of the symphonic wind ensemble - heroism, humor, contemplation, and pure athleticism. You won’t miss the strings at all.



"Prepare yourself for a mind and ear opening experience. A commissioned work, this modern classical work sounds like Mozart met Bernstein and let the fur fly. Loaded with modern touches and moves, it still remains true to the pocket and really sets a course for bringing tomorrow's listeners into the tent today. A wild work that sets new standards and blows open previously unopened doors to new rooms. Well done." [FULL ARTICLE] - Chris Spector 


"The execution throughout by the UST Symphonic Wind Ensemble is expert and enthusiastic. I was taken aback, in a good way, by the appearance of an accomplished English horn soloist in Alarcón’s symphony. The world of the wind band is primarily situated in college music departments, and the one that George leads must be among the most enlightened"  - Huntley Dent

"Maestro George certainly runs a tight ship here to the result that the disc is a delight throughout. All four works are well worth the hearing, and the concerto by Clarke has assumed a place in my overcrowded brain as one of my favorite contemporary brass concertos. This well-recorded and performed disc consequently receives a very high recommendation from this quarter." - David DeBoor Canfield

"Filled with terrific performances of four very accessible works, this disc is a first-class calling card for the St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble and an impossible-to-ignore addition to the world’s symphonic band repertoire." - Robert Schulslaper


"the ensemble smartly assures itself of remaining creatively vital and replenished as it advances towards its thirtieth year of operation." [FULL ARTICLE