Mark Fewer’s virtuosity is on display throughout. Able to sustain intensity throughout lengthy passages, he can introduce a big band tutti as convincingly as an orchestral diminuendo. Traces of “violin swing” are evident in his soloing, but these are far outweighed by the tone and musicality exhibited throughout the recording.
As for Dwyer’s tackling of theme? Changing Seasons does, indeed, evoke pastoral images of nature. “Summer” features a warm, carefree melody and a beautiful saxophone solo by Dwyer. Confident and full of bends and jubilant arpeggios, he captures the spirit of the piece and the season. The stacked fifths and pentatonic figures of “Spring” paint a picture of new growth and possibility, while “Autumn’s” lingering unison figures create a sense of expectation that gets satisfied in a remarkably un-bleak “Winter.” A satisfying end to an ambitious project.
October 24th, 2011 on Alma Records
- Conductors - Mark Fewer, Phil Dwyer
- Violin Soloist – Mark Fewer
- Violins – Mark Ferris, Robin Braun, Jason Ho, Jennie Press, Toni Stanick, Yi Zhou, Karen Gerbrecht, Anne Cramer, Cam Wilson, Ashley Plaut, Angela Goaddard, Rick Dorfer
- Violas – Neil Miskey, Isabelle Roland, Henry Lee, Reg Quiring
- Cellos – Joseph Elworthy, Zoltan Rosnyai, Olivia Blander, Charles Inkman
- Dougle Bass – Dylan Palmer
- Trumpets – Walter White, Derry Byrne, Henry Christian, John Korsrud
- Saxophone/Woodwinds – PJ Perry, Tom Colclough, Tom Keenlyside, Stever Kaldestad, Chad Makela
- Trombones – Ian McDougall, Al Kay, Jeremy Berkman, Sharman King
- Piano – Chris Gestrin
- Bass – Ken Lister
- Drums – John Wikan
- Additional Musicians – Phil Dwyer, additional piano on “Spring,” tenor sax solo on “Summer.” Ingrid Jensen on trumpet solo on “Winter.”