Compiling a disc devoted to music for wind quintet can be no easy matter, but the Galliard Ensemble have done so with aplomb. They’re helped by the varied output for the medium written by Paul Patterson, whose three pieces cover his whole career – from the Bartókian rhythms and abrasive harmonies of his 1967 Quintet, through the Malcolm Arnold-like humour and inventiveness of Comedy for Five Winds (1972), to the entertainingly diverse Westerly Winds, written for the Galliards. They meet the varied challenges of the works head on, and demonstrate a commitment to new music in two prize-winners from their Wind Quintet Composition Competition. James Olsen was only 16 when he wrote Imbroglio (1998), though you’d never guess from its engaging personality and formal ingenuity. Luis Tinoco’s Autumn Wind (1997) is music of darker emotions and strong atmosphere; clearly a composer to listen out for. Then there’s Holst’s Wind Quintet – a delightfully witty piece which, like so much of his ‘pre-Planets’ music, has only recently been revived.
Superb sound, a model of clarity in this difficult-to-record medium, enhances a very desirable release.