We live in a golden age for wind music. At no time since the 18th century have so many composers written for wind instruments, and at no time since that great classical era have so many harmony or wind ensembles been active in both the civilian and military spheres. Interest has largely shifted from the courts of princes and drill grounds to the music halls, schools and universities, but wind music is more alive in this century than in any other since the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, the general attitude of the music world towards wind music is still to dismiss it as “utility music” best suited for education, entertainment and ceremonies.
Timothy Reynish studied horn with Aubrey Brain and Frank Probyn. He was a musicologist at Cambridge, worked with Raymond Leppard and Sir David Willcocks and held important horn positions with the Northern Sinfonia, Sadler’s Wells Opera (now ENO) and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; in the 1970s he founded the Birmingham Sinfonietta in Birmingham by members of the CBSO and gave a series of contemporary concerts; he also conducted the London Contemporary Players and was guest conductor with the Amsterdam Sinfonia.
As a musicologist, Timothy Reynish has compiled a compendium of English wind music with Making It Better, which can be a helpful document for any programming. Compensated information on the development of wind music in the UK, on English composers and their works, and overviews of works provide a comprehensive picture of wind music in England. Tables of recommended works from various institutions conclude the compendium.
Here is an overview of the recommended works:
The compendium can be ordered directly from the publisher:
Tim Reynish, 62 Moss Lane, Leyland PR25 4SH,