Release Date: August 9, 2019
Catalog #: NV6245
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Wind Ensemble


Modern Chamber Music For Winds

Jan Järvlepp composer
Ferdinando Desena composer
David Macdonald composer
Craig Peaslee composer
Kenneth A. Kuhn composer

Arcadian Winds

Throughout Navona Records’ WINDSWEPT, the wind quintet makes up the characters of collective stories written by five unique composers. In each piece, the Boston-based Arcadian Winds project a storytelling experience that is joyful, moving, and meaningful to hear.

The three-movement Woodwind Quintet by Canadian composer Jan Järvlepp starts off WINDSWEPT. The first movement, “Rollercoaster,” invokes a childlike whimsy with a noticeable pop influence. This is followed by “Solitude,” a more mature and romantic movement of music. Woodwind Quintet concludes with “Pyrotechnics,” a piece rooted in texture. The quintet creates a fury of beautiful sounds that fall and shimmer like freshly burst fireworks, bringing the whole piece to a star-studded finale.

Sonorous Earth, written by Miami composer Ferdinando DeSena, offers a down-to-earth, stable tone. While offering no less lyricism in his compositions, DeSena’s storytelling is built from his ability to interweave these instruments in the lower tonal register. Stumpery, the third piece, is also based on this very concept of interwoven melodies. Composed by David MacDonald, the inspiration behind the piece is the complex network of a stumpery, or a type of garden in which the roots of trees tangle around one another. While the roots are represented by the linear melodies of the instruments, MacDonald establishes a unique ambient sound incorporating reverberations of the instruments, emphasizing the space left by the tendrils of the roots.

Dirge & Second Line by Craig Peaslee experiments with the dictation of the New Orleans jazz style. Using a classical chamber ensemble, he juxtaposes some of the intricacies of classical notation with the loose, laid-back energies of the jazz music he works with. Concluding the album, Kenneth Kuhn’s Variations on a Commoner Theme, No. 1 builds a musical story of the quest of a theme in the lowest class of musical hierarchy seeking to become noble. The wind quintet chronicles the various attempts via varying personalities of tempo, key change, and tone. The mood and melody start from the lowest class, build themselves up with grandiose ambitions, and after a fall into despair, level out in the final measures in a noble atmosphere of bright, optimistic acceptance.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Jan Järvlepp


Composer Jan Järvlepp creates a genuine European/American musical fusion by combining the excitement of rock and jazz rhythms with the large-scale classical structures found in orchestral and chamber music. The seriousness of his well-thought-out forms and the immediacy of contemporary rhythmic and melodic ideas make a potent brew that is appealing to both open-minded classical listeners and pop music listeners who are searching for something new.

Ferdinando DeSena


Ferdinando DeSena is a Miami-based composer who was born in Brooklyn NY. His earliest musical experiences were with neighborhood pop, rock, and doo-wopp groups. He worked as a musician in Ithaca NY for 13 years, playing in several regional bands as keyboard player and lead singer. His final group was Uptown Revue, which he led for seven years.

David MacDonald


Composer David MacDonald writes music that is serious and clever, expressing a fondness for groovy rhythms and delightful surprises. He simultaneously embraces and pokes fun at expectations, like smashing the formality of concert traditions through the irreverent firehose of social media.

Craig Peaslee


Twice the recipient of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network's Music Award (2013 & 2016), Craig Peaslee's music has been described as bold, crass and unapologetic. His compositions can be traditional, multi-faceted, dissonant, genre-bending and have been known to directly confront social and political issues in order to bring attention to such issues as well as get listeners to critically think and discuss the challenges facing the world we live in.

Kenneth A. Kuhn


Kenneth A. Kuhn (Ken) (b. 1954) is a retired electrical engineer specializing in electronic circuit design who had the privilege of growing up with a great appreciation of classical music. Over the years classical music enhanced mental skills valuable for Kuhn’s engineering career. Composing music and designing electronic circuits are very interrelated as each enhances the other. He began composing music in his youth in the 1960s and learned how to compose by carefully listening to the many classical composers. His favorite composers include Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler. Ken composes because, “There is music I want to hear but since no one has written it then I must write it myself.”

Arcadian Winds


Arcadian Winds was founded at Boston University in 1987. Originally a woodwind trio consisting of flute, clarinet, and bassoon, the ensemble expanded to a wind quintet in 1989. Since its formation, Arcadian Winds has premiered almost 50 new works and championed many others. With a strong commitment to education, the group has brought chamber and contemporary music into the public, private and community schools in the Boston Area.

Rane Moore


Clarinetist Rane Moore is well-regarded for her thoughtful, provocative interpretations of standard and contemporary repertoire. Fiercely devoted to the new music communities of the East Coast and beyond, Moore is a founding member of the New York based Talea Ensemble which regularly gives premieres of new works at major venues and festivals around the world. Moore has recently joined the award winning wind quintet, The City of Tomorrow, and is also a member of Boston’s Callithumpian Consort and Sound Icon.