The growing number of serious compositions for wind ensemble, and the large number of institutionalized ensembles to play them, are in large part due to the efforts of Frederick Fennell. Though his career took him to the orchestral podiums of Cleveland, Boston, Miami, and elsewhere, it is his notoriety as a conductor of music for winds, his prolific recorded output, and his role as the founder of the Eastman Wind Ensemble that perhaps most strongly denote his career.
Fennell was born in Cleveland in 1914. After high school, he entered the Eastman School of Music, pursuing a degree in percussion performance from the only institution in the country to offer one at that time. Fennell became a fixture at Eastman, going on to receive a master’s degree in 1939, and being hired in that same year to conduct several instrumental ensembles; he remained at Eastman until 1965. During his years there he transformed concert band into a multifaceted musical wind ensemble that could tap into the large body of long overlooked wind and brass concert music, and establishing a unique tradition and sonority for which new works could be created.… (See more at AllMusic)
Frederick Fennell Reviews:
“Fennell catches cool dance rhythms, delicate neatness, and British propriety very nicely. The Dallas Wind Symphony and the engineering are terrific, and Fennell’s liner notes are literate, informative and personal.” —Gil French, CITY (Rochester, NY)
“Playing is excellent. For Fennell’s many admirers this disc is self-recommending. Anyone who does not detest marches should like it too.” —Robert McColley, FANFARE
“Perhaps most remarkable is the absolute rightness of his tempo choices: One can’t imagine one of these marches going even the slightest bit slower or faster. The Dallas ensemble plays superbly and the sound is phenomenal. We get the immediacuy and visceral excitement of Fennell’s Mercury recordings, the weight and atmosphere of the Cleveland Symphonic Wind performances on Telarc, plus a level of detail and ease of presentation that’s state-of-the-art.” —Andrew Quint, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND
“…Sustained high energy. There’s not a slack moment…you’ll cheer Frederick Fennell FAVORITES!” —H&B Recordings Direct