Na Makani O Hawaii


“The Winds of Hawai’i”

Performed by the Spring Wind Quintet, this album features compositions by Allen Trubitt, Neil McKay, Angel Peña, and Marsha Schweitzer.



Performed by the Spring Wind Quintet.

Selections include:

  • Spring Wind: A Song for Kenji, Allen Trubitt
    • Track 1: Fair Winds
    • Track 2: Gentle Winds
    • Track 3: Wind in the Mountains
    • Track 4: Gusty Winds
  • Five by Five, Neil McKay
    • Track 5: Waltz
    • Track 6: March
    • Track 7: Dance
    • Track 8: Lullaby
    • Track 9: Caprice
  • Movements for Wind Quintet, Angel Peña
    • Track 10: Prelude – Fugue – Allegro
  • Variations On A Simple Tune, Marsha Schweitzer
    • Track 11: Theme and Six Variations

Allen Trubitt (1931-2008)

Allen Trubitt was Professor of Composition at the University of Hawai‘i from 1964 to 1994. Spring Wind was written for the Spring Wind Quintet and dedicated to Kenji Otani (1923- 1986), a clarinetist in the Royal Hawaiian Band and Honolulu Symphony, and also Allen’s composition student. The second movement is in klezmer style, and there are touch- es of inspiration from the quintets of Nielsen and Hindemith.

Neil McKay (1924 – 2016)

Canadian-American composer Neil McKay was Dr. Trubitt’s colleague on the UH composition faculty, serving in that capacity from 1965 to 1987. Five By Five is a charming collection of five short, picturesque movements, adapted and expanded for the Spring Wind Quintet by the composer from one of his earlier piano works. Neil started out as an arranger of jazz and popu-
lar songs, but easily moved into other genre, and was often inspired by the music of Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific.

Angel Peña (1921 – 2014)

A celebrated Filipino-American composer and bassist in the Honolulu Symphony, Angel was first known in the Philippines as a jazz musician. Like Neil McKay, Angel gained fame as an arranger in jazz and popular idioms and then moved seamlessly into “serious” music. These three movements use classical forms to display Angel’s impeccable 20th century serial style.

Marsha Schweitzer (1949 – )

Like Angel Peña, Marsha is mostly known as an arranger. Variations On A Simple Tune, her only original work, is really a set of six arrangements based on a tune she wrote for a college music theory class. Each variation demonstrates a compositional device such as pointillism, 12-tone, fauxbourdon, and fugue.

Praise for Na Makani O Hawai’i

“The Spring Wind Quintet’s 2021 release Na Makani O Hawaii is a beautiful collection of repertoire and performances. The overall focus of this album results in a very personal listen, one that is at times beautiful, quirky, character-laden, and full of wonder.

Allen Trubitt’s three-movement Spring Wind opens the album with much mystery and intrigue. The music is hauntingly gorgeous as it takes the listener down many different turns and trails. Schweitzer’s “simple tune” is a gorgeous choral performed with supreme richness from the quintet. It is extremely triadic, and the quintet’s intonation is impressive.

The entire album is wonderful and I encourage readers to take the modest thirty-eight minutes it will take to listen to the whole thing. The Spring Wind Quintet has shared very deep, expressive perfor- mances of music originating from artists in their own locale, and this album should serve as a model for the kind of art that can be achieved when artists so beautifully reflect their community.”

– Ryan Reynolds, The Double Reed, volume 45, number 4 (January 2023)


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