Wordless Wednesday; New CD’s!



December Playlist

Ok, let’s start with the confession first. My ‘Sunday Playlist’ has already changed. I haven’t managed to create any since that first one so, with that in mind, I decided that a monthly playlist would be more suitable. So I’m starting over with December.

December being December means that there is most certainly a Christmas feel to this playlist. If Christmas music isn’t your thing, I’m sorry, but there is something a little less Christmas-sy included too. This is in the form of Tallis Variations, a wonderful 14 minutes of music from the pen of Philip Sparke. I had the honour to hear Glyn Williams perform Candlelight Carol live at the beginning of December, a stunning piece played beautifully by a maestro of the instrument. Further to that, standard brass band festive fair is included; Jingle Bells (performed by Lions Youth) and Mistletoe and Wine – a piece I remember well from my time playing with Audley – this time performed again by Cory. The playlist (just over half an hour) is finished by the fantastic ‘Yule Dance,’ a superb combination of  O Little Town of Bethlehem, In Dulcio Jubilo, I Saw Three Ships and Sussex Carol.

Jingle BellsComposer: Traditional, Arranger: Derek Ashmore
Performer: Lions Youth Band
Conductor: Nigel Birch

Tallis Variations
Composer: Philip Sparke
Performer: Cory Band
Conductor: Philip Harper

Candlelight Carol
Composer: John Rutter, Arranger: David Griffiths
Performer: Cory Band
Conductor: Philip Harper
Soloist: Glyn Williams

Mistletoe and Wine
Composer: Jeremy Paul, Leslie Stewart and Keith Strachan, Arranger: Darrol Barry
Performer: Buy As You View Band
Conductor: Robert Childs

Yule Dance
Composer: Philip Harper
Performer: Cory Band
Conductor: Philip Harper

Whats on my iPod 2?

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about music and what I’m listening to. Last time, I was listening to the fabulous YBS Band under the baton of David King. Fast forward to October and I’m still listening to a band directed by David King, just this time it’s the world famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band and their 2014 ‘in concert’ CD, titled Vita Destructa.
Professor King rarely follows the traditional concert pattern when it comes to programming; march, overture, solo etc. He works his own order out and to me this makes for a far more interesting listening experience. The CD opens with the ten minute Latin fantasy ‘El Carmino Real’ which is full of the fire you’d expect of a latin number but for me it is the second track, ‘In Love For Me’ which is the highlight of the CD. It is beautifully treated, both by band and MD who draw all the emotion out of the music. 
All the soloists are on excellent form – I particularly enjoyed Ryan Watkins’ performance of ‘Radio City’ – and the rest of the programme is performed with aplomb and a slight swagger. The final track, Vita Destructa, is a real tour de force by 17 year old Todd Smith. His handling of the hymn ‘Abide With Me’ is interwoven maturely with other melodic ideas to bring the CD to a thrilling close.
What else can I say but what an excellent CD this is.

What’s On My IPod?

At the minute I’m immersed in the quite wonderful playing of the then Yorkshire Building Society Brass Band on their triple CD ‘Kings of Europe.’

You’re probably aware by now that I’m a huge ‘bander’ and my in car playlist very rarely fails to feature a brass band CD of some sort. In the past 18 months or so I’ve gained more of a taste for the more serious side of the movements repertoire, in particularly enjoying the annual European Championship highlights CD, full of live performances. Kings of Europe is music taken from YBS’s performances at the this contest where, in the late 90’s and early 00’s, they won the championships seven times in eight years. A staggering achievement.

When you listen to this CD it’s easy to see why; Blitz (somehow only placed 8th, however), Montage, Concerto Grosso and many more get stellar performances. My own favourite is Tallis Variations, a quite wonderful reading with the most delicate of finales and Pageantry. Pageantry is by no means a great performance, in all fairness. However, sometime you need some luck and it seems like YBS got it on that performance. To me though, Pageantry is just a great piece, hence why it’s up there on my favourite track listings.

In short, this is a quite wonderful CD and, sadly, is now rather a commemorative work as the band is, although still a top level band, no longer reaching the great heights it did under the baton of Professor David King.

However, what a legacy to leave.