Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Story Telling - Cory Band

Story Telling  Cory Band LOW RES  1 and 2 0001

Story Telling 

Cory Band 

MD: Philip Harper

Doyen Recording CD371


I was privileged  to witness Cory’s as Brass in Concert Champions last November, when their entire program was composed or arranged by Philip Harper based on the life and famous storytelling of Roald Dahl, and several of those items are featured on this CD.

   It is most unusual for any program to open up with two overtures; however, as both depict perhaps fictional tales they aptly introduce the main theme of ‘ Storytelling’. The remarkable detail and really scintillating playing in Bernstein’s Candide followed by a most majestic intro into The Thieving Magpie are of the highest quality.

   The first solo spot introduces Principal Cornet Tom Hutchinson as he demonstrates fantastic technique on the trumpet in this very clever and stylish arrangement by Alan Morrison of The Green Hornet,

   Dahl’s parents were Norwegian and Philip has combined local folksongs and dances to present this descriptive and quite stunning arrangement in Nordic Polska which is followed by a breath-taking musical description of aerial combat witnessed by Dahl as a fighter pilot in Philp Harper’s The Battle of Athens --- listen to some brilliant effects and superb triple-tongueing!

   A complete change of style introduces music by Mancini, performed at the Sage by a small ensemble front of stage as they played an amusing, sometimes delicate but very effective Moon River Cha-Cha, a most relaxing relief!

   Roald Dahl sadly lost a daughter through illness when only seven years old, and Philip wrote this truly beautiful solo A Little Star Went Out which is played with such sensitivity and feeling by the outstanding Helen Williams on flugel. Her husband Glyn is next featured on euphonium in this terrific arrangement of musical selections in The World’s Greatest Storyteller as he shows total mastery of his instrument in Pure Imagination.

   One of our older great test-pieces is next used to tell it’s story and here the band really is back in ‘test-piece mode’ as they brilliantly perform Hubert Bath’s Freedom with a particularly impressive Scherzo and a most glorious Finale --- Freedom indeed!

   How refreshing to hear a Baritone solo these days, and therefore a pleasure to hear Steve Kane performing this Evelyn Glennie work A Little Prayer, so full of emotion and warmth, and sublimely played by Steve.

   Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition depicts stories behind the paintings, and this Finale displays yet again the sheer brilliance of Cory Band in playing Baba Yaga concluding with this tumultuous Great Gate of Kiev

   A superb band together with a truly outstanding musician in the middle produces such a remarkable and enjoyable CD


1. Candide - Leonard Bernstein Arr: Howard Snell - [4.26]

2. The Theivish Magpie - Rossini Arr: Dennis Wright  - [9.47]

3. The Green Hornet - Billy May Arr: Alan Morrison - [ 2.20]

Trumpet Soloist: Tom Hutchinson

4. Nordic Polska - Philip Harper - [3.45]

5. The Battle of Athens - Philip Harper - [3.20]                                 

6. Moon Rive Cha Cha - Henry Mancini Arr: Philip Harper - [2.40]

7. A Little Star Went Out - Philip Harper - [4.02]

Flugel Horn Soloist: Helen Williams

8. The World's Greatest Storyteller - Philip Harper - [9.48]

Euphonium Soloist: Glym Williams

9 - 11. Freedom - Hubert Bath 

   i) Molton Moderato e un poco Maestoso - [5.06]

  ii) Interlude, Andante Expressivo - [3.02]

 iii) Scherzo, Finale, Allegro Vivace e Legeramente -  [4.17]

12. A Little Prayer - Evelyn Glennie Arr: Robert Childs - [ 3.36]

Baritone Soloist: Steve Kane

13. Baba Yaga and The Great Gate of Kiev - Modest Mussorgsky Arr: Elgar Howarth - [9.37]                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                              Stuart Fawcett