Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Highlights from the Brass in Concert Championships 2017

Brass in Concert Highlights - 2017 cropped 0003

DVD 1:Cory Band 

MD: Philip Harper

DVD 2: Brass in Concert Championship

Numerous bands and conductors

 

 

 

 

 

This double DVD really is a pot-pourri of musical emotions incorporating some sublime playing depicted in many styles, moods, exhilarating performances and a great deal of fun, which we really should all expect from such an Entertainment Contest.

DVD One for the most part features Cory Band which naturally showcases many stunning arrangements by Philip Harper, particularly in ‘Star Wars’ and ‘James Bond Forever’ Another highlight is the appearance of ‘Only Men Aloud’ who perform with the band in a excellently choreographed display in ‘Singin in the Raindrops’

Yet a further surprise but very successful addition to the weekend was the debut of ’Le Yu’ in presenting a most fascinating Marimba Workshop, and, amidst all the splendour of our famous name bands, a special focus spotlighted our younger less experienced musicians in highly commendable performances by the ‘Wardle Academy Youth Band’ and the ‘Elementary Workshop Band’

DVD Two features excerpts from all 12 competing bands in the Championship, and, how fortunate that the music judges were assessing’ musical quality of performance’ only as many viewers may have been so impressed by some quite stunning choreography which may have influenced the final placings!

These 12 performances are presented in reverse result order, and after hearing ‘Leyland Band’ it is very difficult to imagine there are 11 even better performances to follow.

‘Flowers Band’ drew No.1 and featured a brilliant opener in Blackbird Special followed by some outstanding solo contributions in Nobody Does It Better.

‘Grimethorpe Colliery’ in 10th produced what I considered a rather subdued programme which, despite some very fine playing in Nigel Clarke’s Celestial Celebrations , just seemed to lack a little more panache?

‘Virtuoso GUS’ up next presenting a Japanese themed programme, and such a great pity that some very fine playing was somewhat negated by going overtime (inexcusable really)

‘Carlton Main’ in 8th., despite some rather loose playing in parts of Havana Heat produced the most sublime, and eventual winner, cornet playing by Kirsty Abbots in Peter Meacham’s Song.

As ever, ‘Brighouse and Rastrick’ some glorious, sonorous sounds in a programme whi8ch involved a superb Andrew Baker arrangement of Bach’s Ave Maria and also featured the eventual Horn Soloist winner in Sheona White.

Fabian Cali , who won the Best New Composition Award composed the entire programme for ‘Paris Brass Band’ in just one extended work entitled Life, featuring superb solo playing from Euphonium and Tuba.

‘Tredegar Town Band’ in 5th place yet again demonstrated their’ excellence in innovation’ in combining music and dance in Gavin Higgins’s Ivory Ghosts followed by some brilliant playing in Daniel Hall’s Rainbow Connections.

Next we hear ‘Cory Band’ placed in a surprisingly low 4th place delivering lots of really superb treatment of Philip Harper’s arranging skills together with excellent solo contributions from Glyn and Helen Williams.

We really are into some very fine playing now, and the highlight of ‘Fodens Band’ programme was the incredible performance by Gary Curtin's euphonium playing of Elfriede which certainly won him the Best Soloist Prize.

We now enter the ‘finale’ part of these fantastic Championships where the top two bands made history in becoming the first two European Bands to beat all our British representatives with ‘Fountain Brass’ from the USA picking up many major awards including highest marks in the Entertainment category plus a superb trumpet break from their MD!

For the undoubted winner, ‘Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag’ their most descriptive programme entitled Tales of the North Sea won them several other awards including best Trombone soloist ( Bass Trom!!).This really was superlative playing and so neatly directed by Reid Gilje----------------- a brilliant finale to an absolutely stunning and enthralling double DVD.

Tracks:

DVD ONE: World of Brass in Concert

Cory Band conducted by Philip Harper and featuring Only Men Aloud*

1 Main Theme from Star Wars John Williams arr. Philip Harper
2 Duel of the Fates* John Williams arr. Andrew Duncan
3 James Bond Forever* arr. Philip Harper
4 Singin' in the Raindrops* arr. Christopher Bond
5 A Disney Fantasy arr. Goff Richards
6 Main Theme from The Incredibles     Michael Giacchino arr. Philip Harper
7 Men of Harlech* Traditional arr. Dave Griffiths
8 Main Theme from Jurassic Park John Williams arr. Alan Catherall
9 Gonna Fly Now* Bill Conti arr. Jack Peberdy

DVD TWO: Brass in Concert Championship

  Leyland Band conducted by Thomas Wyss  
1 What Now my Love Stanley Black arr. John Doyle
2 People Jule Styne arr. Stanley Black trs. Alan Catherall
  Flowers Band conducted by David Childs  
3 Blackbird Special Dirty Dozen Brass Band arr. Reid Gilje
4 Nobody Does it Better Hamlisch arr. Paul Lovatt-Cooper
5 Interview with David Childs  
  Grimethorpe Colliery Band conducted by Captain Sam Hairsine  
6 Prelude on 'Lavenham' Geoffrey Nobes
7 Celestial Celebrations Nigel Clarke
  Virtuosi GUS Band conducted by Adam Cooke  
   Tale of the Dragon Paul Lovatt-Cooper
9 Interview with Adam Cooke  
  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band conducted by Ian McElligott     
10 Song (from Milestone) Peter Meechan
11 Havana Heat Ben Hollings
  Brighouse & Rastrick Band conducted by Dr David Thornton  
12 Ave Maria J.S. Bach/Gounod arr. Andrew Baker
13 Metal Graham Fitkin arr. Andrew Baker
14  Interview with Dr David Thornton  
  Paris Brass Band conducted by Florent Didier   
 15 Life! (Part 2) Fabien Cali 
   IV. Death  
  V. Afterglow   
  VI. Grieving   
  VII. A New Dawn   
  VIII. Rejoicing!   
16  Interviews with Florent Didier and Fabien Cali   
  Tredegar Town Band conducted by Ian Porthouse   
17  Ivory Ghosts Gavin Higgins 
18  Fuga Y Misterio Piazzolla arr. Leigh Baker 
19 Rainbow Connections Daniel Hall 
20   Interview with Ian Porthouse  
   Cory Band conducted by Philip Harper  
21 Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  Paul McCartney arr. Philip Harper 
22   And Death Shall have no Dominion Philip Harper 
23   East Meets West Philip Harper 
   Foden's Band conducted by Dr Robert Childs  
24 Youngblood  Daniel Hall 
25   Elfriede Swift arr. Alan Catherall 
26   Memories of a Lost Boy Ben Hollings 
27   Fugue from The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Britten arr. David Childs
  Fountain City Brass Band conducted by Dr Joseph Parisi   
28 Creep Radiohead arr. Lee Harrelson
29  We Seven Derek M. Jenkins 
30  Who Wants to Live Forever  Brian May arr. Peter Meechan & Lee Harrelson 
31  Brass Machine Mark Taylor arr. Lee Harrelson 
32 Interview wirth Dr Joseph Parisi   
  Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag conducted by Reid Gilje  
33 Waves on Deck Kjetil Djønne
34 The Boatman's Ballad Frode Rydland
35 The Mackerel Shoal & The Lonely Monkfish Reid Gilje
36 Dark Abyss Fredrick Schjelderup
37 Interview with Reid Gilje  

J. Stewart Fawcett