held in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England on September 7, 2002 featuring
Williams Fairey Band ~ Black Dyke Band
Household Troops Band ~ Fodens Band
This CD, compiled from over 12 hours of live brass performance in Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, is in stunning
and features some of the most exciting brass playing heard today.
An Egon Digital Recording, produced by Brian Hillson.
Egon SFZ 110
Recorded live in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England, September 7, 2002. Total time = 70:22
Repertoire featured on this album includes:
This release from Egon gives you the chance to relive all the excitement and flavour of the 2002 Great Northern Brass Arts Festival, held at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester last September . Last time around, the Festival centred on two themes, the centenary of Harry Mortimer and the golden years of the famous CWS (Manchester) Band and Alex Mortimer.
Featuring four superb bands and two great trombonists, this CD serves as a lasting momento of a feast of brass in one of the world's finest concert halls.
Black Dyke, under Nicholas Childs, gets the proceedings underway with the ever-popular Introduction to Act 3 of "Lohengrin" which provides a taster of the quality to come. Beautiful rich sounds and the exciting playing of a band on top form can be no better opener for any disc.
The music of American composer, George Gershwin, is next and a chance to hear Williams Fairey (as it was then) for the first time under its new conductor, Allan Withington. Both band and conductor bring their considerable talents to Howard Snell's masterly transcription of "An American in Paris"; here is a band only a month away from securing the National title, and it shows!
Major John Mott directs the Household Troops Band in three contributions to the disc, starting with William Broughton's wonderful arrangement of "Deep River" and bringing out some lovely sounds from this fine outfit. The band's other offerings are Peter Graham's highly entertaining swing/mambo style, "Ask," and providing accompaniment for trombone star Nick Hudson in a solo that he has made his own over the past few years, "Eternal Quest" by Ray Steadman-Allen. This is trombone playing of the highest order and one of the highlights of the recording.
Two of the brass movement's favourite pieces are included as a tribute to the centernary of Harry Mortimer - both played by Fodens. The first, conducted by Russell Gray, is "Life Divine" by Cyril Jenkins and then Eric Ball's masterpiece, "Resurgam," this time conducted by the band's professional conductor, Bramwell Tovey. Both pieces are played wonderfully. HM would have been proud.
Bass trombonist extraordinaire, Douglas Yeo, pays his own tribute to HM in "The Passing Years," accompanied by Fodens. Here is another soloist at the very top of his game, playing expressively with innate musicianship and producing some beautiful moments of warmth and quality.
The recording is rounded-off by Nicholas Childs and Black Dyke with Leonard Davies' superb arrangement of "March Slav," for many years an integral part of many of CWS Manchester's programmes conducted by Alex Mortimer. Again, this is vintage Dyke.
The production of the recording is of a very high standard; it oozes quality and not a little nostalgia. Thoroughly recommended. (John Maines)
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