RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT (b.1935): Flowers of the Forest: Reflections on a Scottish Folk Song, KENNETH HESKETH (b.1968): The Alchymist's Journal, GEORGE BENJAMIN (b.1960): Altitude, JUDITH BINGHAM (b.1952): Prague, PHILIP WILBY (b.1949): Shadow Songs, MICHAEL BALL (b.1945), BRAMWELL TOVEY (b.1953), EDWARD GREGSON (b.1946), ELGAR HOWARTH (b.1935), BENNETT (b.1935), WILBY (b.1949): Variations on a Theme of Tippett.

Catalogue Number: 11K122

Label: NMC

Reference: D142

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: The brass band tradition is an astonishingly pervasive part of British musical life, almost obsessively so in some communities, and over the years various commissioning bodies have undertaken to expand its concert (as opposed to competition) repertoire through works such as these. Bennett's variations on a Scottish traditional lament are lushly romantic and warmly approachable, very similar to Grainger's wind ensemble treatments of folk material. Hesketh's piece is also very accessible, more modern but still tonal - the brass band tradition has never embraced the avant garde, on account of its origins, so both here and in Benjamin's exhilarating Altitude, tonality provides the basis of the musical vocabulary. Bingham's depiction of Prague consists of four dramatic scenes, colorful and effective, counterbalanced by the elegiac restraint of Wilby's haunting Shadow Songs. The final 15 minutes of the disc is a centenary tribute to Tippett, five variations on a fertile theme from The Midsummer Marriage by five of the leading brass composers currently working in the UK, forming a varied and satisfying suite. Foden's Richardson Band; Bramwell Tovey.


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