CD cover - Essays For Brass Volume 3Essays For Brass Volume 3

16-May-2001

Yorkshire Building Society Band
Conducted by David King
Recorded at Salford University November 1999 and June 2000
Polyphonic - QPRL202D
Total Playing Time: 75.14

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In view of the most recent achievements of this band and their conductor, it would seem a little unfair to try and review a CD that for the most part was recorded over a year ago and undoubtedly was by a band that's overall player make up was quite considerably different.

However, YBS have remained a quite brilliant band, whatever their make up, for some considerable time and this recording proves the point in full.

Following on from the success of the previous two "Essay" releases, this third incarnation finds David King and his band exploring further into the archives of the Salvation Army and with considerable success, for there is a broad sweep to an eclectic selection from composers of real quality such as Eric Ball, Morley Calvert, Kenneth Downie and Leslie Condon. Each offer musical glimpses of brass writing that is challenging both musically and technically through their own spiritual experiences. YBS and David King meet them all.

Brenton Broadstock offers two complex pieces entitled "Festival Prelude Born to Battle" and "Rhapsody" whilst Leslie Condon offers a brace in the form of "Song of the Eternal" and "Festivity". Thomas Rive supplies a quixotic "A Pilgrim Song" and Joseph Turrin a quite beautiful "Hymn for Diana", whilst Morley Clavert's "My All is on the Alter" is superbly constructed. The two highlights for us however are the setting by Kenneth Downie of "In Perfect Peace" and Eric Ball's classic "Resurgam".

YBS are in awesome form throughout and David King has obviously taken time and effort to understand the nature and musical hinterland to each piece it is stunning playing from start to finish. The Eric Ball offering is given a most detailed account that offers colours and textures that many bands and conductors have never revealed since the piece was composed over 40 years ago.

Although the nature of the individual offerings are not the usual fare for most brass band enthusiasts the CD and is one that requires detailed listening in sections rather than played as a whole to appreciate the scope of the music on offer. Give yourself time and read the excellent sleeve notes to give you a very moving and enjoyable experience of classic brass band playing. It will be well worth it.

What's on this CD?

1. Festival Prelude - Born to Battle, Broadstock, 5.33
2. Variations - A Pilgrim Song, Rive, 7.34
3. Festival Arrangement - Festivity, Condon, 10.38
4. Chorus Setting - In Perfect Peace, Downie, 4.15
5. Rhapsody, Broadstock, 10.10
6. Hymn for Diana, Turrin, 6.00
7. Tone Poem - Resurgam, Ball, 12.10
8. My All is On the Alter, Calvert, 4.55
9. Tone Poem - Song of the Eternal, Condon, 13.20

Total Playing Time: 75.14

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Brett BakerBrett Baker
BSc (Hons), ARCM, PG Dip

Rath clinician, conductor, teacher, adjudicator, editor