Memories of the year 2012: from the biggies of the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to victory at the Crawley Entertainment Contest.
Haverhill Silver Band may not have won a medal or gained a gong of recognition from Her Majesty for their excellent musical services to the banding public of the thriving market town nestling on the borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire, but you suspect even if they did, it wouldn’t have meant as much as the victory they gained at that Crawley event.
That said, there are a few items on this enjoyable release that combine the speed of Usain Bolt with the gravitas of Good Queen Bess in her ermine and diamond splendour, thanks to the intelligent direction of MD Mark Ager, which allows his band enough free rein to play with a relaxed sense of style and purpose.
The quartet of soloists are on classy form, with Ian Jacobs a flowing lyrical lead on ‘Carrickfergus’, Kevin Jones a suave solo voice on ‘Portrait of My Love’ and Tim Pannell giving ‘Flourish’ by Paul Sharman the full eye popping swagger treatment.
All are just about topped by Caroline Hinitt though; who displays the type of secretarial keyboard skills would make Sir Alan Sugar hire her as his apprentice without a second thought.
Elsewhere we get two firmly played concert overtures from Philip Sparke and Dimitri Shostakovich which top and tail things with bold endeavour and solid technique, whilst there are neat musical contrasts shown in a bucolic ‘Irish Blessing’ and a quirky ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ - which has just that right hint of 60’s raunchiness.
A slightly square ‘Blue Sleeve Step’ and a blousy ‘How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning’ are a little less successful in sounding intuitive, but ‘Fest Music der Stadt Wien’ captures the sense of arrogant Viennese pomp to a tee and provides a neat contrast with the Hollywood glitter that was heralded at the 1984 Olympics by John Williams’s rather more showbiz effort.
Elsewhere, Jerry Herman’s ‘Mack & Mabel’ is dusted off to reveal plenty of polished veneer, as is the old bomper march ‘Death or Glory’ - which would have gone down well at the Olympic archery contest if William Tell had been taking part for Great Britain shooting the odd apple off his son’s head in a bid for gold.
2012 may have been a year to remember for this solid, well run band, but on the form shown on this intelligently thought out release the next few years could certainly be ones to look forward to as well.
1. Jubilee Overture, P Sparke
2. Blue Sleeve Step, P Harper
3. Carrickfergus, Traditional, arr. A Fernie, Soloist Ian Jacobs
4. Mack and Mabel, J Herman, arr.Wilkinson
5. Soul Bossa Nova, Q Jones, arr. A Duncan
6. Portrait of My Love, C Ornadel, arr. C Wormald, Soloist Kevin Jones
7. Olympic Fanfare and Theme, J Williams, arr. P Graham
8. Death or Glory, R B Hall
9. Irish Blessing, J E Bacat, arr. Bradnum
10. Flourish, P Sharman, Soloist Tim Pannell
11. Fest Musik der Stadt Wien, R Strauss, arr. E Banks
12. How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?, S Chan/N Brodszky, arr. R Van der Velde
13. The Typewriter, L Anderson, arr. A Duncan, Featuring Caroline Hinitt
14. Festive Overture, D Shostakovich, arr. P Kitson