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The 4BR Spotify Playlist No.2
Harry Mortimer

A playlist of the great Man of Brass both conducting and playing in an era when style came with substance.

Spotify

4BR has launched an exciting new addition to our regular features with our very own ‘Spotify Playlist’ of bands and artists in performance for you to enjoy.

We will be featuring selections of our own, as well as from guests, and explaining why the tracks have been chosen.

To kick things off we had classic Black Dyke Mills Band, and it is now followed by music conducted or performed by  the great Harry Mortimer.

Note: You will need a Spotify account to listen to the full tracks. Not a Spotify user? Sign up for a FREE account.

Playlist link: Harry Mortimer

Harry Mortimer (1902 -1992) was arguably the most famous brass band musician of all time.  He was the complete musical polymath – player, conductor, composer, arranger, adjudicator, teacher, broadcaster and contest organiser. His influence on the banding world was immense.

These selections are not meant to be definitive in any way shape or form, but they do offer a glimpse of the musical style of the man. 

Much of the music comes from either his All Star Brass Band or Men of Brass, whilst the solo items see him performing with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the London Brass Players.

The standard of playing varies greatly it must be said - even with him as a soloist, but above all else it is the sense of style that he brings to the music that stands out: Everything flows without recourse to artifice. 

It is music making from a different era in more ways than one - the witty marches especially.  ‘The Corner Flag’ recalls the football of a generation of Matthews and Finney, the maximum wage and winger’s shorts that bellowed in the breeze like sails on a tea clipper.   ‘Thunderbirds’ hasn’t got a single CGI special effect in it either.

There is a delicacy of touch with ‘Elizabethan Serenade’ by Ronald Binge that has almost been denuded to extinction in modern brass band playing, and a craftsmanship to the approach to the final movement of ‘Kenilworth’ and of the test-piece ‘Blackfriars’ that has a sense of elegance as well as drama. 

It is the same with the brilliant overture 'Ruy Blas' - a classic in anyone's book, ‘The Holy City’ (even if the singing isn’t too brilliant) and Rachmaninov’s ‘Prelude in C Sharp Minor’ which yearns with melancholic pathos.



St Michael's Brass Band - We are playing in Middleton Town Centre.

Saturday 18 August • Middleton Gardens, Middleton. M244DF


Ibstock Brick Brass - Ibstock Country Fair

Sunday 19 August • Ibstock Showground. Pretoria Road. Ibstock. Leicestershire LE676LN


Thundersley Brass Band - Visit the Vulcan - Open Day

Sunday 19 August • London Southend Airport, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS26YU


Black Dyke Band - St Wilfrid's Church, Harrogate

Saturday 1 September • Duchy Rd, Harrogate HG1 2EY


Contest: 166th British Open

Saturday 8 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Elland Silver Band

August 17 • Are seeking a Repiano Cornet Player. This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced or talented young player to join one of Yorkshire's progressive championship section bands.


Crewe Brass

August 17 • Crewe Brass seek Eb and Bb bass, Euphonium and Baritone players. We are a friendly 1st Section Band and perform at a variety of events (including contests) under the baton of our MD Matt Pithers. Rehearsals are every Friday at 7.45pm in Shavington, Crewe.


Burnham and Highbridge Brass Band

August 16 • The Burnham and Highbridge Band has the following vacancies: Principal and 2nd Trombone, 2nd Euphonium and, Back Row Cornets.


Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer