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Winner: Festmusik — A Legacy (Onyx Brass)
2. Black Dyke Gold — Vol IX (Black Dyke)
3. Carmen Suite (Mike Lovatt Brass Pack)
A CD "linking family fortune, friendship and forensic study provide the touchstones on which this outstanding recording is built."
That was the opinion of 4BR Editor Iwan Fox in his review of the 2021 CD of the Year winner from Onyx Brass led by conductor John Wilson.
The connective chain is forged by musical personality; Strauss, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Rubinstein, Franz and full circle to Strauss again; the common link the mysteriously heartfelt cache of letters and paperwork left by a very particular, yet benevolent Great-uncle to his impressionable nephew.
It is a superb release that was a clear winner — claiming nine first choice preferences from the panel and numerous other podium places.
Runner-up was Black Dyke's engaging 'Gold' mix — of test pieces and easy listening favourites that whilst the stunning exotic flavours of Mike Lovatt's Brass Pack production treatment 'Carmen' was third.
All ten albums got a mention from the judges (seven with at last one first choice preference vote) — emphasising the quality of the productions this year.
Festmusik: A Legacy
Conductor: John Wilson
Chandos Recordings: CDCHSA 5284
The Awards Panel consisted of:
Iwan Fox (Editor 4BR); Malcolm Wood (4BR Chief Contributor); Andrew Wainwright (Composer/Arranger/Graphic Designer); Gordon Simpson (statistician Brass Band World magazine); Chris Thomas (Chief Contributor Brass Band World magazine/4BR contributor); Frode Rydland (EBBA Music Commission/Bjorsvik Brass); David Childs (euphonium soloist/Editor BBW Magazine); David Hirst (Conductor/Adjudicator); Alexander Zwann (Chief contributor CU Brass); Tim Mutum (writer/brass band recording and history specialist); Owen Melhuish (President: North Shore Brass New Zealand); Chris Wormald (Conductor/Adjudicator/Arranger); Steve Jack (photographer/4BR, BBW contributor); Stein Skopholm (Norwegian broadcaster/presenter); Kurt Bohalter (Swiss Brass Band administrator/Publisher); Steven Mead (Euphonium soloist); Paul Holland (Conductor/Adjudicator); Matthew Van Emmerick (Soloist/Conductor); Mark Good (Editor British Bandsman magazine)
2020: Gregson: Music of the Angels
2019: The Music of Bliss & Howells (Brighouse & Rastrick)
2018: Metropolis â€” Black Dyke
2017: Dances & Arias â€” Black Dyke
2016: War Memorials â€” Cory Band & Tredegar Band
2015: Dark Arteries â€” Tredegar Band
2014: Gaia Symphony â€” Eikanger Bjorsvik
2013: When Worlds Collide (The Music of Nigel Clarke) â€” Brass Band Buizingen
2012: Masquerade â€” Foden's
2011: Only for You: The Music of Paul Lovatt-Cooper â€” Black Dyke
2010: Romeo & Juliet â€” Eikanger Bjorsvik
2009: Maestro â€” Foden's
2008: New Music for Brass Band â€” Foden's
2007: Vienna Nights â€” Black Dyke
2006: Heaton: Volume 4 â€” Black Dyke
2005: Tales and Stories â€” Eikanger Bjorsvik
2004: Music of the Spheres â€” Yorkshire Building Society
2003: Bourgeois in Brass â€” Yorkshire Building Society
2002: The Heaton Collection â€” Black Dyke and the ISB
2001: Butterworth â€” Black Dyke