Conductor: Michael Fowles
Doyen Recordings: CD267
Total Playing Time: Approx 70 mins
When it comes to CD’s of quality concert repertoire, there’s a lot of competition out there amongst our top bands.
With Black Dyke up to ten volumes of ‘Essential Dyke’ and the whole caboodle now available in a luxuriously packaged boxed set (time will tell whether Doyen plans world domination by making a bid to rival the 78 ‘Now’ discs of the pop music world), Grimethorpe’s four volume ‘In Concert’ series and Volume 1 of ‘Cory in Concert’ also recently released, Foden’s have been quietly treading their own path with the three existing volumes of ‘Patrons‘ Choice’.
The premise is a simple one: The music is selected from the band’s concert repertoire on account of its popularity with the ‘friends‘ of their successful patronage scheme.
Although the musical accent never strays to anything that could be described as adventurous, the band has still succeeded in packing considerable contrast and variety into each of the releases.
Volume IV is no exception, but more significant is the fact that this latest addition brings the Patron’s Choice collection to a new high point in terms of performance. It is fitting timing given that it is dedicated to Foden’s stalwart Jimmie Charles in honour of a remarkable fifty years service to the band.
It’s perhaps surprising that ‘The Cossack’ hasn’t been included on an earlier volume, but here it makes for a corking opener, delivered with a swagger and arrogance that is nothing short of a demonstrative of the art.
Kabalevsky’s brief yet sparkling ‘Colas Breugnon’ is given dynamic treatment,whilst the gossamer like delicacy required for Howard Snell’s masterful arrangement of Novacek’s ‘Moto Perpetuo’ is captured with crystalline clarity and detail.
In addition to Andy Scott’s ‘Hymn to Barossa’ and ‘Brass Explosion’ however, it is two very recent arrangements that make a particular impression.
Peter Meechan’s superb transcription of Queen’s ‘Innuendo’ receives spine tingling treatment, with notable contributions from David Morton and Nick Jackson, whilst the Latin strains of ‘Danzon No. 2’, a piece that was almost unknown until Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra made it famous worldwide, is full of colourful with Derek Broadbent’s arrangement taking full advantage of the opportunities for exoticism in the percussion department.
The band’s soloists are very impressive with Mark Wilkinson, Helen Williams, Lesley Howie, Glyn Williams and Mark Landon all excellent.
Mark Wilkinson’s ease of technique and warm tone is a joy in ‘Hejre Kati’, a feat replicated by Lesley Howie’s consummate artistry in her rendition of Peter Graham’s characteristic ‘Episode’.
Glyn Williams is on top form in Ray Farr’s arrangement of ‘Be My Love’, a sentiment that could be addressed directly to his wife, whose mellow, laid back flugel style in Martin Bunce’s ‘Marianne’ is a model of polished style.
With a rousing account of the ‘Toccata’ from ‘Suite Gothique’ bringing the disc to a rip roaring conclusion, this is brass band entertainment of a high quality indeed and a Foden’s Band in ebullient form.
1. The Cossack, William Rimmer, 4.30
2. Overture from Colas Breugnon, Dmitri Kabalevsky arr. Malcolm Bennett, 4.38
3. Hejre Kati, Jenö Hubay arr. Howard Snell, Mark Wilkinson (Cornet), 5.28
4. Moto Perpetuo, Ottokar Novacek arr. Howard Snell, 2.47
5. Hymn to Barossa, Andy Scott, 2.49
6. Marianne, Martin Bunce arr. Brodie, Helen Williams (Flugel Horn), 3.32
7. Danzón No. 2, Arturo Márquez arr. Derek Broadbent, 9.46
8. Innuendo, Freddie Mercury arr. Peter Meechan, 5.34
9. Episode, Peter Graham, Lesley Howie (Tenor Horn), 5.34
10. Brass Explosion!, Andy Scott, 2.42
11. Be My Love, Nicholas Brodzsky arr. Ray Farr�����Glyn Williams (Euphonium), 4.04
12. For the Love of a Princess, James Horner arr. Andrew Duncan, 4.07
13. Spinning Song, Felix Mendelssohn arr. Howard Snell, Mark Landon (Marimba), 1.53
14. Suite Gothique — Prière à Notre-Dame, Léon Boëllmann arr. Eric Ball, 4.33
15. Suite Gothique — Toccata, Léon Boëllmann arr. Eric Ball, 4.00