This is a recording with a dual purpose.
The first is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sherborne Band, which was formed in the small Dorset town in 1961.
Pride and success
Ever since they have survived, good, bad and indifferent times by representing the local community with pride, and no little amount of success thanks to a combination of hard work and inspired leadership.
The second is a means to raise funds to support their continued musical prosperity , which currently sees them riding something of a contesting high under the baton of a man who has Sherborne blood running through his veins – Paul Cosh.
They succeed admirably on both counts.
The 14 tracks are well chosen and performed on a self financed recording that should appeal not just to local supporters, but to a wider listening public too: It’s a fine example of how an intelligent approach to a CD recording can succeed on both commercial and musical grounds.
Paul Cosh leads with a firm but sympathetic baton – allowing each of the lightweight tracks to sound fresh and interesting thanks to attention to style, balance and detail, whilst producer Phillip Littlemore has ensured that his input is every bit as good with an equally considered approach to the post production processes.
The opening ‘Jubilee Overture’ bubbles with energy and purpose, whilst ‘633 Squadron’ captures the wartime smell of engine oil and cordite to a tee.
The MDs appreciation of style and genre also enables the contrasts of , 'Gabriel's Oboe’, ‘Malaguena’, 'Sleep’ and ‘Punchinello’ which follow to be clearly defined without recourse to sledgehammer predictability (the march is played with just the right sense of ‘uphill’ pace).
Just as well done are the swagger of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and the delicate appreciation of phrasing on ‘The Irish Blessing’.
Those stylistic elements are most clearly observed by a lovely performance of 'English Folk Song Suite’ – which has an authentic feel of bucolic musicality from first note till last.
Paul Cosh allows the music to breath – like a farmer enjoying a crafty whiff and a cool glass of cider in the sun before bringing in the last of the day’s crop – from the carefree ‘Seventeen Come Sunday’ to the languid ‘My Bonny Boy’ and sprightly ‘Folk Songs from Somerset’.
The lollipops from ‘Brassed Off!’ are there to keep the tills ringing at concerts:
‘Death or Glory’ is played at the correct pace but with a neat touch of bluff bombast, whilst Steve Rogers is a tasteful lead in ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’: Gloria showing just enough musical cleavage to entice the listener into a welcoming embrace.
‘Clog Dance’ and the finale from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (which I’m sure didn’t quite make it into the film unless Johnny Depp played Jack Sparrow as swashbuckling collier) round off a highly entertaining release that deserves to be sold by the bucketful – and other bands could do well to emulate.
1. Jubilee Overture, Philip Sparke, 6.16
2. 633 Squadron, Ron Goodwin, 2.53
3. Gabriel's Oboe, Ennio Morricone, 3.30
4. Malaguena, Ernesto Lecuona, 2.27
5. Sleep, Eric Whitacre, 4.43
6. Punchinello, William Rimmer, 3.48
7. Poinciana, Buddy Bernier and Nat Smith, 3.58
8. The Magnificent Seven, Elmer Bernstein, 3.11
9. The Irish Blessing, Joyce Eilers Bacak, 2.57
10. English Folk Song Suite, Ralph Vaughan Williams, 10.27
(i). March — Seventeen Come Sunday
(ii). Intermezzo- My Bonny Boy
(iii). Folksongs from Somerset
Music from the Film "Brassed Off"
11. Death or Glory, Robert Browne Hall, 4.31
12. Concierto Di Aranjuez, Joaquin Rodrigo, Fugel Horn soloist Steve Rogers, 4.26
13. Clog Dance, John Marcangelo, 3.09
14. Pirates Of the Caribbean, Klaus Badelt, 4.17