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CD review: Regionals 2020

Featuring: Cory Band, Brighouse & Rastrick, The GUS Band, Foden's
Conductors: Dr Robert Childs, Dr David Thornton, Chris Jeans, Michael Fowles, Philip Harper
Doyen Recordings: DOY CD396

regional
stsars
Four brand new works, plus a reprise for a major European level own-choice composition will challenge the bands wishing to claim National Final qualification places next year.

And challenge they will too - including the hard working regional committees who could well be faced with marathon length Championship Section contests with Philip Sparke’s ‘A Tale As Yet Untold’.

At a snip under 18 minutes in the hands of Cory in 2010 (it’s the live recording of their winning European Championship performance) it’s a showcase leviathan. Not only that, it’s also, very, very difficult. 

Endeavour

If the aim here is get the 20 best bands to London in October 2020 then it’s perfect for the job - but it could prove to be a rather tedious way of going about it. 

It’s arguable that there are many more than 20 bands around the country that could actually master it, whilst in particular, those promoted after playing in the recent First Section National Finals will need much, much more than mere ‘Endeavour’ to sustain their challenge.

It’s arguable that there are many more than 20 bands around the country that could actually master it, whilst in particular, those promoted after playing in the recent First Section National Finals will need much, much more than mere ‘Endeavour’ to sustain their challenge.   

Plaudits

Elsewhere, Kapitol Promotions (and the Music Panel) should gain plaudits for the new compositions being utilised in Tom Davoren’s ‘Legacy for Brass Band’, ‘The Golden Sabre’  by Kit Turnball, Andrew Baker’s ‘Endurance’ and ‘Neverland’  by Christopher Bond. 

Each has its challenges (although not in terms of duration), with varied percussion requirements chief amongst them. The writing though is considered and  well-crafted, with more than enough of interest to test players and conductors alike, both musically and technically.

Lots to look forward to then early next year - but as much as it’s good to hear top level bands play these works (although they are not blueprint contest manuals to slavishly copy) hasn’t the time come to offer the various National Champions the opportunity (with a fee) to record the following year’s Area works as part of their title winning success?

Iwan Fox


To purchase: https://www.worldofbrass.com/100605-group.html

Play list:

1. A Tale As Yet Untold (Philip Sparke)
Cory Band
Conductor: Dr Robert Childs

2. Legacy for Brass Band (Tom Davoren)
Brighouse & Rastrick
Conductor: Dr David Thornton

3. The Golden Sabre: Tales of the Hussar-poet, Denis Davydov (Kit Turnbull)
The GUS Band
Conductor: Chris Jeans

4. Endurance: Narrative Variations for Brass Band (Andrew Baker)
Foden’s
Conductor: Michael Fowles

5. Neverland (Christopher Bond)
Cory Band
Conductor: Philip Harper

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