Music review entries

November 04, 2004

Highlights from European Brass Band Championships 2000

Writing about web page

4 out of 5 stars

3 reasons to buy this CD:

  1. Tallis Variations
  2. Dove Descending
  3. Windows of the World

and, oh look, they're all performances by YBS.

Wilby, Graham & Sparke. What a combination.

'Tallis Variations' is a truely exciting set of variations on the Tallis 'Third Mode Melody' by Philip Sparke. Joyous to hear the Tallis psalm setting played by brass instruments and then a combination of some moving and beautiful solo writing (and playing) and some electrifying ensemble music.

'....Dove Descending' is a major work by Philip Wilby. Enough said.

The recording of 'Windows of the World' is the premiere of this piece by another master of brass band writing, Peter Graham. "The music represents a tour of South American, African, Far Eastern, Celtic and North American music styles" and features several of the bands outstanding soloists.

The track listing of this double CD also includes the Bourgois 'Concerto Grosso','Lyric Variations' by Ray Steadman-Allen (yes, look, he's not just about hymn books) and also the 'Coronation Scene'from Boris Gudonov by Mussorgsky, amongst others.

This is definitly not a CD of cheese – it shows off some of the best modern composers the brass band movement has, writing music which is great to play and always enjoyable to listen to.

August 25, 2004

Distant Land

3 out of 5 stars

This is a CD of Orchestral Music by a composer usually most well known for his Choral Music (particularly at Christmas).

Released in 2003, none of the music is that new, but for the majority they are World Premiere recordings.

Rutters strong choral connection shows through – all of the pieces were either originally songs – folk songs, carols, even pop songs, and the suite that is the exeception has since had a movement turned into a Christmas carol.

It's typical Rutter style. Beautiful music, great tunes. Nothing shocking or disturbing. The Beatles Concerto is a little cheesy perhaps – full romantic-style concerto for two pianos and orchestra based on Beatles song.

Recommended to all those who know and enjoy the music of John Rutter.

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