Shine - Tuba solo Les NeishTuba Soloist Les Neish

With Wingates Band

MD: David Thornton  

Doyen Label: DOYCD274 

This is the second recording from Tuba Star – Les Neish that I have reviewed. It is my favourite of the two, it has, for me, a much more balanced programme and is less of a shop window for Les and more a compilation for the listener.

The disc opens with the classic Concert Etude by Goedicke. This is played at trumpet pitch, lofty and agile and very good listening.

Sicilienne and Rigaudon by Fritz Kreizler is next and has echoes back to Les’ previous CD ‘Salt of the Earth’ where he featured another couple of his works. I think these two work better, really showing off great technique and style.

Capriccio by Rodney Newton was originally written for James Gourlay a little time ago, “to demonstrate the agility and range of the tuba” – it does, very well.  Wingates Band , who accompany Les here really add to the artistic flow and it is clear that David Thornton who is conducting them uses his experience as a World-class soloist to support Les.

Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Song for the Skies features next, this is amongst my favourites on this recording. So lyrical, delicate and tuneful.

Another of my favourite composers – Peter Meechan provides the next piece – Floating Dreams – accompanied by a CD backing track. I think Peter has created a great piece here – really does sound very ‘floating’!

Concerto for Tuba and Piano by the Czech composer Evzen Zamecnik brings the brilliant pianist Martyn Parkes to the fore. Five movements make this a ‘big listen’ – in varied styles.

Andy Scott features as the next modern composer with his And everything is still.  This piece has had two previous ‘lives’ – as a flute and then tenor horn feature.  A good contrast to the piece before. I get the feeling that more ‘programming thought’ went into this CD than it’s predecessor. I was able to change moods with it – just as a good concert should.

Les’s surname as an anagram SHINE gives the title track and another opportunity for Peter Meechan to weave his musical magic for Les to perform. We all have favourite composers, and Peter ranks amongst my dinner guest list in a composing sense, alongside; Wagner, Gregson, Ball and Vaughan-Williams. Various accompaniments make for such an enjoyable major work.

David Thornton hands the baton over to Mark Bousie as he joins Les in The Prayer – wow! Two great soloists with great music.

I enjoyed this disc and thoroughly recommend it to all (it has become essential listening for my tuba pupils).

Track List

1.     Concert Etude  (Alexander Goedicke)  [3.17]  

2.     Sicilienne  (Fritz Kreisler)  [3.30]  

3.     Rigaudon  (Fritz Kreisler)  [2.24]  

4.     Capriccio  (Rodney Newton)  [9.49]  

5.     Song of the Skies  (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)  [4.23]  

6.     Floating Dreams  (Peter Meechan)  [5.43]  

7. i    Concertino for Tuba and Paino - Preludio  (Evzen Zamecnik)  [5.01]  

8. ii    Canzona I    [5.06]  

9. iii    Quasi Danza    [1.19]  

10. iv    Canzona II    [3.49]  

11. v    Finale    [2.19]  

12. And Everything is Still  (Andy Scott)  [3.41]  

13. i    Shine I  (Peter Meechan)  [3.55]  

14. ii    II    [3.14]  

15. iii    III    [4.00]  

16. The Prayer  - With David Thornton (Euphonium) (Carol Bayer-Sager & David Foster / Luc Vertommen)  [4.59]

Gordon Eddison

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