Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Pursuing Horizons - Hammonds Saltaire Band

Pursuing Horizons a

 

Pursuing Horizons

Hammonds Saltaire Band 

MD: Morgan Griffiths

Label: WOS 065

 

 

 

The varied programme on this recording starts with Alan Fernie’s brilliant 76 Trombones taken at “swagger tempo” and is a real foot-tapper.

Jamie Smith the star principal cornet of this young band steps forward and gives a commanding performance of Debutante – there are many performances by cornet legends against which this will be judged, it is right up there.

Pursuing Horizons, Dudley Bright, Principal Trombone of the LSO has provided this work which is inspired by the hymn tune “St Luke” and is an “aspirational” work. Wow! What a musical tour-de-force this is? I can hear it as a future test-piece? It is a major work over 12minutes and is treated to the many colours from the palette by Morgan Griffiths.

Baritones are not frequently featured as soloists, especially on CDs but Michael Walsh is another of Hammonds’ players who can play ‘music’ – ok, not fireworks and wizardry in this piece but when Howards Snell works on a score like Siciliene – less is definitely more. Beautiful playing.

PLC’s Walking with Heroes provides a contrast in styles before Don’t it make my Brown eyes Blue features Catherine Owen and Helen Varley.

The late, great Major Peter Parkes arranged the next piece Czardas der Geist des Woiwoden by the Polish composer Grossman. I have never heard this Czardas before but it is brilliant.

Here comes my ‘track of the disc’ – The Witch of the Westmerlands by the Scottish folk singer Archie Fisher. Shame that the programme notes (which are very good) doesn’t give any background to this haunting, beautiful piece, arranged by Philip Harper.

Live and Let Die comes next as a soprano solo for Dave Nicholls and is played very “Bond” – shaken, not stirred.

Time to travel to Latin America now. Copacabana, The Girl from Ipanema and Tequila next where the trombone section (plus one) feature.

Matthew Allsop is a stunning euphonium player and he gives his all in Home on the Range he has such a good time in this air and variations.

Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater closes the disc in fine style. The three contrasting movements are played with true feeling and reminds me of the sort of reading that ‘greats’ from days long gone by would have given.

This band is a young band but plays with so much musicality and reminds me of the old Hammonds motto “Quality Plus” – it certainly is a quality disc.

Tracks:

1. 76 Trombones, Meredith Wilson Arr: Alan Fernie [2.46]
2. The Debutante, Herbert L. Clarke Arr: Smith Cornet Soloist Jamie Smith  [6.20]
3. Pursuing Horizons, Dudley Bright [12.22]
4. Siciliene, Maria Paradies Arr: Howard Snell [3.28] 

5. Walking with Heroes, Paul Lovatt-Cooper [3.51]
6. Don't it make my Brown eyes Blue, Richard Leigh Arr: Nash Soloists Flugel and Tenor Horn duet Catherine Owen and Helen Varley [2.54]
7. Czardas der Geist des Woiwoden, Ludwick Grossman Arr: Major Peter Parkes [6.35]
8. The Witch of Westmerland, Archie Fisher Arr: Philip Harper [4.30]
9. Live and Let Die, Paul and Linda McCartney Arr: Ray Farr Soprano Soloist Dave Nichols [3.36]
10. Copacabana, Barry Manilow Arr: Adrian Drover [3.36]
11. The Girl from Ipanema, Antonio Carlos Jobim  Arr: Adrian Drover - Trombone feature: Joanne Reasbeck, Ian Drayton, Yvonne Embury and Hiromi Yamasaki [3.23]
12. Tequila, Chuck Rio Arr: Adrian Drover [2.56]
13. Variations on 'Home on the Range'  Erik Leidzen - Euphonium soloist Matthew Allsop [6.22]
14 - 16. Suite from Stabat Mater, Karl Jenkins Arr: Wainwright & Childs

i   Sancta Mater [2.36]

ii  Cantus Lacrimosus [4.07]

iii  Paradis Gloria [3.29]

Gordon Eddison