Reviews - CDs and DVDs

Black Dyke - Encores


Black Dyke - Encores

Black Dyke Band 

MD: Dr. Nicholas Childs

Obrasso Recordings 2013




When a CD arrives from one of the finest bands in the land it is always with eager anticipation that I begin to listen to the repertoire within. This recording is no different coming from the efficacious partnership of the Black Dyke Band under their principal conductor and Director of Music Dr. Nicholas J. Childs.

From the outset it is clear to see why this band and this conductor are one of the busiest in the land. The attention to detail is nothing short of astounding, the range of dynamics, the crispness of articulation, the musicianship on display really show why they are consider, by many, as the best.

From the toe tapping Come follow the band to the historic classic Where Eagles Dare is a straightforward piece of music that certainly gets the soul stirring. Carrickfergus is a piece I was only aware of as a solo feature though in this full band set the Irish traditional tune is given a fine reading. The music from the motion picture, Titanic, is music that has been heard again and again, though with this original work from the pen of Darrol Barry the darker, dramatic more reflective mood is captured to perfection.

The band perform classic encores such as Amadeus, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Chicago!, and the inspiring Highland Cathedral with aplomb.

Music Forever was penned by Christoph Walter and arranged for band by Sandy Smith and it opens with a sound cornet fanfare before an exciting main theme. There is something for the more serious ‘bander’ on the disc with the band performing Howard Lorriman’s Cry of the Mountain, the work selected as the test for 1st section bands in the round of ‘Area’ qualifying contests earlier this year. I remember at the time of announcement of the areas tests that there were several questioning the use of this piece was it too easy?

We live in a time where music is all too often only thought of as difficult if it is marked at 180bpm+ with thousands of semiquavers to play for each player. This piece is testament to the truth of the fact that musical challenges are always far greater to overcome than these technical challenges, something found out by several at their respective areas. Here the piece is given a glorious reading with every note placed precisely to ensure the music picture painted shows what a stunning piece this is.

The undoubted highlight of the whole disc, for me, is the bass trombone playing of Adrian Hirst in the arrangement from Alan Fernie of Old pops was right what a luxurious sound that is made, it sounds effortless and fits the style perfectly, bravo sir!

Whilst this recording may not be at the forefront of new repertoire or contain Black Dyke showing their technical prowess with the latest juggernaut test pieces what is does showcase is the simple beauty of, basically straightforward, music played painlessly well. A must have for the collection of any brass band aficionado.



1. Come Follow The Band - Cy Coleman Arr: Dan Price [3.18]

2. Where Eagles Dare -  Ron Goodwin Arr: Christian Jenkins [3.08]
3. Carrickfergus - Traditional Arr: Howard Lorriman [2.50]
4. Fiesta Parade - Christoph Walter Arr: Sandy Smith [3.33]
5. Old Pops Was Right (based o 'What a Wonderful World) Bob Thiele and George Weiss Arr: Alan Fernie [4.27]
6. Titanic Death of a Titan - Darrol Barry [8.51]
7. Spanish Fiesta - Donald Philips Richard Marshall & Robert Westacott (Cornets) Arr: Darrol Barry [2.48]
8. Music Forever - Christoph Walter  Arr: Sandy Smith [3.26]
9. Amadeus - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Arr: Alan Fernie [3.11]
10.The Old Circus Band Galop - Fred Jewell Arr: Sandy Smith [2.09]
11. Angelus - Georg Joseph Arr: Howard Lorriman [2.24]
12. Danga und uf Wiederluege (Thank you and see you again) - Christoph Walter [4.11]
13. Italian Love Song - Eduardo De Capua Arr: Alan Fernie [3.10]

14. Celtic Crest - Christoph Walter Arr: Sandy Smith [3.18]

15. You'll Never Walk Alone - Richard Rodgers Arr: Christopher Wormald [4.57]

16. Chicago - Fred Fisher Arr: Alan Fernie [2.44]

17. Cry of the Mountain - Howard Lorriman [10.39]

18. Highland Cathedral - Ulrich Roever & Michael Korb Arr: Howard Lorriman [3.45]

 James Holt

Musical Director - Besses Boys Band
Music Advisor Stockport Schools Senior Brass Band