This is a recording of a live concert given in Great St. Mary's Church Cambridge
and has the disadvantages (the inability to correct wrong notes and difficulties
in placing microphones) and advantages (summed up by the words "spontaneity"
and "adrenaline") of recordings of live music-making. The music ranges widely
from Bach and Gabrieli to Dukas, Copland and Flor Peeters and includes several
British items, most interesting of which is Ian Milnes' Brass Sextet
(1972). A few years ago I received a two disc issue of his music, also from
Dunelm, which included a primitive recording (not made originally by Dunelm)
of the Sextet, which is now confirmed as an attractive, basically tonal 10
minute piece in three movements full of good tunes, admirably worked. The
outer movements have an infectious rhythmic vibrancy, the middle one neatly
contrasts the trumpets with trombones and tuba. It should be better known.
We also have here Britten's intricate Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury
and two suites, Jim Parker's A Londoner in New York and the late Raymond
Premru's Divertimento, both written for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble,
both brilliantly written (the CD's title derives from one of Premru's movements)
and both eclectic in idiom, juxtaposing various aspects of jazz and mainstream
"modern Classical" (Parker's "Grand Central" is superb "train Music"). Playing
is generally good, though intonation is sadly awry in Elgar Howarth's arrangement
of Handel's Firework Music and the recording is admirably clear. This
attractively presented release is worth investigating.
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