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Now That's What I Call Brass: Volume 3
David Childs (euphonium) #; Derick Kane (euphonium) $; Hans Gansch (cornet) %; Jason McCann (tenor) ^; Iwan Williams (flügel horn)*; Iver Kleive (organ) +; Nick Hudson (trombone) ¢; John Doyle (flügel horn) £; Black Dyke Band ¤; Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal) Band ¥; Scottish Co-op Band §; Hendon Salvation Army Band ª; YBS Band ±; The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army µ; Brass Band Oberösterreich ¿; Sellers International Band ÷; Eikanger-Bjørsvik Band ˇ; Buy As You View Band ˜; Enfield Citadel Band Π.
Rec. dates and locations unspecified. DDD
WORLD OF BRASS WOB 109 CD [61:36 + 60:23]

Now That's What I Call Brass: Volume 3

Disc 1 [61:36]
Peter GRAHAM

Celebrate Rotary [3:40] ¤
Harrison's Dream [15:13] ±
John WILLIAMS arr. SMITH
Hymn to the Fallen [6:05] ¥
Wilfred HEATON

Five Little Pieces [9:46] ¤
John GOLLAND

Peace [4:28] #§
Erik SILVERBERG

Tomado De La Mano [2:29] ª
Ray STEADMAN-ALLEN

In Quiet Pastures [7:07] ±
Stephen SONDHEIM arr. SMITH
Comedy Tonight [2:47] ¥
Joy WEBB arr. Richard PHILLIPS
There Will Be God [4:51] $µ
Philip SPARKE

Song and Dance [5:12] %¿
Disc 2 [60:23]
George ALLAN

The Diplomat [2:50] ¥
Andrew LLOYD-WEBBER arr. HINES
The Music of the Night [5:08] ^÷
Mikhail GLINKA arr. HARDGREAVES
Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla [5:03] ¤
Rodney NEWTON

Dimitri [4:58] *±
Jim SWEARINGEN arr. SMITH
Valero [2:00] ¥
Iver KLEIVE/Knut REIERSRUD arr. RYDLAND
Nade [5:48] +ˇ
John WILLIAMS arr. JENKINS

Olympic Spirit [2:58] ˜
Norman BEARCROFT

The Word of Grace [4:14] ¢Π
Johan DE MEIJ

Extreme Make-over [15:55] ¤
Wilfred HEATON

French [5:27] µ
Chuck MANGIONE arr. GILJE
Children of Sanchez [6:04] £¤

This album's title and track-list probably betray that it is a compilation. The team at World of Brass, purveyors of brass band music in recorded and written form, have here collected some of their favourite tracks from albums released by various bands on various labels over the last year or so. The collection is overall of high quality. Indeed, the roster of bands on show here includes five of the top ten bands in the world - on current rankings.

The program is varied and, on the whole, well assembled. There are enough light band pieces to charm and entertain, including a couple of pieces by John Williams, whose music is most sympathetic to brass band arrangements. Black Dyke chips in with a fleet Ruslan and Ludmilla overture, and Grimethorpe contributes a cheeky performance of Comedy Tonight.

The lyrical numbers featured include a gorgeous performance of There Will be God from Derick Kane – more subtle, though less brilliant than Aaron Vanderweele's recent recording with the New York Staff Band.

Those who enjoy the more serious side of the brass band repertoire are also catered for. Two of the best items appear on the first disc. Wilfred Heaton's Five Little Pieces belie their modest title. This is beautifully crafted music, very much in the neo-classical vein of Hindemith and Stravinsky. Cross-rhythms abound and the suite is most infectious. The YBS Band's performance of Graham's tone poem, Harrison's Dream is also well worth hearing. Notwithstanding a couple of moments of questionable ensemble, the playing is most impressive and the piece itself pitches somewhere between Robert Simpson and the Stravinsky of Le Sacre.

There are a couple of miscalculations in the programming that cause some minor irritation. The quiet and reflective tone set by John Golland's Peace and Steadman Allen's In Quiet Pastures is rudely interrupted by an upbeat Tomado De La Mano. There is nothing wrong with the playing of the Hendon Salvation Army Band or with the inclusion of this catchy track on this album, but its effect between these two pieces is jarring. David Childs' performance of Peace also seems to have been recorded at a lower level and sinks into the background unless the volume is turned up, and then back down again for the following track. A similar problem affects Olympic Spirit, which is recorded at a lower level than Nade, which precedes it.

The other slight irritation in the programming is the placement of the second of the two live tracks. Song and Dance is correctly located at the end of disc one. Would that Extreme Makeover had been similarly placed at the end of disc two! I am one of those who does not thrill to recorded applause, especially when it does not come at the end of the disc. As for the piece itself, though recorded at European Brass Band Contest in 2005, it is not a grave competition piece, but a confection of Tchaikovsky tunes – entertaining, but not in the same league as Harrison's Dream.

The liner notes are virtually non-existent, which is unsurprising. There is a greeting from the World of Brass team and a track-listing that identifies the album from which each track is drawn. There is precious little other information. Pity the poor uncredited conductors!

The overall recorded sound varies from decent to excellent, but there is nothing seriously wrong with the sonics.

As a round up of recent releases, this double CD represents good value - especially if it is acquired as a free gift on the purchase of £50 of other materials from World of Brass. It will afford pleasure to any band enthusiast who encounters it.

Tim Perry

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