Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Availability
CD: 4 Bars Rest

Rathamataz
Gavin HIGGINS
Tango [9.24]
George GERSHWIN
I Loves You Porgy (arr. Geldard) [3.21]
Arthur PRYOR
Annie Laurie (arr. Keith Wilkinson) [5.23]
Benjamin GODARD
Berceuse de Jocelyn (Angels Guard Thee) (arr. Howarth) [5.16]
Don LUSHER
DL Blues [3.32]
Andrew DUNCAN
Rathamataz [10.45]
Hal DAVID and Burt BACHARACH
Alfie (arr. Morris) [3.15]
Philip WILBY
White Knuckle Ride [5.47]
Peter GRAHAM
A Time for Peace [3.41]
Arthur PRYOR
Fantastic Polka (arr. Keith Wilkinson) [5.05]
Jim WEBB
By The Time I Get To Phoenix (arr. John Golland/Routley) [4.20]
Derek BOURGEOIS
Concertino for Trombone (Nightmare) [8.10]
Renato RASCEL
Arriva Derci Roma (arr. Sandy Smith) [3.47]
Brett Baker (trombone)
Black Dyke Band/Dr Nicholas J. Childs
rec. Morley Town Hall, 2009. DDD
DOYEN DOYCD261 [71:46]

Experience Classicsonline

For those in the brass band world, Brett Baker is the face of Rath trombones. His (presumably lucrative) arrangement with the company includes the positions of ‘Featured Artist’ and ‘Clinician’, and his other job - as principal trombone of the Black Dyke Band - ensures the company the best publicity that money can buy. I only mention this because the liner-notes to this CD skate over Baker’s relationship with Rath in a bracketed clause of small print in his bio, which seems disproportionate considering the title of the disc, and considering that the cover shows Brett Baker’s face peering out from a letter ‘R’ in the distinctive font of the company’s logo. 

But whatever the sponsorship machinations that keep the top bands afloat, this is a fine CD. Listening to Brett Baker it is clear why Rath want him representing their company, and equally clear why he is the principal trombone of one of the world’s most respected brass bands. He has a rich, mellow tone that virtually never falters, whatever the extremes of tempo, tessitura or dynamics he executes. The world of brass band trombone solos seems to divide between the fast, flashy ones and the slow, lyrical ones, and Baker excels at both. Stylistically, he achieves that curious balance of being able to perform convincingly in almost any idiom while always sounding like a brass player. Listeners from outside of the brass band movement may have some trouble with this; a legato trombone sound that is half way to a euphonium could be considered an acquired taste. And this is a performing environment where vibrato is de rigueur, so Baker’s (relative) restraint in that respect should be commended. He makes a bit of a point out of the vibrato in ‘I loves you Porgy’, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Most of the works are recent, so I suspect that most of the acrobatics in the solo part are written in. One effect that Baker uses a lot is slide up or down the harmonics on the lip. The eponymous Rathamataz uses that effect a great deal, in fact to the point where it becomes part of the musical fabric. Elsewhere it is clearly decorative, and in the case of the two Arthur Pryor works, ‘Annie Laurie’ and ‘Fantastic Polka’ it must surely be a later addition. Pryor was the trombone soloist in Sousa’s band, and while he was reputedly skilled at the fast passagework, these kinds of lip flexibilities are from a later age. In fact, the later additions made to Annie Laurie (the arranger is Keith Wilkinson) make it something of a compendium of soloistic trombone devices. There are multiphonics, fruity pedals, lip trills ... you name it.

For those who, like me, are most familiar with Brett Baker’s superhuman fast playing from his various youtube appearances, he is even more awe-inspiring when heard on a proper recording. That said, there is little here of extended, unadulterated virtuosity. It’s a brass band recording, so variety takes precedence over all else. There are a few longer works though, the most involved of which is the Concertino for Trombone subtitled (Nightmare) by Derek Bourgeois. Those familiar with his test-piece Blitz will know what to expect from this: relatively traditional brass band figurations, but given energy and edge through sharp, rhythmic articulations and plenty of percussion.

Other big names from the contemporary brass band scene are represented in the slower numbers. Peter Graham’s A Time for Peace uses his trademark tuba and euphonium support to create a warm, sustained chordal accompaniment for the soloist. Philip Wilby’s White Knuckle Ride demonstrates the composer’s uncanny ability to create a wide range of colours and textures from the brass band without any of the players doing anything particularly unusual. It’s not a very virtuosic solo part though, especially considering the title. Even Don Lusher makes an appearance, his DL Blues a skilfully comic turn of waa-waa mute, glissandi and growls.

The Black Dyke Band is on form thoughout, not that there is much to challenge it in this repertoire. It’s put through its paces in Rathamataz, but copes with the unusual scoring magnificently and (most importantly) without upstaging the soloist in the process. The sound is good. There is a bit of an abrupt edit at the end of the introduction in Rathamataz but otherwise it is a proficient post-production job. All in all, the disc deserves to do well, and certainly to do better than the specialist niche market for which even the best brass band recordings are destined. 

Gavin Dixon

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.