Quickstep - Brass Band Music of the American Civil War
Thomas COATES (1803/10-1895)
Northampton Quickstep [5:13]
Buckley’s Minstrels [5:21]
Turk [3:43]
Temperence Quickstep [2:23]
Cottage by the Sea 2-step [4:55]
Dustin’s Quickstep [3:02]
Quickstep (Manchester Cornet Band Books Set 2 No 32) [1:56]
Uncle Tom’s Cabin [3:18]
Phantom [3:28]
Quickstep (Manchester Cornet Band Books Set 2 No 31) [4:09]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Death Song from Lucia di Lammermoor [6:14]
Red, White and Blue (arr. John F Stratton) [1:13]
William TANZER (1700-1783)
St Martin’s
Lowell MASON
Hamburg [1:29]
George H GOODWIN (1826-1903)
Waltz [2:42]
Sir Henry R BISHOP (1786-1855)
Sweet Home (arr. John F Stratton) [1:31]
Dead March [2:27]
Peter PHILE (c1734-1798)
Hail Columbia (arr. John F Stratton) [2:10]
Peace, Troubled Soul [1:33]
Ignaz PLEYEL (1757-1831)
Pleyel’s Hymn [1:29]
Robert High (B flat cornet); Jeff Stockham (E flat cornet); Barry J Bocaner (baritone horn);
Coates Brass Band/Douglas F Hedwig
rec. 11-13 August 2011, Christ Church on Quaker Hill, Pawling, New York
MSR CLASSICS MS 1422 [58:28]
The chief attraction of this disc is the serious attention that is paid to a body of music which it would be easy to ignore or patronise. It would be hard to make any great claims for the musical merits of what we hear but it does nonetheless provide an opportunity to experience more closely one small aspect of that terrible conflict.
According to the conductor’s admirable introduction to the music - which is supplemented by more detailed notes by Michael O’Connor, one of the editors, and a list of the Band members with a note of the period instruments they play - brass band music flourished throughout the United States before and during the Civil War. Thomas Coates was probably born in Pennsylvania, left home when he was ten to play in a circus band, and thereafter played in and directed a variety of bands. During the War he served in the 47th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. This disc contains all of his compositions known from Civil War sources, together with other items of or relating to the period. Taken a few at a time they are pleasantly entertaining, but monotony does tend to set in if too many are heard in succession. The playing of the Band here appears to be admirable, although the musical tests are few compared with the technical demands of playing on instruments, including mouthpieces, of the Civil War period.
One curious feature of the disc is the lack of any indication as to when or where the music was played originally. The various funeral pieces were presumably played in the open air and I would expect the same to apply to some of the more lively pieces. The church acoustic in which the disc was recorded may perhaps therefore give the wrong impression of the music and make the sound of the band unnecessarily overpowering.
This is clearly a specialist disc, likely to appeal to those with an interest in the Civil War or in the history of brass bands. Others may well enjoy it also but, to repeat myself, they are more likely to do so if it is taken in small quantities.
John Sheppard
Clearly a specialist disc.