One of the most grown-up review sites around

50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Dwight BECKHAM Sr (b. 1931)
Fanfare 40 (1996) [3:51]
Memorial Ode (2002) [6:55]
Feather Sound (Symphonic Statements) (2000) [11:22]
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra/Petr Vronský
rec. 2017, Reduta Hall, Olomouc, Czech Republic

The American composer Dwight Beckham Sr, an alumnus of Wichita University, studied composition with Homer Keller, Harold Moyer, Joshua Missal and Robert Marek. He has spent a fair portion of his life teaching, but also boasts a second career as a trumpeter with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Wind Ensemble and the Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. He was recently awarded the accolade of Outstanding Bandmaster by the Kansas Bandmasters Association, and several of his compositions have been the result of commissions for concert band.

Beckham’s work as a trumpeter and his experience as a bandmaster, without doubt, inform the general tenor and direction of the music here. In the rousing Fanfare 40, a commission for the inauguration of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra’s 40th season, the burnished brass and timpani provide a spectacle of sound. The strings’ noble ‘big tune’ is augmented by florid decoration from percussion and woodwind. It’s as impressive a curtain-raiser as you’re ever likely to encounter.

Flourish and pageantry characterize the next piece - Memorial Ode. It was composed in memory of Harold Romoser, whom I presume was a friend of the composer. Romoser's favorite hymn tune was Sine nomine by Vaughan Williams. I know the hymn by the words ''For all the saints who from their labors rest''. To set the ‘religious’ mood, the work opens with a gentle tolling of a bell and a solo flute. The hymn tune is given out in full on the strings. A second verse introduces other orchestral forces. Soon brass flourishes and timpani enter, heralding in another attractive melody, very much in the Vaughan Williams mode. At one point in the score Beckham incorporates a rhythmic figure in the timpani which spells out in morse code the initials HR. Sine nomine' returns in majestic splendour at the end, providing a potent climax.

Again, working to a commission by the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, Feather Sound, three Symphonic Statements, was premiered in 2000. The work takes its title from Feather Sound in Florida, where the composer’s eldest grandson was married. Beckham incorporates a theme into the score that he composed in his young days in high school. The outer Statements are notable for their broad orchestral gestures and rich melodies. Statement 11, at just under two minutes, provides an element of mood contrast, with its playful and witty demeanour.

In demonstration-class sound, Beckham’s music provides an eminently listenable experience. Petr Vronský and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra do full justice to these compelling scores. With a total running time of only 22 minutes of music, it left me wanting more.

Stephen Greenbank



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger