Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Len Mullenger:

MUSIC FOR A MILLENNIUM Famous British classics arranged for brass band   Harlequin Brass NPC Records NPC001 [64:00]
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This celebratory album is well recorded with the bells well caught and an extremely affecting (magical, even) elegiac section towards the end of Walton's Prelude and Spitfire Fugue. In fact there is plenty of Walton: the two big concert marches are there. We also get Elgar's Nimrod and P&C 1 and 5. Jerusalem (Parry) rubs up against Dambusters and 633 Squadron. The RAF March Past is there also. The only slightly unfamiliar cousins are the Elegy by organist Thalben-Ball and the March Héroïque (not Hèroïque) by Herbert Brewer.

There is little specifically Millennium about this album. The chipper little Fanfare for a Millennium by Edward Marsh has the only titled reference to the 'event'. The rest of the album is a hook on which to hang a collection of British 'standards' arranged for brass band with organ and percussion. For those who warm to just over an hour of middlingly big brass in flag-waving standards this is for you. Overall the performances lean towards dwelling on the gentle contours rather than a fleeter of foot approach. Modified rapture then. Some wonderful moments but overall rather too soft-edged.

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Rob Barnett


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