2012 4BR Awards - Solo CD of the Year31-Dec-2012
Which solo performer tickled your fancy in 2012 with their latest release?
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Thankfully, much like 2011, quality outshone quantity in the solo CD production stakes.
These are five that we were able to review during the year, so some favourites may have to wait for consideration in 2013.
Most of the significant releases came late, but these five really did give the opportunity for the performers to showcase their talents in full.
Accompanist: Fenella Haworth-Head (piano)
White River Evocations: WR12-03
Total playing time: 72.21 mins
Brett Baker may well be a very busy recording artist, but he is also one who has the ability to deliver excellence on each occasion too. This release was a case in point – a contrasting mix of demanding concerto repertoire and more lightweight fayre played in recital mode with piano accompaniment.
Reviewer Peter Bale called it, ‘a varied programme of attractive solos’ – and the more you listened to it the more attractive it got.
Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Conductor: Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs
Bocchino Records: BOCC120
Total playing time: 72 mins approx
Steven Mead continues to pursue new musical horizons and projects with a passion that remains undimmed. This long standing recording project was on his wish list for many years – and it was well worth the wait.
Reviewer Peter Bale said; ‘Each performance of the major works is a showcase of excellence that engages the listener from start to finish. To say this is a highly recommended release is almost a superfluous comment.’
Featuring: David Childs, Philip Cobb, Owen Farr, Richard Marshall
Doyen Recordings: CD296
Total Playing Time: 74.05
The art of the quartet is not lost – thanks to this quite stunning display of considered virtuosity by Owen Farr, David Childs, Philip Cobb and Richard Marshall.
As reviewer Brian Buckley aptly pointed out; ‘The finely honed balance and the scintillating brilliance of the performers, both individually and as an ensemble, make for compulsive listening.’
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
Conductor: Phillip McCann
Total Playing Time: Approx 58 mins
If the sum of a band is only as good as its constituent player parts then with this recording you can see why Carlton Main has consistently punched well above its weight in recent years – thanks in no small part to the direction of Phillip McCann at its helm.
This is a showcase CD of thought and quality, and as reviewer Malcolm Wood pointed out; ‘a recording covering a variety of musical genres, but above all it shows that Phillip McCann's intuitive understanding of the alchemy of the blending process has not been lost on either his players or his band.’
World of Sound Recordings: WOS044
Conductors: Russell Gray & Leigh Baker
Total Playing Time: 75.04
One of the surprise delights of the solo recording genre this year – as a former wayward spirit of the cornet displayed a remarkable sense of performance maturity.
This was cornet playing that made a real impression from start to finish, as the 4BR Editor remarked; ‘That is certainly the case with this release; with a dozen confidently performed works, each played with an engaging sense of controlled flair and understanding.’
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The Skelmanthorpe Band are looking to appoint a first class Principal Cornet after the All England Masters. The band rehearse...
South West BBA West Own Choice Contest
Venue: The Winter Gardens, Royal Parade, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset. BS23 1AJ
South London Fellowship Band
Venue: The Salvation Army. Ramsgate Corps. 167a High Street. Ramsgate. Kent CT11 9TT