Kevin Crockford, Peter Roberts & Alan Wycherley
Various bands and conductors
Doyen Recordings: CD298
Total Playing Time: 77.48
Even the immortals grow old.
Age filters away the sands of playing time grain by grain, ultimately leaving only increasingly hazy memories of true greatness.
Thankfully, this recording of three of the banding movement’s unquestionably finest ever soprano players enables you to recall them with sparkling clarity before the hour glass drains away for good.
Getting out at the top, before the lasting signs of a temporary dip in form are replaced by a permanent slide in class is the hardest decision of all to make for any performer.
Peter Roberts and Alan Wycherley took their perfectly timed bows before their cast iron self belief began to be eroded by the oxidisation of age – the first indentations of which in any player are the visible pot marks that blemish hitherto impregnable techniques.
Only Kevin Crockford (the youngest of the trio) remains; a fearless artist at the very highest contesting level – his personal ambition as yet unfulfilled.
The banding movement has been fortunate to have been graced by three such virtuosi performers – and even more so that their contrasting talents have been recorded for posterity.
Alan Wycherley has been a bewitching player – perhaps the last in the great line of classic lyrical high wire luminaries inspired by the masterful Charlie Cook of Fodens.
In contrast, Kevin Crockford has provided the blueprint for the new generation of top level exponents of the instrument: powerful, precise and purposeful; an artisan work ethic coupled with a craftsman’s skill set.
Peter Roberts however has been the undoubted master: The ultimate performer – blessed with a self belief that brokered no argument, and a talent that did the same. He has been a phenomenon.
Here we get to hear all three in their pomp – a collection of previous recordings neatly packaged together to form an enjoyable and varied selection box of high calorie delights.
The favourites and signature tunes are played with a vibrancy that at times sends a shiver down the spine, whilst the less well known solos showcase performers of intuitive musicality, appreciative of stylistic nuance and contrast.
This is not all wham, bam, thank you mam stuff – with some of the most memorable playing coming in the more reflective works.
If there is one minor quibble, it would be that perhaps the other truly great ground breaking soprano player of the post war period hasn’t found a niche in the release – the fabulous Brian Evans (although he does get a mention).
The inclusion of a fourth legend – and the man who perhaps paved the way for this trio to flourish, would have just about fully rounded off a release that still manages to put one heck of a smile on the face.
What's on this CD?
1. Demelza, Hugh Nash, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Grimethorpe Colliery Band, 4.16
2. Emmanuel, Michel Colombier, arr. Mark Freeh, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Fairey FP (Music) Band, 2.57
3. The Nuns' Chorus from Casanova, Johann Strauss II, arr. Luc Vertommen, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Williams Fairey Band, 3.58
4. Flowerdale, Philip Sparke, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Yorkshire Building Society Band, 4.02
5. The Higher Plane, Stephen Bulla, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Brass Band Buizingen, 6.16
6. Kyrie, Paolo Rustichelli, arr. Luc Vertommen, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Brass Band Buizingen, 4.03
7. The Deep Bond, Sachi Uchida, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with Boarshurst (Greenfield) Silver Band, 3.49
8. Drink to me Only, Traditional, arr. Gordon Langford, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with Leyland Band, 5.02
9. Du Bist Die Ruh, Franz Schubert, arr. Walter Hargreaves, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with Sellers Engineering Band, 3.57
10. O Holy Night, Adolphe Adam, arr. Stephen Bulla, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Black Dyke Band, 5.39
11. The Queen of the Night's Aria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arr. Sandy Smith, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Grimethorpe Colliery Band, 3.04
12. Vilja, Franz Lehar, arr. Andi Cook, Kevin Crockford (Soprano Cornet) with Grimethorpe Colliery Band, 4.56
13. The Lord's Prayer, Albert Malotte, arr. Philip Wilby, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Black Dyke Band, 3.04
14. Memory, Andrew Lloyd Webber, arr. Alan Catherall, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Yorkshire Building Society Band, 4.20
15. Rhapsody for Eb Soprano Cornet, Robert Eaves, Peter Roberts (Soprano Cornet) with Brass Band Buizingen, 6.01
16. The Lark in the Clear Air, Traditional, arr. Gordon Langford, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with Leyland Band, 4.05
17. Meditation from Thais, Jules Massenet, arr. Geoffrey Brand, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with Fairey Band, 4.32
18. Trumpet Voluntary, Jeremiah Clarke, arr. Bram Gay, Alan Wycherley (Soprano Cornet) with BNFL Band, 2.31
Carlton Brass Nottingham 1st section require the following players to complete its line up . . Tenor Trombone . . Bass Trombo...
Scouthead & Austerlands Whit Friday Contest
Venue: Dawsonâ€™s Field, off A62 Huddersfield Road, Scouthead, Saddleworth, Oldham OL4 4AS
South London Fellowship Band
Venue: Mini Tour (4th June to 7th June 2013).. See 'Concert details'.. Further information to follow.
MA Dist. (Performance Health), ARCM, Dip RAM
Musical Director, Educator, Coach, Teacher, Adjudicator, Performer