Heritage Series, Volume 4: the 1960s11-Oct-2012
International Staff Band
Conductor: Dr Stephen Cobb
SP&S Ltd: SPS 297 CD
Total playing time: 133.02 mins
The International Staff Band’s historical overview of Salvation Army music has now reached the 1960s – one of the most productive periods, as shown in this double CD release.
It comprises newly recorded material as well as items taken from releases by the band over the last 10 years in a well documented recording of substance and interest.
The sleeve notes by Ray Steadman-Allen contain a mix of musical analysis and personal reflection, although there is an unfortunate non sequitor at the start of the final paragraph, presumably as a result of changes to the original running order.
The shorter, devotional items are classics of the genre, showing the craftsmanship of New Zealander Thomas Rive and Dane Erik Silfverberg to fine effect in ‘Redeeming Love’ and ‘The Beautiful City’ respectively.
Unfortunately, there is no acknowledgement of Ronald Tremain who produced the original vocal setting of ‘How Sweet the Name (French)’, which Donald Osgood scored so well for band.
Although there are no solo items in this volume, there are two excellent ensemble works; the sprightly trombone feature ‘Wonders Begin when the Lord Comes In’, and the double quartet ‘Never Give Up’, with its deft interplay between the cornets and trombones.
The major works, ‘The Holy War’ and ‘The Present Age’ both address the issue of conflict - the latter in a rather more introspective way.
Both call for aggressive playing at times, contrasted with moments of serenity, and these quieter interludes elicit some of the best playing on the release.
Contrasting American marches
The marches ‘California’ by Emil Söderstrom, and ‘The Invincible Army’ written by Erik Leidzen illustrate the individual march styles of those two highly respected musicians: The former brisk and rather capricious, the latter more stately and dignified.
‘In Wonder Beholding’ is particularly sensitively treated, whilst ‘My Comfort and Strength’, with its majestic ending, is based on the tune ‘University’ (The King of Love My Shepherd Is).
Of the re-issued recordings, the most substantial are ‘Song of Courage’, ‘My Strength, My Tower’ and ‘The Call of the Righteous’.
All three receive commanding readings with clean solo and precise ensemble playing.
The contrasting styles included in the three-movement ‘Canadian Folk Song Suite’ are caught well, and ‘None Other Name’, often used as a massed band item in the years following its introduction, builds up a nice head of steam.
More reflective are ‘My Master’s Will’ and ‘Songs in Exile’, which explore various aspects of man’s relationship with God.
In common with previous issues, the final track is a conversation between Drs Steadman-Allen and Cobb, sharing their view of the period covered and the works selected.
With such a wealth to choose from, the selection is fairly balanced, although it would perhaps have been good to have included one of the iconic hymn tune settings introduced during that period, such as Charles Skinner’s, ‘Crown Him with many Crowns’ or Dean Goffin’s ‘O Boundless Salvation’ .
What's on this CD?
Disc 1 of 2
1. California, Emil Söderström, 2.44
2. Redeeming Love, Thomas Rive, 3.25
3. Wonders Begin When the Lord Comes In, Ray Steadman-Allen, 2.27
4. In Wonder Beholding, Leslie Condon, 7.01
5. The Present Age, Leslie Condon, 12.40
6. The Invincible Army, Erik Leidzén, 2.38
7. The Beautiful City, Erik Silfverberg, 2.54
8. My Comfort and Strength, Brian Bowen, 6.56
9. Never Give Up!, Eric Ball, 4.09
10. How Sweet the Name (French), Donald Osgood, 2.30
11. The Holy War, Ray Steadman-Allen, 13.32
Disc 2 of 2
1. Celebration (from Daystar, 2008), Leslie Condon, 4.08
Canadian Folk Song Suite (from Origins, 2005), Morley Calvert
2. I., 2.03
3. II., 3.03
4. III., 2.52
5. Song of Courage (from Renaissance, 2000), Eric Ball, 10.01
6. My Master's Will (from The Heaton Collection, 2002), Wilfred Heaton, 5.51
7. Songs in Exile (from Supremacy, 2007), Eric Ball, 7.53
8. My Strength, My Tower (from Origins, 2005), Dean Goffin, 9.18
9. None Other Name (from Origins, 2005), Erik Leidzén, 7.17
10. The Call of the Righteous (from Daystar, 2008), Leslie Condon, 8.01
11. In conversation, Lieut-Colonel Dr. Ray Steadman-Allen and Bandmaster Stephen Cobb, 10.04
Vacancies have arisen for a 2nd Trombone and front Row / Repiano Cornet player with this friendly and enthusiastic 2nd Sectio...
Friezland Whit Friday Contest
Venue: Friezland Parish Hall, Oaklands Road, Greenfield,Oldham. OL3 7LQ