More Variations on VW to come for Tredegar

The Welsh Champion rounds off its year with the first part of a major Vaughan Williams recording project with ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins.

  All smiles after the final chord of the weekend.

Welsh Champion Tredegar has rounded off a busy musical period by completing the first leg of a significant CD recording project alongside renowned English National Opera Music Director Martyn Brabbins.

The first weekend of sessions for 'Vaughan Williams on Brass' recently took place at Swansea's Brangwyn Hall and will be released on the Albion Recording label to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth of the famous English composer in 2022.

Variations for Brass Band

Produced by Paul Hindmarsh it features a new curation of his masterful 'Variations for Brass Band' undertaken by Philip Littlemore who also assisted with the production throughout the weekend.

Also recorded were Philip's new curation of 'English Folk Song Suite' and 'Sea Songs' as well as a new collaboration of a substantial suite from the evocative music to the 1941 film 'The 49th Parallel'.

Other works include the overture 'Henry V', a new brass band version of his organ work, 'Rhosymedre' and a second prelude entitled 'The Truth from Above'.

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions his iconic 'Tuba Concerto' will now be recorded by Ross Knight with the band in the Spring.

Fantastic experience

Speaking about the weekend, Tredegar MD Ian Porthouse told 4BR: "It was a fantastic recording experience and a great privilege to work with Martyn Brabbins. His insight and understanding of 'Variations' was remarkable — the music just blossomed into life.

It was a great way to round off the year with the promise of working with Ross on the Tuba Concerto to come."

It has also been announced that Tredegar will perform the newly curated 'Variations for Brass Band' at the RNCM Brass Band Festival in January.

It was a fantastic recording experience and a great privilege to work with Martyn BrabbinsIan Porthouse


Ian added: "Our thanks got to Martyn, Paul, Steve and Philip as well as John Francis from the Vaughan Williams Trust whose personal insights into the composer and the works was invaluable to hear.

My thanks also go to the players and to those who helped us on the weekend such as our guest principal cornet Chris Bradley from Whitburn Band who was outstanding.

It was a pleasure to work with them all — its left the band on a real high as we look forward to 2022."

Image: Copyright: John Francis

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Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)


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