CD cover - Full SpectrumFull Spectrum

12-Dec-2001

The Mount Charles Band
Conductor: Bryan Hurdley
MCBCD 1
Total Playing Time: 74.26

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Cornish banding is on something of a revival at the moment. Youth band successes, improvements in the lower sections and now the title winning performances of the Mount Charles Band, who this year won the Harry And Margaret Mortimer Pontins title at Prestatyn for the second time in three years, beating some pretty decent bands into the bargain. They have also performed with a great deal of credit at the All England Masters and have set their stall out as one of the most improved bands of 2001.

Much of the success has been achieved through their enlightened approach to the development of young players – 17 of the current band have come through the ranks of their own Youth set up and their association with Bryan Hurdley, a conductor and band trainer of proven talent and experience at the highest level, who has brought a sense of purpose and commitment to the band since he took over as Musical Director in 1997.

This CD - in the form of an extended concert programme shows why they are on the upward curve of achievement, and even if there are one or two moments when joyful exuberance over stretches the capabilities, it still a very well put together release that shows off the bands considerable talents to the full.

17 tracks, 8 soloists and a programme that has been intelligently put together form an enjoyable light and easy listening release. Rodney Newton's upbeat "Gaudete" starts things off with a bang (In fact the start sounds like the music to the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) whilst the percussion feature, "Russky Percussky" has a bit in it that we're sure sounded like "Sospan Fach" – odd to say the least. In between we get a veritable "Dolly Mixture" bag of goodies so that there is something to please just about everyone.

All the soloists handle themselves with some considerable aplomb and it's nice to hear the euphonium solo "Brillante" played as it was intended by two euphs and not one superstar techno whiz kid – it works just as well. Special mention to the percussion section who work well throughout the CD and never overpower (well just about nearly never!) and the soprano playing of Jon Small, who shows why he won the soloist prize at the Pontins Championship with some fine top end stuff (he must have had a lip like a Cornish pasty at the end of this lot!)

Bryan Hurdley directs with his usual attention to detail and balance and this is shown off well with a pretty good account of Vinter's "Spectrum" that really does show the differences in mood and texture that the colours aim to portray. It's still a fine piece after all these years. The arrangements are first class and the production standards are fine – well balanced between sections with just the right amount of reverb. A nice touch with the CD itself coloured like rainbow too….ahhhh

Mount Charles are a band to look out for we think in 2002 – they are young, hungry and maturing as a band all the time, and even though there are one or two blips and blobs this shows that they weren't afraid to go for it in each take and to hell with the consequences. All this and one of the strangest old band photographs we have ever come across on the front cover – 22 coppers in uniform and pith helmets with just the one with a flat cap – perhaps he was a pre war traffic policeman. Good stuff all round.

What's on this CD?

1

Gaudete, Newton

2.32

2

Barnard Castle, Richards

2.27

3

Overture: Mack and Mabel, Herman arr. Wilkinson

6.00

4

Adagio from Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto, arr. Catherall, Soloist: Peter Jackson

4.18

5

There’s no Business like Show Business, Berlin arr. Richards

3.05

6

Arioso, Bach arr. Hurdley, Soloist: Rebecca Yeo

3.01

7

Three King’s Swing, Himes

3.25

8

Brillante, Graham, Soloists: Robert Jose, Kevin Mackenzie

5.24

9

Irish Tune from County Kerry, Grainger arr. Wright

2.36

10

Russky Percussky, Richards, Soloists: Derek Thomas, Helen Matthews

7.50

11

Over the Rainbow, Arlen, Harburg arr. Richards, Soloist: Sarah Robins

3.56

12

Florentiner March, Fucik arr. Barsotti

5.02

13

David of the White Rock, Trad. arr Wood

3.11

14

Bass in the Ballroom, Newsome, soloist: Gary Giles

4.11

15

Somewhere Out There, Horner, Mann, Weill arr. Barry

4.00

16

Spectrum, Vinter

11.32

17

William Tell: Finale, Rossini arr. Hawkins

1.56

Total playing time

74.26

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