facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us


CD review: Bolero

Brighouse & Rastrick
Concert Series Vol. 1
Conductor: Dr David Thornton
Soloist: Kathleen Gaspoz, Sheona White, Philippe Schwartz
Doyen Recordings: CD DOY CD381


These are interesting musical times at Brighouse & Rastrick. 

Prof David King continues to instil a sense of title winning adventure on the contest stage, whilst the appointment of David Thornton as MD has given stimulating impetus to their concert repertoire: They are an invigorating band to hear in action. 

That’s shown with this release; one that although featuring just one original composition, still retains a defined sense of crisp freshness to complement the familiar substance. 

Masterful scoring

It’s helped by the choice and quality of the music making, and especially by the arrangements themselves: Howard Snell’s masterful scoring of ensemble balance and texture in Bach’s ‘Passacaglia in C Minor’ is mirrored by the sinuous dance movements evoked in the playing on Ravel’s iconic ‘Bolero’. 

There is fitting imperial bombast to Wagner’s ‘The Entry of the King’, and a sultry atmosphere to Gordon Langford’s expertly segued ‘Carmen’ highlights that has the persuasiveness of a ripe Cohiba on the lips. ‘The Long Day Closes’ never wallows in its sensitive sentimentality. 

A trio of soloists are first class; Kathleen Gaspoz displays a melancholic sensuality with Piazzolla’s ‘Oblivion’ and Sheona White a cultured elegance with ‘Ave Maria’. Philippe Schwartz is admirably diabolical with his virtuosic interplay on ‘Devil’s Duel’.

A trio of soloists are first class; Kathleen Gaspoz displays a melancholic sensuality with Piazzolla’s ‘Oblivion’ and Sheona White a cultured elegance with ‘Ave Maria’. Philippe Schwartz is admirably diabolical with his virtuosic interplay on ‘Devil’s Duel’.  

Superb adaptation

The pick however is Paul Hindmarsh’s superb adaptation of Walton’s, ‘A Wartime Sketchbook’; six miniature portraits of character so redolent of time and place that it could have been conducted by Churchill with a baton instead of a cigar in his hand. 

The undefeatable communal spirit of the ‘Prologue’ followed by a sprightly ‘Bicycle Ride’ leads into a haunting snapshot of departing ‘Refugees’ and the carefree sense of immortality of the Luftwaffe’s ‘Young Seigfrieds’. The tenderness of ‘The Lovers’ has a noble affection before the closing ‘Epilogue’ draws things to a triumphant close - signalling the long awaited victory and future optimism.

With playing of this character and quality these are sentiments also shared by many fans of the current band from West Riding.

Iwan Fox 

To purchase: http://www.worldofbrass.com/cds/british-bands/brighouse-rastrick-band/100159-group.html

Play list:

1. The Entry of the King (Wagner arr. Bertrand Moren)
2. Passacaglia in C Minor (J.S. Bach arr. Howard Snell)
3. Oblivion (Piazzolla arr. Rick Mizell)
Soloist: Kathleen Gaspoz
4. A Wartime Sketchbook (Walton arr. Paul Hindmarsh)
i. Prologue
ii. Bicycle Chase
iii. Refugees
iv. Scherzo: Young Seigfrieds
v. Romance: The Lovers
vi. Epilogue
10. Ave Maria (Gounod arr. Andrew Baker)
Soloist: Sheona White
11. A Carmen Fantasy (Bizet arr. Gordon Langford)
12. The Long Day Closes (Sullivan arr. Eric Ball)
13. Devil's Duel (Peter Meechan)
Soloist: Philippe Schwartz
14. Bolero (Ravel arr. Howard Snell)

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    

Jackfield Band -

Friday 29 March • Dawley Town Hall, 6 New Street, Dawley TF4 3JR

Contest: National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great B

Saturday 30 March • University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

Black Dyke Band - Boston

Saturday 30 March • Centenary Methodist Church, Boston, PE21 6NY

Black Dyke Band - Bury Parish Church

Thursday 4 April • The Rock, Bury BL9 0AH

Strata Brass -

Friday 5 April • Rockingham Centre. Hoyland Common. Barnsley S74 9DQ

Ilkeston Brass

March 25 • we are looking for cornet players, position negotiable and Bb bass players. We practice on Thursday and Sunday evenings at Stanton by Dale close to M1.

Welwyn Garden City Band

March 24 • We are a friendly & sociable Third Section Band with an exciting and varied summer season ahead of us. We have an immediate vacancy for a SOLO TROMBONE player. Our MD is Duncan Wilson.

The Tilbury Band

March 24 • In our hundredth year, The Tilbury Band is currently seeking cornet players and percussionists to bring our band back to full capacity. Could this be you? A friendly 2nd section band, we rehearse on a Wednesday and Sunday evening in our Hall in Tilbury.

Jonathan Pippen

Conductor, Adjudicator, Trombone Soloist & Clinician