*
banner

CD review: Stars and Stripes Forever

Brass Band of Central Florida
Music Director: Gareth Pritchard
Soloists: Luis Miguel Araya, Warren Kus, Jackson Arthur, Ryan Chen
CD: SKU: 888295822442

Florida

Stars and Stripes Forever is a neatly packaged tribute to the great American musical traditions courtesy of some of the finest compositional exponents to have written for the various genres.  

To be fair, there is an impressive list to choose from on both counts: It must have been difficult as to who and what to leave out, let alone squeeze in.  

Astute choices

Gareth Pritchard though has made some astute choices in casting his musical eye over the release - from the most ubiquitous of patriotic marches to the most popular of film score classics.  

Each is played with well-observed attention to detail and tonality; Florida producing a much warmer timbre than has been heard in the past, whilst there is clarity to the defined dynamic levels. It makes for good listening.  

Style comes in the bucketful – from the bravura of Sousa’s iconic march (nicely arranged by the MD) and a light, if occasionally frenetic ‘Candide’ overture, to the Saturday morning picture-house thrills of ‘Indiana Jones’ and the sophisticated jazz dislocations of Dave Brubeck (‘Blue Rondo a la Turk’ is dusted off with accomplished aplomb).

A quartet of polished soloists provides classy stop-off points: Luis Miguel Araya is a melancholic lead on ‘Feed the Birds’ from ‘Mary Poppins’ and Jackson Arthur is a considered ‘Dorothy’ on ‘Over the Rainbow’.

Ryan Chen keeps things admirably simple with ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’ whilst equally Warren Kus doesn’t overplay his technical hand on James Curnow’s ‘Concertpiece for Cornet’.

Style comes in the bucketful – from the bravura of Sousa’s iconic march (nicely arranged by the MD) and a light, if occasionally frenetic ‘Candide’ overture, to the Saturday morning picture-house thrills of ‘Indiana Jones’ and the sophisticated jazz dislocations of Dave Brubeck (‘Blue Rondo a la Turk’ is dusted off with accomplished aplomb).

Never fades

All this you can really savour Howard Snell’s skill in bringing colour and texture to a brass band score - a palette that never fades even on repeated hearing.  

The trio of featured arrangements provides remarkable examples of craftsmanship few if any have been able to match – even the best Americans. 

Each is given due respect by the performers - the theatrical swish of ‘An American in Paris’ in particular delivered with vibrancy whilst the ‘Hoe Down’ is a joyful old barn romp. 

The familiar sounds of William Himes’ evocative ‘Amazing Grace’ and the bold ‘Reunion and Finale’ from the film ‘Gettysburg’ sit nicely as a halfway and finisher items to a recording of homage substance and stylistic understanding. 

There is scope for a few enjoyable sequels here at least.

Dr. Jim Fox


To purchase: http://www.brassbandofcentralflorida.org/store/p12/Stars_and_Stripes_Forever.html

Play list:

1. The Stars and Stripes Forever (Sousa arr. Pritchard)
2. Candide Overture (Bernstein arr. Snell)
3. Feed the Birds (Sherman & Sherman arr. Bates)
Soloist: Luis Miguel Araya (soprano)
4. Blue Rondo à la Turk (Brubeck arr. Edwards)
5. Concertpiece for Cornet (James Curnow)
Soloist: Warren Kus (cornet)
6. Amazing Grace (arr. Himes)
7. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Williams arr. Farr)
8. Over the Rainbow (Arlen & Harburg arr. Richards)
Soloist: Jackson Arthur (horn)
9. An American in Paris (Gershwin arr. Snell)
10. Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (Stephen Foster arr. Howarth)
Soloist: Ryan Chen (euphonium)
11. Hoedown from ‘Rodeo’ (Aaron Copland arr. Snell)
12. Reunion & Finale from ‘Gettysburg’ (Randy Edelman arr. Duncan)

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    



Regent Hall Concerts - International Trombone Ensemble

Friday 5 June • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. (Opposite RESERVED). London. W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Foden's Band - Parr Hall, Warrington

Thursday 11 June • Pyramid Parr Hall, Palmyra Square S, Warrington WA1 1BL


Black Dyke Band - Halifax Minster

Thursday 11 June • The Causeway, Halifax HX1 1QL


Black Dyke Band - Black Dyke Arts Festival

Sunday 21 June • The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD


Foden's Band - Prescot Festival

Friday 26 June • Prescot Church,, Church St, Prescot L34 3LA


Deepcar Brass Band

May 23 • Deepcar Band has a vacancy for a MUSICAL DIRECTOR. We are a 3rd section contesting band, rehearsing Monday & Friday nights.Our bandroom is equal distance to Sheffield, Barnsley & Huddersfield.


Chadderton Band

May 21 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections + EUPH and percussion. Come along to one of our rehearsals.


Forest of Dean Brass

May 21 • We are currently looking for a Euphonium and Front Row Cornet to join our friendly and ambitious 1st Section Band. We undertake a broad range of activities from supporting community events, charities and Contests, coming 3rd at the West of England Areas.


Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor


               

 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd