*
banner

CD review: The Symphonic Euphonium II

David Childs
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Ben Gernon
Leader: Yuri Torchinsky
Chandos Recordings: CHAN: 10997

Childs

With his first ‘Symphonic’ CD release in 2014, David Childs set a benchmark for the euphonium as a true symphonic concerto instrument.  Here he takes it to a level ‘in excelsis’.

It is a consummate display of artistry; superlative in every aspect of performance.

Works from Edward Gregson, Paul Mealor and Michael Ball receive premiere recordings - as does a new orchestration of the Vaughan Williams ‘Concerto for Bass Tuba’, adapted for ‘Tenor Tuba’ (with approval by the Oxford University Press and the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust), with perceptive expertise by Rodney Newton.

Flawless

From his first note the soloist holds his genius as an obedient slave to his masterful will; each concerto as complete in flawless execution as it is in musical inspiration; his measured rhetoric as eloquent as it is transparent. 

The playing is secured to the structure of the works with a discipline of poise and flexibility riveted by an iron-clad appreciation of the composer’s intentions. Ben Gernon’s instinctive leadership of the BBC Philharmonic provides the balanced counterpoint (as does the recording production) for his cynosure command.

The Vaughan Williams is reinvigorated; lighter textures and timbres revealed by the lead voice (transposed up a fourth) that play off the orchestra in thoughtful dialogue.  

From his first note, the soloist holds his genius as an obedient slave to his masterful will; each concerto as complete in flawless execution as it is in musical inspiration; his measured rhetoric as eloquent as it is transparent. 

In his excellent sleeve notes Paul Hindmarsh reveals that the composer was happy for the concerto to be made available to the euphonium. He would surely have been thrilled to have known that it has found its perfect muse.

The soloist’s propriety DNA is unquestionably infused throughout the Gregson 'Concerto'.  

Beautifully constructed, it provides the broadest canvas for self-expression; the opening ‘Dialogues’ almost a peroration in reverse - from exclamatory forcefulness to the deftest touch of adroit argument.  The central ‘Song without Words’ yearns with melancholic, tender longing, the finale a ‘Bacchanal’ of visceral energy.

Stimulating

The mystical inspiration behind Paul Mealor’s elegiac ‘Concerto’ has a dark intensity of spirit, although one which is contoured with a stimulating sense of animation.  

A tale of seafaring love lost but forever eternal, its singular scope embraces four distinct chapters – told in the first person by the soloist; from the depths of despair ‘forsaken by all’ through to uplifting optimism that ‘hope always remains’ that the wife will be reunited with her husband.

Michael Ball’s ‘recast’ orchestral version of his original 2002 'Concerto' frees the soloist from the homogenous tonal glue that so bedevils the instrument when cast with brass band accompaniment.  

Now he floats free in the opening ‘reawakening’, becoming ever more expansive and richly expressive in the central movement, before dancing with increasingly capricious extravagance to close. 

It is a flourish of masterful artistry that brings a landmark recording to an end.  

Iwan Fox


To purchase: Available from 1st November

Play list:

1-3. Concerto for Tenor Tuba and Orchestra (Ralph Vaughan Williams) 

4-6. Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra (Edward Gragson)

7-11. Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra (Paul Mealor)

12-14. Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra (Michael Ball)

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    



Camborne Youth Band - New Year Concert

Sunday 19 January • Penventon Park Hotel, West End, Redruth TR15 3AD


The Hepworth Band - A New Year's Viennese Matinee Concert

Sunday 19 January • Christ Church. Sude Hill. New Mill. Holmfirth. West Yorkshire HD9 7BL


Foden's Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Friday 24 January • RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester. M13 9RD


Markham and district band - Charity Concert for Hospice of the Valleys

Friday 24 January • The Met Theatre, Mitre Street, Abertillery. NP131AL


Black Dyke Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 25 January • 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9 RD


Chadderton Band

January 19 • Chadderton Brass 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. Conductor required. Come along to one of our rehearsals.


Matlock Band

January 19 • Matlock Band urgently requires Solo Baritone player for Midlands regional contest on 8th March 2020. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings 8.00-9.45pm.


Pillowell Silver Band

January 18 • We have an opening for a Flugel player at Pillowell Silver Band in the Forest Of Dean Gloucestershire. Other players assured of a warm welcome at this friendly 3rd section band.


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator


               

 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd