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CD review: The Lyrical Euphonium

Martin Smith
Accompanist: Catherine Milledge
MSM Recording: MSM001


The joy of life-long learning and music making underpin this engaging release from a player who returned to higher education and brass banding after a prolonged hiatus.

After 35 years in which he enjoyed pursuing sporting interests, Martin Smith took up the euphonium once more – becoming a Fellow of Trinity College London (FTCL) as well as completing his Masters Degree in Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.  

Balance

As the performances of the 16 tracks accompanied with splendid musicality by pianist Catherine Milledge show, accomplishment through a balance of determination and ambition are also found in the tailored realism of his musical endeavours.

The familiar recital solo items - from the musical engagement letter from Elgar to his future wife Alice Roberts in ‘Salut D’Amour’ to the ‘Flower Song’ from ‘Carmen’ are played with an intelligent appreciation of style and technique.  

The familiar recital solo items - from the musical engagement letter from Elgar to his future wife Alice Roberts in ‘Salut D’Amour’  to the ‘Flower Song’  from ‘Carmen’  are played with an intelligent appreciation of style and technique.  

Graceful lines

There are also four new compositions and arrangements. 

The graceful lines of ‘Red Kite’  by Rob Wiffin captures the beauty of the bird of prey that has been successfully re-introduced to the hills of mid-Wales (also after a long 35 year plus break), whilst Rodney Newton’s ‘Sarabande’  with its hints of Handel is dedicated to Morfydd Childs, the mother of Martin’s tutor Dr Robert Childs.

Rom Stanko’s fluid take on ‘Deep River’,  made famous by the great Paul Robeson is touchingly evocative and offers contrast to Capuzzi’s ‘Allegro Moderato & Andante Cantabile’  - an elegant piece of Venetian baroque arranged by David Childs and Martin Smith to complete a concerto from a composer referred to as the ‘Orpheus of his Age’ but now long forgotten.

Iwan Fox


To purchase: 
https://www.martinsmitheuphonium.com/

Play list:

1. Salut D'Amour (Elgar trans. R. Childs & N. Childs)
2. Oh Shenandoah (trad. arr. James Stevens)
3. Song of India (Rimsky-Korsakov arr. Eric Wilson)
4. Una Voce Poco Fa (Rossini arr. Rimmer)
5. The Red Kite (Rob Wiffin OBE)
6. Rusalka’s Song to the Moon (Dvorak arr. Eric Wilson)
7. Someone to Watch Over Me (Gershwin arr. Joseph Turrin)
8. Nocturne in Blue and Gold (Cecilia McDowall) 
9. Sarabande from Sonatina (Rodney Newton)
10. Concerto for Double Bass (Capuzzi arr. David Childs & Martin Smith)
i. Allegro Moderato
ii. Andante Cantabile
12. A Little Prayer (Evelyn Glennie arr. Dr. Robert Childs) 
13. Songs of a Wayfarer (Mahler arr. James Curnow)
14. Kashmiri Song (Amy Woodforde-Finden arr/edit Childs/Wilby)
15. Deep River (trad. arr. Rom Stanko)
16. Flower Song from Carmen (Bizet arr. Eric Wilson)

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