A truly wonderful experience for the listener, and one which will richly deserve the accolades that are sure to be thrust upon it. --Kenneth Crookston - British Bandsman, Saturday 25th April 2009
This recording features Bramwell Tovey not only as composer and conductor but also as piano soloist (in 'Pictures in the Smoke'). Over the past few years, Bramwell Tovey has been writing a series of substantial works for soloists with brass band. 'Nine Daies Wonder' is the most unusual of them all as the solo instrument is a violin. The music is based on Will Kemp's famous journey from London to Norwich in which he danced the whole way in nine days. The soloist recites lines from Shakespeare during the work and he and the band are also called upon to sing. 'The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret' was written for Joe Alessi s appearance as guest soloist with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. The listener might imagine that Joe, who commutes daily from New Jersey to Manhattan in a stylish open-top sports car, gets stuck in traffic at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel and decides to get out his trombone and entertain the disgruntled drivers. In New York, anything can happen! 'Pictures in the Smoke' was inspired by Dorothy Parker s hilarious poem of the same name. Dealing with the issues of dating and falling in love, the music consists of contrasting episodes centred on the piano as the only constant factor. The interval of a falling minor 3rd, later becoming more of a collapsing 5th, provides the main musical ingredient from which it can be deduced that some of Ms Parker s experiences were less than epic! The remaining works on this recording are for brass band alone, from the major concert and competition work, 'Coventry Variations' to the miniatures 'Toccata' and 'St Norbert Chorale'.