Having been a fan of the U.K.'s military bands for most of the last 30 years, I've always found the Grenadier Guards Band to be one of the best. I had seen them perform a couple of times, once on a North American tour in 1987 in Vancouver, B.C., and again in about 2000, this time in North Vancouver which seemed an unusual stop for them. Anyway, as these are some of the finest musicians in the world, you can expect nothing but the best - and that is exactly what you get with this recording.
The 25 marches presented here are mostly British with some European continental; Edwin Bagley's 'National Emblem' appears to be the only U.S. march presented here. I had played a lot of these marches myself with a community band about 30 years ago, and I always loved hearing music we were playing at the time performed by one of these great U.K. military bands. 'Bond of Friendship', 'Birdcage Walk', 'Royal Standard', and 'The Duke of York Slow March' are all great British marches; also included from the home country are 2 of K.J. Alford's best-known marches, 'The Great Little Army' and 'Army of the Nile', which I remember seeing the Welsh Guards Band play 11 years ago as they marched away from Buckingham Palace after the 'Changing of the Guard'. 'Marche De La Gendarmerie Belge', a bombastic march assigned to one of Belgium's regiments, 'Steadfast & True', a wonderful old march written by Germany's Carl Teike, often considered that country's answer to J.P. Sousa & K.J. Alford, and 'Scipio', by George Frederich Handel, round out continental Europe's contribution to this recording.
This is some fine work - as always - by the Grenadier Guards Band. Highly recommended for anyone who considers themselves a conoisseur of marches or military bands.