Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The incredible Black Dyke Mills Band


Black Dyke Mills Band, CSD 1565

cond. Whitham/Jaeger

Surprisingly, given the standard of playing and recording, there appears to be no evidence of this album ever having been produced commercially in digital (CD or download) format*. This is truly fabulous playing and the programme is balanced and varied with something for everyone who loves band music: a rousing march, a 'bandstand' overture, a cornet solo (featuring the great Jim Shepherd), a Gilbert and Sullivan selection, '1812' and one or two lighter pieces thrown in.

Nevertheless, as with other posts on this blog, I will willingly remove it from this blog should anyone concerned in its production or copyrighting complain about its presence here on legal grounds.

*Knight Templar and Poet and Peasant in the present recordings have recently appeared however, transferred from Lp, on a recent Black Dyke historical 3-CD set entitled 'Jewels in the Crown' on the Doyen label. Readers are encouraged to track this down, as it covers recordings made between 1905 and 2004.

Side One

1. Knight Templar (Allan)**
2. 'Poet and Peasant' Overture (von Suppe, arr. Rivierre)
3. Carnival de Venice (W Rimmer, arr. D Rimmer) - Jim Shepherd, cornet soloist**
4. Can-Can (from 'Orpheus in the Underworld') (Offenbach, arr. Hibbert)
5. Thunder and Lightning Polka (J Strauss II, arr. Wright)

Side Two

1. (Trk 6) The Mikado - Selection (Sullivan, arranger not credited)**
2. (Trk 7) Chianti Song (Winkler, arr. Muston)**
3. (Trk 8) Spanish Harlequin (Haysom, arr. Pope)**
4. (Trk 9) 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky, arr. Wright)**

**Conductor: Geoffrey Whitham
Guest Conductor: Major CH Jaeger, Mus; Bac; LRAM; ARCM; psm

Black Dyke Mills Band FLAC

Black Dyke Mills Band MP3

Please feel welcome in commenting on this album via the box or link below.

Hallé Brass Consort in music by British composers


Hallé Brass Consort - Arnold/Gregson/Horovitz/McCabe, GSGC 14114

Released 1968

I can find no evidence of this album having been produced commercially in digital (CD or download) format and will willingly remove it from this blog should anyone concerned in its production or copyrighting complain about its presence here on legal grounds.

Whilst Philip Jones was chiefly responsible for putting orchestral brass chamber music as as genre 'on the map', here for once is a relatively early example of the genre featuring another great quintet, the Hallé Brass Consort, as they were in the 1960's. The Pye Golden Guinea Records Lp sleeve subtitles the group as 'Brass Ensemble of the University of Salford'. Players were members of the Hallé Orchestra, conducted at the time by Barbirolli.

The modern day Hallé Brass can be heard on a CD devoted entirely to the music of Edward Gregson on the Doyen label. Interestingly - and no doubt for nostalgic reasons - the artwork with that CD includes a detail of the above record sleeve in the overall montage.

Hallé Brass Consort (on the Lp)

Bram Gay (Trumpet)
Brian Tudery (Trumpet)
Julian Baker (French Horn)
Terence Nagle (Trombone)
Stewart Roebuck (Tuba)

Side One

MALCOLM ARNOLD: Quintet for Two Trumpets, Horn, Trombone and Tuba

1. Allegro vivace
2. Chaconne
3. Finale: Con brio

EDWARD GREGSON: Quintet for Brass
4. Andante sostenuto
5. Allegro molto ritmico

Side Two

JOSEPH HOROVITZ: 'Music Hall', Suite for Brass Quintet

1. (Trk 6) 'Soubrette Song' - Allegretto
2. (Trk 7) 'Trick Cyclists' - Vivace
3. (Trk 8) 'Adagio Team' - Lento moderato
4. (Trk 9) 'Soft-Shoe Shuffle' - Moderato ma giocoso
5. (Trk 10) 'Les Girls' - Allegro vivace

6. (Trk 11) JOHN McCABE: Rounds for Brass Quintet

Halle Brass Consort FLAC

Halle Brass Consort MP3

Please feel welcome in commenting on this album via the box or link below.

USSR Ministry of Defence Band on tip-top form


Showpieces for Symphonic Band, ASD 3107 (orig. Melodiya), c. 1975

USSR Ministry of Defence Band, cond. as listed below, rec. early 1970's

The playing of the USSR Ministry of Defence Band is of top professional quality here and the programming both varied and enjoyable. I can find no evidence of this album having been produced commercially in digital (CD or download) format and will willingly remove it from this blog should anyone concerned in its production or copyrighting complain about its presence here on legal grounds. Thanks to Tin Ear/MusicParlour for supplying the files.

Side 1

1. Rimsky-Korsakov: Trombone Concerto (Victor Batashov, trombone; Nicolai Navarov, cond.)
2. Prokofiev: March, Op. 69/No. 1 in Bb 'March for Sports Games' (Nicolai Navarov, cond.)
3. Prokofiev: March, Op. 69/No. 2 in F 'Lyric March' (Nicolai Sergeyev, cond.)
4. Prokofiev: March, Op. 69/No. 3 in Bb (Nicolai Navarov, cond.)

Side 2

1. (Trk 5) Prokofiev: March, Op. 99 (Nicolai Sergeyev, cond.)
2. (Trk 6) Rimsky-Korsakov: Variations for Oboe and Band (on a theme by Glinka) (Yevgeny Lyakhovitsky, oboe, Yuri Pitiriov, cond.)
3. (Trk 7) Rimsky-Korsakov: Clarinet Concerto (Lev Mikhailov, clarinet; Leo Dunsev, cond.)
4. (Trk 8) Tchaikovsky: Military March in Bb (Nicolai Sergeyev, cond.)

Download links (Flac is high quality, but takes up significant computer space (about the equivalent of an audio CD for the whole album). Use flac for reference listening or for further editing/mixing etc.; Mp3 is more suitable for mobile listening, still of fairly high quality, but takes up much less space. Both downloads come with the same notes and high resolution artwork. Click on above image for preview):


Showpieces for Band FLAC

Showpieces for Band MP3

Please feel welcome in commenting on this album via the box or link below.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Fabulously played bite-sized Tchaikovsky



The Great Melodies of Tchaikovsky - Columbia Records CL 946 (Lp release date unknown)

The Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Eugene Ormandy

Recorded 1950-1953 (Mono)

A classical sound bite Lp 1950's-style, comprising a mixture of complete movements or significant length clips from Tchaikovsky (detailed below). The practice of fading in/out or making cuts during movements may well be frowned upon in some circles these days, but don't under estimate the quality of playing here: perfectly judged, tuneful, full of romance and with the Philadelphians and Ormandy on top form. Very good mono sound.

I can find no evidence of this album having been produced commercially in digital (CD or download) format and will willingly remove it from this blog should anyone concerned in its production or copyrighting complain about its presence here on legal grounds. 

Side 1
1. Fifth Symphony - Andante cantabile (excerpt from 2nd movement) (9:05)
2. Romeo and Juliet - Love Theme (3:06)
3. Waltz from Serenade for Strings (3:38)
4. Theme from Marche Slav (5:48)

Side 2
1. (Trk 5) Theme from Pathétique Symphony (excerpt from 1st movement) (5:17)
2. (Trk 6) Waltz of the Flowers (excerpt) (5:30)
3. (Trk 7) Andante cantabile, from String Quartet in D (arr. for string orchestra) (7:03)
4. (Trk 8) Waltz from Sleeping Beauty (4:22)

Download links (Flac is high quality, but takes up significant computer space (about the equivalent of an audio CD for the whole album). Use flac for reference listening or for further editing/mixing etc.; Mp3 is more suitable for mobile listening, still of fairly high quality, but takes up much less space. Both downloads come with the same notes and high resolution artwork. Click on above image for preview):

The Great Melodies of Tchaikovsky FLAC      The Great Melodies of Tchaikovsky MP3

Please feel welcome in commenting on this album via the box or link below.

Monday, 20 March 2017

No ordinary march album


Marches from the Classics - MfP2141

Released UK, 1965

(Pseudononymously) credited artists: Hollywood Symphony Ochestra (no conductor name given)

I can find no evidence of this album having been produced commercially in digital (CD or download) format and will willingly remove it from this blog should anyone concerned in its production or copyrighting complain about its presence here on legal grounds. 

The reason why this 50+ year old Lp does not identify the true performers involved is not known, at least to me. Not to be confused with latter day incarnations of the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra or the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, there was no existent orchestra as billed on the Lp at the time it was released as far as I’m aware.

The actual recordings on the Lp are mainly of Philadelphia/Ormandy, New York Philharmonic/Bernstein or Kostelanetz provenance, although other Columbia artists also appear. I have detailed these within the download text pages, also outlining some ‘evidence’ as to how I have identifed who is actually playing, giving track by track examples.

The MfP (Music for Pleasure) label was widely available to the British public and in certain other countries during the 1960’s. This was sponsored by the Hamlyn Group and audio material was sourced by EMI, sometimes - as here - from Columbia or other companies.

This really is a superb march album. This MfP Lp was cut for a fairly high playback level and the bass drum on some tracks has perhaps been allowed to become a shade over-reverberant as compared to the CD releases of the exact same recordings. Nevertheless, download, turn up the volume and ENJOY!

Side 1

1.1
Bizet: March of the Toreadors (from ‘Carmen’), actually played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Ormandy
1.2
Tchaikovsky: Marche Solonnelle (often known as the Coronation March for Alexander III or by similar titles), actually played by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Kostelanetz
1.3
Beethoven: Turkish March (from ‘Ruins of Athens’), actually played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Ormandy
1.4
Ippolitov-Ivanov: Procession of the Sardar (from ‘Caucasian Sketches’), actual performers not identified for sure, but very possibly the New York Philharmonic, cond. Bernstein
1.5
Knipper: Meadowlands, actually played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Ormandy
1.6
Rimsky-Korakov: Introduction and Wedding Procession (from ‘Le Coq d’Or’), actually played by the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, cond. Lane
1.7
Sousa: The Thunderer, actually played by Andre Kostelanetz and His ‘Orchestra’ (actually a Band here)

Side 2

2.1
(Trk 8) Prokofiev: March from ‘The Love for Three Oranges’, actually played by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, cond. Schippers
2.2
(Trk 9) Berlioz: Rakoczy March (from ‘The Damnation of Faust’), actually played by the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, cond. Lane
2.3
(Trk 10) Tchaikovsky: Marche Miniature (from ‘The Nutcracker Ballet’), actually played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Ormandy
2.4
(Trk 11) Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave (Excerpt), actually played by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Bernstein
2.5
(Trk 12) Strauss: Radetzky March, actually played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, cond. Ormandy
2.6
(Trk 13) Sousa: El Capitan March, actually played by Andre Kostelanetz and His‘Orchestra’ (Band)

Download links (Flac is high quality, but takes up significant computer space (about the equivalent of an audio CD for the whole album). Use flac for reference listening or for further editing/mixing etc.; Mp3 is more suitable for mobile listening, still of fairly high quality, but takes up much less space. Both downloads come with the same notes and high resolution artwork. Click on above image for preview):