War Memorials: Music for Brass Band | NMC Recordings NMCD226

War Memorials: Music for Brass Band


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Label: NMC Recordings

Cat No: NMCD226

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 21st October 2016



The period between the two world wars was one of the richest in music composed for brass bands. Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Arthur Bliss, John Ireland and others added their voices to a growing repertoire, but little of that paid tribute to the loss of so many young lives, countless brass musicians among them. The musical war memorials receiving their first recorded performances here are of more recent vintage. They are framed by the music of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), whose pacifist sympathies are enshrined in some of his finest music, the War Requiem being the most well known.


Performed by two excellent bands, this disc of mostly recent brass music takes its title from Robin Holloway’s War Memorials, Op 50 – substantial, solemn works commemorating the first world war from the soldiers’ point of view. ... Lucy Pankhurst, herself a tenor horn player, has written extensively for brass band. Her Voices vividly evokes men in the trenches at Christmas. Works by John McCabe, Simon Dobson and Gavin Higgins are interspersed with Britten’s St Edmundsbury Fanfares and Occasional Overture. The brass tradition is alive and thriving.  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 6 November 2016

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