CD Maestro - Bramwell Tovey (Foden's Band, Joe Alessi, Mark Fewer)

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Active Member

    Bramwell Tovey is a musician of striking versatility, acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and his warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey's career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective.

    His enduring partnership with Foden's Band has proved fruitful in every way. Concerts, appearances at major music festivals, competitions and recordings (including the 2008 release on the NMC label, New Music for Brass Band) have all received critical and award-winning acclaim and reinforce this idyllic and exciting marriage between a wonderful brass band and the maestro, Bramwell Tovey.

    This new recording, called Maestro is on the Egon label features Mr. 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 Joseph 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.

    The recording has already been reviewed by Kenneth Crookston, editor of British Bandsman. Read what he had to say here.

    The official launch of this recording is Friday 1st May but the CD is now in stock and available to order for pre-launch delivery. The recording will, hopefully, be available as a download from World of Brass Tunes on 1st May.
  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Well, this is a fine CD. I have one or two minor gripes - the text in the booklet is rather small and white italics against a pale brown background is rather difficult to decipher, but that might just be my eyesight. And the spoken lines in Nine Daies Wonder sound as though they are being delivered from the bathroom next door to the recording room. But all in all, a very fine album indeed.

    With my pedant's hat on - although the version of Pictures in the Smoke is described as the 'original' version (presumably as opposed to the orchestral brass and orchestral versions), I notice that the ending is different to the one we heard at the premiere at the RNCM last year. On that occasion it ended with a big razzamatazz chord with wild ad lib drum kit. Here the ending is rather abrupt. I think I preferred the 'original' original version!

    Is it just me or are we enjoying a real golden era of quality CD recordings at the moment?
  3. Active Member

    Thanks for your comments, Jim, much appreciated.

    No, it's not your eyes! I found some of the text in the booklet virtually impossible to read. I'm told it looked OK when printed as a pdf before it was submitted for production so maybe we can do something about that if (or when) the CD comes up for a re-pressing.

    I don't know about the ending of Pictures in the Smoke as I've not heard it anywhere other than on this CD although I do know that the programme notes were written by Bram Tovey himself.

    Thanks again for your endorsement, Jim. We're privileged that this recording is on one of our labels.
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Perhaps I should explain that I'm not performing some incredible feat of memory on this matter - I have a recording of the RNCM performance taken from the Radio 3 broadcast which went out a month or two afterwards, so was able to compare and contrast!
  5. Active Member

    We were pleased to read in British Bandsman and Brass Band World that Maestro has been named CD of the Year 2009.

    Congratulations to Bramwell Tovey, Mark Fewer, Joe Alessi and Foden's Band.
  6. Active Member

    More congratulations are due following the news that Maestro has now been named CD of the Year by 4 Bars Rest, polling a massive 46% of the votes cast.

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