Cristo Redentor – Hendon SA Band, Bandmaster David Rudd Cristo Redentor is the first recording by Hendon Band under David Rudd, who took over as Bandmaster from Stephen Cobb in 2008. Due to the treatment that David Daws was undergoing at the time, Philip Cobb occupies the Principal Cornet seat, although David helps out on 2nd cornet! The programme is a mixture of old and new items, with a welcome revival for Robert Redhead’s suite “Shout Salvation”, that I recall playing from manuscript at the one and only SA music school I attended. Other older pieces include Michael Kenyon’s reflective setting of “The Lamb”, which may remind some of their time in the Singing Company many years ago, Ray Steadman-Allen’s “Consecration Hymn” and William Gordon’s sparkling march “Salvation’s Song” – not one you could ever actually march to! In recent years, Hendon have frequently included big band style items in their programmes, appearing in brightly coloured polo shirts rather than traditional tunics. They are thus quite familiar with the style of playing required for Paul Sharman’s “On Duty!” (written following a request for a bright number to open the second half of ISB programmes) and Erik Silfverberg’s samba style setting of “Praising”. For a large band they show themselves to be pretty responsive and flexible. The band’s soloists are well represented, with several well-known items being featured: “Hold thou my hand” (Paul Hopkins, trombone), “Prayer of Childhood” (Nick Tiplady, flugel), and “Travelling Along” (Tony Scannell, euphonium). Roger Cobb seems to have been a (welcome!) fixture on Hendon programmes and recordings for a long time, and he presents “Always there”, accompanied by Stephen Hopkins at the piano. Of particular interest to many will be Philip Cobb’s trumpet solo “Flourish”. Written for him by Paul Sharman, it proves an ideal showcase for his bright sound and apparently effortless playing. The major work included, from which the disc takes its title, is Steven Ponsford’s “Cristo Redentor”. Inspired by the massive statue of Christ that dominates the city of Rio de Janeiro, Stephen has produced an eclectic work, incorporating aspects of Latin American music, a reference to Barry Manilow’s hit “Copa Cabana”, as well as worship songs such as “Lord, I lift your name on high”, “There is a redeemer” and the Salvation Army melody “Ochills” (a setting of Psalm 121). To my mind it is not quite as successful as some of Stephen’s other band works, its very diversity making it appear somewhat lacking in formal structure, certainly in comparison to “Turris Fortissima”, for example, but the band gives its all, and makes a fairly convincing case for it. I feel most people will find much to enjoy here, either listening from start to finish or selecting individual items. David seems to be imposing his own style on the band, the players respond well, and tempos are carefully chosen so that nothing sounds too rushed or hurried.