Made in Britain

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by Brian Bowen, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    What an excellent BBC Radio 3 series this is! I've listened to this week's programmes partly because I wanted to hear the brass band numbers included. I'd not previously heard Thomas Wilson's Refrains and Cadenzas (the Grimethorpe recording) or John Pickard's test piece Eden, with BAYV's Albert Hall performance (I wonder why the BBC chose not to play Leyland's winning performance?). I certainly wasn't disappointed. The less substantial Echoes of Tim Souster was played by Besses o' the Barn with electronic effects -- a piece one is unlikely to encounter on a live programme.

    It was particularly interesting that these band pieces were included in programmes of music played by various combinations (orchestral, choral, etc.) without patronizing comments; in fact treating them just as normal, legitimate performances like any other on the programme. Full marks to the BBC and presenter Martin Handley (with the influence of Paul Hindmarsh?). This could make up for the slack presentation of the recent Black Dyke programme on Radio 2 that seems to have offended some folks.

    There was a lot of other attractive music on offer that was new to me, including a couple of beautiful choral works: James McMillan's The Gallant Weave" and Geraint Lewis's The Souls of the Righteous (in memoriam William Mathias).
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - Scottish Co-op played it at the Glasgow Brass Spectacular two or three years ago! John Wallace also played another work by Tim Souster for flugel and prepared tape as well (... lasted about 30 mins).
  3. jonford

    jonford Member

    I think they chose BAYV because the whole programme on that day was featuring welsh music, or that's what they are claiming on the website anyway!

    I agree though, I don't often listen to Radio 3 but have really enjoyed these shows. I've a few to catch up on but It has been interesting to hear works by brass band composers for other ensembles like Butterworth's Symphony no.1 and the Wilby choral work that was also played in that show.
  4. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I should have known better than to make such an assertion with the knowledgeable brassneck looking in.:)
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    :icon_smile: ... flattery gets you nowhere! Echoes has long been one of my favourite works and it's a shame I missed the Besses recording on the radio. The beauty of it is that each performance of the work is a totally unique event because of the electronics set-up. His work for quintet, Equalisation, is similar in it's set-up as well.
  6. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Its on their CD From Sonnets to Jazz - in my opinion one of the very best band CDs ever made - and last time I looked on the Chandos website, it was being offered for sale for about £5. Highly, highly recommended.

    I'm not aware of a commercial recording of this piece by Besses (there is one by Desford though, on Electric Brass) so I think this must have been a previously broadcast performance. It does get played live though - I've heard it done twice - once at the RNCM Festival two years ago, and by the Guildhall Junior Band at the RAM in London in 1999. The RCM band did it a while ago as well. You need to hear it live to get the best out of the live electronics - the sound comes at you from all directions.

    As I mentioned in a different thread, the announcer described Cloudcatcher as 'one of John McCabe's finest works' - but we all knew that already!
  7. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Might this have been the wonderfully named The Transistor Radio of St. Narcissus?!
  8. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    I tuned in on the 4th of jan to listen to Eden. And i have to say yet again i was dissapointed by the quality of the recording.

    Now before people jump on my back about it I dont mean the Playing that was of course 1st rate and worthy of its high placing at the contest.

    But the broadcast was dull and seemed to be at one volume. This seems to becoming more and more apparent with Brass band broadcasts by the BBC do they tweak it in someway that chops of the top and bottom ends of the band and gives it a muddy feel.

    Its not the bands especially BAYV who have a massive dynamic range and a colourful sound. But it has happened with LTTB broadcasts done by my band also.

    I dont think it is the master copy that is poor either as i have recording of performances from contests that a clear and have a wide dynamic range.
  9. aqua76

    aqua76 Member

    Too right Gareth!!

    Ive just listened to it, as i forgot to do so on Wednesday! Doh!!

    But quality is very poor, and i for one am glad i was there at the hall, listening to Cory put in a top class performance! (i thought they had won it!!)

    The BBC doesnt seem to be getting it right with banding these days..........

  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - listening to last evening's programme! Nice, balanced choice of music, and the Oboe work by Maw is sweet! (... still to get on to 'Echoes' by Besses ... bring it on!).
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - having listened to Besses, it's how amazing how modern that band sounds even today! I heard the original broadcast and was blown away by this performance and it still stands the test of time. For me, this is the highlight of the 'Made In Britain' series with respect to the band recordings. Besses at that time had a more progressive approach to symphonic brass sound than Grimey in their '70s days with Garry Howarth.

    p.s., had to edit it because I was thinking in the same breath of Besses performance of Chromascope (Paul Patterson).
  12. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Is the singing before Echoes? (the tenor)
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - yup!

Share This Page