Reflections of Freedom - Whitburn Band

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by PeterBale, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Having been impressed by Whitburn's previous cd "Victory" and encouraged by Iwan's review on 4barsrest ( ) my copy of "Reflections of Freedom" arrived a couple of weeks ago. Since then, it has not moved far away from my cd player.

    The repertoire is fresh and varied, with Andrew Duncan (the band's Principal Conductor) responsible for all the items, either as composer or arranger. This could be considered self-indulgent, but with music of this quality this is no mere marketing exercise! The opening track, the scherzo from Shostakovich 10, sounds as if it was always intended to be played on brass, and the succeeding items are equally successful - even "Cartoon classics", which Iwan disliked, I found worked better than other recordings I've heard.

    Highlights for me are the "Hebridean Suite", the challenging "Concerto for Trombone" (Martin Wilson) and the title track, "Reflections of Freedom". This last, based round the harvest hymn "Bringing in the sheaves", was not as immediately striking, but with repeated listening I've found it growing on me.

    Arrangements include "Alone with my thoughts", featuring vocal soloist, choir and pipes - well you've got to have bagpipes somewhere with a Scottish band :shock: - the soprano solo "Once upon a time in the west" (fine playing by Gordon Jenkins) and the final track, "Scarlet Ribbons", which closes the cd in a suitably reflective mood.

    For anyone looking for a disc with something for everybody, well played and attractively presented, I'd definitely recommend it!