I've been listening to this CD over and over in the past couple of days. A fantastic programme of music. The one piece which really struck me as sounding fresh was the Variations for Brass Band. I've always thought this piece as being rather stodgy, and then I heard this rendition. The answer came when I consulted the sleeve notes. It's conducted by Martyn Brabbins, someone who comes from outside the insular world of UK brass bands and as a result was able to bring new perspectives on the music. In this respect it reminded me of two other readings of 'stodgy' works made new by 'outside' conductors - Peter Parke's version of Epic Symphony on Grimethorpe's outstanding 'From Sonnets to Jazz' CD, and Colin Davis's reading of The Severn Suite on Dyke's 'Classic Dyke Volume One', both from several years ago.
Highly recommend this CD. And with almost 80 minutes of music, good value too!
Yes indeed! It's been a long wait hasn't it?! Although not as long as the wait for Berner Oberland's The Music of John Golland, Volume Two. Volume One was released in 2002 and we're still waiting for the follow-up!