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British Wind Band Classics

Timothy; Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra; Reynish , Holst; Vaughan Williams; Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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1. First Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 1, In E Flat Major: I Chaconne: Allegro moderato
2. First Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 1, In E Flat Major: II Intermezzo: Vivace
3. First Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 1, In E Flat Major: III March: Tempo di marcia
4. Second Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 2, In F Major: I March (Morris Dance): Allegro
5. Second Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 2, In F Major: II Song Without Words 'I'll Love My Love' - Andante
6. Second Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 2, In F Major: III Song Of The Blacksmith: Moderato e maestoso
7. Second Suite For Military Band, Op. 28 No. 2, In F Major: IV Fantasia On The 'Dargason' - Allegro moderato
8. Fugue à la gigue: Un poco vivace
9. From 'Two Songs Without Words,' Op. 22:: Marching Song: Allegro moderato alla marcia
10. Hammersmith, Op. 52: Prelude: Poco adagio - Scherzo: Poco vivace
11. Toccata marziale: Allegro maestoso
12. Flourish For Wind Band: Maestoso
13. English Folk Song Suite: I March 'Seventeen Come Sunday' - Allegro
14. English Folk Song Suite: II Sea Songs: Allegro
15. English Folk Song Suite: III Intermezzo 'My Bonny Boy' - Andantino
16. English Folk Song Suite: IV March 'Folk Songs From Somerset' - Allegro

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I have played these peices and they're great! March 20 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I played the Holst in E flat and in F. They were some of the best music I have every played. Holst was great at passing the music around to all instronments. It is a true gem!
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5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding recording of the standards May 4 2000
Format:Audio CD
the interpretation the holst's suites are wonderful and the group sounds great. the vaughn williams folk song suites are good too. any recording by this group is quality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best! April 10 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a great collection of standard British Wind Ensemble classics performed by a premier group . Every lover of band music should have this in their collection!
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Format:Audio CD
If you enjoy good British Band music, you simply should own this CD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Wind Band Music Jan. 3 2006
By Brett A. Kniess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This aptly titled CD, British Wind Band Classics, presents well-known compositions by Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In many cases, the conductor has tried to reconstruct the composers' original score and intent with instrument choices and the number of instrumentalists (Holst generally preferred many less performers than is typically recorded today).

Holst's First Suite for Military Band, as opposed to the second, is filled with inventive and original melodies; the Second Military Suite sets many pre-existing folk tunes. In three movements, the opening Chaconne, a sort of theme and variations, has a noble theme of fifths and seconds put into various settings. The second, Intermezzo, is a minor-mode scherzo with a jumpy sounding minor theme. The final march, begins sad with brass alone, a dreamy theme is picked up by the wind section, and a glorious conclusion puts the two together, a common technique by Holst. A snappy little suite. The Second Suite for Military Band is unashamedly folk-based. The opening March with lyrical Euphonium solo middle section and a compound Scottish reel, make the opening a great concert opener. The gorgeously lyrical second movement, based on I Love My Love, is followed by the highly rhythmical Song of the Blacksmith, complete with anvil. The final movement is a fantasia on Dargason, a familiar Scottish song. Again Holst overlaps two melodies for a rousing conclusion. Many will buy this CD for the suites alone, so a few notes. Some will consider this recording of the Holst Suites merely academic or plain British stuffiness when compared to the classic Fennell recordings. While Reynish opts for slightly more spacious tempos and creates an ensemble of smaller, more intimate proportions, they work for this ensemble, and in many ways breathe new life into these works, which are usually played at too fast tempos. Many points of musicality are won on this recording, where it is lost on others.

Holst's arrangement of J.S. Bach's Fugue ala Gigue works rather well for wind band, with a lilting fugal feel. Holst's Two Songs Without Words is also included on this recording: The Marching Song and the important Hammersmith. The Marching Song is infested with a sad mournful tune in march garb, followed by a lyrical, almost academic melody, but eventually gives way to the gloomy opening march, but ends with triumph. In three sections, the opening of Hammersmith has a frightening bass line that unrelentingly press on. The only piece on the disk that has extensive use of dissonance, the fearful opening gives way to a scherzo, with mocking winds and a quartal melody that skips all over. The ending portion uses the opening bass line with snatches from the rest of the work. Brooding and dissonant, a great piece.

The Vaughan Williams portion of the CD includes the Toccata Marziale, here performed from the original manuscript, not the incorrect printed version. An exciting, if not perfunctory, march, Vaughan Williams' musical language for wind band is a bit more fantastical, evenly orchestrated, compared to Holst. The opening fanfare of the 2-minute Flourish for Wind Band is glorious, with a short little lyrical middle section, and ends as it begins. Vaughan Williams' famous English Folk Song Suite is more along the lines of Holst's Second Military Band Suite, with unabashed folk songs. Here presented as in the original performance, with the addition of the Sea Songs as the second movement. The first movement, Seventeen Come Sunday has a jumpy minor theme, while the second movement, Sea Songs, is more forwardly jolly, along with a charming dance-like middle section. A plaintive solo oboe opens the melancholy Intermezzo third movement, subtitled My Bonny Boy, but a sprite piccolo melody in  time picks up the movement, before descending into sullenness again. The Suite ends in pure friendliness and jubilation, concluding the work and the CD in fine form.

Highly musical interpretations of English wind band classics, makes this CD a good addition to any library. The classic Fennell is definitely hard to beat, but this is a different sound, more spacious tempos (the slower moderatos make the faster sections more exciting), and a pared-down ensemble, more musical qualities shine through in these works that I hadn't heard in other recordings. Compare with other recordings; it holds its own.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have played these peices and they're great! March 20 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I played the Holst in E flat and in F. They were some of the best music I have every played. Holst was great at passing the music around to all instronments. It is a true gem!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding recording of the standards May 4 2000
By kmr22@home.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
the interpretation the holst's suites are wonderful and the group sounds great. the vaughn williams folk song suites are good too. any recording by this group is quality.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! Jan. 6 2005
By D. Fargione - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have played all three movements of Holst's First Suite in E Flat for Military Band in concert and this cd really captures all the magic the song has when played live! On of my favorite band recordings thus far!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best! April 10 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a great collection of standard British Wind Ensemble classics performed by a premier group . Every lover of band music should have this in their collection!
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