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Music For Battle Creek

Brown / Turrin / Conti / Brass Band Battle Greek
Release Date: 04/13/2010 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1348   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichClifford BrownJoseph TurrinBill Conti,   ... 
Conductor:  Mark GouldConstantine KitsopoulosRichard EvansSarah Ioannides
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC FOR BATTLE CREEK Mark Gould 1-4 , Constantine Kitsopoulos 5, 6, 9 , Richard Evans 7 , Sarah Ioannides 8 , cond; Brass Band of Battle Creek MSR MS1348 (62:44) Live


1 SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10: Allegro. Read more class="SUPER12">2 BROWN Joy Spring. 3 TURRIN Hymn for Diana. 4 CONTI Gonna Fly Now. 5 OFFENBACH The Tales of Hoffman: Barcarolle. 6 CHABRIER Espa?a. 7 HANDY St. Louis Blues. 8 SPARKE Music for Battle Creek. 9 WAGNER Lohengrin: Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral


The brass band tradition in Great Britain is one that goes back more than two centuries. Created as a form of communal music-making, these bands—which are composed of only brass and percussion instruments, no woodwinds—have become an integral part of British culture and have developed into a very intense form of musical competition. Most brass bands in Great Britain are associated with a particular industry, business, or township and over the years an elaborate contest system has been developed to raise the standard of performance and to promote fellowship and pride within and between bands. These contests, which ultimately crown a national champion, have spawned bands that play with mind-blowing virtuosity and musical expressiveness. Many of Britain’s finest professional brass players have honed their craft in brass bands. Further, through a series of commissioned test pieces that all competing bands must perform, the brass band repertoire can boast works by Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Gustav Holst, and Malcolm Arnold, among others. If you have seen the movie Brassed Off , then you have a pretty good idea of this phenomenon and of its significance to the musical culture of the monarchy.


In the United States, brass bands are not a commonplace, mostly because of the school band movement, which focuses on full wind ensembles; however, its most distinguished and accomplished American exponent is surely the Brass Band of Battle Creek. Composed of some of the most talented and proficient brass musicians from the United States and Great Britain, the Brass Band of Battle Creek is an ensemble of unbridled virtuosity and considerable musical sophistication and versatility. In the time-honored tradition of bands from the British Isles, its program on this disc is a mix of transcriptions from classical literature, original works specifically composed for brass band, and arrangements of pop and jazz standards.


The program gets off to an exhilarating start with a dazzling transcription of the Scherzo from Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony, performed here with jaw-dropping virtuosity. Also included is Joseph Turrin’s poignant and moving Hymn for Diana , a tender, heart-wrenching elegy for the departed Princess of Wales. Though only six minutes in length, for me the work is the highlight of the disc.


Philip Sparke has made something of a reputation composing for brass band. He writes in a flashy commercial and highly accessible style that has immediate audience appeal, though the artistic merit of his work might be questioned. His Music for Battle Creek , written especially for the Brass Band of Battle Creek, is a three-movement showpiece that is obviously designed to show off the band’s considerable technical prowess, as well as its musical sensitivity. In this respect, it does not disappoint. The disc is filled out with arrangements of familiar Offenbach and Chabrier, popular jazz tunes by Clifford Brown, Bill Conti, and W. C. Handy, and closes with a transcription of Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral , which for me was a bit of a letdown.


This live performance is captured in “up close and personal” sound that reveals a great deal of detail and depth of ensemble sonority, but also a few momentary though minor lapses in intonation and ensemble precision. Nonetheless, fans of brass music will find a great deal to relish in this release, as will the general music lover. Recommended!


FANFARE: Merlin Patterson
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 10 in E minor, Op. 93: 2nd movement, Allegro by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Modern 
Written: 1953 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2.
Joy Spring by Clifford Brown
Conductor:  Mark Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Hymn for Diana by Joseph Turrin
Conductor:  Mark Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
4.
Gonna Fly Now, for brass band by Bill Conti
Conductor:  Mark Gould
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1976 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
5.
Les contes d'Hoffmann: Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach
Conductor:  Constantine Kitsopoulos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
6.
España by Emmanuel Chabrier
Conductor:  Constantine Kitsopoulos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
St. Louis Blues by W.C. Handy
Conductor:  Richard Evans
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; USA 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Music for Battle Creek, for brass band by Philip Sparke
Conductor:  Sarah Ioannides
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Written: 2007 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 15 Minutes 41 Secs. 
9.
Lohengrin: Elsa's procession to the cathedral by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Constantine Kitsopoulos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Battle Creek Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Venue:  Live  on tour & at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium 
Length: 6 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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