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Cat. No. CHAN 10767 Price: 10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10767 - Hess: Works for Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Volume 2
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Available From: 18 April 2013
Hess: Works for Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Volume 2

Nigel Hess is a British composer, best known for his television, theatre, and film soundtracks, which include the theme tunes to Wycliffe, Dangerfield, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, and Ladies in Lavender starring Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The composer found additional fame recently when he wrote a Concerto for Orchestra and Piano for Lang Lang, recorded in 2008 on the UCJ label.

Works by Hess are performed here by the Central Band of the RAF, one of the premier military bands in the UK today, and conducted by Hess himself. The Band is always in great demand, undertaking more than 370 engagements a year, representing the Royal Air Force at every major military event, and performing at all of the principal concert venues in Britain. The Band is also internationally renowned, having the distinction of being the first band outside the USA to receive the John Philip Sousa Citation for Musical Excellence. Past tour schedules have included concerts in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, USA, Australia, and Russia.

New London Pictures takes its theme from today’s modern London. ‘Millennium Bridge’ depicts the pedestrian’s journey across the landmark bridge over the Thames, starting at the Tate Modern Museum, and then onwards towards the imposing St Paul’s Cathedral. ‘The London Eye’ describes the stunning bird’s-eye view of London from the iconic Ferris wheel situated on the South Bank of the River Thames. ‘The Congestion Charge’ alludes to the fee that was imposed on London motorists in 2003, depicting Londoners attempting to go about their daily business in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Old Man of Lochnagar is a children’s book written by HRH The Prince of Wales. The story revolves around an old man who lives in the cliff caves near the royal estate of Balmoral in Scotland, where the Royal Family spends much of its summer holidays. In 2007, the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain received permission to create a new ballet based on this story, for which Hess wrote the score. The concert overture Monck’s March tells the story of General Monck’s strenuous historic journey, involving seven thousand troops, from Coldstream in Scotland to London during the winter of 1660.

Shakespeare Pictures originates in incidental music composed for productions of Much Ado about Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, and Julius Caesar by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. The source music was later expanded and re-orchestrated to form the new three-movement suite for symphonic wind orchestra recorded here.

 

Reviews

 “There is no doubting the impressive recording here, nor the enthusiastic and expert playing of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force … All the pieces bar one (Monck’s March) are either premiere recordings or premiere recordings in the particular arrangement heard here. It would not be surprising if this disc found its way into demonstration showrooms. The sound is fabulous … Great fun all round, with all the music performed with real affection, plus a sonic spectacular. What more could you ask?”

Colin Clarke – Fanfare – November/December 2013

“Easy-on-the-ears music by Nigel Hess (b1953), with England’s terrific Central Band of the Royal Air Force conducted by the composers …”

Barry Kilpatrick – American Record Guide – September/October 2013

 

 "... The playing of this wholly joyous music is superb, from first note to last. Lovers of first-class light music should buy this disc without hesitation; arrangers could profitably listen to the expert handling of this particular medium. The disc as a whole is a treasurable calling-card from some of the UK’s finest wind players and upright citizens. Recommended without resevation."
 Michael Round - International Record Reciew - July/August 2013

                     CD of The Month
Performance ****     Programme *****      Recording *****    Presentation *****
"...The hallmark of Hess’s music on this disc is its melodic craftsmanship. Though instantly engaging and accessible, his treatment of melody is far from mundane. Listeners are constantly drawn into sinuously crafted lines supplemented by a rich, full approach to brass-wind orchestration and an arrresting use of percussion, which in combination with a variety of extra-musical subject matter makes for a truly cinematic experience..."
Tom Davoren - Brass Band World magazine - June 2013

 

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