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Cat. No. CHAN 10367 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10367 - RNCM Wind Orchestra -Experiments on a March
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Available From: 01 May 2006
The march is one of the most famous of rhythmic musical forms, and especially associated with the military. Marches have been written by virtually every composer over the centuries and the repertoire chosen here includes arrangements of famous marches such as Purcell’s for the Funeral of Queen Mary and takes the listener through a journey which encompasses the enormous variety of expression and imagination composers have shown using this form.

Much of the repertoire here is unexpected; and it includes Wagner’s only original work for wind orchestra, Huldingungsmarsch, or ‘Homage March’, which he composed to celebrate the nineteenth birthday of his patron King Ludwig of Bavaria. The work is notable for several melodic and harmonic echoes from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Bruckner’s March in E flat major is conceived as a strictly functional quick march for the parade ground, having been composed for the military band of the local regiment. These are juxtaposed with Ives’ ‘Country Band’ March, a delightfully affectionate parody of a New England village band, combining quotations and imitations of many different kinds of music into a complex collage. Again, this is contrasted with the urban march from Kurt Weill, Berlin im Licht which was written to promote the German capital as ‘Europe’s new city of light’. The piece, characteristic of the composer in its snappy syncopations and dislocations, was written both as a march for military band and as a song for a late-night revue. Receiving its premiere recording here is Versuche uber einen Marsch by one of Luxembourg’s most prominent contemporary composers, Marcel Wengler: this begins in the German style with an ‘oompah’ accompaniment; then follows six self-contained ‘experiments’ on the march, not variations in the normal sense but explorations of particular aspects of the material.

This disc is sure to delight lovers of marching band music, and will be an ideal introduction for those keen to discover more about this delightful genre of music.

To sum up, this is an excellent collection of some of Shostakovich’s best film music.


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