Monday 4 March 2013

Concert: Best of British - Feedback

It's great to get feedback from our audience and even better when it is all so positive. Here are some comments that have been emailed to us or posted on our Facebook page.

"Went to the concert tonight and it was fantastic. Congratulations to everyone in the band for making it such a memorable evening." -  Gary & Pat Millward

"I have just had the most fantastic evening at your Best of British concert. Many many thanks - and thank you for the chocolates :-)"

"What a magnificent performance from NCB., you guys rock :)).. The clarinet touched all my heart strings tonight. Thank You :)"

"Thank you for a wonderful, enjoyable, uplifting evening x"

"We had a great evening! Loved the programme. Some of that stuff was very challenging and you made it seem easy. Well done and thank you."

"Thanks so much - we enjoyed the concert last evening so much and thought the band were superb. It was our first experience of one of your concerts and we very much hope won't be the last! Thank you again" -  Margaret Kearley
Read More »

Saturday 2 March 2013

Best of British - Programme - 2nd March 2013

Best of British Concert Programme
Saturday 2nd March 2013
Conducted by Stephen Bell

Concert Prelude (1974)
Philip Sparke
In 1974, whilst a student at the Royal College of Music in London, Philip Sparke responded to an advert from music publishers R. Smith & Co. for new works from student composers. After a meeting at the company with Geoffrey Brand, he went home and composed Concert Prelude that evening. It was his first piece for brass band and was immediately accepted for publication.
This version for concert band was arranged by the composer in 1979

Salut d’Amour
Edward Elgar
Before their marriage, Alice Roberts presented Edward with a poem she had written: ‘Love’s Grace’. In return Edward wrote a short piece of music for her which he called Liebesgruss (‘Love’s Greeting’).
In 1988, he submitted the work to a publisher who agreed to buy the work outright for two guineas. Initially sales were low until the publisher gave the work a French title and changed the composers name to Ed Elgar believing it would help give the work an international appeal. It did, but sadly with no financial benefit to Elgar.

Second Suite in F
Gustav Holst
Holst’s second and last suite for concert band was written in 1911 and published in 1922. It is longer than the first suite and considered more difficult to perform.
During his earlier years as a composer, he took interest in writing music based on folk music. This suite contains a total of seven folk songs that are compressed into the four movements. Listed below are the movements and the folk songs that inspired them.

i. March - Glorishears, Swansea Town, Claudy Banks
ii. Song Without Words - I’ll Love My Love
iii. Song of the Blacksmith - A Blacksmith Courted Me
iv. Fantasia on the Dargason - Dargason, Greensleeves

Chanson du Matin (1899)
Edward Elgar
arr. Michael Brand
Originally composed for violin and piano, Chanson du Matin (Morning Song) was a companion piece to Chanson de Nuit (Eventide), which is considered to be better for its more carefully constructed composition. However, Chanson du Matin was more successful for its popularity with audiences. To help increase sales, Elgar’s publisher suggested giving them French titles as was the fashion of the day.

English Dances Set 1
Malcolm Arnold
arr. Maurice Johnstone
Arnold wrote the English Dances in response to a suggestion made by Arnold’s publisher. The first set was completed in 1950 and following their success a second set was completed the following year. Arnold’s memorable tunes are in the style of folk songs but, unlike Holst, without quoting any actual folk melodies.
Shades and passages of the Mesto are recognisable in the main title of Maurice Jarre’s Oscar winning music for the film Doctor Zhivago.

i. Andantino
ii. Vivace
iii. Mesto
iv. Allegro risoluto

James Bond (Selection)
John Barry
arr. Johan de May
Born in York in 1933, John Barry Prendergast wrote the scores to the award winning films Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa in a career spanning over 50 years. He is probably most famous though for his work on the James Bond franchise.
John Barry was brought in to arrange the “James Bond Theme” composed by Monty Norman for Dr No (1962) and went on to compose the soundtracks for eleven more James Bond films. As well as the film scores he also wrote the title songs for Goldfinger (“Goldfinger” 1964) and Octopussy (“All Time High” 1983). This selection includes all these and “For Your Eyes Only” (1981) by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson.

Candle in the Wind
Elton John and Bernie Taupin
arr. Jay Bocook
Originally written in 1973 in honour of Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years earlier.
A rewritten version of the song was released in 1997 as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.
The single release of the original song reached No. 11 in the U.K. charts in 1974.

Cats (Selection from)
Andrew Lloyd-Webber
arr. John Edmondson
Based on T.S.Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), Cats premiered in the West End at the New London Theatre on 11 May 1981. The songs of the musical comprise Eliot's verse set to music. The principal exception being the most famous song from the musical, "Memory", for which the lyrics were written by Trevor Nunn after an Eliot poem entitled "Rhapsody on a Windy Night".
This selection features:-
Overture | Skimbleshanks : The Railway Cat |Old Gumbie Cat | Macavity : The Mystery Cat | Memory


Tall Ships
Ron Goodwin
Ron Goodwin is probably best known for his film music. He scored over 70 films in a career lasting over 50 years. His war films are particularly well remembered, including ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘Battle of Britain’ and ‘633 Squadron’.
The 1996 Royal Tournament, held annually in London, opened to the music of "Tall Ships", played by the Massed Bands of H.M. Royal Marines. All the historic dignity and grandeur of masted tall ships in the musical form of a fugue.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Freddie Mercury
arr. Alan Catherall
Written for Queen’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera the song has no chorus, instead consisting of several sections: a ballad segment ending with a guitar solo, an operatic passage, and a hard rock section. At the time, it was the most expensive single ever made and remains one of the most elaborate recordings in popular music history.
When it was released as a single, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ became a commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976.

Kaleidoscope - Five Variations on the Brugg Song (2003)
Philip Sparke
Kaleidoscope was commissioned by the Aargau and Waadtland Music Associations (Switzerland) with financial support from the town of Brugg and the City Pharmacy, Brugg (Dr. M & B Kuhn).
It is a set of five variations on the ‘Brugger Lied’ (Brugg Song) which is the traditional song of the town of Brugg. The lyrics tell of the geography, people and traditions of this charming and historic town, which is situated in the north of Switzerland, near to the German border, about halfway between Basel and Zurich.
Philip Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he gained an ARCM.

i. Introduction
ii. Theme (The Brugg Song)
iii. Variation 1
iv. Variation 2
v. Variation 3
vi. Variation 4
vii. Variation 5

Phantom of the Opera (Selections from)
Andrew Lloyd-Webber
arr. Warren Barker
The Phantom of the Opera opened on the London West End in 1986, and on New York’s Broadway in 1988. It became the longest-running musical in Broadway history after overtaking Cats in 2006. It is also the second longest running West End musical.
This arrangement includes:- Think of Me | Angel of Music | The Phantom of the Opera |All I Ask of You | The Point of no Return | The Music of the Night

Karl Jenkins
arr. Robert Longfield
Born and raised in the Gower village of Penclawwdd, Jenkins has created a good deal of advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field.
Palladio, perhaps his most-heard piece of music, is the classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their television advertising campaign. Other notable works have included the "Papa? Nicole?" advertisements for the Renault Clio – Thanks Karl.

John Lennon
arr. Larry Norred
Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960.
Lennon composed "Imagine" one morning in early 1971, on a Steinway piano, in a bedroom at his Tittenhurst Park estate in Ascot, Berkshire. Ono watched as he composed the melody, chord structure and almost all the lyrics, nearly completing the song in one brief writing session.

Lionel Bart
arr. Norman Leyden
As well as writing British pop songs, including ‘Living Doll’ for Cliff Richard, Lionel Bart’s third musical ‘Oliver’ was an instant success. Becoming the first British musical to be transferred to Broadway successfully.
This selection includes:- Consider Yourself | Where is Love | Um-Pah-Pah | As Long As He Needs Me | I’d Do Anything | Who Will Buy
Read More »