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Moto Perpetuo CD - David Childs

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Featuring the first recording of the Karl Jenkins Euphonium Concerto with brass band accompaniment provided by the Cory Band under the direction of Robert Childs. This release won Brass Band World, British Bandsman, CD of the year and earned a special award from the International Tuba & Euphonium Association for excellence in recording. Showing a wide range of styles through a diverse track list David demonstrates why he's regarded as one of the finest euphonium soloists on the planet. 

Track List:

1. Moto Perpetuo, Niccolo Paganini arr. Howard Snell, 2.03
2. Lament from 'Stabat Mater, Karl Jenkins arr. Robert Childs and Andrew Wainwright, 3.50
3-6.Euphonium Concerto, Karl Jenkins
I. The Juggler, 5.47
II. Romanza, 5.38
III. 'It Takes Two...', 5.53
IV. A Troika? Tidy!, 5.31
7. Oration, Howard Snell, 4.36
8. Sparta, Peter Meechan, 6.41
9. Benedictus from 'The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace', 5.17
10. Finale Giocoso, Vladimir Cosma arr. John Meredith, 5.54
11. Hymn from 'Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary, Karl Jenkins arr. Tony Small, 3.06
12. Auld Lang Syne, Simone Mantia arr. Keith Wilkinson, 6.40
13. Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, Stephen Foster arr. Elgar Howarth, 2.52
14. The Hot Canary, Paul Nero arr. Simon Wood, 2.49



In his informative and comprehensive programme notes, USA-based academic and brass band conductor Stephen Allen describes David Childs as ‘one hot euphoniumist spreading the word about this most remarkable instrument and its repertoire around the world’. I wouldn’t argue with that. David’s commanding technique and range of expression is right up there with the top international pianists and violinists. What the euphonium lacks, of course, is the depth of repertoire of those instruments, but David is using all his artistry and imagination to expand it.

The major work in his latest solo album is the Euphonium Concerto by Karl Jenkins that has already notched up over 21 performances internationally. Composer and compatriot Karl Jenkins, like David, is a natural communicator. They both connect with audiences. This evangelical spirit is conveyed through playing of great refinement, peerless technical control and character. The tango third movement is my favourite, with its seductive jazzy surface and menacing undercurrent.

Jenkins writes wonderful tunes – a mixture of nostalgic Welsh hymnology and romantic lyricism. Three examples are threaded through the album. Lament (from Stabat Mater), Hymn (from Adiemus: Songs of the Sanctuary) and Benedictus (from The Armed Man), which tugs at the heartstrings in David’s mellifluous performance.

The title track is Paganini’s devilishly hard Moto Perpetuo, originally arranged by Howard Snell for father and uncle, Robert and Nicholas, to play in duet, is brilliantly executed solo, through the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of digital editing and, one assumes, some skilful circular breathing, without an audible breath. David also includes the helter-skelter finale of Vladimir Cosma’s Concerto and part of a tougher, but brilliantly conceived concerto from Peter Meechan, under the title Sparta. Howard Snell’s Oration leaves a haunting impression. Simone Mantia’s treatment of Auld Lang Syne is a reminder that Arthur Pryor and Herbert C. Clarke were not the only creative stars in Sousa’s famous band. Elgar Howarth adds a touch of melancholy as well as nostalgia in his version of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (without cornets). David ends with a real ‘hoot’ or should that be ‘tweet’ in the flight of fancy that is Paul Nero’s The Hot Canary.

With sensitive, well-judged accompaniments by Cory Band and conductor Robert Childs, and a beautifully recorded and edited sound by Richard Scott to add to the artistry of David Childs, this 4 September release must be a hot tip for Solo CD of the Year.

Paul Hindmarsh 
British Bandsman, Saturday 28th August 2010