Out of this World CD - David Childs & Cory BandCD Available in the online shop
Featuring David Childs in the premiere recording of Johan DeMeij's UFO Concerto this recording follows a recognised trail of substantial recordings by Cory Band and Musical Director Robert Childs including Triumphant Brass, Actaeon, The Promised Land, Gaia Symphony and the Brass Band Classics series.
This disc takes its inspiration from ethereal beauty and heavenly intervention. Paul Lovatt-Cooper's Breath of Souls parallels itself to Mother Nature's ability to triumph over adversity while Spiriti conjures up the notion of great composers of the past looking down from heaven as today's composers refine their craft. The title also alludes to the standard of music-making by this fine band, winning all there is to be won and remaining at the top of the world rankings for five years. The disc also features euphonium soloist David Childs in UFO Concerto (nothing to do with unusual apparent anomalies in the sky) and Helvetia, the Roman name given to Switzerland and written in memory of James Watson. All the tracks on the disc are world premiere studio recordings and, as the title suggests, the playing is simply...out of this world!
1. Spiriti, Thomas Doss, 17.03
UFO Concerto, Johan de Meij, David Childs (Euphonium) with Cory Band
2. I. Andante con moto, 5.19
3. II. Giocoso vivo, 5.36
4. III. Andante cantabile 3.46
5. IV. Vivace, 6.57
6. V. Alla marcia vivace, 3.12
7. Helvetia, Gareth Wood, 10.54
8. Breath of Souls, Paul Lovatt-Cooper, 16.07
If ever there was an appropriately titled CD then it is this release from Cory and Robert Childs. The playing is breathtaking, from the evocative opening of Spiriti by Thomas Doss to the dazzling virtuosity that ends Paul Lovatt- Cooper’s Breath of Souls. Both these works present enormous technical and musical problems. Spiriti for example is thickly-scored, especially in the opening Bach-derived section. The detail and attention to layering of dynamics and internal balance is so refined. The glistening climax of this section is crystal clear, while the haunting, eerie calm of the central section really draws you in with delicate trombone glissandi and low brass, quasi pizzicato. The extended soprano cornet solo is so controlled and subtly coloured. Even the jazz section, which one could argue weakens the impact of the rest of the work, sounds convincing here. And the ending... simply stunning.
If that wasn’t enough, we then have the pleasure of experiencing the consummate artistry of David Childs in the first recording of UFO Concerto by Johann de Meij. The tantalising air of anticipation created by the opening chord (if you know Extreme Makeover you’ll have heard it before) leads the ear on to be captivated by the soaring lyrical flights of the solo line and astonished by the virtuosity of the scherzo movements. The colours of percussion, piano and harp add jazz-Balinese ‘gamelan’-minimalist fusion to this inspired movement. Although the composer does not maintain this level - the work is probably five minutes too long - the soloist sustains our attention from first note to last in a wonderful display of the euphoniumist’s art. The Cory Band commissioned Helvetia from Gareth Wood for the European Championship Gala Concert in Montreux last year. It is a colourful series of musical postcards from Lucerne and its environs, including an awe-inspiring Alpine Dawn, the humour of a Swiss cuckoo clock at midday, a reverential pilgrimage to the home of Richard Wagner and the mad dash of a bobsleigh down the Cresta Run. What a fine 1st Section test piece this imaginative work would make. Out of this World ends with a faultless reading of Breath of Souls. Had this been heard at the Royal Albert Hall last year, it would have won by a country mile.
Superbly recorded and edited, this pristine display of brass band performance is about as good as it gets - a fitting climax to 12 wonderful years for the Cory Band under Robert Childs.
British Bandsman, Saturday 26th May 2012