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Reviews & Articles
Sunday, 1 February 2004

David Childs - Hear My PrayerDavid Childs hails from an illustrious musical family but his personal renown justifiably stems from his unquestionable artistic talent and his immense instrumental ability. There can be few people in need of education in this respect but just ibn case, go and acquire a copy of his latest album on the Doyen label entitled Hear My Prayer. Beautifully accompanied by the Hendon Band of The Salvation Army under the direction of Stephen Cobb, David displays great lyricism and phrasing in a selection of sacred melodies. There is no exuberance or bravura – in the context of the chosen music it's not needed and it is more than reassuring to hear such fine musicianship in an age where so much modern writing for brass seems not to call on such a fine touch.

The programme choice is rich and well conceived. Everyone who listens will have their own favourite piece as the seventeen tracks span a breadth of mood without losing the essence of the meaning of the CD. There are some sublime highlights including David and his father playing Bizet's Pearl Fishers Duet and tracks that include Philip Wilby on organ and Georgina Wells on harp which are delightfully welcome contrasts in tonality.

The gentle and sympathetic accompaniment from Hendon SA Band is stunning at times, as is the atmosphere impact of organ and harp accompaniment in David's own arrangement of Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer, from which the album takes its title.

I have to confess my favourite as being Swedish Hymn in a super arrangement by Peter Graham. Famously known as the popular hymn 'How Great Thou Art' the music is expansively arranged to the extent that one is tempted to sing along with it (I didn't) and with due deference to David's own sleeve notes, Dad's top F is the tops!

Overall this is a CD well worth buying. In their own calm and quiet manner most of the tracks offer both moments of tranquillity and passion and, better still, at times there is a rare sense of beauty and divine worship via the synergy of soloist and accompaniment. There is a special ending to the album which David describes as a tribute to a voice "which was almost certainly heaven sent: that of Mario Lanza." I'll say no more and leave it to you to make up your own minds; you won't be disappointed.

The Brass Herald – February, 2004

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