Wellington Brass Band | Renaissance

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Renaissance

by Wellington Brass Band

Presenting some of New Zealand's finest brass musicians and a classic British brass band sound, this album features four outstanding soloists and includes two world premier recordings.
Genre: Classical: Band Music
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. The Wellingtonian
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3:15 $0.99
2. Brillante (feat. David Chaulk - Euphonium)
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5:11 $0.99
3. Dear Lord and Father
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3:25 $0.99
4. Renaissance
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9:07 $0.99
5. Harlequin (feat. Byron "Buzz" Newton - Euphonium)
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9:20 $0.99
6. Tramways March
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3:49 $0.99
7. Malaguena
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2:31 $0.99
8. In Perfect Peace
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3:32 $0.99
9. To Smash the Frozen Sea Within Us
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3:16 $0.99
10. Stardust (feat. Mark Davey - Trombone)
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4:27 $0.99
11. Satchmo (feat. Trevor Bremner - Cornet)
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4:32 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Celebrating the journey the Wellington Brass Band has taken over the past five years, and the many musicians that have been part of our band through that time. Many of these tracks are favourites of ours, and we have enjoyed performing them at contests and concerts. I trust you enjoy listening to this album as much as we have enjoyed making it.
- David Bremner, Musical Director

TRACK 1

Harold Scotney (1883-1983)
The Wellingtonian

For obvious reasons this is one of Wellington Brass Band's favourite marches. Harold Scotney was himself a Wellingtonian, a formidable musician and Salvationist. He conducted the Salvation Army Wellington Citadel Band (New Zealand) for many years, and this march became a favourite of theirs also.

TRACK 2

Peter Graham (born 1958)
Brillante

A bravura outing for solo euphonium and band comprising variations on Rule Brittania, it's not just a stylistic instruction, it's also the title of the work! Peter Graham was born in Scotland, studied in Edinburgh and London, and currently teaches at the University of Salford. He is a prolific composer for brass and his music is performed and recorded by bands around the world.

David Chaulk - Euphonium

Canadian-born David Chaulk moved to New Zealand in 1994 where he has since become one of the country's leading brass players. David has performed regularly with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Vector Wellington Orchestra, Vaughn Roberts Big Band, New Zealand Brass, Acadamae di Sanctae Mariae, National Australia Brass and Wellington Brass Band. David has performed and recorded with artists including Natalie Cole, Shapeshifter, Hayley Westenra, Dave Dobbyn, Che Fu, Nathan Haines, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jose Carreras, Bic Runga, Elizabeth Marvelly, Carl Doy and Neil Finn. From 2008 David was an Artist Teacher at the New Zealand School of Music and in 2009 was invited to join the National Band of New Zealand along with David Bremner, who together filled the only two positions offered to Wellington players.

TRACK 3

Sir Charles Parry (1848-1918)
Dear Lord and Father

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry is perhaps best known for his setting of Jerusalem, but his hymn tune Repton must be a close second. The hymn is usually sung to words taken from American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier's The Brewing of Soma which begins “Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our foolish ways!”

This evocative arrangement is by Peter Graham.

TRACK 4

Peter Graham (born 1958)
Renaissance

Originally composed for the Salvation Army, Renaissance launched Wellington Brass Band’s long-awaited return to the
A-Grade in convincing style after winning the B-Grade test and championship at the 2008 New Zealand Brass Band Championships in Christchurch.

The work is usually considered a sequel to Graham's Shine as the Light, and like most Salvation Army works makes use of an old tune in a new context, in this case Joy Webb's song Come into our world, which makes a plea for a new renaissance in the form of the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Euphonium - David Chaulk

TRACK 5

Philip Sparke (born 1951)
Harlequin

The Harlequin is an iconic image of a playful and acrobatic clown from the physical theatre tradition of Italy. The source of the name appears unknown although there is some suggestion it has its origins in Dante Alighieri's 14th Century epic poem Inferno. Representations of the Harlequin appear in all artistic forms, including the Harlequinade: a slapstick performance involving other character tropes - Pierrot, Columbine, Clown and Pantaloon.

Philip Sparke is one of the world's most prolific and well-known contemporary composers for brass, and his virtuoso Harlequin clearly illustrates the energy, agility, and humour of the character.

Byron Newton - Euphonium

Picking up the euphonium in 1999, Byron won the New Zealand Junior Euphonium title in 2003 and has toured the United States, England and Wales, including a performance to former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in Westminster Abbey. In 2008 Byron won the brass and percussion prize at the International Gisborne Music Competition (NZ) and became the first euphonium to do so. After auditions in the UK during November 2009 Byron was offered scholarships to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Birmingham Conservatoire. In November last year Byron won the prestigious Best Baritone/Euphonium Musician Award at the British Open Solo Competition, and is currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama studying under David Childs and Doctor Robert Childs.

TRACK 6
* World Premier Recording!

Andrew Weir (born 1971)
Tramways March

1904 saw the first electric trams carry Wellington passengers from the new depot at Newtown to the Basin Reserve. This service would later be expanded to include streets still in use by today’s electric bus service: Lambton Quay, Courtenay Place, Cuba Street, Aro Street and Manners Mall; the five themes to this march each correspond to one of these streets. Each tune is easily conjured if, as the composer did, one walks at a lilting 120 beats per minute along them.

1904 signalled the end of the horse-drawn service and the formation one year later by Tramways staff of the Wellington Corporation Tramways Band - now the Wellington Brass Band.

TRACK 7

Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963)
Malaguena

Although popular as a song and a jazz instrumental, Malaguena is originally the sixth movement of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona's Suite Andalucia. Modelled on the traditional fiery genre of Venezuela the number has been recorded several times by the composer, and by many jazz greats… not to mention alternative versions by Bill Haley and the Comets, Connie Francis, and the Bambi Molesters.

TRACK 8

Kenneth Downie (born 1946)
In Perfect Peace

The early part of the book of 8th Century BC prophet Isaiah is one of the many quite bloodthirsty sections of The Bible, beginning as it does with the force brought against Judah by Assyria (which mirrors Judah's own sinful behaviour) and, after a brutal invasion, the hopeless exile of the people of Judah into Babylon. However, it is from this part of Isaiah that the well-known line originates: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.” The words urge us to focus our minds on spiritual aspects so that we may have peace in times of turmoil.

Salvationist composer Kenneth Downie takes the message to heart in this work: a calm reflective arrangement of the melody associated with these words.

TRACK 9
* World Premier Recording!

Aaron Lloydd (born 1974)
To Smash The Frozen Sea Within Us

A short, simple work the composer created specially for this album, the title refers to Franz Kafka's observation that the best art should not comfort, but instead should be “an axe to smash the frozen sea within us”.

The work is dedicated to the memory of writers and performers Sally Rodwell and Alan Brunton for whom that statement was obviously true.

TRACK 10

“Hoagy” Carmichael (1899-1981)
Stardust

One of the great American songwriters, Hoagland “Hoagy” Carmichael wrote some of the most recorded American songs of all time. Stardust has also been famously recorded by the likes of Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra… even Willie Nelson. This arrangement for trombone with brass band is by Bill Geldard.

Mark Davey - Trombone

Mark Davey has a Bachelor of Music Degree and Post Graduate Diploma from the New Zealand School of Music, studying performance trombone under David Bremner. Mark has played in many different musical ensembles, such as Wellington Youth Orchestra (Principal Trombone), The Central Band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Victoria University Orchestra, the Massey University Big Band, Wellington Chamber Orchestra, Vector Wellington Orchestra, and the Wellington Brass Band. Mark has also been a member of the National Youth Brass Band of New Zealand, the National Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra, Big Band, and Brass Band, and has been selected for the National Youth Orchestra twice. Mark is currently completing a Masters Degree in the USA.

TRACK 11

Kenny Baker (1921-1999)
Satchmo

British arranger Goff Richards provides this arrangement of jazz virtuoso Kenny Baker's tribute to Louis Armstrong. Ironically, during the 1950s, when the British Musicians' Union was trying to justify its ban on American players working in Britain, the BBC News asked "While we have Kenny Baker who needs Louis?" Goff Richards skillfully utilises the colours of the brass band to accompany the soloist.

Trevor Bremner - Cornet

Trevor Bremner is a name synonymous with brass banding in New Zealand. Trevor started playing in bands at the age of five, and since then has achieved some remarkable feats and accomplishments in his career as a musician. Winner of 11 New Zealand Open Cornet Championships, he was also three times New Zealand Champion of Champions, two times Australian Cornet Champion, Australian Champion of Champions, three times Errol Mason Brass Musician of the Year, winner of the Ern Keller Memorial Award (Australia), achieved 2nd and 3rd placings in the British Open and most recently won the Masters event at the 2010 NZ National Brass Band Championships. Trevor was the principal cornet in the first ever National Youth Brass Band 1959 as well as a former leader of the Woolston Brass Band and New Zealand Army Band, and was a member of the 1962, 1965 and 1985 National Bands of New Zealand. He completed a Post Graduate Diploma at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music specialising in Conducting and Multi Instrument Skills, and also conducts New Plymouth Brass Band.

CREDITS

Musical Director - David Bremner

Recorded at the Wellington Brass Band Room, Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand

Engineered & Produced by Andrew Weir
Mastered at Rata Records, Wellington, New Zealand
Programme Notes by Aaron Lloydd
Photography & Design by Andrew Weir

President - Trish Wills
Executive Officer - Martyn Smith
Secretary - Kate Pilkington
Treasurer - James Sutherland

All photographs taken at the Wellington Botanic Gardens, New Zealand


Reviews


to write a review

Dr Robert Childs

Renaissance - Wellington Band NZ
Wellington Brass Band's latest CD release is called Renaissance and Musical Director Mr David Bremner describes it as a celebration of the musical journey the band has taken over the past five years.
The repertoire is eclectic and features some fine solo playing by Mark Davey (trombone) David Chalk (euphonium) Trevor Bremner (cornet) and Byron 'Buzz' Newton (euphonium) the latter of which is currently studying with the writer and has made a huge impact on Welsh Brass Banding since his arrival last year!

During the course of producing Renaissance the Band has hosted more than 60 outstanding New Zealand musicians all of which are listed in the comprehensive sleeve notes.

From the moment you set eyes on the album its obvious that this recording is special. The front cover, twelve page booklet and on-body printing of the CD is in full colour and designed with imagination and subtlety by Andrew Weir. The product really encourages the consumer to like it before you hear a note of music.

Having been enticed to listen to the music by the marketing of RATA Records this listener was not disappointed. From the opening March Wellington which is played with tight ensemble and well disciplined dynamics to the sheer technical prowess demonstrated in the title track Renaissance by Peter Graham, I was impressed.

Stylistically the band shows great versatility and flexibility moving from Downey's tranquil In Perfect Peace to the jazzier up-tempo numbers such as Malaguena, Star Dust and Satchmo without batting an eye-lid.

Nevertheless the solo contributions are a real highlight for me. Brillante was originally written for myself and Brother Nicholas to play at a concert celebrating 100 years of the British Bandsman magazine. David Chaulk plays both parts with consummate ease. Byron Newton's rendition of Philip Sparke's Harlequin is exquisite, he demonstrates sensitivity in the slow section and a devilish technique in the allegro finale. Mark Davey reminded me of the smooth crooning sound of the late and great Don Lusher as he glided through Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust. I guess most people tend to leave the best till last and I'm no exception. I have heard Trevor Bremner playing live on many occasions and his reputation speaks volumes for the many great solo performances he has delivered over the years. However, I was knocked out to hear him play Satchmo so stylistically and musically perfect.

This is a cracking CD my congratulations to all concerned in its production. I look forward to hearing your next release and I wish you all the very best for your future music making.

Dr Robert Childs, May 15th 2011