Music Review: The World Rejoicing by the Black Dyke Band
REVIEWED BY CHRIS MULRYNE
The Black Dyke Band has been a part of my life since I was a young lad! My father loved brass music and introduced me to it, and it has gone on to inspire me in many ways. I always look out for Black Dyke’s new recordings and usually enjoy the diverse music presented, and this latest recording is no exception.
I have never been a bandmaster or a particularly good player. I am just a brass music fan, and that’s how I am reviewing this CD. There is no doubt that the band are in good form. A tight ensemble, great dynamic range and control and the band’s soloists shine in the three stand-alone pieces. Then something quite extraordinary happens: the band seems to step up a gear for the two featured soloist tracks. It’s almost as if the band collectively says, ‘We’ve got two world-class artists here; let’s give it all we’ve got!’
From the moment pianist Jonathan Scott started playing, I was entranced, although I was slightly disappointed with the second movement. However, this accompaniment works on many levels. The same can be said for David Childs’ playing of ‘Euphonium Concerto’. He exhibits skill and talent, and his playing in this recording takes this piece to another level. There are certain pieces where the opening bars invoke an immediate emotion and make me sit up and listen: ‘Year of the Dragon’, ‘Carnival Overture’, ‘Force of Destiny’ and ‘Paganini Variations’ come to mind.
The opening refrain of ‘Laudate Dominum’ transported me back to the 1980s. This is a revised and extended version, but I prefer the original. The track is lifted from Essential Dyke Volume VIII, released in 2008. I find it hard to believe this is the definitive recording, and I feel this piece could have benefitted from a fresh reading and recording.
I decided not to read the program notes before I heard the title track, ‘The World Rejoicing’. I am glad as I enjoyed recognising the interwoven elements of Gregson’s other works. Attendees at the British Open Brass Band Championships all spoke highly of the piece, and I can see why. It is a good test for a band but, more importantly, a great piece of music, accessible to the listener and probably fun and interesting to play.
Overall, if you like the heavier side of brass music, then this is for you. If not, the music is still very accessible, and there’s great playing from the band and soloists.
This review was originally published in The Officer.