Photo, Chris Christodoulou

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Royal Albert Hall, London

Richard Strauss, arr. Andrew Austin: Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare

Hector Berlioz, arr. Geoffrey Brand: Overture ‘Le corsaire’

Vaughan Williams, arr. Paul Hindmarsh: Rhosymedre

Vaughan Williams, transcr. Phillip Littlemore : Variations for brass band

Mario Ruiz Armengol, arr. Michael Pilley: Brassmen’s Holiday

Philip Wilby: Euphonium Concerto – Dance (Zeibekikos)

Various Artists, arr. Andrew Austin: Judy Garland Tribute

Elmer Bernstein, arr. Malcolm Bennett: MBC-7: Elmer Bernstein Tribute

Corey Taylor, Jim Root, arr. Paul Saggers: The Devil in I

Jimmy Webb, arr. Alan Catherall: MacArthur Park

Yu-Han Yang, euphonium
Tredegar Band
Ian Porthouse, conductor

Late-night Brass: the Strauss and Berlioz came off well in these transcriptions and, in particular, these performances, the Tredegar Band able to display its considerable collective prowess (and Ian Porthouse has some rollicking ideas about the Corsaire overture) as perhaps it wasn’t entirely able to do in the previous evening’s Gavin Higgins premiere. Of the Vaughan Williams pair, I believe I am correct to say that Variations is a brass band original that now has numerous mistakes corrected; it’s an impressive work true to the composer. Brassmen’s Holiday sped by, if no picnic for the cornets, brilliant dexterity, and the Concerto movement was even faster, stunning solo from Yu-Han Wang. The Judy Garland and Elmer Bernstein medleys worked well enough, the former including ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ (Wizard of Oz) but the latter omitted The Great Escape theme while including Jerome Moross’s for The Big Country. As for ‘The Devil in I’ (heavy metal), there was the occasional reminder of Mosolov’s Iron Foundry. Finally Jimmy Webb’s weird and wonderful MacArthur Park, made immortal by Richard Harris, living the words intensely, which a non-vocal version can’t emulate, so the original and best is offered below. As an encore Tredegar Band gave a gospel number in a humdinger of an arrangement.

BBC Proms 2022 – Prom 30: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Tredegar Band. Ryan Bancroft. Gavin Higgins’s Concerto Grosso. Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Live BBC Radio 3 broadcast.