This is the first occasion in which I have reviewed ‘Dyke in Concert’ rather than in ‘contest mode’, and this CD shows them displaying quite stunning versatility both in soloist and ensemble playing.
A stirring opening march features Sousa’s most popular Liberty Bell complete with bell of course and is followed by Kevin Norbury’s Odyssey recently used as our Regional Area test-piece. This really is a mighty work which, through a brilliant transition in texture, mood and technique builds to a marvellously joyful finale’
Richard Marshall displays the true art of cornet playing in this beautiful rendition of Ave Maria which in a complete change of mood leads into a most detailed and rhythmic account of William Himes’s Intrepid Overture.
Dyke continue to demonstrate the quality of their soloists as Zoe Hancock shows off a gorgeous rich flugel tone in Eric Whitaker’s perhaps less well known The Seal Lullaby, absolutely beautiful playing plus most sensitive accompaniment from the band.
Sandy Smith’s excellent arrangement of this Beatles gives a more upbeat change of style in Thingamybob which in turn is followed by yet another mood change as we enter the ‘Big Band’ in this cracking Jerome Kern’s Ol’ Man River, superb playing, in particular from Matt Rigg on kit.
The next soloist is truly mind-blowing as euphonium star Daniel Thomas takes the stage to perform Believe me if all those Endearing Young Charms. I was fortunate to see this talented young man in Woking whilst he was playing for Tredegar and this really is brilliant playing!!
Following that, I feel our heads need to settle down as we relax to the rich and sonorous sounds of Langford’s All Through the Night, so well balanced particularly the ‘middle band’,
The ‘Finale’ of this programme features the band together with the ‘Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus’ with Darius Battiwalla in presenting a work commissioned by Dyke and premiered by band and choir earlier in the year titled Paradise. The opening portrays the mystical mood of darkness, but, through some beautifully choral style leads into a most uplifting escape in the ensuing Scherzo before the band is joined with Darius and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus for ‘Choral in Paradisum’, and with a noticeably excellent balance between band and choral this builds to a most uplifting Grandioso Finale.
This CD has been a real pleasure to review. Brilliant solo playing, excellent band in accompanying, superb direction and a most refreshing programme.
1. The Liberty Bell - J.P.Sousa arr: J.Ord Hume - 3.40
2. Odyssy - Kevin Norbury - 12.11
3. Ave Maria - J.S.Bach / Gounod arr: J.A.Greenwood - Cornet Soloist Richard Marshall - 5.05
4. Intrepid Overture - William Himes - 7.06
5. The Seal Lullaby - Eric Whitacre arr: Paul Sharman - Flugel Soloist Zoe Hancock - 4.55
6. Thingumybob - Lennon & McCartney arr: Sandy Smith - 1.48
7. Ol' Man River - Jerome Kern arr: John Howarth - 3.30
8. Endearing Young Charms - Simone Mantia arr: David Childs - Euphonium Soloist Daniel Thomas - 6.24
9. All Through the Night - Traditional arr: Gordon Langford - 3.57
10 - 12. Paradise - Paul Mealor - With the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus MD: Darius Battiwalla - 16.40
i) Darkness Visible ii)The Scherzo of Darkness iii) Chorale 'In Paradisum'