Following Wilfred Heaton’s death in 2000, his family invited Paul Hindmarsh to see what could be done with Heaton’s manuscript collection, many being sketches and incomplete works. During the subsequent years Paul Hindmarsh has either completed or reconstructed the manuscripts into performing editions, which has now clearly been a monumental labour of love. The majority are now published and have been recorded in previous volumes of The Heaton Collection. Volume 6 forms the final recording of the series and completes the recorded legacy of Wilfred Heaton’s brass band and choral music.
The opening Scherzo, from the original brass quartet has rhythmic energy, whilst the following Meditation on Aberystwyth, based on the hymn tune associated with the words Jesus lover of my Soul, is much longer than usual for a Salvation Army meditation.
Little Suite was originally scored for flute and strings with a later version for brass quintet. Paul Hindmarsh has produced a version of five delightful miniatures for solo cornet which are superbly delivered by Richard Marshall.
Adapted from the middle movement of Heaton’s piano sonata, Lento has a hymn like structure, which opens quietly but gradually builds into a glorious climax before fading softly away.
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was the inspiration for music which Wilfred Heaton wrote for his sister Captain Hilda Heaton for use when Salvation Army cadets are commissioned. Paul Hindmarsh has completed a suite of fourteen short movements entitled Pilgrim’s Song. Passages from Bunyan’s text are used as a connecting thread in the narration by classical actor Barrie Rutter, which due to the skill of the band and narrator, stirs the emotion.
The programme continues with a sparkling arrangement of Dance of the Tumblers from Rimsky Korsakov’s opera The Snow Maiden which Wilfred Heaton prepared for Black Dyke mills Band during his time as the band’s conductor in the early 1970s. A transcription for brass octet of Ballet Music No. 2 from Schubert’s Rosamunde was discovered in the library of James Shepherd Versatile Brass when the ensemble disbanded. On a smaller scale there was a touching arrangement for trombone and piano of Sweet Hour of Prayer which is sensitively played by Brett Baker.
Concluding this excellent disc is a Choral Prelude based on the hymn tune French usually associated with the words O God of Bethel, and the march Full Salvation, both items being completed from sketches.
This album is a gem. Paul Hindmarsh’s comprehensive sleeve notes, the clarity of the recording and the gorgeous sound of Black Dyke’s performance of wonderful music confirms without doubt that Wilfred Heaton was a first class composer and arranger of music for brass band.
1. Scherzo (adapted for brass band)
2. Meditation on Aberystwyth.
3 - 7. Little Suite - Cornet Soloist Richard Marshall
i) Grave - Prestissimo ii) Con Energico iii) Cantabile iv) Giocoso e Ritmico v) Presto
8. Lento (from Piano Sonata)
9 - 22.Pilgrim's Song - Narrator Barrie Rutter
9. i) He who would Valiant be
10. To Be a Pilgrim
11. The Way of Salvation
12. ii) Now I saw in my Dream
13. The Slough of Despond
14. Christian's Prayer
15. As he Stood Looking and Weeping
16. Christian's Song
17. iii) Then I saw in my Dream
18. The Valley of Humiliation
19. On the Delectable Mountains
20. iv) And so God's Promise led Christian and Hopeful
21. The Celestial City
22. Bright, Radiant and Blest
23. Dance of the Tumblers
24. Ballet Music No. 2 from Rosamunde.
25. Sweet Hour of Prayer - Trombone Soloist Brett Baker
26. Chorale Prelude French
27. Full Salvation