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Sydney Brass plays Stanhope

by David Stanhope (SB2008TP199)

Sydney Morning Herald review by Meldi Arkinstall (July, 2008)

Recorded at City Recital Hall, Angel Place, in Sydney, the opening tracks on this disc have Olympic grandeur. Olympic Fireworks was commissioned as an orchestral work for the Sydney 2000 Games and the grand melodies are played with aplomb. Sydney-based David Stanhope wrote all the music on this disc, performed by Sydney Brass to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The composer cites Percy Grainger as an influence, particularly in his folk-song settings. A sense of humour becomes apparent in Three Folksongs for Brass Quintet, with a few ridiculously low notes punctuating the harmony. It includes some beautiful muted trumpet playing. A more dissonant and dramatic style appears in Ceremonial Fanfares. A Leadsman, a Lady and a Lord shows off complex rhythms, majestic melodies and changes of meter. There are some delightful vintage recordings. These soundbites of a minute or so refer to, and sometimes make fun of, themes from well-known works such as 1812 Overture, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and Beethoven's Symphony No 9.


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