WORKS: The Royal Eurostar Fanfares; Sursum corda; Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens; Konzertmusik for Brass and Strings; William and Mary Suite
PERFORMER: London Brass Virtuosi, Philharmonia Orchestra/David Honeyball
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 66870 DDD
A British celebration of a railway line that speeds to the heart of Europe could well have a hollow ring in mid-1996. But Eurostar and David Honeyball, determined to honour the occasion, have thought big. No nostalgic Betjeman settings or nice little minimalist pieces that sound just like a train going over the points; why not put lots of trumpeters and drummers in Waterloo station and get them to play really loudly for quite a long time?
These extended fanfares by Paul Patterson have been recorded in the studio and combined with several other pieces of celebratory music plus Hindemith’s Concert Music for Brass and Strings. The London Brass Virtuosi are sonorous, project well and articulate crisply, with a bloom on the recorded sound that never loses its clarity. Fine solo playing is unfortunately offset by relentlessly heavy tuttis, especially in pieces where one would expect less punch and more line.
Full marks to Mark Brown for recreating the acoustics of Waterloo in the studio – I almost expected a station announcement. Christopher Mowat