From the Library: Sounding Brass

Today’s pro­gramme focus­es on brass instru­ments, with music in the style of around 138BC to con­tem­po­rary pieces.
Thus the gen­res range from ancient and ear­ly music, through Baroque and clas­si­cal, to Vic­to­ri­an brass bands, to rag­time, trad jazz, a touch of big band, right up to mod­ern works includ­ing a mar­vel­lous suite of pieces for wind band inspired by the works of Shake­speare.
And there are march­ing bands, there are mil­i­tary bands (includ­ing an ear­ly Edi­son Blue Amberol record­ing of the Edi­son Mil­i­tary Band), there are clas­si­cal wind bands, and there is Bavar­i­an music. There are some Cana­di­an artists too, notably the Cana­di­an Brass, in hon­our of Canada’s Thanks­giv­ing Day yes­ter­day.
There are also some mod­ern pop­u­lar pieces, notably the awe-inspir­ing and tear-jerk­ing arrange­ment on Peter Skellern’s You’re a Lady, which includes not only a brass band but a full choir as well; and Kate Rus­by’s deeply mov­ing songs accom­pa­nied by the Grimethor­pe Col­liery Band.
There is also Diver­ti­men­to Opus 49 by Leonard Salze­do — well, the Pre­lude from it at least — from which British lis­ten­ers may recog­nise the first few notes, which intro­duced Open Uni­ver­si­ty tele­vi­sion pro­grammes for many years. And talk­ing of tele­vi­sion, there are two pieces from the Black Dyke Band that will be recog­nised from the BBC TV series of the 1990s, Ground Force. In all these cas­es, you’ll hear the pieces in full, of course. And the whole show starts off with William Wal­ton’s Orches­tral Pre­lude: Grana­da, which was writ­ten for the inde­pen­dent TV sta­tion in the North of Eng­land, Grana­da Tele­vi­sion (don’t wor­ry, it’ll come up again lat­er today).
This will all lead to some remark­able jux­ta­po­si­tions — and a few sur­pris­es.
From the Library is pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme now at — or click here to link straight to your play­er if your brows­er is set up to do so. Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin.
For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.
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