From the Library: Sounding Brass

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by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

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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