War Memorials is the title of Robin Holloway's two brass band pieces, Men Marching and From Hills and Valleys. This provided the title and inspiration for this project, which I'm delighted to say has received some outstanding reviews in The Sunday Times, The Observer and BBC Music Magazine (pod casts) as well as the brass band press. I am also and honoured that War Memorials has received the 2016 Brass Band World CD of the Year award.
This recording means a great deal to me. Four years ago I came up with the idea for an album of works which would pay tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the two world wars of the 20th century and also celebrate the cenenary of the pacifist composer Benjamin Britten, whose centenary was celebrated in 2013. The project has taken some time to come to fruition. It took some time for me to source the funding from RVW Trust, John Golland Trust and Brass Band Heritage Trust.
The recording sessions were squeezed in between other Cory and Tredegar band projects, so I would like to extend my gratitude to both bands and their wonderful conductors Ian Porthouse and Philip Harper for all their willingness to find the time to allow me to produce this wonderful music. I have long wanted to find an appropriate context for a live performance of John McCabe’s The Maunsell Forts which Cory Band and Robert Childs performed brilliantly at the 2010 RNCM Festival of Brass. This has been licensed from BBC Radio 3. Robin Holloway’s two evocative War Memorials have not received the level of public profile they deserve. Lucy Pankhurst’s Voices fits the theme so well.
The tributes to Benjamin Britten were prepared to honour his centenary in 2013, but seem to fit this recording. I couldn’t have wished for a more co-operative team than Richard Scott and Melissa Dee of World of Sound to engineer and master the sound so sympathetically. NMC Recordings, which specialises in contemporary British Music, have made such a great job of product design, production and marketing. Many thanks to all.