Birmingham Citadel Band released its new album Seasons in Splendour in time for the Tour of Canada in April 2011. The CD is a concept album, taking you on a journey through the Seasons.
Venite Adoremus Dominum
The Children’s Song
The Last Spring
Written in Red
Cornet Solo: Tucker (Soloist: Gavin Lamplough)
Euphonium Solo: Summertime (Soloist: David Taylor)
Three Kings Swing
The Majesty and Glory of Your Name
What people are saying about ‘Seasons in Splendour’
REVIEW OF ‘SEASONS IN SPLENDOUR’
by Andrew Cullingworth
You know by the cover of the latest Citadel Band CD exactly what the recording is about, as the pictures portray the same landscape through the varying seasons. Similarly Citadel Scene shows the corps building in a different season for the various issues throughout the year. The choice of music starts at Advent with O Come O Come Emmanuel in Venite Adoremus Dominum and takes the listener not just simply through the seasons but also the Christian festivals of the year. For me, the second section (an arrangement of Away In a Manger) in this first piece is a highlight.
There are helpful narrative passages from scripture, or reminders to the listener of the words associated with the music, providing a varied programme to enjoy. About half would be classed as either devotional or simply slower melodies- and there is nothing wrong with that. Many bands have great “corner” men but Birmingham is fortunate to have corner men who are able (and willing) to stand up and display their skills as soloists. We hear the much loved cornet solo Tucker and the well known Summertime arranged for euphonium.
The band appears confident and at home in the rhythmic sections of Kerygma and they seem to enjoy playing this particular piece and why wouldn’t they? As it says on the cover notes, “this is music of an exciting nature intended to portray the exhilaration of the risen Christ”. Whilst mentioning the cover notes these are, as is usual with Birmingham Citadel Band, very informative and well researched.
The straightforward transcriptions of Written In Red, a song published for choirs, and used by many songster brigades, and the ever popular The Majesty And Glory Of Your Name are so effective, the latter being the music that concludes this CD. This, together with the narrative preceding it, brings together everything that this CD aims to achieve. That is to show through band music the wonderful creation the Lord has given to us, and the blessings we can receive if we allow ourselves to be open to it.
A most poignant track, perhaps at this time, is His Provision. Is it the musicality of the soloists, the warmth of sound or the fact that we can see the bandmaster with his unfussy, but simple, clear and assured conducting? Surely it’s that we know each member of the band is not just at one with the conductor in playing terms, but also with the sentiments of the words associated with this music
“Nothing now can rob God’s servant of the peace that he bequeaths,
Nothing take away the strength his presence breathes.
Of the everlasting arms of love I’m daily made aware
And his precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer.”
This recording would be a great gift to anyone who is perhaps asking questions of what we believe as Christians, and the reason for the band’s existence. It’s the aim of the whole production from inception in the bandmaster’s mind through the recording process, and through the commitment and effort of each band member in bringing this project to fruition.
Just sit back and relax with the music presented, and add your praise to the Lord with that of the band. Incidentally, with just shy of 80 minutes in length you are getting a lot of music for your money! Enjoy!
If you would like to purchase this recording, or would like more information, please click here.