I have to confess to being very excited about my new album Lyrical Virtuoso which is shortly to be released, on October 8th. The combination of repertoire for me is just sublime; an album I've been wanting to make for many years.
Around 10 years ago I recorded the album Euphonium Virtuoso with the same band that I've recorded this one, Brassband Buizingen, the reigning Belgium champions and winners of a superb fourth place at the recent European brass band Championships in Lille. Their conductor Luc Vertommen has been an invaluable partner for this album, and as you will see below has contributed several quite astonishingly good new arrangements.
We have some major works, notably the Euphonium Concerto No.1 by John Golland, which is truly an epic masterpiece of writing for euphonium and band, and a landmark in euphonium repertoire. I recorded it once before about 12 years ago with the Breeze Brass Band from Osaka Japan, and I desperately wanted to revisit this with the benefit of many years more experience!
The other major work is a really superb extended piece based loosely on 'the' famous Paganini theme, originally composed for Doc Severinson and the Boston Pops Orchestra. As soon as I heard this I was convinced that a transcription for euphonium and brass band would work a treat, and with the composer's permission, Luc Vertommen set to work and has created a quite brilliant score. It's full of Italian drama, fun, recitatives, cadenzas, and the final four minutes or so is an extraordinary romp that incorporates the music of Rossini alongside fragments of Paganini. It really is quite an amazing work that I think will become very popular.
Then you will see that we have a delightful combination of lyrical and technical highly virtuosic pieces, that I think fully justifies the title!!
More information to come soon, but I hope that all euphonium enthusiasts will by looking to get their hands on this new release. I sincerely hope so!
Here's the track listing for the new album Lyrical Virtuoso.
I'll post a couple of video samplers next week.
Lyrical Virtuoso – Steven Mead – Brass Band Buizingen – Luc Vertommen Catalogue: BOCC125
1. La Corrida de Toros - David Bandman/Luc Vertommen 5.20
2. Sérenade Napolitaine - Ruggero Leoncavallo/Vertommen 2.14
3. Euphonium Concerto No.1 - John Golland 17.16
4. The Auld Noost - Ronald Jamieson/Anthony Swainson 4.43
5. Capriccio di Niccolò - Frank Proto/Luc Vertommen 16.10
6. Michelangelo - Sigvart Dagsland/Frode Rydland 5.09
7. Mayfly Blues - Stan Nieuwenhuis 7.42
8. In Gardens of Peace - Philip Harper 5.27
9. Rondo-La Campanella (from Violin Concerto No. 2) – Niccolò Paganini/Luc Vertommen 6.27
10. Ich bin der welt abhanden gekommen (I Am Lost To The World) - Gustav Mahler/Luc Vertommen 6.26
Total time 79.37