Music of King, Webb, Puccini, Khachaturian, Clarke, Wagner, Porter, Chabrier, etc.
Grimethorpe Collier Band/Major Peter Parkes, cond.
Chandos 4552 (F) (DDD) TT: 75:40

This is one of an outstanding series of brass band recordings on Chandos, and one of the best. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band has been around since 1917, gives regular concerts and has made many tours, in addition to being featured in the film Brassed Off. Its members are all virtuoso players, vividly demonstrated on this quite spectacular recording, under Major Peter Parkes' dynamic direction. Most of the music on this CD is a showcase for brass starting off with a circus march by Karl King, The Melody Shop, from whence this CD gets its name. The Debutante by Herbert L. Clarke is a Carnival of Venice-type display piece brilliantly played by cornetist Richard Marshall. Even though well played, all of the music on this CD doesn't quite work, i.e. Albinoni's Adagio, the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria, and "Doretta's Song" from Puccini's La rondine, but there are plenty of brass pyrotechnics in the other works to delight the listener. Chandos' engineers have captured the big band sound with space, resonance and dynamic range.

R.E.B. (Sept. 1999)