BMMAWG1502.jpg

A Tribute

by The Band of the Welsh Guards

UK Release Date: 26th February 2016
US Release Date: 26th February 2016

CAT No: BMMAWG1502
UPC: 754422041126

℗ & © 2015 British Military Music Archive Ltd. Under exclusive license to Naxos of America, Inc.

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CD 1
•    The Welsh Guards on Parade was the band’s very first recording, with the salute Men of Glamorgan, and the regimental slow and quick marches, Men of Harlech and The Rising of the Lark.  Next comes Reminiscences of Wales which brings together some much-loved melodies from the principality: The Ash Grove, Hunting the Hare, From Dull Slumber Arise, Jenny Jones. Forth to Battle, O Mighty Warrior and God Bless the Prince of Wales.  It is very likely that this selection was played by the band at its first public appearances on 1st March 1916.

•    Land of My Fathers, the Welsh anthem, is followed by Lion of St. Marc, a march referring to the symbol of the city of Venice, and a selection from the light opera La Gran Via, also known as Castles in Spain.  The King’s Birthday March (Geburtstag Ovation) was a popular march of the time, having been played at the Trooping the Colour in 1899, Punjaub is by a former cavalry bandsman, Charles Payne, while A Flash of Steel and Little Gadabout were both written by Gustave Colin, pseudonym of Charles Woodhouse.

•    The Phantom Brigade by W H Myddleton (pen-name of Arnold Safroni) is typical of the descriptive music of the period and portrays a retired colonel who, having enjoyed a good dinner, sits back in his armchair and dreams of days gone by with his soldiers marching past.  Kitchener’s Brigade and the March of the ANZACs have echoes from the Great War, the ANZACs being the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who suffered such terrible casualties at Gallipoli.

 

CD 2
•    The second disc takes us from 1921 with Mr. Harris now commissioned, and begins with a selection from the Gypsy Princess, a popular operetta written during the war years.  Gaiety Echoes features songs written for shows at the Gaiety Theatre in Aldwych by Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton, while grand opera is represented with a selection from Gounod’s Faust.

•    Kenneth J Alford is regarded as the finest of all march composers but in Wedded Whimsies we have one of his tongue-in-cheek medleys where one melody drifts seamlessly into another.  The Whistler and his Dog is a novelty number by Arthur Pryor, trombone virtuoso in Sousa’s band, while Tarentella de Concert features the ever popular xylophone.  Eric Coates’s splendid march London Bridge and Leon Jessel’s delightful Wedding of the Rose complete the tracks conducted by Major Andrew Harris MVO, who retired at the end of 1937.

•    His successor, Major ‘Tommy’ Chandler was to spend most of his ten years with the band wearing khaki as he led them very successfully through the Second World War.  Conscription brought many professional musicians to the band, including members of the Geraldo Orchestra, which raised the standard of the dance orchestra to new heights, such that it was to be one of the very few such combinations in the services to make broadcasts and recordings, including the two tracks featured here.  Also joining the band at this time was the renowned tenor, David Lloyd, and we bring this tribute to the band’s first 25 years to a close with him singing with the band in this selection of Welsh National Songs: Cwm Rhondda, All Through the Night, Land of My Fathers, Over the Stone, Aberystwyth and finally Men of Harlech.