UK Release Date: 11th March 2016
US Release Date: 11th March 2016
CAT No: BMMACG1601
℗ & © 2015 British Military Music Archive Ltd. Under exclusive license to Naxos of America, Inc.
Track 4 conducted by Lieutenant Colonel John Mackenzie Rogan CVO, Mus Doc, Hon RAM
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 13 and 14 conducted by Captain Robert George Evans
Tracks 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 conducted by Major James Causley Windram, LRAM
· From the earliest days the Coldstream Guards had drummers and a "Band of Music" from 1685. This comprised eight civilian musicians who were hired by the month by officers of the Regiment to provide music for the Changing of the Guard at St James' Palace. When, in 1785, the musicians were asked to perform at an aquatic excursion to Greenwich, they declined on the grounds that the performance was "incompatible with their several respectable and private engagements." This was too much for the officers who asked the Duke of York, Colonel of the Regiment, for a regular attested band. He agreed and from Hanover in Germany sent twelve musicians under the direction of Music Major C.F. Eley. The instrumentation consisted of two oboes, four clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, one trumpet and a Serpent. The date of the band's formation was May 16th, 1785. The Band has been in continuance existence since then, mostly under German bandmasters in the nineteenth century.
· In 1896 John MacKenzie Rogan took over as Director of Music and it was he who ushered the band into the twentieth century. He was the first Bandmaster to achieve commissioned rank and was the outstanding military musician of his day. By 1900 the size of the band had grown to fifty-one musicians and during the years before World War I the band reached new heights of excellence in concert and on record, their first recording took place in a London hotel in 1898.
· This bandstand style programme opens in a bright mood with Stein Song (Fenstad & Vallee) and continues with music from Jacques Offenbach’s comic opera Tales of Hoffmann with its immortal Barcarolle, then Valse des Alouettes which comes from Riccardo Drigo’s ballet Les Millions d’Arrlequin.
· The title track, Steps of Glory, is a medley arranged by Aubrey Winter comprising sections from many fine marches: Gaily through the World, Always Vienna, Constellation, Second to None, To the Front, Under Freedom's Flag, The Middy, Sons of the Empire, Wait for the Waggon, The Italian Retreat, Boys of the Old Brigade and Pro Patria.
Our Homeland is a selection of patriotic British music: Heart of Oak, John Peel, A Hundred Pipers, Garry Owen, The Londonderry Air and Loudly Proclaim. It was arranged and conducted by the band’s Director of Music, Major Causley Windram, who was killed when a flying bomb struck the Guards’ Chapel in London during Sunday service on 18th June 1944. The selection of ballet music from La Source (The Spring) by Delibes and Minkus comprises: Danse des Echarps, Scene d’amour, Variations and Danse Circassienne. The programme ends with the stirring War March of the Priests, which forms part of the incidental music to Athalie by Felix Mendelssohn.