2016 marks the 10th anniversary since the passing of one of the world’s most significant composers of our generation. To pay tribute to this wonderful musician, The Wallace Collection, in conjunction with the Malcolm Arnold Trust, have embarked upon a CD recording project to capture a full collection of Arnold’s works for brass.
With so many pieces to record, this project presented a unique set of challenges. In finding ways to meet these, a fantastic opportunity has arisen to reach out to a wider range of musicians, resulting in contributions being compiled from an eclectic mix of ensembles and soloists from across the UK.
As part of this mix, John Wallace also looked to his own brass playing background and the personal affection he has for the National Youth Brass Bands of Scotland (NYBBS), of which he was a member in the 1960’s. As John is the Patron of NYBBS, and The Wallace Collection is continuing to build an on-going relationship with the organisation, it was a natural step to involve NYBBS with the project.
It was befitting, therefore, that NYBBS was the first group to commence the recording schedule when it met in Stirling on 13-14 November to record Arnold’s ‘Fantasy for Brass Band’ and most significantly ‘Little Suite for Brass’ – a piece originally commissioned by the Scottish Amateur Music Association who looked after NYBBS at the time, and premiered by the band at Aberdeen’s High School for Girls in July that year, led by Scottish National Orchestra conductor Bryden Thomson.
Of this first step towards the recording’s compilation, John Wallace commented:
“I look back on my time with NYBBS very fondly. As a young musician, it offered so many new and exciting opportunities to perform exciting repertoire with inspiring conductors and I am so glad to see this ethos continuing.
Having worked with NYBBS in the summer, it was clear the organisation retains an appetite to bring members new experiences and opportunities, whether that is the tour of Canada in 2016, masterclasses with guest educationalists or performances at prestigious events like the Cumnock Tryst.
It’s an exciting prospect for NYBBS to be part of the project as it has gained the support and attention of the Malcolm Arnold Trust, and so offers the band (and the CD as a whole) significant recognition for their involvement and quality of performance.”
The CD will be completed in 2016 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the composer’s death and will be available to purchase from The Wallace Collection Online Shop when released.