CD - Dream Times - Steven Mead
Here is the fabulous new album from Steven Mead, his first for two years.
Dream Times has been in the planning for several years and many of the works are brand-new compositions, receiving their first performances, and new arrangements.
It has a theme of music and dreams, giving a fascinating feel to the CD. The Rhapsodia suite which ends the album, comes from a fashion show in which Steve was the guest soloist, in Milan in September 2007. With this we hear some funky variations on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, that were arranged at the request of the Roberto Di Camerino fashion house! This is a brand new realisation of all the solo parts, 8 individual works, which will no doubt amaze all those who hear it !
The title track, Dream Times (anagram of Mister Mead), is a delightful light and at times highly virtuosic work, composed for euphonium and small wind/brass ensemble. With these two pieces we are in the lightest of moods, carefree and joyous.
With the three works by Piazzolla accompanied by string quartet, we delve into more deep human emotions and states, Anxiety, Sleep and Fear. The sound of the euphonium and strings has long been a dream for Steve, and here it is finally realised.
There are two brand-new works for brass ensemble, Aces, by Frank Gulino and Concertino by the young Singaporean composer Lee Jinjun, for brass quintet and brass sextet respectively. These highly optimistic works, with some exquisite lyrical moments, are sure to find their way into mainstream literature in the years to come.
Perhaps the darkest and most sinister 'dream' on the album is iPhonium by Roderick Skipp. With this work and most of the others there is a strong connection with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where Steve is Professor of Euphonium. All the accompanying musicians are current leading performers at this school. The second piece with electronics, Set Adrift by Thomas Kelly was compose one of Steve students at the RNCM, Carina Lam.
When you listen to Ave Maria by Piazzolla we recoomend you pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple and enjoy the sensuos 6 minutes of Steve playing his euphonium, accompanied by a large brass ensemble.
We hope you enjoy this stunning new album, and to all those of you who enjoy Steve's recording ...be sure to get this!!
It is released on the Bocchino Music label, catalogue BOCC124. Playing time 79 minutes
The presentation of this album is quite superb, with six panel digipak, complete with 16 page full-colour booklet, with lots of information on all the works.
Review from Chris Thomas, Brass band World Magazine July/August 2016:
“If there is a solo performer in the brass band world that can be relied upon not to repeat himself musically, it is Steven Mead. His never-ending quest to innovate and expand the repertoire of the euphonium is, once again, at the heart of this enterprising and beautifully packaged new solo release.
Steven Mead’s playing is an unalloyed pleasure throughout; technically astounding as we have come to expect, but perhaps more importantly exhibiting a musicality in which every note is produced and placed with loving care; the melodies and phrasing being given both space and an unerring sense of line and shape.”
Aces for Solo Euphonium and Brass Quintet* – Frank Gulino
Three Tango Sensations – Astor Piazzolla Arr. Matt Krening
i. Anxiety ii. Asleep iii. Fear
Set Adrift for Solo Euphonium and Electronics* – Thomas Kelly
Concertino for Euphonium and Brass Sextet* – Lee Jinjun
iPhonium for Euphonium and Electronic Sounds* – Roderick Skipp
Dream Times* – Hiroki Takahashi
Ave Maria – Astor Piazzolla Arr. Ioan Dobrinescu
Rhapsodia, Milan Fashion Show 2007* - Arr. Ray Knight
Recording in Studio 7, RNCM March 22-24 2016
Accompanying musicians from RNCM
String Quartet –Tango Sensations (Piazzolla)
Violin - Andra Vornicu
Violin - Megan Collis
Viola - Joseph Lenehan
Cello - Talulah Yunkers
Brass Ensembles – Aces (Gulino), Concertino (Jinjun), Ave Maria (Piazzolla)
Trumpet - Chris Clark, Hannah Mackenzie
Flugel Horn – Louise Franks
Tenor Horn - Jonathan Bates, Bobby Corkish
Baritone – Mike Cavanagh
Trombone - Chris Binns
Bass Trombone/Euphonium – Christopher Robertson
Tuba - Harry Cunningham
Wind/Brass Ensemble - Dream Times (Takahashi)
Flute - Hannah Clark
Clarinet - Qiran Chan
Soprano Saxophone - Isobel Williams
Alto Saxophone - Gillian Blair
Tenor horn - Jonathan Bates
Euphonium - Chris Robertson
Tuba - Harry Cunningham
Piano - Ruth Webb
Please note from June 1 it will also be available for digital download from iTunes, CD Baby etc