Edward Gregson has prepared a new version of his Symphony in two movements, originally written for brass band, for symphonic brass and percussion. The work will receive its world premiere next month and its UK premiere in September.
The world premiere will be given on 18 July by Summit Brass, one of the USA’s finest brass ensembles, at the final Gala Concert of the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute’s Summer School at the University of Denver. The conductor will be Joseph Parisi, who conducted the original version with his Fountain City Brass Band at the North American Brass Band Association Championships in 2014.
The UK premiere will be given by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Brass, at a concert at London’s Cadogan Hall on 22 September, in a programme of mainly American music. The conductor will be Philip Harper, chiefly known as the highly successful conductor of the Cory Band from South Wales, one of the finest bands in the world.
After the premiere of the original version in 2012, Colin Anderson of ‘Classical Source’ wrote:
The opening ‘Toccata’ is thunderous, spiky and energetic … then a lyrical ‘second subject’ offers respite before tension and drive recall ‘Mambo’ from West Side Story. The longer second movement, ‘Variations’, begins with gleaming, sustained lines to which a scurrying response excites and leads to a gong-capped climax. Further, bluesy, explorations boil to a cloud-clearing fortissimo and a pulsating conclusion. This is a richly rewarding piece, music that is engaging and satisfying ….
The Symphony, in its original versional for brass band, has been commercially recorded by the Black Dyke Band, conducted by Nicholas Childs on the Doyen label (DOY 319).