George Lloyd: English Heritage & Other Music for Brass
The quintet of pieces on this recording ends with the work which for many will be adjudged to be George Lloyd's outstanding brass band work to date.
English Heritage was first heard in the pleasant surroundings of Hampstead Heath, as part of the Kenwood Lakeside concert given on 2nd July 1988. It was commissioned for English Heritage the Historic Buildings and monuments Commission for England) by Michael Webber, organiser of Kenwood Concerts for English Heritage.
George Lloyd was an inspired choice. The sense of historic significance inherent in ensuring the preservation of England's fine buildings of the past drew from the composer music which seems to capture the essence of Olde England.
An extended fanfare like opening precedes a soaring, lofty tune, introduced first by cornets, but later in other guises, as when heard on baritones, trombones and basses and played fortissimo.
This is a musical view of England's heritage concerned not only with pageantry and ceremonial - impressive as that can be - but catching also some of the humour inherent in the English character the choice of the trombone to introduce the "chirpy" element is inspired) as well as those quiet reflective moments which have, surely, fashioned England's past and influenced its present? An episode of glorious soft, chordal, writing, marked Largo and played by the softest-voiced of the brass instruments, is an example which future would-be composers of music for brass band could well study, perhaps to cherish and absorb.
In 1990 'English Heritage' was used as the test piece for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, held at London's Royal Albert Hall. On that October day 22 of the finest of Britain's brass bands played their performance of English Heritage, conscientiously and with thoroughness. Yet for many (I am one of them) the day's "winner" was the music; George Lloyd's English Heritage had triumphed above all.
“The disc is full of melody and rhythmic interest and his test pieces Royal Parks, Diversions on a Bass Theme and English Heritage have received acclaim from audiences and bands alike. Evening Song is a delightful piece” Brass Band World
“It is David King and George Lloyd at their very best” Iwan Fox