News

A digital release for the disc `When Worlds Collide’ coming soon!!

Posted in News on May 1st, 2021 by Nigel – Comments Off on A digital release for the disc `When Worlds Collide’ coming soon!!
The CD `When Worlds Collide’ (winner of the 2013 `4barsrest CD of the year’) will soon be re-released as a digital download on all major online platforms, including iTunes and streaming services such as Spotify. This recording features Brass Band Buizingen (at the time of recording Belgium National Champions) conducted by Luc Vertommen with soloists Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) & Glen Van Looy (Euphonium). Each work on the disc has an introductory poem specially commissioned from the writer, and poet Martin Westlake read by Frank Renton.
More information on this Mirasound Media release will follow soon.

Pulp and Rags for string orchestra

Posted in News on March 26th, 2021 by Nigel – Comments Off on Pulp and Rags for string orchestra

Longbow directed Peter Sheppard Skaerved performing `Pulp & Rags’ for string orchestra. This perpetuum mobile represents the the machinery of the lost Buckland Paper Mill in Dover. The work was commissioned by Dover Arts Development (Dad).

Mysteries of the Horizon performed by Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) and The Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Posted in News on March 26th, 2021 by Nigel – Comments Off on Mysteries of the Horizon performed by Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) and The Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Nigel Clarke’s Mysteries of the Horizon performed by Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) and The Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

Naxos CD: 8.574097

Mysteries of the Horizon: I. The Menaced Assassin

Mysteries of the Horizon: II. The Dominion of Light

Mysteries of the Horizon: III. The Flavour of Tears

Mysteries of the Horizon: IV. The Discovery of Fire

 

 

The Exotic Dream of the Wonderful Monsieur Magritte

Posted in News on January 15th, 2021 by Nigel – Comments Off on The Exotic Dream of the Wonderful Monsieur Magritte

Here is an excellent rendition by USA Euphonium soloist Grant Jameson of `The Exotic Dream of the Wonderful Monsieur Magritte’ – I love the `horror’ genre images and  Grant’s creative approach to this performance!!!

 

Out Now!! `Outrageous Fortune’

Posted in News on November 30th, 2020 by Nigel – Comments Off on Out Now!! `Outrageous Fortune’

This new CD release from `World of Brass’ features Brett Baker (Trombone), Natalie Grady (Actress) and conductor Reed Thomas (Conductor)in a performance of `Outrageous Fortune’ with the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra.

`Outrageous Fortune’ is a symphonic drama in the structure and sentiment of a traditional concerto. I have taken this approach from Hector Berlioz’ masterpiece Harold in Italy, Symphony in Four Parts with Viola Obbligato which illustrates how a soloist can be part of a larger symphonic work.

I have designed my Symphony Outrageous Fortune as a melancholic drama, bleak and sardonic in style. It follows programmatically the story of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. I have prefaced my score with the bard’s despairing words:

“Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind”.

Hamlet is a tale of conspiracy, betrayal, suicide, revenge and murder, and also a ghost story. Both the trombone soloist and the actor take on the role of the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. Outrageous Fortune reflects the protagonist’s despair, his self-doubt and self-loathing and his advance towards mental breakdown. Hamlet’s character is full of bitterness, but alongside this he shows profound wisdom beyond his years.

The Danish castle of Elsinore is the setting for the drama. I have set to music, two of Hamlet’s soliloquies:

  1. “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt”
  2. To be, or not to be, that is the question”.

Hamlet’s first monologue sees him longing to be dead and contemplating his own suicide although he is concerned that the Almighty has forbidden this option by sacred law. The cause of Hamlet’s malady is his distress that his mother has just remarried following the death of his father (the former King), less than two months ago. His mother’s suitor is his father’s own brother, Hamlet’s uncle! Hamlet rails against the rashness of his mother’s actions without apparent concern for his father’s death:

She married. O most wicked speed, to post – With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!”.

The second soliloquy “To be, or not to be – that is the question” finds Hamlet near to mental breakdown, grappling with the choice between killing himself, or living on to avenge his father’s murder? To kill himself brings uncertainty as no one has ever returned from the afterlife – who knows what suffering awaits there?

“But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns – puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,

Than fly to others that we know not of.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all”.

This CD is dedicated to the late Stan Kitchen and Richard Scott.