Principal Conductor: Dr. Matthew van Emmerik
When the 40 musicians that make up Victoria Brass are playing at full blast, you can be forgiven for thinking that you’re in the middle of an entire symphony orchestra. In numbers like the finale from Sir Arthur Bliss’s Checkmate Ballet Suite, or Mussorgsky’s Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov, you are blown away, no pun intended. And then, at the other end of the scale, you are lulled by Jared McCunnie’s graceful Elegy (incidentally a World Premiere on this CD), and there are other premieres as well. Andrew Batterham’s three movement Trumpet Concerto gets its first recording on this disc, and Latvian composer Erik Esenvald’s Only in Sleep gets its Australian premiere. The great quality of the playing perhaps should come as no surprise, given that the band’s principal conductor, Dr Matthew van Emmerik, was the principal euphonium player with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force in London, and in the past has played with bands such as the Black Dyke and Brighouse & Rastrick bands, well known to lovers of the genre. It’s a beautifully presented CD with 14 tracks, every one a beauty.
– Michael Morton-Evans