|1||Candide||Bernstein arr. Howard Snell||Cory Band||4.26|
|2||The Thievish Magpie||Rossini arr. Denis Wright||Cory Band||9.47|
|3||The Green Hornet||Billy May arr. Alan Morrison||Tom Hutchinson (Trumpet) with Cory Band||2.20|
|4||Nordic Polska||Anders Edenroth & Matti Kallio arr. Philip Harper||Cory Band||3.45|
|5||The Battle of Athens||Philip Harper||Cory Band||3.20|
|6||Moon River Cha Cha||Mancini arr. Philip Harper||Cory Band||2.40|
|7||A Little Star Went Out||Philip Harper||Helen Williams (Flugel Horn) with Cory Band||4.02|
|8||The World's Greatest Storyteller||Philip Harper||Cory Band||9.48|
|9||Freedom I. Molto Moderato e un poco Maestoso||Hubert Bath||Cory Band||5.06|
|10||Freedom II. Interlude, Andante Espressivo||Hubert Bath||Cory Band||3.02|
|11||Freedom III. Scherzo Finale, Allegro Vivace e Legeramente||Hubert Bath||Cory Band||4.17|
|12||A Little Prayer||Evelyn Glennie arr. Robert Childs||Steve Kane (Baritone) with Cory Band||3.36|
|13||Baba Yaga and The Great Gate of Kiev||Mussorgsky arr. Elgar Howarth||Cory Band||9.37|
it's easy to see why this was the winner of the Concert CD of the Year category in British Bandsman's annual awards bash. With conductor Philip Harper's honed skills at programme building this moves neatly from track to track without any suggestion or hint of something feeling out of place. It's all built around the subject of the title, with even the inclusion of Hubert Bath's well-worn 'Freedom' being justified on the basis that early band composers used stories on which to loosely base their music. And this piece aside it is concert music that fills the reasonably generous 67 minutes.
The undoubted highlight is the segment that formed the brass band's 2016 winning programme at Brass in Concert, 'The Remarkable Life of Roald Dahl'. It's an engaging programme taking in Dahl's early life, with 'Nordic Polska', through his war years with Philip Harper's 'The Battle of Athens', bringing in his first wife with the 'Moon River Cha Cha', the sadness of a daughter lost, 'A Little Star Went Out' and ending with three numbers from musicals, including 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Absolutely terrific entertainment.
Like the band's last concert CD, 'Elemental', this also brings back another overture that reminds us that here is a form we should never overlook for long. This time it is Rossini's 'The Thievish Magpie', played with real verve and attention to detail. Opening and closing the disc are two pieces that maybe could do with a rest, Bernstein's 'Candide' and the last two movements of Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an exhibition' in the Elgar Howarth arrangement, but the former is undoubtedly rousing and the latter commanding and majestic.
Mango Graphic and Design have created an innovative, fresh and appealing booklet, broken down into chapters and with Philip Harper's excellent, informative notes here's a story you won't want to put down.