‘Mysteries of the Horizon’ – Brendan’s latest concerto recording !

Last year I had a new concerto release on cd.

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The concerto, by brilliant, Belgium-based British composer Nigel Clarke, is entitled Mysteries of the Horizon and is for Solo Trumpet and wind band. I have just begun experimenting with SoudCloud and so I have temporarily placed a separate recording of each movement down below. Please feel free to have a listen…

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Nigel Clarke and I recorded the work in one three hour recording session in the Concert Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester in September 2015.

If you want a listen…

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Ha ha…

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Contra Bass Trumpet

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Gracie Fields Train…

I arrived back from Germany the other day. I swapped the aeroplane for a train at Manchester for the last leg of my journey home to Liverpool. I was delighted to see that, although badly faded, the train was dedicated to Gracie Fields.

Dame Gracie Fields, DBE (born Grace Stansfield; 9 January 1898 – 27 September 1979) was an English actress, singer and comedian and star of both cinema and music hall. She spent the later part of her life on the isle of Capri, Italy. Fields was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for “services to entertainment” in 1938, and in 1979, seven months before her death, she was invested a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II.

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To read more about the amazing life of ‘Our Gracie’ click here.

The final few lines of Gracie’s famous song “Sally” were written by her husband’s mistress, Annie Lipman, which Fields sang at every performance from 1931 onwards – claiming in later life that she wanted to “Drown blasted Sally with Walter with the aspidistra on top!”, a reference to two other of her well-known songs, “Walter, Walter”, and “It’s the Biggest Aspidistra in the World.”

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A Musical Joke…

Ben came into the house with a new harmonica.

‘Grandpa, do you mind if I play this in here?’

‘Of course not, Ben. I love music. In fact, when your Grandma and I were young, music saved my life.’

‘What happened?’

‘Well, it was during the famous Johnstown flood. The dam broke, and when the water hit our house, it knocked it right off the foundation. Grandma got on the dining room table and floated out safely.’

‘How about you?’

‘Me? I accompanied her on the piano!’

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Take A Big Breath!

 

One of many cartoon drawings by Peter Bond, trumpeter with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Watch out for Peter’s new book on trumpet technique. Due soon…

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Trumpet Tips 4: Big News

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Brendan’s Current Daily Routine!

I have succumbed to the most  popular enquiry on here. ‘What stuff do you practice?’

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A Buccina in the Museum of Germanities – Stuttgart. One of the best musical instrument collections in Europe. I wonder what these would be like in The Pines of Rome?

Things have changed a lot recently and I have been travelling much more than usual. In two months, I have been to Scotland four times, Hof in Germany three times, Stuttgart, Nuremburg, Malta, Birmingham a couple of times, Manchester, London and,  oh yes, a couple of solo engagements and recording session in Liverpool of all places!

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Hedley Benson & I with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

I might add that I went from 20 degrees in Malta to minus twenty degrees in Hof, Germany, in January. That was a noticeable change!

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In the Walker Art Gallery with composer and long time collaborator Ailis Ni Riain

All this travel has meant that I have seen many new things and been forced to try lots of different food!

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The sad news is we had to say goodbye to Scooby in December. We will take a long time to get over him but he had a good life and was almost sixteen!

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Dizzy Gillespie Goes For A Snorkel!

The great John Birks ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie goes for a snorkel!C54i4LjWAAU8Ac0.jpg

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The Great Maurice Andre – An Interview

It is five years on since the passing of the great Maurice Andre. He was and remains, in the view of many, the greatest trumpeter of all time. Here is a film showing wonderful footage of the master giving an interview for French television.

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Sibelius & Busoni

Busoni and Sibelius, dedicated drinking buddies. Apparently Henry Wood had to send spies out to keep tabs on them when they were in London so they didn’t miss the gig. They look like absolute rogues – love it.

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