Mayfly Blues

Mayfly Blues

Orchestration: Euphonium and Brassband
Artist: Steven Mead & Brassband Buizingen
Release: October 2016

As most euphonium enthusiasts know, Steve has recorded many CDs since his first official release, Rondo in 1991. If you include all his albums; solo albums, the education orientated CDs, those with the British Tuba Quartet, and guest appearances, the number is now in the mid-seventies!  For him, recording is a passion, and a mark of his true dedication to the euphonium.  Over the years he has recorded with various ensembles; brass and wind bands, chamber orchestra, wind quintet, trombone quintet, brass quintet, ten-piece brass ensemble, organ, piano, multitracked Mead and electronics. With each genre he has impressed with his musicality, unique rich sonority and virtuosity. For him this instrument has almost no limits.

In 1995 Steve recorded an album, Euphonium Virtuoso, with the outstanding Belgian ensemble Brassband Buizingen.  This album won several international awards that year. He also really enjoys the collaboration and friendship with their conductor Luc Vertommen who is a visionary arranger as well as fine conductor.  So it was decided to get back in the recording studio, eleven years on, and make a second album together. Reflecting on the literature to be recorded, the title Lyrical Virtuoso seems to be such an apt title.  It includes works from the present day, as well as the marvellous Euphonium Concerto No.1 by John Golland, and then looks back even further to virtuoso works from the nineteenth century, and especially recognises the influence and works of the legendary violinist composer Niccolò Paganini.  Six of the ten works are receiving their premiere recording with brass band, and all will be available shortly for performance by those brave enough (especially the highly virtuosic works) to take them on. At the heart of Steve’s musicianship is his singing tone, a feature of his entire career, and here his lyrical approach can be appreciated to the full in some simply breathtakingly-beautiful melodies. We hope you enjoy Lyrical Virtuoso.

1. La Corrida de Toros - David Bandman/Luc Vertommen*  5.20
2. Sérenade Napolitaine - Ruggero Leoncavallo/Vertommen*  2.14
3. Euphonium Concerto No.1 - John Golland  17.16
4. The Auld Noost - Ronald Jamieson/Anthony Swainson*  4.43
5. Capriccio di Niccolò - Frank Proto/Luc Vertommen*  16.10
6. Michelangelo - Sigvart Dagsland/Frode Rydland  5.09
7. Mayfly Blues - Stan Nieuwenhuis  7.42
8. In Gardens of Peace - Philip Harper   5.27
9. Rondo-La Campanella (from Violin Concerto No. 2) – Niccolò Paganini/Luc Vertommen*   6.27
10. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (I Am Lost To The World) - Gustav Mahler/Luc Vertommen*  6.26

Total time 79.37  *Premiere recording with brass band

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