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Hess: The Winds of Power
The Classical Shop
release date: November 1999
Originally recorded in 1992
The London Symphonic Wind Orchestra
Pupils of Daubeney Middle School, Bedford
CTS and Taezor Studios, London
Total Time - 76:22
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Hess: Works for Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Volume 2
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East Coast Pictures
The Winds of Power
The TV Detectives
To the Stars!*
Following the success of his TV Themes disc (CHAN 9750), Nigel Hess here conducts The London Symphonic Wind Orchestra in a selection of his music for wind.
The unique coupling of eight works features three premiere recordings, including The TV Detectives which brings together five of Hess’s best-known television themes, all originally written for small-screen sleuths!
Nigel Hess is one of the most successful and prolific composers currently working in the UK Educated at Cambridge University, Hess was Music Director for the famous Footlights Revue Company and went on to work extensively as a composer and conductor in television, theatre and film. From 1981 to 1985 he was Company Music Director and house Composer for the Royal Shakespeare Company and contributed some twenty scores for RSC productions.
To the Stars! is a unique collaboration between Nigel Hess and the children of several Bedfordshire schools who were asked to contribute ideas for a libretto based on the themes of space travel and exploration. The combination of children’s choir and symphonic wind band proves unusual but wonderfully exciting. While designed to be fun for all performers, it is also technically demanding. Thames Journey takes the listener from the first few drops of the river in Wiltshire, through Oxfordshire and Oxford, Berkshire and Henley, Windsor into London and finally to the sea. This is a musical journey through historical and monumental landmarks, paying tribute to them as they are passed, ending with the Wiltshire melody with which it began proudly sweeping into the ocean. East Coast Pictures was commissioned by the British Youth Wind Orchestra. They were inspired by several visits to a small part of the USA’s East Coast, an area which provides great extremes in the geography, meteorology and people. Stephenson’s Rocket is a concert overture commissioned by the North Hertfordshire Wind Band recalling the early days of the railways. It depicts the Victorian carnival atmosphere on the day of the trials of the Rocket. Global Variations uses the chimes of Big Ben to herald the start of a whistle-stop global journey – around the world in eight minutes. Although it was written for the National Children’s Wind Orchestra, no technical concessions are made. The Winds of Power was commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Unlike any of Hess’s other works for symphonic wind band The Winds of Power is not programmatic, but it is more abstract and harmonically adventurous, exploring the colours of the ensemble in many varied and sometimes startling ways. Scramble! Was commissioned by the Royal Air Force Music Services. The brief was something appropriate and descriptive for the RAF. The result was a concert overture inspired by the images of the RAF’s airfields during the Battle of Britain. The TV Detectives brings together five of Nigel Hess’s best-known television themes all originally written for small screen sleuths in ‘whodunnits’ that have been enjoyed by television audiences worldwide.
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