James Ord Hume is chiefly remembered nowadays for his work in the field of brass bands, as a composer, conductor and as an adjudicator at competitions. Born in Edinburgh, his father was an army bandmaster, and James’s early musical experience was as a cornet player in the Royal Scots Greys, but he disliked military service and arranged for a discharge. He then pursued a career as a largely self-taught composer, writing some two thousand works (including works under several pseudonyms) including Diamond Jubilee
(written for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897) his prize-winning march BB and CF
, and a test piece for the first Brass Band National Championship at the Crystal Palace in 1900, based on tunes by his close friend Sir Arthur Sullivan. His bassoon solo, The Carnival
, is a colourful miniature tone-poem, with impressive fanfares introducing equally impressive cadenzas and themes reminiscent of the various acts in a Victorian carnival, ranging from the gently lilting melody earlier in the piece to the energetic virtuoso finale.
from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004