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Track(s) taken from CDA66449



The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, James Watson (conductor)
Recording details: August 1990
Lutterworth Grammar School, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Produced by Gary Cole
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 1991
Total duration: 9 minutes 2 seconds


'Marvellously played … superlative … performances of a calibre I do not recall ever hearing before. Strongly to be recommended to serious listeners of any persuasion' (Gramophone)

'Essential listening for all enthusiasts of this marvellous composer' (CDReview)
This is Simpson’s last work for brass band. It is dedicated to the composer John Pickard as atonement for having stolen (inadvertently) a title that had already been used by him. It is the shortest of the brass band pieces, but it retains something of the muscular symphonic fibre that pervaded The Four Temperaments. The music is truly vortex-like and is finally sucked down into one note, referred to by the composer as ‘not really a tonic note, more a plughole note’!

Vortex is in Robert Simpson’s highly characteristic fast triple-time pulse, which is maintained for the entire duration of the piece. Beginning mysteriously with a sinister muttering motive low on tubas and trombones, the music grows with considerable strength as powerful stretches of vigorous music contrast with quieter moments. These latter moments seem to reveal a new transparency of sound in the composer’s band scoring. The work concludes with a formidable blaze of sound recalling the final pages of Simpson’s Symphony No 10 (1988).

from notes by Matthew Taylor © 1991

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