Commissioned by David King for the University of Salford’s 1996 centenary celebrations. In 1896, a symphony for brass band would have raised eyebrows, but a hundred years later it is by no means unusual.
This composition had a double impetus, because the composer moved to Todmorden in 1993 and the town was also celebrating a centenary in 1996 (that of its Charter). Much of the music was written walking in the hills around Todmorden.
The work adopts the modest proportions of the eighteenth-century symphony, and is in four movements that follow the traditional pattern of Allegro, Adagio, Scherzo and Finale. Overall, it strives for the Enlightenment ideal of “seemingly artless art” rather than the all-too-common modern equivalent of “seemingly arty art.”
Recorded by Black Dyke Band, cond. Nick Childs, World of Sound, WOS 155 (2020).