Sunday, September 11, 2005


9/11 ranks along with the assassination of Kennedy and the death of Dennis Brain as days which I will never forget exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the bad news

BBC ON THIS DAY 22 1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas and I was walking across the car park behind the theatre in Leeds
and met a stage hand from the Royal Ballet touring company.
I was going to spend the weekend with my wife, the oboist Judith Thomas, and had travelled from Aldershot where I played in the Royal Engineers Staff band

BBC ON THIS DAY 11 September 2001 I was here in my flat in Chelmsley Wood on line all day and watching cable TV
I both wanted not to watch and hated myself for watching.

Stan the New York policeman who hangs out in misc-writingville disappeared (ie his posting routine changed from 11th to 13th September 2001)
later it turned out it that it was not in his precinct,
but he had to help with the clean up

A brief respite from Hell I spent last night and most of today digging through twisted steel, cement chunks, airplane parts and occasional personal belongings. ... misc.writing - Sep 13 2001, 9:01 pm by Stan (the Man)

Dennis Brain: "Although he eventually took the job of principal horn of the Royal Philharmonic and later principal of the elite Philharmonia Orchestra, he was the most sought-after hornist for chamber music and soloist with orchestra everywhere. He began making a series of now classic recordings of concertos by Mozart, Strauss and Hindemith, as well as numerous chamber works and recital pieces. Seeking new challenges, he began giving concerts in which he both played and conducted, and he founded a wind quintet which quickly won fame. This quintet performed at the Edinburgh Festival on September 1, 1957, and just after, while driving back to London, Brain was killed in his Triumph Sports Car in an accident.

Benjamin Britten has written of that fateful night that ' ... it has robbed us of an artist with the unique combination of superb technical command of his instrument, gerat musicianship, a lively and intelligent interest in music of all sorts, and a fine performing temperament, coupled with charming personality.' Nevertheless, we do have a legacy of solo recordings, even if it is a slender one. There are the Mozart, Strauss, and Hindemith concertos, the Britten Serenade, and a handful of recital pieces. (Columbia was to have Brain record the Haydn Concertos and the Brahms Trio during the winter of 1957-58.) The parts he contributed to chamber and orchestral works complete the picture, along with a film of him and Denis Matthews playing the Beethoven Horn Sonata, op. 17. " BBC ON THIS DAY 2 Sept 1957

That day I was a staff bandsman (rank musician) in the Royal Engineers Staff Band, Gibralter Barracks, Aldershot, six months into learning the bassoon (playing fourth tenor trombone on parade and at band practice) and a colleague told me "Dennis Brain is dead" - I only knew his recordings but he was one of my musicians' musicans.

Fifteen years later standards had risen so much that, when my trombone playing second wife heard my long treasured LP of his Mozart, she pointed out "He plays out of tune !"

Monday, September 05, 2005

military music

Coldstream Guards: "Subsequent directors of music have been Lieutenant-Colonel 'Dick' Ridings, Major Roger Swift and Major David Marshall, with the international commitments of the Band continuing throughout. With Colonel Ridings, the Band toured Australia and New Zealand in 1984, returning there with Major Swift in 1988 to play at the bicentenary celebrations. It has also toured Japan twice as the guests of the Japan Orchestral Society.

On his retirement from the Guards, Major Swift was appointed Professor of Conducting at Kneller Hall and also became Director of Music of the Honourable Artillery Company. Major Swift has appeared at several massed bands concerts as a solo pianist playing 'Rhapsody in Blue'"

Roger and I were both musicians in the Royal Engineers Staff Band Aldershot in the late fifties early 1960ies along with George "george pollen" music - Google Search

The George Pollen Midi Collection: " Welcome to my home page.
Here you will find out a little about me plus you will be ableto hear some of my arrangements and compositions. -- Midi's -- Biography

ALBERT, Roch {JULLIEN, Louis} (1812-1860) French
La Tarantelle de Belphegor (187k)
I found this 78rpm record by the BBC Military Band as a music student back then
It used to send goose pimples up my spine - the finest concert band ever heard in England
BBC Wireless Military Band

Just think that web page was inspire by the old record I found 50 odd years ago.

LP records had just come in but I collected the old records in order to study music as a WANNABE bassoonist and conductor and before that as a sousaphone player in the second New Orleans Jazz revival (which ended in 1956 with the film Rock Around the Clock Rock n' Roll with the Legendary. BILL HALEY and his COMETS
Haley soon scored a major worldwide hit with a cover version of Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll," which went on to sell a million copies and became the first ever rock'n'roll song to enter British singles charts in December 1954.

Bill Haley filmography he is 11 years older than me