Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Music from a Century of Leadership 1911 to 2011 - Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon

CD Review - by Clinton White

We in Canberra have become quite accustomed to expecting nothing but the best when it comes to the Duntroon Band; the best in music, presentation, quality – everything really.  And it seems unlikely that we have ever been disappointed in the Band’s delivery on that expectation.  Certainly in my 40+ years living in Canberra I have never been disappointed.

The Band’s centenary CD collection is no exception.  It’s a superbly presented 2CD set of 44 tracks of great music-making.

It’s a veritable variety show of music covering everything from military precision (like “Colonel Bogey”) through music hall madness (like “What a Nice Soft Job”) to music theatre delights (like “Over the Rainbow” or “You’ll Never Walk Alone”), 60s rock ‘n’ roll (like “Shout!” or “Hey Jude”) and jazz improvisations (like “In the Mood”).  If there was anything missing from the program, it might be a couple of classical tracks, because the Band is as capable in that genre as any other.

In a continuing theme of excellence, the quality of the sound is superb, too.  Even to the point of creating masterful authenticity with songs like “Our Don Bradman”.  Vocalists are well-matched to the songs, too. 

The extensive liner notes inform the reader of the genesis of the album, give interesting titbits about many of the tunes and exhibit some fascinating, if uncaptioned, historic pictures.

Putting together a variety program like we have on this album is a tough job, and the Band’s music director, Major Geoff Grey, certainly was up to the task.  He has designed a program that flows effortlessly and seamlessly through the various music styles and periods with great sensitivity for the music, creating a real sense of “concert”.

Historically, this album is important.  Musically, it’s a must for any CD collection.