with Musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music
Released in the summer of 2016, Dream Times is the first new album from Steven Mead in two years. Many of the works are brand-new compositions receiving their first performances, and others are new arrangements.
The recording has a theme of music and dreams, giving it a fascinating feel. The Rhapsodia suite, which ends the recording, comes from a fashion show where Mead was the guest soloist. We hear some funky variations on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, arranged at the request of the Roberto di Camerino fashion house. The recording is a new realization of all the solo parts, eight individual works, which will amaze all who hear it.
The title track, Dream Times (an anagram of “Mister Mead”), is a delightful, light, and at time virtuostic work, composed for euphonium and small wind/brass ensemble.
Three works by Piazzolla, with string quartet accompaniment, delve into deeper human emotions and states – Anxiety, Sleep, and Fear. The sound of euphonium and strings has long been a dream for Mead, and here it is finally realized.
Two new works for brass ensemble are included, Aces (Frank Gulino) and Concertino by the young Singaporean composer Lee Jinjun, for brass quintet and brass sextet respectively. These are highly optimistic works, with some exquisite lyrical moments, and are sure to find their way into the mainstream literature in years to come.
Perhaps the darkest and most sinister “dream” on the recording is iPhonium (Roderick Skipp). With this work, and with many of the others, there is a strong connection with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where Mead is Professor of Euphonium. All of the accompanying musicians are current leading performers at this school.
|1||Aces (Frank Gulino)||Euphonium and Brass Quintet||7:46|
|Three Tango Sensations (Astor Piazzolla, arr. Matt Krening)|
|5||Set Adrift (Thomas Kelly)||Solo Euphonium and Electronics||5:57|
|6||Concertino (Lee Jinjun)||Euphonium and Brass Sextet||12:34|
|7||iPhonium (Roderick Skipp)||Euphonium and Electronic Sounds||7:35|
|8||Dream Times (Hiroki Takahashi)||6:18|
|9||Ave Maria (Astor Piazzolla, arr. Ioan Dobrinescu)||6:07|
|Rhapsodia – Milan Fashion Show 2007 (arr. Jay Wright)|