The Prince Regent's Band
'An ensemble so perfect has never been heard': thus spake the composer Heinrich Marschner in 1846 on hearing Britain's Distin family of brass players... It's tempting to repeat Marschner's effusion after listening to this recreation of Distin repertoire played by the historically-inclined Prince Regent's Band. Rounded, velvet tones; impeccably secure intonation; sweetly subtle dynamics.
The playing is uniformly wonderful, and the performances as recorded are inspired, expressive, and indeed virtuosic. They played these works and instruments without hesitation or apparent limitations. Dynamics, registers, intonation, balances, and quality of sound all show the players abilities to be accomplished as well as their mastery of these instruments, all dating from the period.
Quintet - Instrumental
- Richard Fomison - cornets/trumpets
- Richard Thomas - cornets/trumpets
- Anneke Scott - horns
- Phil Dale - trombones/baritones
- Jeff Miller - Tuba/ophicleide/serpent
THE CELEBRATED DISTIN FAMILY
During the 19th century the Distin Family blazed a trail across Europe and North America performing countless concerts and promoting new and exciting designs of brass instruments. This programme recreates their lost repertoire.
Quintets of Jean François Bellon. These works, described as "exceptional sort of symphony" are the earliest compositions for brass "quintet".
Inspired by Tsar Alexander III who was an "impassioned and highly talented cornet à pistons, baritone and tuba player” who did much to promote Russian music, this programme includes repertoire by Victor Ewald Brass, Oskar Böhme and Alexander Glazunov.
The Prince Regent’s Band was formed to explore the wealth of historic chamber music for brass and wind instruments from a period roughly defined as between the French Revolution of 1789 and the end of First World War in 1918.
The group takes its name from the early nineteenth-century elite wind ensemble known as ‘The Prince Regent’s Band’ (1811–1820), formerly known as ‘The Prince of Wales’ Private Band’ (circa 1795–1811) and later known as ‘The King’s (i.e. George IV’s) Household Band’ (1820–1830). This ensemble was 'composed entirely of picked skilled musicians, elected without regard for nationality from any source where good wind players were to be found' (Adam Carse ‘The Prince Regent’s Band’ Music & Letters,Vol. 27, No. 3, July 1946).
Members of the current The Prince Regent’s Band are specialists in the period performance field and perform with regular with internationally renowned specialist ensembles such as the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, English Baroque Soloists, Florilegium, Gabrielli Consort and Players, Hanover Band, Ex Cathedra,Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra,Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Armonico Consort, Drottingholm Baroque,Tafelmusic, Le Concert Lorrain, Dunedin Consort,The Sixteen,The Kings Consort, QuintEssential,The City Musick, Europa Galante, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, Il Giardino Armonico, Concentus Musicus Wien, Les Musiciens du Louvre and many more.
2016 saw the release of PRB’s debut disc The Celebrated Distin Family featuring recreations of the repertoire of one of the most famous brass ensemble of the nineteenth century, which was followed in 2017, the centenary of the Russian Revolutions, by the release of Russian Revolutionaries: Ewald & Böhme.
NB The Prince Regent's Band are able to perform both outdoors and indoors and provide socially distant programmes.