Matty Cilissen has collected interesting stories.

Symphonic Wind Band

Tierolff for Band #36: The Light Stone, Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force, Conductor Cilissen, Matty

Conductor Matty Cilissen with his orchestra “The Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force” tells mystical stories from days long gone. It is interesting that on this CD from Belgium you can find some composers from Austria. With “The Light Stone” the Austrian Daniel Muck has contributed a story about the castle Liechtenstein, which illuminates the historical history of this castle. Musically, the structure of this mighty castle is first described as a Renaissance-like chapel. Slowly but surely the work develops into a full, enriched sound, which shows the perfection of this building. After some time the Ottoman troops began to attack the Austrian lines. Not only was the “bright stone castle” badly damaged, but many people also had to endure this long period of terror, in which plundering, robbery and death were the order of the day.

Thomas Asanger and Fritz Neuböck, two other Austrians, provided their contributions with the legend about the Dolomite Crown (The Corwn of the Dolomites) and the story about the Traunfall (Where the River Falls). “The Crown of the Dolomites” is regarded as the most important legend in East Tyrol in Austria and tells of the friendly and circumspect Dolomite king who is to be overthrown by the evil troll and his followers. With rough slogans, shortened contents and populist demands the mood against the benevolent king is created. This legend has an important message for us: to question populist views well and to side with those who honestly stand up for the welfare of the people, but renounce loud expressions of opinion and formulate their concerns rather modestly and cautiously.

The canal at the Traunfall was at that time a technical masterpiece that made navigation on the Traun easier. It had a length of 396.5 m and a changing width of 6.1 m on average. The passage through this raft lane took 54 seconds and was very risky with the means at that time. The community “Roitham am Traunfall” lies in the heart of Upper Austria, directly on this beautiful river. The waterfall (Traunfall) and the late Gothic church with its first mentioned documents from the year 1350 form the heart of the composition “Where the River Falls” by Fritz Neuböck.

In order to emphasize the international character of the CD, there are of course also works by international composers. The Belgian Benoit Chantry tells the story about Stonehenge (Circle of Stones), where more than 4000 years ago people built huge circular stone structures, which still fascinate today and give scientists many riddles. This composition, which begins with a majestic theme inspired by the Celts, illustrates both the long pilgrimage, the work on the stones, the architecture of the place and the mystery that reigns in Stonehenge. A slow theme, like a prayer, then recalls the probably sacred character of the place. The work ends with the summer solstice ritual: From the inside of the stone circle one could see the sun rising to the northeast, just above a stone set up outside.

The Singapore-born composer Benjamin Yeo has a very short but effective performance: “1’10” lasts his sinfomic fanfare “Quintillusion!“, which he wrote for the Asian Bands Exchange Concert in Senzoku, Japan (2013). Thomas Asanger presents himself with his piece “Festival Sounds“, which was commissioned in 2017 by the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Police Orchestra on the occasion of its 70th anniversary and premiered on 4 May 2018 under the baton of Chief Conductor Christof Koert.

In “A Taste Of Ireland” the arranger Johan Nijs takes us on a fantastic journey through the beauty and diversity of Ireland. This fresh arrangement includes the following traditional folk songs: The Galway Piper; Believe me if Those endearing Young Charms; Bunker Hill; The Irish Washerwoman;

Concerto Con Due Trombe” is a concerto for 2 trumpets, strings and harpsichord, originally in D major and played on piccolo trumpets. In his transcription, Fritz Neuböck chose the key of B flat major, with which the work can be played on “normal B flat trumpets”. The use of a harpsichord is possible ad lib, but certainly not absolutely necessary.

Then there is the beautiful piece by Freddie Mercury: Love of my Life (arranged by Rob Balfoort); “Siciliano” by Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Willy Hautfast); “Charisma” by Louis van Dijk, arranged by Frank van der Poel; Ivo Kouwenhoven arranged the romantic ballad “A Chloris” by Reynaldo Hahn; all in all a round piece.