Ivan Meylemans has been conductor of the “Koninklijke Fanfare Kempenbloei Achel” from Belgium since 2000. The association was founded in 1862. At present the orchestra consists of about 70 musicians from Achel and the surrounding area. Under the title “Supernova” the orchestra has published works from the BVT Music publishing house, which brings together a collection of well-known Belgian composers and arrangers. Many of these works have been published for wind orchestra (harmony) as well as for brass bands, which makes this CD interesting for all types of orchestra.
The band is classified according to the Belgian system in the superior department and according to the Dutch system in the concert department. Besides the brass band, Kempenbloei also houses a drum band, a youth band, a youth drum band and a majorette group. The “KFK” (Koninklijke Fanfare Kempenbloei Achel) is a successful participant in the WMC (World Championship Kerkrade) and has won numerous other competitions.
The first track on this CD is the concert march “Forsela“. It was commissioned from the composer Filip Ceunen by the Royal Fanfare Band ‘Vermaak na Arbeid’ from Rijkevorsel. The title of this work refers to the name, which was first mentioned in 1194 (Rijke)Vorsel and which roughly means ‘forest of thorny broom’. The first part of the concert march is based on an old folk song from Rijkevorsel, “Der Kadril von Achtel”. The second part of the work is the musical expression of the addition of “Rijk”, which means “rich” to “Vorsel”.
“Riften Wed” is a well-known composition for concert band by the American Julie Giroux, which is available on this CD in the arrangement of the conductor for fanfare. Riften is an imaginary city in Skyrim, located in the vast world of Elder Scrolls, the fifth part of an action-roleplaying video game saga developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Skyrim is an open-world game that is geographically massive from any video game standard and is more closely tied to an online MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) than its console and PC competitors.
The title-giving track on the CD is “Supernova” by Stijn Aertgeerts. The story of a dying star, an incredible galactic explosion. If a supernova erupts at the location of the sun, it would vaporize the earth. After the eruption, only a black hole remains. An area of pure darkness that has swallowed up all life.
Track no. 4 is well known: Nearer, my God, to thee, which became world famous from the movie Titanic. Here in the adaptation by Mike Kilmartin. “A Mother’s Treasure” by Jan de Maeseneer as the next track tells the musical story of a mother watching her daughter grow up. As a little girl she plays simple games, which you will hear again in the trumpet part. Later she is in her teens, when she is looking for challenges, to herself as a musician and as a person. In the last part of the composition she finds peace and enjoys the life her mother has given her.
The sixth track, “Station of the Cross“, tells the story of a real tragedy. In the dramatic opening we hear the Eufonium announce the bad news. The character tries to process everything, but she does not succeed, many emotions lead to a lament. An inner conflict arises between the emotional and the rational. In the course of time he succeeds in regaining control, but events continue to weigh on him. This is reflected in the continued drumming until we suddenly arrive at lento abbandono. We are witnesses to a redemptive event, and the grandioso that follows reflects good luck. Life can finally go on. The composer here is Dominique Fonteyn.
This is followed by a march arrangement by the composer Robert B. Hall, entitled “The Commander“. Arranged by Neville Buxton. Track no. 8 is an interesting work: “Exposure” is a short opening piece commissioned by the Royal Fanfare Band ‘De Werkmanszonen’ from Zichen (Belgium) and conductor Yves Wuyts for their participation in the World Music Contest 2017 in Kerkrade (NL). The title itself explains what the piece is about: the confrontation with something new and unknown. The piece tries to be something new and fresh in the sometimes very old-fashioned repertoire. Nick van Elsen is the composer.
More and more often, compositions for computer games appear in public. The story of the computer game “Medal of Horror” was written by John Milius, the author of Apocalypse Now. In the game the player takes on the role of Lieutenant William Holt, an OSS operator. The missions take place in France, North Africa, the Soviet Union and Belgium. Moving and emotional work with your trumpeter in mind. One of the best soundtracks for computer war games currently in circulation. The title of the work is “Dogs of War” and was set by Christopher Lenneritz and arranged for orchestra by Bert van Thienen.
Track 10 “The Gate Of The Guardians” by Jelle van Giel tells the story of guardian angels who protect mankind from evil. The intro shows the mighty gate with all its guardians as well as the beautiful place where they live. Then the listener experiences an adventure with the guardians and undertakes long journeys through beautiful landscapes and colossal mountains to find the people who have to protect them. There they come into contact with evil. They must and will drive away the evil! You can hear the screams of the guards during the battle and finally the evil is defeated. After that everything calms down and the people return to their village. Finally they sing a hymn around the big campfire as a thank you to the guardian angels.
The finale is the composition “Clann Lir” by Stijn Aertgeerts, which tells the Irish legend “The Children of Lir”: There was a time in old Ireland when people believed in magic and druids and spells. These were the days of the Tuatha De Danann tribe, the goddess Danu and of Lir, the Lord of the Sea. Lir’s wife, Eve, had given him four beautiful children. The two elders, Fionnuala and Aodh, went swimming in a small lake. But they were no ordinary swimmers! They had gills to breathe and webbed feet, as they were the offspring of the “ruler of the land beneath the waves”.