Sure, Portugal is in the west of Europe. But is there lawlessness there? No, of course not. Rather, this report refers to the new CD of the “Banda de Música da Força Aérea”, the wind orchestra of the Portuguese Air Force. “Wild West” is the name of this CD, which was released by Molenaar.

The Portuguese Air Force Wind Orchestra was created on 31 December 1957 at the instigation of the then Secretary of State for Aviation. It currently reports directly to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and all its activities are coordinated by its own office. It is considered an Aeronautical Coronel, a distinctive mark of the Portuguese Air Force that identifies all its units, and its coat of arms bears the motto: “SERVING WITH TECHNOLOGY AND ART”.

During its existence, several concerts have demonstrated the outstanding soloistic, artistic and technical level of the instrumentalists and the dignity of the leadership of its conductors. The Air Force Wind Orchestra, mostly composed of top-class musicians, not only participates in official military ceremonies of the Portuguese Air Force and the State Protocol, but also contributes to the enrichment of Portuguese musical life as an element of cultural dissemination, giving concerts of the highest level throughout the country and also representing Portugal internationally. The band was awarded the Gold Medal for Special Merit in 1997 for fulfilling its mission in an exemplary manner and contributing to raising the prestige of the Portuguese Air Force, the Armed Forces and Portugal.

The title is the composition by the Spaniard Lionel Beltran-Cecilia “Wild West”: this is a thematic fantasy inspired by the Wild West era. With its melodies and sound effects, it transports the audience to that era. The work consists of fun, bold and some surprising parts. It transports the listener to the steppes of the Wild West, where families and cowboys lived in small towns with farms, ranches and houses. Different scenes are shown. The author invites the listener to an interesting adventure!

Michael Geisler’s composition “King’s Castle” takes us into the myths and mysteries of the royal castle of Neuschwanstein: Year after year, thousands of visitors from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Germany to visit the castle of King Ludwig II. The white castle towers like a majesty over the countryside: lakes, hills, treetops and a deep gorge. The building seems almost unreal, like something out of a fairy tale. Its story could also be a fairy tale – one of dreams and fantasies.

Siracusa by the Spanish composer Juan A. Perez is based on the Italian city of Syracuse, which Cicero defined as the most beautiful city of Magna Graecia. It was founded in 734 BC and is one of the cities with a higher amount of culture and art in the world. The work takes us on a journey into the past, where culture, music and art will accompany us.

The Besana International Band Festival takes place every two years in Besana in Brianza, Italy. It is organised by the local band to bring together musical groups united by their passion for music in the spirit of friendship and brotherhood. During the festival, it is customary to fly the flags of all the countries participating in the festival in the streets of the small town. The piece “Floating Flags” was commissioned for the 2019 edition and premiered at the opening concert. This composition is by the Portuguese Carlos Martins Marques.

The popular music is presented with the medley “Brian Adams”, which includes the following song: Run To You, Please Forgive me, and Summer of ’69. As well as the theme tune to the film Thor: The Dark World. The soundtrack, composed by Brian Tyler, was released digitally by Hollywood Records in 2013. This arrangement by John Anderson is perfectly suited to wind orchestras of all kinds.

You can find the complete programme of the CD here.