Perfectly timed to coincide with the season of remembrance for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, ‘Ocean Wave’ also celebrates the 350th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Marines, with one of the finest military bands on earth. Collecting together a selection of ‘songs from the British Isles’, the album is stunning showcase for this group of virtuoso brass musicians.
These are instantly recognisable tracks played to an incredibly high standard by a group who are as well drilled as you would expect. Of course, it’s something of an acquired taste (if you’re not a fan of pounding marches and flowing brass melodies, this isn’t for you), but there’s no denying the beauty to be found here.
Highlights include a brass arrangement of ‘Nimrod’s Adagio for Strings’ – a singularly emotive piece given added power and delicacy by the transition to brass – and the dramatic arrangement of the excellent ‘In Ireland’. All told though, this is a full collection of great, familiar melodies, given poignancy by the time of year.