Band of Coldstream Guards / Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards

Pride of the Nation

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Released in an effort to reflect Britain's current underlying optimism brought on by the impending Royal Wedding and 2012 Olympics, Pride of the Nation is the second staunchly patriotic release from the current incarnation of the country's oldest serving military band, the Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards. The Wellington Barracks-based group, which regularly appears on Guard Mount at Buckingham Palace, has unsurprisingly stuck to the winning formula of its 2009 classical chart-topping predecessor, Heroes, with another selection of traditional hymns, stirring anthems, and sport and movie themes that unashamedly celebrate what it's like to be British. Conducted by the band's musical director, Graham Jones, there are pieces with historical connotations such as "Zadok the Priest," one of four anthems composed by Handel that was played at the coronation of George II in 1727; "The British Grenadiers," an 18th century marching song regularly performed at Trooping the Colour; and 19th century Christian hymn "Abide with Me," which was played at the weddings of both King George IV and Queen Elizabeth II. Alongside the more contemporary pieces such as the theme tune to BBC radio soap opera The Archers, Vangelis' Oscar-winning "Chariots of Fire" from the 1981 film of the same name, and the official London Marathon theme, "The Trap," there's also a whole host of more traditional compositions featuring an impressive array of classical recording artists. Blackpool tenor Alfie Boe provides the vocals on an emotive rendition of "Jerusalem," Fron Male Voice Choir lend their powerful tones to an anthemic interpretation of Proms' highlight "Land of Hope and Glory," and Baroque trumpet ensemble Le Rejouissance showcase their musical prowess on Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks." Fans who bought their last album might feel a little shortchanged at the decision to include two of its songs here again ("I Vow to Thee My Country" and Elgar's Enigma Variation No. 9, "Nimrod"), while its polished production inevitably loses some of the rawness of the band's live performances. But overall, Pride of the Nation is a consistently uplifting and cleverly arranged collection of British classical favorites that should appeal to any fan of patriotic military music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
5:30 SpotifyAmazon
2
feat: Alfie Boe
2:15 Spotify
3 2:42 SpotifyAmazon
4
6:14 Spotify
5 2:41 SpotifyAmazon
6
4:24 Amazon
7
3:02 Amazon
8
2:34 SpotifyAmazon
9
2:25 Amazon
10 5:27 Amazon
11
2:43 Amazon
12 3:28 SpotifyAmazon
13
4:05
14
3:31 Spotify
15
1:10 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick