Colliery bands, a term that may be unfamiliar to listeners outside of the U.K. and Australia, began forming in the late 1800s as a leisure activity for workers at the local colliery (a coal mine and its connected buildings) -- film buffs may remember the 1996 indie “dramedy” Brassed Off, which featured Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald, and Pete Postlethwaite attempting to save their local mine by entering their own Grimley Colliery Brass Band into a national championship. Music Lives On: Now the Mines Have Gone -- The Best of Colliery Bands, which was released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the end of the 1984-1985 miners strike, features some of the U.K.’s most distinguished colliery outfits. A spirited collection of classic brass band favorites (“Gallop from William Tell” and “Russian Dance”) and oddball contemporary standards (“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and “MacArthur Park”), the exquisite Music Lives On deserves the ears and hearts of a much broader audience than it will likely have access to.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
|Concierto de Aranjuez|
|New World Symphony|