David's Review Corner
, December 2019
Known throughout the world as a founder member of the progressive rock band, Genesis, Tony Banks has turned in recent times to the world of formal composition.
For his fifth orchestral score, commissioned for the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, he has composed a suite of five descriptive pieces, the whole score given the name ‘5’. Much of the stylistic influences come from his work in the field of film soundtracks dating back to the 1970’s—Banks becoming a septuagenarian this coming year—the opening Prelude to a Million Years straight from a Hollywood epic with large-scale gestures as we ride into the wide expanses of Arizona, or some such place. Recording Banks’ music is akin to a jigsaw with parts recorded at various times and in different places, including Banks’s home, these diverse recordings then brought together in a mixing studio. You would not guess this as it emerges in a seamless flow that includes the solo cornet of John Barclay in the second and fourth pictures—Reveille and Autumn Sonata—the piano of Banks playing an important role throughout, particularly so in the Sonata. The wordless Czech choir take ‘centre stage’ in the final Renaissance. In his programme notes Banks pays tribute to Nick Ingman who has clothed his piano short score in a resplendent orchestration, then goes into the studio to conduct a very compliant Czech orchestra. If you enjoy wide-screen film music then you will most certainly want this disc, which is sumptuous in sound and extended in dynamic impact. © 2019 David’s Review Corner