With Covid-19 still keeping music venues of every type closed for the time being this is an in-concert episode where all the music has been recorded live in various venues around the world.

Applause for the amateur musician, which most brass band players are, is the one tangible reward for their efforts.  It’s a totally different experience performing to an audience, rather than to various interested parties through a studio glass window of course.  You can put things on the stage which generate an excitement and expectancy.  When we have something to celebrate there’s nothing quite like a live concert to make it special, especially when you can include a world premiere, and bring together on stage four of the greatest cornet players who ever lived; Willie Lang, Maurice Murphy, James Shepherd and Philip McCann.

Recordings from The European Brass Band Championship have given us all the chance to hear bands from many different countries, and every once in a while, superstars in the making. Listening again now to Brass Band Oberösterreich in 2005 only proves that we weren’t wrong!

And this week, I get to include one of my favourite ‘live’ sounds of all. The Massed Bands Concert used to be a fixture at the Royal Albert Hall every year after the Nationals, I played in my first one in 1956 and will never forget it. In 1978 it was the massed forces of Besses, Carlton Main, Ever Ready and GUS under the baton of the late great Bob Farnon, what a sound and what an occasion those Gala Concerts were.

Applause is an hypnotic thing, it is the only thing that in a musicians life is given absolutely freely, but you can’t ask for it, you can only earn it.

We hope you'll enjoy the free excerpt that's below and then do please subscribe and join us on Frank Renton on Brass for more details, the full playlist and of course the whole programme.