10 February 2023

Love Song from Philip Cobb: Rich and lavish

Major Adrian Maddern

Image shows the album cover of Love Song against a wooden background.

Major Adrian Maddern (Reading Central) reviews the album Love Song by Philip Cobb.

With warmth and sensitivity, we are brought into the world of melody and song in Philip Cobb’s latest recording.

Philip is Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and an outstanding musician. The listener is treated to a collection of songs with his exquisite, lyrical cornet playing, accompanied with sumptuous sounds from the International Staff Band under the leadership of the soloist’s father, Stephen Cobb.

All the music presented is reflective in nature and, for this listener, is the perfect tonic after a busy, stressful day. It is cornet playing of the highest quality, superbly supported by the ISB.

There is much to enjoy. There are classic songster arrangements, such as ‘The Candle of the Lord’ by Joy Webb, Mervyn Clarke’s ‘Precious Jesus’ and Alastair Taylor’s ‘I Need Thee’. Three works by the great songwriter Howard Davies are featured: ‘All the Ways God Has Shown’, ‘The Wonder of His Grace’ and ‘With All My Heart’. The latter was particularly enjoyed by this listener. Joy Webb is featured once more with the beautiful, evocative melody of ‘As I Pray’.

No collection of Salvation Army cornet melodies would be complete, however, without William Hammond’s ‘In the Love of Jesus’ and George Beverly Shea’s ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’. Both are played with sensitivity and delivered with aplomb.

There is also the evergreen ‘Prayer of Childhood’ by Leslie Condon and Ernest Rance’s much-loved ‘Ochills’, which features paraphrased words from Psalm 121: ‘To the hills I lift my eyes, the distant hills before me.’

We are treated to some rich and lavish sounds from the title track ‘Love Song’ by Kenneth Downie and Andrew Blyth’s ‘A Lyric of Hope’, as well as a beautiful setting of the familiar song ‘Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know’ from Paul Sharman in ‘The Sweetest Name’. Mozart’s classic ‘Laudate Dominum’ completes the set. It is a collection of unmatched quality with superb arrangements throughout.

Written by

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Major Adrian Maddern

Corps Officer, Reading Central

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