633 Squadron Album Review February 25 2013, 0 Comments

Contributed by: Jack Kopstein


The 633 Squadron is a fictional RAF Mosquito Squadron of WWII. The name 633 Squadron became known through a novel and subsequent movie, both of course fictional. There was and still is however a real 633 Squadron formed in 1948. It is a voluntary RAF Squadron for the flight training of young Air Training Corps cadets. The movie theme which is heard in this recording was by well-known and prolific British composers Ron Goodwin. Featured on this album are several Air Force themes from the movies. Some of the music represents fictional events but others such as the Dambusters march characterize actual events of WWII. 

The Battle of Britain took place between August and September 1940. After the success of Blitzkrieg, the evacuation of Dunkirk and the surrender of France, Britain was by herself. The Battle of Britain remains one of the most famous battles of World War Two. March which is noted on the album as Luftwaffe march is actually the march “Aces High” The music of the “Spitfire Prelude” is heard and is dedicated to the marvelous aircraft which is considered the fire wall that prevented the Nazis from prevailing in the British skies.  

British composer William Walton composed the music for the motion picture The First of the Few in May and June 1942. At the end of 1942 he extracted and arranged the Spitfire Prelude and Fugue. The RAF band has taken the music one step further by arranging the composition for Brass. There are 19 tracks on this superb album which was originally released by Chandos the recording has an interesting mix of good solid marches from the pens of the world’s greatest march writers including Washington Post and Liberty Bell by Sousa arranged for Brass band and the brass arrangement of the Radetsky march by Strauss the senior. One of the most fascinating pieces on the album is the music of van Rebroff –the stirring Cossack Patrol arranged for Brass band. The Bohemian composer Julius Fucik wrote a number of great marches but none better than his Entry of the Gladiators-otherwise known as Thunder and Blazes.

Here are 19 thrilling British movie fight songs as performed by the Band of the Royal Air Force! Very good variety. Good value for the cost-free postal cost in the USA and with the added incentive of terrific brass band sounds in the album ****

1 The Dambusters (arr. for brass band)

2 Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

3 633 Squadron

4 Battle of Britain: Luftwaffe March

5 Pathfinders March (arr. for brass band)

6 Battle of Britain: March

7 Spitfire Prelude and Fugue (excerpt) (arr. for brass band)

8 Unter dem Doppeladler (Under The Double Eagle), Op. 159

9 Washington Post and Liberty Bell (arr. for brass band)

10 El Abanico (arr. for brass band)

11 The Champion

12 Cossack Patrol (arr. for brass band)

13 Radetzky March, Op. 228 (arr. for brass band)

14 Einzug der Gladiatoren (The Entry of the Gladiators), Op. 68, "Triumph March" (arr. for brass band)

15 Mit Schwert und Lanze (With Sword and Lance)

16 The Liberty Bell (arr. brass band)

17 Leicht zu Fuss (Light of Foot) (arr. for brass band)

18 Blaze Away (arr. for brass band)

19 Royal Air Force March Past