A spectacular dive via an extended chromatic scale immediately submerges us in a charged and somewhat archaic-feeling atmosphere. Trumpets, horns and trombones resound in rhythmic patterns, buttressed by restless motifs in the percussion. A second theme, in the woodwinds, begins much calmer but is quickly pushed aside by that same brass offensive. This introduction is the musical expression of the sometimes tumultuous early history of the town of Peer in Belgium. It closes with a D scale played over two octaves and repeated three times, symbolizing the church steeples that dominate the townscape. Peer has the credentials of a town, and people should know about it.There followsa rhythmic, turbulent passage: in the course of history, Peer has not been spared the ravages of war, arson, occupation, epidemic and other evils. In contrast, a slow, pastoral, lyrical part expresses the periods of peace and prosperity the town has known, as well as the serene geographic setting that still characterizes the place. Various instruments in groups are developed in solo style while the accompaniment displays vast, painterly images of sound. Now and then an exotic intonation is heard: a variety of peoples and cultures have left their mark on the town.This episode of tranquility and peacefulness comes to a sudden end when, via a surprising, almost chaotic transitional passage, we are in effect transported back to our own time. A hopeful, festive march expresses the confidence in the future that the Royal Concert Band of Peer exudes. This confidence is wholly justified: under the direction of conductor Willy Fransen, the 95 members of the concert band have experienced an extended period of good fortune, and the 75 musicians of the youth band - and the 45 little musicians of the mini-band - are involved in thriving operations.