*
banner

A4 Brass Quartet

St Bartholomew the Less
London
Wednesday 19th December

The A4 Brass Quartet rounded off a memorable year of artistic achievement by presenting their accomplished talents to a capacity audience in the elegant surroundings of the Church of St Bartholomew the Less within Barts Hospital.

They opened with Jonathan Bates' vibrant 'Toccata 4', which provided an excellent introduction to the group thanks to its abundant energy and surges of sound.

Original detail

There was a witty acknowledgment that was to follow was their most challenging item; an arrangement of Smetana's 'Overture to the Bartered Bride'. It was a fine take however; including a great deal of original detail expertly covered and a surprisingly full sound even when only a couple of players were in action.

Inventive approaches to Harold Darke's 'In the Bleak Midwinter', followed by a version of 'Let it Snow!' incorporating a schottische and references to 'Jingle Bells' led into an unusual selection of ten 'Romanian Christmas Carols' by Bela Bartok. 

With various leads duets and trios giving the texture, the whole work was underpinned by constantly shifting Balkan rhythms.

'Requiem from the Tuvan Hills' and 'A Tale of Two Peaks' from their CD release 'Mists of the Mountains' showed off further engaging aspects of the group's playing; the first started with CD backing adding the sounds of bells and birdsong as the three lower instruments were joined by the cornet. 

The latter featured fanfare entries - whoops, reminiscent of bebop, starting in the euph before being taken up by the ensemble and unison figures on baritone and euph – and providing a startling contrast to Poulenc's 'O Magnum Mysterium' with its astringent harmonies and unresolved suspensions.

With various leads duets and trios giving the texture, the whole work was underpinned by constantly shifting Balkan rhythms.

Sonorous

Rob Bushnell's '. . . and has forgotten the gift' presented mini-cadenzas, including multiphonics for the euphonium, ending suddenly with a unison descending scale.

Jamie Smith's flugel led in 'Away in a Manger', set against running scales on horn and baritone, and finishing with a sonorous euphonium. 

A medley of 'Santa Baby' and 'Baby it's Cold Outside' had wit and warmth, before the concert closed with a rousing 'Hark the Herald' with audience participation, and an intricate setting of 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas'.

Peter Bale 

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH


Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP


Chadderton Band

April 17 • Chadderton Band is a friendly non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections of the band particularly on Euph Drums and Horn. Come along for a blow most welcome.


Oxford Cherwell Brass

April 14 • Returning to the band room in May we have vacancies for second and third cornets. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings 8-10pm at Edward Feild School, Kidlington. The band has engagements and contests lined up from late summer onwards.


Sandhurst Silver Band

April 14 • After well over 12 months, playing Connotations at the 1st Section National Finals as a first contest certainly has a nice ring to it. Following relocation, Sandhurst are looking to fill the following vacancies:. . Solo Cornet;. 1st Horn


Derek Renshaw

ABBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator.


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd