*
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    



Black Dyke Band - Gladstone Theatre

Sunday 26 January • Gladstone Theatre, Greendale Road,Birkenhead,. Wirral CH62 4XB


Contest: Brass in the Wire

Sunday 26 January • Pyramid and Parr Hall, Palmyra Square, Warrington WA1 1BL


Tredegar Town Band - RNCM Festival of Brass

Sunday 26 January • Royal Northern College of Music. 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD


Regent Hall Concerts - Guards Virtuosi

Friday 31 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

Friday 31 January • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street . (Opposite RESERVED). London. W1C 2DJ W1C 2DJ


Roberts Bakery Band

January 27 • Kit Player Required - Roberts Bakery Band (Sandbach). We're looking for a kit player to join us and share the fun that we have supporting our sponsors with prestigious, high profile events and also contesting and generally having a good time.


Redbridge Brass

January 27 • Redbridge Brass have vacancies for first class players: Solo Euphonium and BBb Bass. . The band rehearses on Monday and Thursday evenings (8-10pm). Former Ingrebourne School,. Taunton Road,. Harold Hill, Essex,. RM3 7YT


London Central Fellowship Band

January 27 • Required:. We are a friendly and busy band looking for PERCUSSION player . The band is affiliated to the Salvation Army, has high aspirations, and varied diary of concerts. We are looking for committed enthusiastic players (membership of SA not required)


Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist


               

 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd