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Leyland Band

Conductor: Thomas Wyss
Innsbrucker Promenadenkonzerte
Hofburg Imperial Palace
Austria
Friday 28th July

Although some of the visitors packed into the courtyard of the wonderful Hofburg Imperial Palace would have been lucky to have been able to see Leyland Band in concert action, if their reaction was anything to go by, they certainly enjoyed hearing them.

Over the past 23 years organiser Alois Schopf has made this month long concert series into one of Europe’s leading festival events, with ensembles attracted not just be the ornate surroundings, but also by the promise of a warm welcome by an enthusiastic, well-informed audience. 

Fine style

This was Leyland’s second visit - their first being in 2015 - and once again they delivered in fine style, starting with the rousing march, ‘Death or Glory’.  

Helped by MD Thomas Wyss speaking in their mother tongue, it was a relaxed occasion, with plenty of humour to add to no less than 21 pieces and four encores.

Displays of virtuosity certainly appealed the most: Iain Culross setting the standard with a whirlwind rendition of ‘Carnival of Venice’, which was rivalled by the technical wizardry of euph star James McLeod on Monti’s famous ‘Czardas’. 

Displays of virtuosity certainly appealed the most: Iain Culross setting the standard with a whirlwind rendition of ‘Carnival of Venice’, which was rivalled by the technical wizardry of euph star James McLeod on Monti’s famous ‘Czardas’. 

Spellbound Doyle

Lighter music kept the mood relaxed, with the audience spellbound by John Doyle as he switched between flugel and trumpet in order to deliver a blockbusting ‘People’ - especially as it was revealed that it was rather craftily dedicated to his wife Rebecca on horn, as the concert just happened to fall on their wedding anniversary. 

Return trip

Not to be outdone, Eb tuba Chris Doran and percussionist Ben Thomas also had the crowd foot-tapping to features in ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat On’ and ‘Ol’ Man River’, whilst the variety shown in style and genre in the ensemble features was fantastic. 

It was an evening packed full of entertainment: You can only hope to both see and hear Leyland Band performing here again in the future.

Tobias Bauer



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