Brighouse & Rastrick


Great Northern Spring Brass Arts Festival
Conductor: Professor David King
Soloists: Katrina Marzella, Simone Rebello, Lydia Hoen Tjore
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Sunday 9th May

BrighouseFrom the moment the reigning Yorkshire Area champion, Brighouse & Rastrick took to the stage at Bridgewater Hall, to the time they left some 90 minutes later on Sunday afternoon, the army of supporters who had made the journey to listen to them perform under David King wore smiles of satisfaction as wide as the Manchester Ship Canal.

For the neutral listener it was also further proof that Brighouse and their remarkable conductor will surely be a force to be reckoned with on the major contesting stages to come.  They were mightily impressive.


Brighouse produced a contrasting programme that featured three top class soloists, and just days after a personal celebration of achievement at Salford University, the MD enjoyed himself in a relaxed yet commanding manner on the podium, never for a moment letting his band escape from his vice like grip of musical control.

They opened with Peter Graham’s ‘The Red Machine’ - the name given to the Coldstream Guards Band when on parade. The sound of the band in the dramatic, rhythmic opening filled the hall in a performance every bit as precise as any bit of square bashing the squaddies could provide.

Trio of talent

The evocative ‘Dances with Wolves’ that followed was atmospheric and as broadly phrased as the wide prairie plains of Wyoming, before the audience was treated to the first of the afternoon’s three high class soloists.

Katrina Marzella displayed her full repertoire of skills on the familiar ‘Slavische Fantasie’ and ‘Be my Love’, where the quality of accompaniment was understated and refined.  


A trip to the ‘Catskills Mountains’ featuring some excellent cornet work from a section under the leadership of guest principal cornet Iain Culross, prefaced the appearance of talented Norwegian vocalist, Lydia Hoen Tjore.

Lydia was the runner up in ‘Norway’s Got Talent’ in 2009 and any critics of television talent shows will have soon discovered that the student at the Grieg Academy of Music (she also plays the cornet under Torstein Aagaard-Nilson) is an authentic quality performer, displaying a wonderful timbre during ‘Part of Your World’, ‘Vitae Lux’ and ‘Gaelic Blessing’.

Simone sparkles

The final soloist of the afternoon was percussionist, Simone Rebello, who commanded the stage whilst performing a couple of her favourite lollipop showpieces on marimba and vibraphone.  

’Zimba, Zamba’ and ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ were as polished and professional as her recent television appearance at the European Championships in Linz.
UK premiere

Ludvic Neurohr is a talented young composer who was runner-up at the 2009 European Composer’s competition in Ostende, and during his studies at Salford University he was awarded the Kirklees Composition prize.  

In 2008 he was given the opportunity to work with David King and National Australia Brass who gave the world premiere of his ‘Psyche’ at the 2008 Melbourne International Festival of Brass.

The colourful work lasting around 15 minutes brought to a close Brighouse’s immensely enjoyable concert, although you sensed a few raised eyebrows from the distinctly middle aged audience when the composition was described as a Manchester  inspired journey of  ‘love, life and lust’.  Despite the ‘student inspired’ inspiration it’s a work that deserves to be heard again – and soon.

On this form so do Brighouse & Rastrick under David King.

Malcolm Wood