facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

CD Review: Matthew Gee's Amazing Sliding Circus!

Matthew Gee
Featuring: Christopher Glynn and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
CD: Gee02

circus

There are two things that are just about guaranteed to strike terror into the hearts of people of a certain delicate disposition: Concept albums and clowns.

For them, every Sgt Pepper or Ziggy Stardust comes with a flip-side of Jay-Z’s ‘American Gangster’ or ‘Tales from the Topographic Ocean’ by Yes.   And for every operatic Pagliacci or fun-time Charlie Cairoli there is the coulrophobic fear of a John Wayne Gacy or Pennywise.   

Psychiatrist's couch 

Combining the two then would seem to be a sure fire way of ending up on the psychiatrist’s couch, but instead, trombonist Matthew Gee has opened up his musical mind to present this wonderfully creative solo album; stripping bare any deep-rooted preconceptions to reveal the raw honesty that hides behind the displays of naval gazing pretentiousness and greasepaint buffoonery.    

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal trombone is an exceptional player - as shown on his first solo album ‘Paradiso e inferno’, but with this follow-up his telescopic insight peers to musical horizons that contrast the achingly sublime to the brilliantly ridiculous.  

The bizarre and the beautiful, the imposing and impish, cultured and clownish sit comfortably side by side - three acts in a circus inspired performance heralded by the muddled sounds of warm-up and the high tempo introductory ‘Melody Shop’ overture (a superb bit of multi-track wizardry).

'Fischietto e morto' is like tasting in your mouth the acidic revulsion and self-pity that has eaten away a clown’s soul.

Acidic revulsion

Sondheim’s ironic melancholy snugly nestles between Berio’s intense ‘Sequenza V’ and Gary Carpenter’s disturbing treatise on the philosophical meaning of what it is to lead a life of almost perverse comedic intention.  'Fischietto e morto' is like tasting in your mouth the acidic revulsion and self-pity that has eaten away a clown’s soul.

Twitchy sphincter

Elsewhere, the sophisticated elegance of Stavinsky’s ‘Pulcinella’ contrasts with the tight-knitted colourful complexities of Rob Keeley’s ‘Circus Games’ (aided by exceptional ensemble work), whilst the pathos of Leoncavallo’s broken hearted Canio leads into the final absurdity and echoing loneliness of another one of Simon Vincent’s deliciously disturbing bijou gems that have already twitched your sphincter in apprehension.

All you now have to do is hope you don’t meet up with a manic looking Ronald McDonald in a local drive-thru while listening to Marilyn Manson’s ‘Triptych Trilogy’.

Iwan Fox

See the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mViBUrqqxak

To Purchase:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8403036--matthew-gees-amazing-sliding-


Play List:

1. A Most Grand and Marvellous Spectacle (Simon Vincent)
2. The Melody Shop (Karl King)
3-10. Pulcinella (Igor Stravinsky)
11. Mrs. Nisbett’s Particular Lament (Simon Vincent)
12. Sequenza V (Luciano Berio)
13. Send in the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim)
14. Fischietto e morto (Gary Carpenter)
15. Circus Games (Rob Keeley)
16-17. Pagliacci (Ruggero Leoncavallo)
18. The Triumphal Coulrobonia (Simon Vincent)



Contest: Welsh Open

Saturday 16 February • The Grand Pavilion, The Esplanade, Porthcawl, CF36 3YW


Newstead Brass - Contest Countdown

Sunday 17 February • Festival Hall, Hodgkinson Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire NG17 7DJ


Foden's Band - Annual Patrons Concert

Tuesday 19 February • Sandbach School, Crewe Road, Sandbach CW11 3NS


Black Dyke Band - Doncaster Minster

Saturday 23 February • 9 Church St, Doncaster DN1 1RD


The Cobham Band - Best of Brass Concert

Saturday 23 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall. 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton Surrey KT7 0LQ


Blidworth Welfare Band

February 16 • *Solo Cornet* a great opportunity has arrived for a player to join our friendly and progressive band. Blidworth Welfare Band is a Championshop section band in Notts 15mins from J27 M1. We have sensible diary of concerts and contests


Freckleton Band

February 15 • We have a vacancy for a 2nd trombone player, although the solo trombone position would be available to the right person. The band has recently been promoted to the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme.


Freckleton Band

February 15 • Freckleton Band have a vacancy for a 2nd baritone player. The band has recently been promoted to the Championship section and have a balanced concert and contest programme. Rehearsal nights are Mondays and Thursdays.


Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer