Sunday, 29 January 2012

Royal Northen College of Music - Foden's Band - 28/01/2012 - Review

My concert last night was very interesting. As I mentioned in the brief preview, this was my the first time attending a Brass Band concert.

From the start it was lively & noisy with the Pittsburgh Overtune by Philip Sparke, a piece composed for the River City Band and the Condutor at the time, Robert Bernat. This was commissioned as the first movement of A Pittsburgh Symphony.

Before the performance continued the audience was introduced to the Composer of the next piece along with the performer for whom the music has been written. James Stephenson, a composer & former trumpeter from Chicago and Rex Richardson delighted the audience with "Rextreme", a piece that has been described as "a 21st century concerto, substantial yet crowd-friendly". This piece of music, the full title is "Trumpet Concerto No 2 Rextreme" received it's Première in Sydney in 2010 and since then has been played to audiences across four continents.

Another Composer was introduced to the audience, this time the Foden's Composer-in-residence, Andy Scott. We was treated to a World Première to "Spirit of Mingus", a piece inspired by the Americian Composer Charles Mingus. Reference is made to various Mingus numbers including Goodbye Porkpie Hat & Self Portrait in Three Colours.

Interval time came where I went to buy some food. I was starving at this point as I have travelled straight from Liverpool where I had spent the day at Anfield watching Liverpool beat Utd in the FA Cup :-). The food on offer was varied, which is always a good sign in my book. I had the Meal Deal, sandwich, crisps & a drink for £2.75 so very reasonably priced too. I also bought a programme at the cost of £3.

Second half of the performance began with Comedy Overture by John Ireland, a piece considered to be one of the finest brass band works from the 1930's. The final part was the 25 minute long Partita by Wilfred Heaton. This is broken down into 4 parts, the rhetoric Prelude, wild energy of the Scherzo, the powerful climax of the Canzona and the wit and momentum of the Rondo

We thought the concert was over at this point but it was not. We was treated to a March, sorry but I forget which one, but it was a rousing way to end the concert.

Overall a very interesting evening, one which I hope to repeat in the future.

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