From Northumbrian to Elizabethan
A REVIEW written by Lionel Avery on Amersham Concert Club’s second concert with the Prince Bishop Brass Quintet.
A fanfare of brass opened Amersham Concert Club’s second concert of the season held on Saturday, November 7.
The Prince Bishop Brass Quintet arrived in great good humour, despite their long journey from the North-East of England, but pleased to be fêted with fireworks along the way.
From the outset the audience was ready to relax and be entertained by an eclectic programme of music adapted to this chamber brass ensemble. All the musicians (Mike Walton & Derek Rufell, trumpets, Chris Senior, horn, Stuart Gray, trombone and Stephen Boyd, tuba) have played brass since their youth.
Their joint experience includes performing and conducting many of the well known bands in the North of England as well as time spent with opera and ballet companies and some of the country’s leading orchestras.
Together they make it look easy to produce a rich and balanced sound in the chamber concert environment.
The programme ranged from Bach’s Fugue in G minor via traditional Elizabethan airs to include a challenging transcription of the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber.
It embraced a medley of traditional Northumbrian songs commissioned by the ensemble from big band leader Ray Chester and a short piece by Michael Kamen, better known for his wealth of film scores and avant-garde 1970s pop music.
The more jazzy sounds of Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ and Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’ provided an upbeat finale to a thoroughly engaging concert.
The next concert will be on Saturday, November 28, at 8pm featuring Matthew Scott on clarinet and Daniel King-Smith on piano in a concert of romantic music supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust.
The programme will include works by Ravel, Brahms, Lovregio and Debussy.
Concerts take place at Dr Challoners High School for Girls in Little Chalfont. Visit www.amershamconcerts.org.uk for more information on future events.