Thursday, May 28, 2015

Heliotrope Chamber Ensemble concert

28 May 2015

Heliotrope Chamber Ensemble is a Northampton-based wind quintet, occasionally augmented by additional players. I played with them in a concert two years ago (reviewed here in April 2013) which included the UK premiere of 'Sacred Women' by the contemporary American composer Jeff Scott. Last Saturday I joined Heliotrope again for a concert performance of Richard Strauss's 'Suite in B flat major'. This is a very early work by Richard Strauss (opus 4) – written when he was still a teenager – but it is a lovely piece and very enjoyable to play. It's an interesting challenge playing in a thirteen-piece wind ensemble without a conductor. You have to work hard to keep the music together and to avoid slowing down but I think our performance went very well. The concert also included the fiendishly difficult Nielsen 'Wind Quintet' which I last saw performed at a Music in the Brickhills concert in 2011 (reviewed here in June 2011). I was full of admiration for the Heliotrope Quintet who tackled this challenging work very impressively.

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