Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Heliotrope Chamber Ensemble concert

13 April 2016

On Saturday I made my third appearance with the Heliotrope Ensemble (following previous concerts reviewed here in April 2013 and May 2015). Once again we were at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church in Northampton to perform a programme of chamber music for large wind ensemble. The first half of the concert featured Mozart’s ‘Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments’ (the ‘Gran Partita’) – a legendary summit for wind players to climb. I've played the Gran Partita twice before – at a Music in the Brickhills concert in 2011 (reviewed here in May 2011) and last summer at Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire (reviewed here in July 2015). It's a beautiful piece but the horn parts are fairly straightforward: the intricate solos are in the oboes, clarinets, bassoons and basset horns and my Heliotrope colleagues gave an excellent performance, ably led by conductor Peter Cigleris. In the second half of the concert we tackled the 'Sonatina no. 2 for 16 Winds' by Richard Strauss ('From the Happy Workshop'). This rarely performed work is one of the last Strauss wrote and was intended as a tribute to the wind music of Mozart. There are many similarities and references to the Gran Partita but one of the most obvious differences from Mozart is the writing for the four horns, which is magnificent. I found the first horn part a major challenge – incredibly high, fast and intricate – but huge fun to play. I think our performance went really well: the decision not to rehearse on Saturday afternoon, as we normally would, left me with enough stamina to get through the concert. Any mistakes were down to lack of concentration rather than stamina. There was some brilliant playing throughout the ensemble and it was a privilege to be asked to be part of it. I look forward to the next Heliotrope project.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home