James Fountain - Trumpet
Oscar Whight - Trumpet
Matthew Horn - Horn
Andrew McCoy - Trombone
Tom Steer - Tuba
Music by Ewald, J.S.Bach & Brahms
Quintet No. 1
A Prelude and Fugue
'Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen'
Friday 15th. May saw another unusual enterprise for our music society when we hosted a concert by five students from London`s Guildhall School of Music and Drama brass department.
"Stratus Brass" was a completely different ensemble from those to which we are accustomed, and it was splendid to hear how mellow and sensuous this combination of five brass instruments could sound thanks to the excellent acoustics of the sanctuary.
A short " Sonata" by an anonymous German composer got the concert going in fine style with two trumpets,one trombone, one horn and mighty tuba fitting together in shining harmony.
Brahm`s Christmas carol, meaning "A spotless Rose," followed showing the more expressive abilities of this ensemble and next we heard what was perhaps one of the most enjoyable items in the recital----the arrangement for brass of the Bach G minor Fugue in G minor BWV 578. This was terrific fun with the" entries" clearly defined by individual instruments, so that anybody who was a little doubtful about the construction of this musical form could no longer be puzzled. The beauty of Bach, is that it sounds just as good played by any group of instruments, and this arrangement was no exception !
The second and shorter part of the programme started with a suite from Bizet`s "Carmen", enthusiastically played and ending appropriately with the "Toreador" song. Two quieter pieces followed-- Samuel Barber`s well known "Adagio" originally written for strings and Bach`s choral prelude "Sheep May Safely Graze" providing a fitting contrast. Maybe these latter pieces did not lend themselves so well to this combination owing to the difficulty of obtaining sufficient softness of tone with these instruments.
However, balance was restored with a rollicking performance of the Beatles` "When I`m Sixty Four", to conclude a most enjoyable,and for us, unusual, concert performed by five very able and versatile young musicians.
Stratus Brass are a fresh, new group who are all extremely keen to play and promote their music.
James Fountain, Oscar Whight, Matthew Horn, Andrew McCoy and Tom Steer are all currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Between them they have covered many orchestras across the country including several national groups.
Although only formed this year, they have covered a wide range of repertoire, including music arranged by their horn player.
After a very successful year, they have been given the opportunity to widen their repertoire even more and plan on working to cover more and more pieces as this year goes on and look forward to a bright future.