facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

Tredegar Band

2019 RNCM Brass Band Festival
Conductor: Ian Porthouse
Soloist: David Childs
RNCM Manchester
Sunday 27th January


The UK premiere of Edward Gregson’s ‘Euphonium Concerto’ given by David Childs was the fulcrum to Tredegar’s programme at the RNCM Festival.

It raised an outstanding concert into the realms of the superlative.  

After an acclaimed performance by the combination at the Linz Brass Festival in November, the umbilical connection between MD Ian Porthouse and soloist was tethered with instinctive elasticity - the opening ‘Dialogues’ built on a four note cell stated with staggering  bulls-eye brilliance by the soloist.    

The neat interplay that followed, pared down by the composer to its basic essentials, was lucid and detailed, leading into an extended ‘Song Without Words’ - a poetic ballad of peacefulness.

Childs shaped each phrase with a tender passion, an intense, wistful air of nostalgia permeating the music.  

Only in the finale, a ‘Bacchanal’ of razor sharp technique dressed in a patina of heady bling, did the soloist let loose - and majestically so - upping the ante with ferocious exuberance, the ensemble gripped tightly to his coat tails.

It was a stunning performance of a work of huge significance to the euphonium repertoire.

Only in the finale, a ‘Bacchanal’ of razor sharp technique dressed in a patina of heady bling, did the soloist let loose - and majestically so - upping the ante with ferocious exuberance, the ensemble gripped tightly to his coat tails. 

Dramatic impact

Tredegar had earlier opened with the imposing heft of James MacMillan’s ‘Jebel’ - a dramatic impact statement of biblical power. Written for a local school (to be played by its brass band) it was hewn out of the hillside rock on which it stood around the corner from the composer’s home. 

It was followed by a refined reading of Dean Goffin’s ‘Rhapsodic Variations: My Strength, My Tower’, a masterwork whose foundations are deeply embedded in the biblical soil of the Salvationist movement. 

A sequel to ‘Rhapsody for Brass’, its modal theme was followed by a set of five elegantly structured variations, each complex and inventive, topped by filigree ornamentations for the cornet and euphonium (played with artistry by the soloists), and a rapid denouement.  

Knowing conceits

Henze’s ‘Ragtimes & Habaneras’ brought the afternoon to a delightful close, as Ian Porthouse simply and effectively allowed the music to speak for itself.  

The result of his light touch approach was a revitalizing series snapshot portraits, rib-poking gestures and knowing conceits that have lost none of their acerbic lemon-laced wit and stylised invention, from the alluring to the satirical.

Elements of Weill, Mahler and mordent Marxism bubbled sulphurously under its surface. It was quite brilliant.    

Iwan Fox

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 14 June • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Black Dyke Band - Halifax Minster

Saturday 15 June • Causeway, Halifax HX1 1QL


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Concentus - sings

Saturday 15 June • Seaford Baptist Church, Belgrave Road, Seaford BN25 2EE


Sherborne Town Band - Sherborne Youth Band

Sunday 16 June • Digby Road DT9 3NB


Black Dyke Band - Whitley Bay Playhouse

Sunday 16 June • Marine Ave, Whitley Bay NE26 1LZ


Shirley Band

June 15 • Shirley Band require a Tenor Trombone and Bass Trombone to join our friendly and hardworking 1st section band. We rehearse Wednesday and Friday evenings in Hockley Heath, 5 minutes from Junction 4 of the M42, with easy access from across the Midlands.


Prospect Brass - Skelmanthorpe

June 15 • Prospect Brass require a trombone (position negotiable) to join our team. We have a sensible yet exciting schedule of contests & concerts for the year ahead. We rehearse in our very own purpose built bandroom mon/fri 8-9.30pm


Prospect Brass - Skelmanthorpe

June 15 • Prospect Brass have a rare opportunity for a SOLO HORN player to join our team. We have a sensible yet exciting schedule of contests & concerts for the year ahead. We rehearse in our very own purpose built bandroom mon/fri 8-9.30pm.


Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger