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Filton Concert Brass

Conductor: Tom Davoren
Soloist: Brett Baker
Lithuanian Wind & Brass Band Championship Gala Concert
Palanga Concert Hall
Saturday 7th April

There may have been a dual purpose to the visit of Filton Concert Brass to the Lithuanian Wind & Brass Band Championships Gala Concert in Palanga - but on both accounts it was a great success.

As an acoustic trial run it highlighted the substantial progress made by the local organisers as preparations for their bid to host the 2020 European Championships gain critical focus, whilst as a brass band showcase it also highlighted the increasingly impressive musical development of the band from Bristol. 

Inventive

Under the baton of Tom Davoren, Filton is now a well-established top section force (they will be competing in the Grand Shield in Blackpool); their ‘project’ based ethos allowing for a great deal of organisational flexibility (incorporating this trip and the release of a forthcoming CD into the early part of 2018) – one that is also mirrored by their inventive musical approach.

This could have been an easy ‘lollipop’ concert, but instead the MD had chosen a programme that treated over 1000 people in the audience at a vibrant Palanga Concert Hall to works that emphasised the traditional strengths of ‘English’ brass band music making - rich, dark tonality, wide dynamic variance and precise technical flourishes.

This could have been an easy ‘lollipop’ concert, but instead the MD had chosen a programme that treated over 1000 people in the audience at a vibrant Palanga Concert Hall to works that emphasised the traditional strengths of ‘English’ brass band music making - rich, dark tonality, wide dynamic variance and precise technical flourishes.  

Polished style

In Brett Baker they also had a guest soloist on the top of his form - an elegantly relaxed focal point in works that varied from ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ to ‘Swingin’ Down the Alley’ and ‘Song of the Sea’. His playing was a model of polished style. 

Tom Davoren’s own ‘Living Power’ was the sprightly opener, whilst ABBA’s melancholic 'Slipping Through My Fingers’ and ‘The Torchbearers March’ (played with just the right amount of flowing undercurrent) were navigated with ease.  

‘I’ll Walk With God’, ‘Glow’, ‘Gypsy Dance’, ‘Pseudo Yoik’ and ‘Prelude on Lavenham’ rounded off an impressive display of ensemble cohesion and malleable musicality.

It was a multi-faceted job very well done.

Iwan Fox 



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