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Scarlet & Gold

Musicians from the Household Division
Cadogan Hall
London
Wednesday 27th November


A hand-picked group of Household Division players took to the stage at Cadogan Hall for the two annual Scarlet & Gold concerts, added to in the second halves by players from the Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra.

They made good use of the spatial possibilities as fanfare teams from the Welsh and Irish Guards stood opposite each other in the gallery for the Jacobs setting of the 'National Anthem', remaining in place for 'Fanfare Argentius', which was the winner in a competition to mark 25 years of the Corps of Army Music.

The programme had an international theme, with 'The Longest Day' representing the USA and Arabia followed by the exotic sounds of Samuel Hazo's 'Arabesque'.

Accomplished

Although written by a Japanese composer, 'Vongole' stood for Italy; each movement referring to an Italian wine and featuring the accomplished baritone sax playing of L Cpl Stephen Shepherd. The first half ended In Spain with the lively rhythms of 'El Camino Real'.

David Wong starred in 'Kletzmer Tune', the second movement of Giora Feidman's 'Kletzmer Suite', with some distinctive bending of notes and growls from the clarinet, violin and cello. The sensual sounds of South America were then heard in 'Danzon No 2'.

The final soloist was Msn Matt Dixon with a fine account of the second movement of 'Piano Concerto No 2' (Shostakovich) - both soloist and accompaniment displaying great sensitivity.

A ten-piece trombone ensemble then took to the stage for 'Duel of the Fates', dividing into two quintets as the conflict developed with red and blue light sabre effects attached to their slides shining out at the end.

Light sabre

A ten-piece trombone ensemble then took to the stage for 'Duel of the Fates', dividing into two quintets as the conflict developed with red and blue light sabre effects attached to their slides shining out at the end.

Following 'Hymn to the Fallen', Lt Col. Darren Wolfendale stepped forward to conduct the thrilling finale, extracted from Tchaikovsky's 'Symphony No 4'. After 'The Music Makers' and 'When the Guards are on Parade' the band struck up 'Auld Lang Syne' in recognition of it being his last concert before retirement.

Featuring eight conductors, and with Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE VR DL setting just the right tone as compere, it was a most enjoyable evening.

Peter Bale

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