*
banner

Tredegar Band

Absorbing counterbalances of purity and angst highlighted the heavyweight talents of Matthias Hofs and the Welsh champion on Saturday afternoon at the RNCM.



Conductor: Ian Porthouse
Soloist: Matthias Hofs
RNCM International Brass Band Festival 
Saturday 27th January

Voices borne of illuminating purity as well as darkest angst permeated the air as German trumpeter Matthias Hofs and Welsh champion Tredegar offered fascinating musical counterbalances to each other’s heavyweight reputations.

Hofs is a performer whose abundant technical gifts serve only to create beauty; the results of which for the past 40 years and more have been moulded with an expressive clarity of style never at odds with itself or the music.  

Unimpeachable class

His trio of solos, subtly accompanied, were an endorsement of his unimpeachable class: Wolf Kerschek’s ‘Balkan Children’s Dance’  was tailored with delicate innocence – fleet of foot and inquisitively playful as the rhythmic meter constantly changed direction like a toddler chasing a cat.  

He made it sound ridiculously easy, yet it was anything but – as the principal trumpet players of the London Symphony Orchestra, Halle and BBC Philharmonic, spotted taking an afternoon off work to listen to him perform, knew full well.

Wolf Kerschek’s ‘Balkan Children’s Dance’  was tailored with delicate innocence – fleet of foot and inquisitively playful as the rhythmic meter constantly changed direction like a toddler chasing a cat.  

So too ‘Spanish Moods’  – the double bell Bb trumpet (the upper muted) seemingly a gimmick, yet unlike an echo cornet, only able to be successfully engaged by total command of articulated alignment. It was an Iberian flavoured display of understated mastery. 

His encore was a sublime rendition of Michel Legrand’s ‘How do we Keep the Music Playing’ – his rotary-valved flugel tone pearlescent in its warm lustre, the casual jazz inflections played with graceful nuance.   

Wide eyed eagerness

There was a more adolescent sense of ensemble adventure to Jude Radley’s ‘Momentum’  that opened the concert – rhythmic elements of funk, jazz and rock driven ever onwards with wide eyed eagerness and excitement. It was an engaging work from an emerging compositional talent of note. 

Oliver Waespi’s explorations of both urban and natural landscapes have long been admired - ‘As if a voice were in them…’  a creative reflection of the beauty of the high Alps and Simplon Pass that inspired William Wordsworth’s poetic genius. 

It is nature as an all-powerful and nameless force; man’s incursions scratches to it majestic surface. 

It is nature as an all-powerful and nameless force; man’s incursions scratches to it majestic surface. Ian Porthouse drew a compelling interpretation of the score, rich, detailed and ultimately majestic as the antiphonal fanfares drew the piece to its imposing climax.

Virtuous versus venal

Creative reflections of an entirely different, nameless force to close though, with Ludovic Neurohr’s delve into the subconscious psychology of morality – the virtuous versus the venal in ‘Are We Dark Inside?’.

It is a deliberately questioning, schizophrenically virtuosic work, played as such to highlight both serenity and disorder, and which on this occasion its darkest impulses certainly engulfed the listener. 

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    



Hathersage Band - Hathersage Village Spring Concert

Saturday 13 April • Hathersage Methodist Church, Main Road, Hathersage S32 1BB


Newstead Brass - Raising for the Roof

Saturday 13 April • Hill Methodist Church, The Hill, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 8JS


Harlow Brass Band - HARLOW BRASS BAND - SPRING CONCERT

Saturday 13 April • St Andrew's Methodist Church. The Stow. Harlow CM20 3AF


Dobcross Silver Band - Middleton Band

Sunday 14 April • Dobcross Band Club. Platt Lane. Dobcross OL3 5AD


The Hepworth Band - Brass & Cream Tea

Sunday 14 April • St David's Church Holmbridge. Woodhead Road, Holmbridge, Holmfirth HD9 2NQ


Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band

April 13 • We are seeking a ** Euphonium or Baritone ** player to join our ranks! This is an exciting time to join Reading Band having recently qualified for the fourth section national finals for the first time in 65 years!


Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band

April 13 • We are seeking an ** EEb Bass and BBb Bass ** player to join our ranks! This is an exciting time to join Reading Band having recently qualified for the fourth section national finals for the first time in 65 years!


North Lakes Brass

April 12 • 2ND & 3RD CORNET VACANCIES. Due to relocation, we're looking for two cornet players to complete our friendly lineup.. Promoted to the 3rd Section in 2024 we are a mainly contesting band and rehearse every Wednesday from 7:30 - 9:30 in the centre of Keswick.


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator


               

 © 2024 4barsrest.com Ltd