BASBWE London Festival - Saturday 24th March 2012
Guildhall Saxophone Ensemble (Christian Forshaw - cond.)
The lunchtime concert saw some truly exceptional ensemble performances from the Guildhall Saxophone Ensemble. The concert began with Patterson's Diversions Op. 32 for Saxophone Quartet, which from the very start demonstrated enormous amounts of energy and such clean dove tailing as the melodic line was passed flawlessly through the different saxophones. The third movement (Sea Breeze) was very tight and brought out quirky snippets of Rule Britannia.
The full saxophone ensemble followed by performing two pieces, the first an arrangement by the alto player of a choral work, which was impressive for many reasons but particularly for brilliant tuning. Two soprano's playing together can often have disastrous consequences but not here! On the whole, the intonation of the ensemble was good with the exception of a couple of A's in the alto parts. The delicate nature of the work was fully accomplished from eight saxophones playing together.
The concert finished with a performance of Eddie Parker's The Status Quo, quite different in style. What came across well about this performance was the really tight ensemble that was created, from the groove of the bass line came a light chordal motif along with interjections of stab chords that were perfectly together.
The ensemble was as tight as one would expect from players of that standard but what stood out from the performance was the exquisite attention to detail and the ability to create instant mood changes within the different pieces.