BASBWE London Festival - Saturday 24th March 2012
Kew Wind Orchestra (Hugh Sisley - Horn, Elgar Howarth and Spencer Down - cond.)
Kew Wind Orchestra with Elgar Howarth and Spencer Down gave its customarily sophisticated and stylish performance. BASBWE competition piece Explosion Overture by the young Alex Woolf opened the concert with a bang. This music has power, energy and momentum, shaped to include moments of gentler pace retaining the underlying impetus - let's hope he writes more soon!
The first performance of Elgar Howarth's Horn Concerto, with the composer in charge and brilliant Hugh Sisley - currently on trial with the LSO - as Soloist, was our next treat. This serious three movement work is beautifully paced and thoughtfully and reflectively constructed. Much of it is quite reserved and intense, with some tricky solo passages, but there is genuine character in the opening quirky march, the broad theme of the middle movement, and the energetic conclusion.
Ella Jarman-Pinto's I Remember. Like I'm the only illustrates the story of 5 women rowing between the Canaries and Barbados to highlight human trafficking. This first performance of an excerpt presented a powerful musical image of the journey. Starting with players blowing air through the instruments the unsettled syncopated rhythm in the quiet and reflective piece that followed certainly suggests the ocean.
After an assured performance of Martin Ellerby's attractive Eldorado, the band went on to perform Too Darn Hot and Big Girl Now (from their CD) with quality jazz singer Louise Clare Marshall, providing a lighter moment of real quality, and impressing us with the band's versatility and professionalism.