Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: "Brassed Off!"—Concord Band Style

The Concord Band, with special guests, the Triton Brass Quintet, provided a most enjoyable Saturday evening concert. Music Director James O’Dell’s choice of repertoire was very entertaining and well received by the almost capacity audience. Hazo’s “Go” - a lively and upbeat piece that began the concert -tested the rhythmic capabilities of the ensemble. After a bit of an unsettled start, the band did rise to the occasion and ended on a solid and somewhat more confident note.

The nicely played Horn opening of McBeth’s “Ishmael” from Of Sailors and Whales, truly evoked images of the open sea. The intonation within the flutes and later, the saxophones did not significantly detract from the overall performance of an otherwise lovely presentation.

Cheetham, Cheetham, Cheetham! Anything Cheetham is always a favorite! The Triton Brass Quintet delivered a top-notch performance of the “Concertino for Brass Quintet and Symphonic Band”. The ‘Allegro resoluto’ was fantastic! The Triton Brass tossed melodic lines around effortlessly as the Concord Band accompanied with confidence and familiarity. Well done!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Guest Artist Spotlight: Triton Brass

Based in Boston, Triton Brass is an exciting musical collaborative comprising five of the region's most promising young talents. Triton Brass were prize winners at the 2005 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition, 2003 Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and semi-finalists at the Concert Art- ists Guild Competition. Triton members are in their second year as artists-in-residence at The Boston Conservatory, where the group serves as both performers and instructors, and are proud to be faculty and co-hosts for the Atlantic Brass Quintet International Seminar.

Since receiving his Master's degree from the New England Conservatory, Steve Banzaert has been an active freelancer in the Boston area, serving as principal trumpet of the New Bedford Symphony. Steve is also an instructor at MIT and is on the faculty of Hampshire College, where he teaches electro-mechanics.

Originally from New Jersey, Andrew Sorg is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory. Andrew is an active performer, composer, chamber musician and trumpet teacher in the Boston area. He holds teaching and residency positions at Boston College, The Boston Con- servatory and The Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Whitacre Hill (substituting tonight for Shelagh Abate) began his studies of the French horn at the age of nine with Prowell Seitzinger in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Whitacre continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music, the Music Academy of the West, and Northwestern University.

Wesley Hopper is a busy freelance trombonist in the Boston area, having performed with the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and countless other ensembles. He performs regularly with the National Lyric Opera, Lexington Symphony, and New Bedford Symphony.

Bass trombonist Angel Subero (substituting tonight for Jobey Wilson) attended the Conservatorio Itinerante in his native Venezuela, as well as the Boston Conservatory, and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he received the NEC Merit Award, graduating with distinction in performance.

Visit Triton Brass Quintet’s website at http://www.tritonbrass.org.

2012 Winter Concert

Brassed Off

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Concord Band

James O’Dell, Music Director
Steven Barbas, Assistant Conductor
Triton Brass Quintet, Guest Artists

Program

…GoSamuel R. Hazo
“Ishmael” from Of Sailors and WhalesW. Francis McBeth
Concertino for Brass Quintet and Symphonic BandJohn Cheetham
  1. Allegro resoluto
  2. Lento e espressivo
  3. Allegro vivo
Triton Brass Quintet, guest artists
“Adagio” from Concierto de AranjuezJoaquin Rodrigo; arr. McManus
Andrew Sorg, flugelhorn
Florentiner MarchJulius Fučik; arr. Lake, ed. Fennell

Intermission

FestivoEdward Gregson
“Nimrod” from Enigma VariationsEdward Elgar; arr. Slocum
Five Concord DiversionsJames Curnow
  1. Introduction
  2. Romance
  3. March
  4. Ballad
  5. Finale
Concord Band Commission

Read all notes for this program...

…Go

Samuel R. Hazo (b. 1966)

This energetic and extended fanfare is actually masquerading as an overture. It is a short and powerful work containing multiple themes, irregular phrases, rhythmic play, and mixed meter that culminates in a thunderous ending and ringing percussion. …Go is Hazo’s tribute to the many band composers that influenced his writing, including Hindemith, Rodrigo, and Holst. (Source: JRO)

“Ishmael” from Of Sailors and Whales: Five Scenes from Melville

W. Francis McBeth (1933–2012)

Commissioned and dedicated to the California Band Directors Association for the 1990 All-State Band, the first movement of this work is titled Ishmael “I go to sea as a simple sailor.” With its beautiful sustained and contemplative melody, the movement builds by a layering echo of the main theme and depicts the power, beauty, and majesty of the open seas and pioneering sailors. (Source: JRO) Performed in Memoriam.

Concertino for Brass Quintet and Symphonic Band

John Cheetham (b. 1939)

Concertino was commissioned by the faculty brass quintet at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2000. Classic sonata form provides the structural format for the first movement, which opens with a fanfarelike motive. The second movement is a slow five-part rondo. This short movement leads without pause to the final movement of the work, a boisterous rondo in 6/8 time. (Source: published score)

Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez

Joaquin Rodrigo (1901–1999) arranged by Dr. William G. McManus

The Adagio (second movement) from the Concerto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra is a masterful arrangement set in the musical style as played by the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band in the film Brassed Off. With its laid-back rock style and pulsating rhythm, the work features solo flugelhorn on the beautiful theme, representing the flavor and feel of the beautiful gardens of Aranjuez, Spain. (Source: JRO)

Florentiner March (Grande Marcia Italiana)

Julius Fučik (1872– 1916), arranged by M.L. Lake, edited by Frederick Fennell

The length and content of the Florentiner March lead one to believe that, like Sousa with his Free Lance March, Fučik must have tried to condense an operetta into a march. The march opens with a short bugle fanfare, and proceeds directly into a strain that sounds like a flighty Florentine signorina chattering to her gentleman friend from Berlin who only has time to answer a (two-note) “ja-wohl” occasionally. The march continues with another fanfare; a light, floating trio melody; an interlude; and a triumphant repeat with a challenging piccolo part. (Source: Band Music Notes, Norman Smith and Albert Stoutamire.)

Festivo

Edward Gregson (b. 1945)

Festivo is one of English composer Gregson’s early contributions to the symphonic wind band repertoire. It is cast in rondo form with a longish introduction that announces in fragmented form some of the main ideas. The main theme is light-hearted and exuberant, heard first on clarinets but immediately tossed around the band. The first episode starts quietly but gradually adds layer upon layer of repeated fragments. The final statement of the rondo tune is heralded by tubular bells and bell-like chords in the brass, after which a short coda brings the work to an exciting conclusion. (Source: composer’s website)

“Nimrod” from Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra, “Enigma”

Edward Elgar (1857–1934), arranged by Earl Slocum

"Nimrod" is one of the fifteen variations presented in the work commonly referred to as the Enigma Variations. This variation draws its mood from the opening bars of Beethoven’s “Pathetique” piano sonata, second movement, and is commonly performed at solemn occasions and memorial services. Performed on May 17, 2000, by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, we present it tonight with love, honor and affection, at the request of the family of William M. Toland. (Source: JRO)

Performed in Memoriam William M. Toland, Music Director Laureate of the Concord Band (Music Director 1962–1995).

Five Concord Diversions for Brass Quintet and Symphonic Winds and Percussion

James Curnow (b. 1943)

One of the Concord Band’s many commissions, Five Concord Diversions was written in 1987 by James Curnow in commemoration of William Toland’s 25th year as Music Director of the Concord Band. Curnow chose to score the brass quintet with homogeneous and heterogeneous groupings of the band. The outer movements of this work feature brass quintet and the tutti ensemble, while the inner three movements feature the brass quintet paired with woodwinds, percussion, and brass respectively. Tonight’s performance comes 25 years, almost to the day, after the première performance, held in the Sentry Center Auditorium in Concord on March 7, 1987, with the composer conducting the Concord Band and the Back Bay Brass Quintet. The composer’s inscription found on the inside cover of the manuscript score reads “For the outstanding preparation of, the commissioning of, and the support of ‘Five Concord Diversions’―Thank you, this has been an excellent weekend. Congratulations on 25 years―you have a fine organization. Best wishes, Jim.” (Source: JRO)

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