The new British Winds wind quintet were invited to start our 2015 to 16 season.This concert was chosen as the principal anniversary celebration for the 75 years since the Club was founded.
We were blessed with fair weather which allowed us to enjoy the courtyard of the meeting house during the interval. This young Quintet were clearly masters of their instruments ; their leader the flautist, Jemma Freestone, enhanced the experience by her cheerful demeanour at all times.
For their programme they chose to start with French music. The music of Ibert was an ideal warm up with the three short contrasting pieces .The music of Jean Francaix is synonymous with the most sophisticated of writing for wind quintet. This was a real testing piece and the quintet excelled themselves.In the theme and variations movement there was a snowstorm of notes for individual instruments – a veritable showcase for their virtuosity.
After a cup of tea and a slice of celebratory cake, the ensemble was in full strength again and ready to take us back to the roots of wind quintet writing with the music of Reicha, a contemporary of Beethoven’s. The harmonies were easier on the ear and it was a joy as ever to hear the interplay of the instruments. The final significant part of the concert was the Hungarian music of Farkas – this was highly characterful and was often in dance form, making a cheerful conclusion to the concert. I was very flattered that they had decided to give an airing of my own arrangement of a piece of French piano music to round of the concert.
A distinguished audience including Linda Radford, Mayor and Councilor Peter Ruffles honoured us with their presence for this prestigious event.