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Phoenix Concert Band

Autumn Concert

Phoenix Concert Band
St George's Church, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3BR
Saturday 14th November 2020

Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble


Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble
Monday 30th November 2020

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Article: Review

Langar Concert

On Saturday May 3rd NSWO played a concert conducted by myself and my friend, Eduard Ourtle from Germany. The programme was challenging, unique and entertaining; in fact it would not have been possible for any other group to reproduce that programme anywhere in the world.

The rehearsal went well and considering that it was earlier than we usually meet, the group rallied and got there on time. It was clear that my warning that the tempi and structure of the music may well feel different with Eduard, had been heeded and the group watched, listened and produced the desired musical performance.

I did not rehearse anything as I felt that the time was better spent on blending the skills of the group with those of Eduard. I should have done some work on balance and control based on the characteristics of the room but I didn\'t and I rather regretted that in the performance.

The concert went generally well and there were some magical moments. The first half was well appreciated and apart from the balance issues caused partly by the room, it was very good. In the second half, fatigue began to cause a few silly mistakes to occur and perhaps the second movement of Radio Days dragged a bit causing difficulties with the meno mosso section at the end. Intonation began to suffer in some cases and so the recording on the Zoom H2 was not what I had hoped.

Eduard was excellent at this concert and the group was very happy to have him conduct. I was very proud of both my friend and my orchestra.

The O Magnum Mysterium was very well played and had those magical moments. I had not predicted that the work would be so emotionally draining and physically tiring. This had a negative effect on our Nimrod as we had used up our reserves of magic too recently. I will not programme the two in the same half again.

It was a difficult venue for fast lively music and it might have caused a little tremor or two in the final piece but the audience and the players had still produced a great evening and NSWO continue to improve in a lot of aspects with each concert. The improvement is not a linear thing and elements will always need attention. I am not sure if every aspect can be dealt with in the time allowed before the next concert, which has a radical change of programme content.

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