Concert 5. Wednesday 11 February 2015 Print

THE AURORA ENSEMBLE

Wind Quintet

 

PROGRAMME

Ibert     Trois pièces brèves   
James Macmillan  Untold 
Nielsen  Quintet in A op. 43   
Ligeti Six Bagatelles
Danzi Quintet in G minor, Op.56, No.2
Walton arr.Mason    Façade Suite

 

An ideal programme for a winter's evening

 

It was immediately apparent that these fine players at Ilkley Concert Club were very good indeed and the programme they chose was ideal for a winter's evening. The "Trois Pièces Brèves" by Ibert which opened the programme was sparkling, witty, and showed the ability of the players to deal with a true 'Allegro scherzando', whilst also providing a lovely flute solo by Maxine Willis.

 

James MacMillan's 'Untold' was a complete change being closely based on an Irish Folk Song and introducing the darker tones of a Cor Anglais beautifully played by the group's oboe, Gwenllian Davies.

Carl Nielsen's Op.43 is, in the opinion of many, the finest wind quintet written and the performance we heard was certainly the finest live performance this reviewer has heard. Written to accommodate the personalities of five friends the music 'overhears' their discussions and thoughts. With Andrew Mason,(Clarinet), Helen Shillito, (Horn), and Shelly Organ, (superb as a bassoonist wanting the last word) the quintet gave us a quite exceptional performance, one to remain long in memory for its clarity and characterisation of the 'friends'.

 

György Ligeti's 'Six Bagatelles' were, the group assured us, "quite short" but they need not have worried about the reception it received.

 

As a departure from nearly always starting concerts with the earliest piece, Franz Danzi's 'Wind Quintet Op.56/2' took us back to an earlier age when the idea of five solo wind players making a satisfactory group for composers was relatively new. With some more beautiful solo parts for individuals, it would be invidious to highlight any particular ones – it was a delightful work delightfully played.

 

The Clarinettist, Andrew Mason, had made a most unusual arrangement of three pieces from William Walton's 'Facade'. As well as reducing the instrumentation he had the players also reciting Edith Sitwell's poetry in between getting all their notes in! Very effective and much applauded, this gave a splendid finish to another very successful concert.

David Pyett

 

THE FOLLOWING RECORDINGS WERE RECOMMENDED IN THE PROGRAMME

 

Ibert and Ligeti

The best way to obtain these two items is via a budget 2 disc set from the group "Les Vents Français" on Warner Classics 2564 63484-5. The first CD is of French Wind Quintets, and the second of 20th. Century Wind Quintets. The recording quality and performances are excellent.

James Macmillan I can find no trace of a commercial recording.

 

Nielsen

The Diamant Ensemble and Trio Ondine, on a superbly recorded full price disc from DaCapo 8226064, play Nielsen Chamber Music. The Wind Quintet is accompanied by the Piano Trio, Serenata in Vano, and other small chamber works. A good budget alternative is on Naxos 8.553050, performed by the Oslo Wind Ensemble who also play pieces by Fernström and Kvandal.

 

Danzi

A very well-recorded budget Naxos disc (8.553076) has the Michael Thompson Wind Quintet performing all three Op.56 Quintets, and the Sextet in E flat.

 

Walton

A CD entitled "Humoreske", played by the Aurora Ensemble, has the Walton "Popular Song" arrangement from "Façade", and is available via the internet from www.auroraensemble.com.

Raymond Waud.

 

Club Notes for this concert

 

CONCERT START TIME

We have had a small number of requests to change the concert start time from 8:00 pm to 7:30pm. The ICC Committee has identified good arguments both for and against a change. We want your views too. The Committee will make a decision after the 15 April concert and will announce the decision at the May 6 concert. If you would like to express your opinion on the possible change please write to David Wharmby:

  • Email your opinion to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or
  • Drop a note with your opinion in the "Concert Start Time" letter box at the Winter Garden information desk at the March or April concerts, or
  • Mail your opinion to me at Flat 2, Skelda Grange, Wells Road, Ilkley LS29 9JE

 

FRIENDS of the KING'S HALL and WINTER GARDEN

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the KH & WG buildings to Ilkley Concert Club. Many of our artists comment on how fortunate we are to have such a magnificent, acoustically favoured hall for our concerts and what an encouragement this must be for our magnificent audiences.

We are grateful to the Friends of the KH & WG, which is a Registered Charitable Organisation formed in 2000. The Friends work closely with officers from Bradford MDC by providing local input and financial support for all the work completed on our halls. Recognising the value of the Friends, ICC Members have taken an active role in their Committee. For example David Pyett, our President, has been on the Committee ever since 2000 and was Vice-Chairman until recently.

Currently our vice-Chairman, Tony Hudson, has set up a web site for the Friends http://friendskhandwg.ilkley.org/about-the-friends.html

 

If you follow this link you can find out about the very many improvements that have been made to the KH & WG over recent years. There is also an interesting short history of the buildings and you can read about the advantages of becoming a Friend.

 

Oh! - and don't forget that all members of the Concert Club have priority booking rights for the Chris Barber Big Jazz Band concert in the King's Hall on 22 May 2015. The concert is promoted by the Friends and tickets are on sale in the Winter Garden this evening.