Concert 8 - Wednesday 3 May 2017 at 8pm PDF Print E-mail

AURORA ENSEMBLE

and friends

Mozart Don Giovanni Overture (arr. Triebensee)
Krommer  Octet in F major, Op.57
Mozart  Serenade in Eb major, K375 
Beethoven  Rondino in Eb major, WoO 25 
Gounod Petite Symphonie in Bb major

"The excellent Aurora Ensemble played...with dazzling precision and infectious wit... These players are

superb team, brilliantly accomplished, and I long to hear more of them" FINANCIAL TIMES

 

For our final concert the Aurora Wind Ensemble has increased from five players to nine, in order to present us with an imaginative programme of octets and a nonet. Prize winners at the European chamber music competition, Musique d'Ensemble, held at the Paris Conservatoire in 2001, the Aurora Ensemble has performed in many major venues across the UK, including the King's Hall Ilkley in 2015!


The wind band of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons, or Harmonie, was a musical obsession in Vienna at the turn of the nineteenth century. Triebensee and Krommer were composer/directors supplying this need, arrangements of popular opera as well as original works. We shall hear one of Mozart's wind serenades, followed by Beethoven's early work, inspired by Mozart. Gounod's Petite Symphonie adds a flute to the mix, and rounds off a delightful programme.

 

 

Concert Review

 

A feast of Harmonie at the Ilkley Concert Club

 

For the final concert of their 71st season, Ilkley Concert Club members gave a warm welcome to the return of the Aurora Ensemble. Aurora are normally a wind quintet of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon but on this occasion they were joined by friends who allowed them to play as an octet of two each of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons. Music for this group of players was immensely popular in late18th and early19th century Vienna and known as Harmoniemusik.

 

An arrangement of Mozart's Don Giovanni overture started us off, appropriately dark and foreboding in the slow introduction with its chords representing the don's nemesis, the Commendatore, but full of light agile playing in the subsequent allegro. Franz Krommer is best known for his Harmonie pieces and his Octet in F major tested the virtuosity of the players to the limit. It is a lively piece, full of invention, often featuring skirling oboes competing with the more mellifluous clarinets against accompanying figures in the lower instruments: concluding with a charming polonaise containing a delightful duo for the two bassoons.

 

The superiority of Mozart as a composer for this group of instruments was amply displayed in his early wind serenade K375, here given a splendidly rich performance. You felt that each instrument was given its own voice and allowed to shine through the ensemble at some point, although the oboes, which were a second thought for the composer, clearly carry the melody less than the clarinets.

 

Beethoven's Rondino in E flat opened the second half: here the horns played a prominent part and rounded off this short piece with two little duo episodes, the second a muted echo of the first, as if the group were receding into the distance.

Finally the Aurora's flautist was allowed out of the dressing room to make up a nonet for a performance of Gounod's delightful Petite Symphonie, full of glorious tunes and almost Mendelssohnian Romanticism – a real treat for the ears and a wonderful way to end the season!
CJS

 

The following recordings were recommended in the concert programme

 

Mozart

The CD Chandos CHAN 6597 (budget price) features Triebensee's arrangement of Don Giovanni for wind ensemble, lasting 56 minutes. The high quality recording is performed expertly by the Athena Ensemble.


Krommer

The Budapest Wind Ensemble perform the Octet, Partitas in E flat and B flat, and 3 Marches on a well-recorded Naxos CD – 8.553498 (mid price). A good budget price alternative has the Rotterdam Philharmonic Wind Ensemble playing Op. 57 and partitas Op.67, 69 and 79.


Mozart

A very recent recording from the Scottish Wind Soloists on Linn CKD 479 (CD/SACD full price) is very attractive, and also contains 4 Mozart's Divertimenti. The recording quality, as usual from this label, is excellent. A medium price alternative has the Wind Ensemble Sabine Meyer, and also includes the Serenade No. 10 on Warner 9538242. The performances are sympathetic and the recording quality is very good.


Beethoven

Finding a commercially available single CD containing the Rondino has proved rather difficult, but the performance by Il Gardellino on Passacaille PAS 1016 (full price) can be recommended. Beethoven's Octet and Quintet complete the disc.


Gounod

A very attractive budget price disc from Chandos CHAN CHAN 6543 also includes Poulenc's Sextet and Ibert's Trois Pièces Brèves. The Athena Ensemble performs these works with considerable enthusiasm.

Raymond Waud

 

Club Notes for this Concert

 

BROCHURES & APPLICATIONS FOR THE 72nd SEASON
As usual all Members and Enquirers will receive the 2017-18 Brochure by post towards the end of June. Very occasionally they go astray, so if you have not received yours by the Fourth of July please contact Membership Organiser Pam Harris on 01943 608585 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Applications for Season Tickets must be returned by the closing date given in the Brochure. If you miss the deadline you may lose your seats. If you intend to be away for an extended period before you have received your Brochure, please let Pam know; she will reserve your seats.

REFUNDS FOR THIS CONCERT
Reminder - these can be collected at the October concert of the 2017-2018 Season, so that the accounts can be closed before the AGM in November.

INTERVAL COFFEE ORGANISER
At the last concert Josephine Wesley gave grateful thanks on behalf of ICC to Godfrey Higgins who, as Organiser the Interval Coffee arrangements for five Seasons, made sure that they happen. The Club really do need a reliable volunteer to take his place for next Season—it will not interfere with your enjoyment of the concerts. For more information please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone 01943 601248.

JEREMY GOTT & ILKLEY CONCERT CLUB

It was with sadness that I learnt of the death on 28 February of Jeremy at the age of eighty-eight. Jeremy was the younger son of Dr. Arthur Gott, the one person responsible for starting our club, first with recitals, first even with Louis Kentner(!), which he organised on a purely personal basis – further details on our Website under concert 1.

Both Arthur's sons were very fine pianists and Jeremy was aiming to be a concert soloist, taking part in an International Competition in (I think) Warsaw in the early 1950s. Years later, meeting the soloist playing for us in The King's Hall, they recalled that they were the only two there who spoke English! Jeremy played with a number of soloists who were appearing at the Club at that time including Violinist Campoli, Cellist Gaspar Cassado, Oboist Leon Goosens and Clarinet player Janet Hilton.

However, Jeremy soon found that the life of a solo concert pianist was not for him and he settled into private teaching and playing for concerts under the West Riding scheme of educational classical concerts in schools (Oh, those were the days!!). Sadly, this means the final break in our concert connections with the Gott family to whom we, as a club, actually owe our existence.

David Pyett (President of ICC)