An audience of nearly 100 was treated to a remarkably varied programme, played with thoroughly polished technique, ensemble and above all verve and enthusiasm, by these five postgraduate students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Their concert opened with Giuseppe Maria Cambini’s Quintet no. 1, currently believed to be the first wind quintet ever written, though some eager scholar will doubtless challenge this claim sooner or later. It is light and charming, for the five wind principals of the newly-expanded late 18th century court orchestras of Europe to amuse and delight their patrons when the strings have a night off. Nielsen’s Quintet is much sterner stuff,demanding moments of exceptional virtuosity, managed with utter confidence by these splendid young players.
The same is true of Barber’s Summer Music, written specifically to test the Detroit Symphony Principals to their limits in 1956 but now, 60 years later, played with disarming ease by conservatoire post-graduates – how expectations evolve!
A quintet by Frank Danzi took us back to the early 19th century, beautifully played and musically more substantial than Cambini, before the witty helter-skelter of Malcolm Arnold’s Three Sea Shanties, their hilarious effect often depending on challenging rhythms and rhapsodic virtuosity – and all superbly played.
Our New Generation Artists’ continue to astonish and delight us with their technical maturity and palpable delight in both their music-making and the stunning venue of the James Wyatt Music Room which always evokes gasps of admiration when they first see it. The Éolienne Wind Quintet also demonstrate their seemingly indestructible lips and stamina by playing a concert to about 90 school children and their teachers in the afternoon. A credit to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the promise of a great future in their profession.
To view extracts from this concert, please click here.