Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra, St Georges, Bristol - 12 Feb 2011

A thoroughly wonderful night of music making was enjoyeed by all, including Beethoven 9 and Elgar's wonderful Sea Pictures with the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra in Bristols glorious St Georges Hall. BHCO was set up 24 years ago by Graham Appleton, a retired surgeon who is an excellent amateur bass player. I have never met anyone quite that enthusiastic any about anything, let alone the bass. Matthew Coorey did an spectacular job conducting, producing a great show and the punters left with a smile on the dial. Matthew and I worked together in Sydney and Hobart in his previous life as a horn player. BHCO is another example of a community orchestra providing very high quality music. And there were some eye watering costumes among the soloists!

Friday, February 4, 2011

End of an era, er two of them

This photo is the end of an era in two ways. It was my last gig in Australia after 15 years over there, with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, one of my favourite bands. I first worked with TSO in 1997 - this gig was in Launceston on 11/6/2010. The photo includes principal bass Stuart Thomson and ex principal Steve Martin. Steve retired at the end of 2011, after over 30 years with the band. The end of an era indeed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Minehead Festival - chamber concert 30/1/11

I had a lot of fun down at Minehead, playing chamber music with some of the guys from the Festival Orchestra, in a fund raiser for the main festival in July. We did:-
Mozart Divertimento in F
Rossini Duetto for cello and bass
Mozart Viola 5tet in G min

I was in the first two pieces. The Rossini is always a bit of a show stopper and this was no exception. Cellist Sarah Boxall is a star, and entered into the spirit of the piece wonderfully. The audience seemed to enjoy themselves, and so too did the performers.

Beethoven 9 - First london performance

I came across this wonderful article while searching the web:-

Beethoven 9 was commissioned by the Philharmonic Society in London. Its first performance was on the continent, but the first London performance was 21 March 1825. There is a wonderful account on p16 about the booking of the bass player. Negotiations with Dragonetti stalled when he asked for 10 guineas to do the gig, and Anfossi was booked instead. He played the recit in the last movement as a bass solo!!