A welcome sign of life returning to the CBSO centenary season, albeit small scale.
Here’s our first review for months:
English Brass: CBSO at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham ★★★★★
The concert began with a crisp and rousing performance of Bliss’s A Wedding Fanfare, composed for Princess Margaret’s nuptials in1960. Brass band’s have bred incredibly skilful players – including two of the CBSO brass players – and Holst’s A Moorside Suite and John Ireland’s A Downland Suite were written for them. These pastoral pieces elicited characterful playing, the CBSO players relishing Holst’s Scherzo with its galumphing hobnailed rustic dance. Ireland’s beloved Sussex Downs inspired his suite – the bracing breeze almost palpable in the energico opening movement. The expanded ensemble – with four horns plus percussion – gave a finely calibrated performance of Ireland’s Elgarian Elegy, plaintive but flowing, not the dirge it’s sometimes made to be.