2010 Concert - March event

 "Suite Serenades"

St Jame Church, Central Lower Hutt.
Saturday, 27th March, 7:30 pm.

Brief review

For once, there were no symphonies, no concertos. But there were close approximations. In particular, the young Brahms was so intimidated by the shadow of Beethoven that he wrote a serenade to avoid the comparison. This had six movements and used the full orchestra,  but could avoid the symphony label by being lighter and more experimental rather than emoting sturm und drang melodrama.

The concert began with Schubert's Overture to Rosemunde, which has lilt and movement. It reminded me of Strauss, who actually came next with his Serenade for Winds, written when he was a 17-year-old school student. The reduced wind-orchestra did have one addition, a contra bassoon. It was a lovely piece.

The Brahms Serenade followed,  with two movements before the interval and three after. I did not think breaking it up mattered, as in some ways the pieces are almost independent of each other. The concert was rounded off with Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite, comprising a Prelude, Dance and March.

Incidental accompaniment.

No, not music. The concert had many, many microphones professionally laid out, and also quite a good movie camera off to one side, but on a plinth labeled 'Cubs 1996' or some such, as evidently all the good stands went to microphones.  The concert was recorded in multi-digit channels (ie., some number more than my fingers) for a class in sound recording who will then each get to cut and mix.  All those carefully taped cables ran out to a van where the concert was possibly heard in better detail than even the conductor ('who hears everything') got to hear. The interior of the van had quite a complex suite. The outside looked more like a cold war era CIA spy van pretending to detect TV license evasion. (The hydrangeas all have KGB microphones in them. CIA microphones have blue flowers.)

Trio of recording images

To music and the actual concert...

Warming up

Various instruments warming up beforehand. During an actual concert I cannot hover quite so invasively. Featured in the foreground is a bassoon. It may look large, but is still smaller than the convoluted elephant's trunk shape of the contra bassoon active during the Strauss Wind Serenade.
Orchestra playing Schubert
The opening piece - The Overture to Rosemunde by Schubert. It is more correctly named the overture to 'The Magic Harp'. However, there is now an accepted title and that is an end to it. You have to use 'Rosemunde' or no-one will know what you are playing. A classic Tyranny of the Entrenched Typo.
Wind Orchestra
The much smaller 'Wind Orchestra' of the Strauss piece. Horns, clarinets, bassoons, flutes, and oboes.

One of the bassoons is a contra-bassoon,but that is difficult to see in this small picture.
Wind Orchestra