There are considerably more amateur and semi-professional groups operating across London than I’ve previously acknowledged.
That South East London sports at least five different groups I know of, many of the membership of which I
Lambeth Wind Orchestra’s concert this past weekend featuring ‘inspirational music by women for wind orchestra’ at James Allen’s Girls School in North Dulwich is a case in point.
I was only able to get along to the first half of the concert, but the time I spent there reconnected me with some
First, the sense of industry-fuelled anticipation to be
To critique the playing would potentially risk appearing disingenuous.
Even so, of note were the flutes and oboes – terrific ensemble in John Holland’s arrangement Louise Farrenc’s Second Overture and enviable diaphragm support in the upper flutes and piccolo during Elizabeth Winters’ Playing with Destiny. Some of the Farrenc arrangement made it a demanding play for the clarinets (not unlike a similarly terrifying arrangement of Berlioz’s Corsaire Overture I played at university), and in
Where the band undoubtedly thrived was in the contemporary works. Unfazed by unorthodox rhythms and time signatures, LWO tackled Catherine Likhuta’s Me Disagrees with spirit and commitment. Elizabeth Winters’ Playing With Destiny was a thematically more engaging work. And given it was written for LWO in 2010, it was also a work that
What especially impressed me above all else was the ambitious programming. Wind orchestra concerts can all too easily fall into the trap of providing crowd pleasers for the audience rather than giving an opportunity to the musicians to explore new works.
This was brave programming seemingly embraced with enthusiasm by the membership. John Holland’s conducting style is clear, precise and efficient too. I found this, his and the LWO’s ambitiousness and enthusiasm, an gratifyingly reassuring thing.
Listen to a Spotify Playlist of music by American composer Amy Beach, including the Pastorale for wind quintet which featured in the LWO programme.
Lambeth Wind Orchestra reconvene for their Christmas concert on Thursday 13 December at Herne Hill United Church, London.