Brass shining

PUBLISHED: 11:23 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:57 06 May 2010

ONE of the outstanding features of the quintet Onyx Brass is the way they bring a fresh approach to great music. When they appeared at last week s Radlett Music Club concert, the five men demonstrated their undoubted musical ability with a widely-varied r

ONE of the outstanding features of the quintet Onyx Brass is the way they bring a fresh approach to great music.

When they appeared at last week's Radlett Music Club concert, the five men demonstrated their undoubted musical ability with a widely-varied range of pieces, including their own arrangements of fugues originally written for organ by JS Bach and Shostakovich.

The fugues, two matching pieces from each composer in each half of the concert, demonstrated the huge skills of the group, trumpeters Niall Keatley and Daniel Newell, horn player Andrew Sutton, trombonist Graham Lee and tuba player David Gordon Shute.

Also included in the programme was some modern music, including Joe Duddell's extremely-complex and pleasing Still Life, with its vast range of contrasting tempi.

The group also demonstrated their versatility with a performance of Timothy Jackson's Anything But, a piece with no musical instruments in which the quintet performed four poems - one of which is completely silent. Suffice to say the final poem is Spike Milligan's Teeth and all the rest are in a similar style.

One of the biggest delights of the evening, at least for me, was David Gordon Shute's solo performance of his own transcription of the minuet from Bach's Cello suite in G Major. It was a rare treat to hear such a stately instrument as the tuba playing such delightful melodies.

Once more the Radlett Music Club had provided an outstanding evening of different and extremely high-quality music for its members and guests and the season, which ends in April, still offers more attractive events.

jOHN MANNING


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