BASBWE London Festival - Saturday 24th March 2012
Bromley Youth Concert Band (Mike Purton - cond.)
Bromley Youth Concert Band has a deserved reputation as one of the best youth wind bands, and the performance by this very large (80 players) group. It reminded me of playing in neighbouring KSSWB (Kent) - a band with so many doubling options can not only play with precision and grace (with Mike Purton's expert pacing) but also exert a deep raw power that only massed players can offer.
Doubtless Percy Grainger would have approved of the grunty textures and breadth of sound that the band provided in Lincolnshire Posy, memorably in the second movement. The dexterous playing was remarkable for such a youthful group in this skilfully delivered performance.
Ticket 250654 by Lucy Pankhurst refers to the ticket on which the musicians entertaining the first class passengers of Titanic were travelling. Besides the tone row inspired by the numbers on the ticket we hear the boat underway, snatches of "Nearer my God to thee", and in conclusion morse code being tapped out which eventually fades into oblivion - a powerful and well constructed work of serious intent but clear dramatic presence.
The band was ideally placed to generate real power in some of the sultry moments of Adam Gorb's excellent descriptive Midnight in Buenos Aires and there was some very mature playing, particularly in the tricky brass parts.