Tag Archives: Marici Saxes

Blistering appearance by Marici Saxes launches lunchtime concert series

This year’s lunchtime concert series burst into ecstatic life with a visit from the ebullient Marici Saxes, launching the year-long monthly series at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall.

In rehearsal: Marici Saxes
In rehearsal: Marici Saxes

The set opened with Michael Nymans’s Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds, with the group in rhythmic, robust form. The tour of Britain continued with music by the late Richard Rodney Bennett, three sections from Travel Notes; the lyrical, arcing melody in ‘Helicopter’ effortlessly played by Sally McTaggart on soprano saxophone (a late stand-in for the indisposed Sarah Field, whom we wish well). There was a lively, jocular air to the final ‘Car Chase’ that showed to the full the wonderfully liquid grace of the group’s ensemble-playing, and demonstrated they have a real affinity for this repertoire.

Michael Torke’s July is a tour de force for a sax ensemble, and was here delivered with assurance and a firm grasp of its rhythmic drive, coupled with contrasting, elegaic melodies. There was a punchy, vibrant swagger to the piece which was bursting with vigour, as the group ducked and dived in terrific unison through Torke’s no-holds-barred minimalism.

A change of mood next in Piazzolla’s ‘Cafe 1930’ from his Histoire de Tango, originally written for flute and guitar but here rendered for ensemble that had gently weaving lines spiralling up through the group.

Baritone saxophonist Josie Simmons turned composer for First Moon which followed, and showed a keen ear for dissonance in the opening chords, turning into a rhapsodic melody before springing to life in some mischievious post-minimalist textural writing, including some fiercly-skirling arabesques for the soprano sax.

The group ended its recital with the show-stopping Hoe Down by Will Gregory, in a performance that was truly hair-raisingly exciting, with some blistering agility displayed by Josie on baritone, who demonstrated that the instrument can be just as mobile as its smaller counterparts.

The piece, and the concert itself, was greeted with a roof-raising ovation from an enthralled audience, including a group of schoolchildren who were clearly held spellbound throughout the gig. A top-notch performance, delivered by an ensemble in fighting form. Catch them when you can…

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Sponsors of the Lunchtime Concert series

New Autumn events now online

Drum-roll please….our new Autumn music events details are now online!

Marici Saxes
Marici Saxes

Kicking off in October with the Marici Saxes, the Lunchtime Concert series also sees music from Covent Garden Voices and the KD Jazz and Dance Orchestra. The Brodsky Quartet returns with a concert celebrating the musical anniversaries of Wagner, Verdi and Britten, and there’s also Britten from the award-winning Kent College Choristers in Friday Afternoons. We are very excited that the Doyenne of Wagner, Dame Anne Evans, will be giving a singing masterclass and also appearing ‘In Conversation’ to talk about her career on the stage in November.

KD Jazz
KD Jazz & Dance

The University Chamber Choir will celebrate the beginning of the Advent season at Blean Church, and the December concert with the Chorus and Orchestra includes Vivaldi’s ever-popular Gloria alongside Respighi , Verdi and Cimarosa.

Our informal series of foyer-gigs, Watch This Space, will burst into life again on the foyer-stage, starting with live jazz in October, and the University Big Band will be providing some seasonal entertainment to round off what promises to be a very busy term.

The Brodsky Quartet
The Brodsky Quartet

We’re pleased to welcome the Canterbury Festival, who will be bringing the English première of a new opera by Sally Beamish in a double-bill with Britten’s Curlew River, and pianist Mikhail Rudy exploring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Other visitors to the Colyer-Fergusson concert-hall include John Harle and the Festival Chamber Orchestra, Ashford Choral Society, Simon Langton Girls’ Choir and Caritas Chamber Choir.

See for yourself online here; you can also download the new brochure (PDF) here.