1 August 2015
Beatles to Bruckner
Four trombones are loud but everyone still loves 'em. These players were the Slide Connection Stuttgart and they played at Wesley Music Centre. I was wondering how a German trom quartet came to visit Wesley, but it became obvious when Damien's Aussie accent did the stage patter. They went down a treat. These guys are all principal or deputy principals in various orchestras around Germany so they have chops (even if one joke was a wish for more chops). They also performed a very popular program. First half various classical, mainly baroque/renaissance pieces, dances and songs finishing with a publishing brass quartet take on the William Tell Overture; second half pop and jazz, starting with a Beatles medley, then Scarborough Fair and a very trom-funky I got rhythm (all manner of rhythms), a modern dedication to Bruckner and another historical reference, 1822 Rossini's visit to Beethoven, recounting the story of a wealthy Rossini visiting his idol, Beethoven, in considerable poverty. Interestingly, that one started with the spoken line "When I descended those dilapidated stairs, I could not repress my tears". There was a range of tones, from bass through tenor to alto troms, slides and various valves, huge tone and satisfying harmonies and melodies through moved frequently between parts. Wonderful, satisfying reading; firm and confident playing. The baroque sounded just like the period films with brass accompaniment that we love, and the straight-faced humour of these players and their fat-tones turned lithe and flexible was a pleasure. A much enjoyed rarity.
Slide Connection Stuttgart were a trombone quartet comprising Damien Lingard (SYD), Christoph Paus, Michael Hufnagel and Patrick Flassig.