Review of Prime Brass in Concert in Ely Cathedral on Sunday 9th September 2012

Prime Brass, conductor Paul Trepte and Johnathan Lilley on the organ have presented highly successful concerts in Ely Cathedral for a number of years. This year’s event was as successful as ever, however, this time there was a difference. A special, new work was included: – Paul Patterson’s The Royal Eurostar. Before it was performed, the composer described what we were to expect and the enthusiasm of his description was certainly warranted by the colour, excitement and variation it achieved. With trumpeters and timpani at different parts of the Cathedral, adding to and contrasting the sturdy band of brass and percussion players in the octagon ( supported by organist Jonathan Lilley) the resultant rolling fanfare of sound had us pinned to the seats, wondering what delights would come next. We could easily imagine the excitement of its first performance at Waterloo Station, the home of The Eurostar, in the presence of the Queen and the Prime Minister then, Lady Thatcher.

The rest of the concert contained some momentous compositions that demonstrated the tremendous power and skill of the performers. These included Hymne au Sacré-Coeur by Naji Hakim, Marche Triomphale du Centenaire de Napoléon 1 by Louis Vierne, Spitfire Prelude and Fugue by William Walton, and Entrata Festiva Op. 93 by Flors Peeters. The programme was balanced with moments of beauty and pleasant sustained sounds provided by Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis by Timothy Jackson and Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens by Richard Strauss.

Paul’s conducting was inspired throughout and it is no surprise to learn that he received Honorary Fellowships from both The Royal School or Church Music and the Guild of Church Musicians this year.

Prime Brass will return to Ely Cathedral on the 20th of October 2012 to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Huntingdonshire Male Voice Choir.

The next concert at Ely Cathedral will feature the City Of Ely Military Band on 23rd September 2012.

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