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Magyar magic

MALCOLM MILLER was at the launch of the ninth series
of Music at the Wallace Collection


An excitingly varied programme of music for brass quintet launched the ninth series of Music at the Wallace Collection on Sunday 16 November 2003, the concert attended by a capacity audience at the Long Gallery of the magnificent art gallery in Manchester Square, central London. Presented by Springboard Concerts, the series forms part of the impressive events of the year-long Festival of Hungarian Culture during 2003-4, Magyar Magic, celebrating Hungarian entry into the European Union. That connection was welcomed by Springboard Artistic Director Hannah Horovitz in her introduction and echoed by Katalin Bogyay, Director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre, one of the masterminds behind Magyar Magic. The Springboard series has provided a platform for prize winning young artists from many countries, while the focus here was on Hungarian artists with programmes which reflect their national heritage.

The Ewald Brass Quintet
The Ewald Brass Quintet

The Ewald Quintet, formed in 1996 by students at the Liszt Academy, has won several international prizes, including the 1988 International Brass Quintet Competition in Narbonne, France, and the 2000 Korean International Brass Quintet Competition in Cheju. Their great finesse and qualities of ensemble were displayed in works ranging from Elizabethan consort music to the Hungarian avant-garde. Lutoslawski's sparkling Mini-Overture of 1982 launched the programme with incisive energy, its repeated note gestures at the start giving way to a more lyrical interlude and dazzling conclusion. It was an apt reveille for this Autumn Sunday morning, leading to the rich counterpoint of five contrasting movements from a Suite by the sixteenth century Anthony Holborne, beautifully rounded in tone and with effervescent jazzy rhythms to the variations for trumpets in the slow movement 'The Fruit of Love', and elegant ornamentation in the remaining movements and final Galliard.

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Copyright © 18 November 2003 Malcolm Miller, London UK


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