ACE Brass

• Wednesday 28th April 2021, 7.00pm Past
• X Space, Baycourt, Tauranga map »
Huw Dann (trumpet), Emma Eden (horn), John Gluyas (trombone)
ACE Brass (Auckland Chamber Ensemble Brass) was formed in 2011 with the intention of bringing world class chamber music into the concert halls and homes of New Zealand. Bringing together a wealth of experience in solo, orchestral and chamber music, these three talented musicians embrace the fascinating and versatile repertoire of the brass trio. ACE Brass continues to excel in all areas of Chamber music life in Auckland and New Zealand. They have a number of commissions from New Zealand composers and are passionate about quality music education, offering a range of educational performances and workshops for schools.

Extended Review

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In association with Chamber Music New Zealand

Review of ACE Brass:

Brass blast through time and space at Baycourt

THE chilly air could do little to stop ACE Brass’ heated journey around the world on Wednesday night at Baycourt.

Delighting the X-Space audience with brass baubles from diverse time periods, horn player Emma Eden, trombonist John Gluyas, and trumpeter Huw Dann presented a dynamic and international chamber programme.

From within their audience, they opened in call-and-response style with a canon by English Renaissance composer, Tallis, which instantly piqued audience interest and adding an enjoyable physical performance aspect.

This blossomed into a diverse programme that included contemporary works by America’s Cohen, Argentina’s Piazzolla and New Zealand’s Bowater. These allowed the trio to flamboyantly explore a wide array of techniques, harmonic fields, melodic and word-painting elements with inspiring capability.

Other contemporary works by Japan’s Kanazawa and Australia’s Wesley-Smith combined acoustic and recorded elements. These provided interesting, often challenging contrasts to more traditional concert fayre, delivered with precision and flair.

A return to the Renaissance from Spain’s Ortiz, saw the trio swap to sackbut, tambourine, and ukulele. Further contrast came from a Baroque-inspired Prelude and Fugue by German, Boehme, and a short Mozart-inspired piece by France’s Tibault. All demonstrated facility, and athleticism from each performer, highlighting how electrifying deft precision is in musical timing.

The trio combined for three final flourishes in romantic and popular styles, presenting charming arrangements of Puccini, Sherwin, and Arlen as a fond farewell to an appreciative audience. A bonus mash-up of Pokarekare Ana and Waltzing Matilda saw the trio sign-off in pleasing style.

- Leon Gray

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