Equinox raise the roof!(May 06, 2006)
The Equinox sax ensemble played to a packed church in Attenborough, Nottingham, on Friday 5th May, marking the start of the 2006 Biennial Flower Festival. With a programme ranging from Bach's sublime aria 'Erbarme dich, mein Gott' from the St Matthew Passion, to an upbeat interpretation of Moodance by Van Morrison, the audience were treated to a wide range of styles and moods.
The first half included, fittingly, a version of Delibes' Flower Duet, specially arranged for the occasion, and an arrangement of part of Albinoni's Oboe Concerto, played on soprano sax with quartet accompaniment. Gavin Whitlock's rousing 'Celtic Suite' with its infectious rhythms took us to the interval with feet tapping.
In the second half, James Rae's unusual 'Cinerama' suite had the group emulating a Wurlitzer organ, with the use of a wide vibrato to create the distinctive sonorities required. By way of contrast, John Tavener's haunting choral work 'The Lamb' played from the rear of the choir stalls, provided a moment of quiet contemplation.
The regular lineup of saxophones was also joined by percussionist Jon Oldershaw, adding a real sense of drama and excitement, particularly as the ambitious rendition of Bill Whelan's Riverdance brought the concert to a dramatic close.
If the audience reaction was anything to go by, this was tremendously successful outing for this recently formed group, and provided an exciting start to the weekend festivities in Attenborough.
"It was wonderful to see how many different saxophones make one voice and it was a really enjoyable evening. You are all very individually talented which makes for a good group... I also liked the careful choosing of the variety of music and mood of pieces performed - the majesty and seriousness of 'The Lamb' - the familiarity and popularity of 'Moondance' - the sheer power, vitality and superb performance of 'Riverdance' (play it again and bring the house down!!) and the fun and swing of 'All That Jazz.' Amazing group of musicians!"
"That really takes some beating..."
"Amazingly polished and entertaining performance - please come back again!"
"...unique and versatile sound.."
"Thanks very much for a brilliant concert. I'll always remember your opening piece...Riverdance was also amazing!"
"I've heard the Riverdance Orchestra play live several times, and thought it couldn't be topped. However, your version had all the excitement and polish of the original - and for me it had the edge."