NQHO- the latest in the papers

Since my last NQHO post has generated so many emails and comments, I forward on a review of their most recent concert. No- I don’t work for them. However, having heard them live, and having felt it was one of the most revelatory concerts I’d heard in ages, even though I wasn’t overwhelmed by the conductor, I think it’s nutty that they’re so underfunded and underheard. I’m doing what I can! The recordings, which are few, are impressive but don’t begin to convey just how unique the sound of the band is in a hall. Tell your local presenter!

The New Queen’s Hall Orchestra’s concerts and recordings provide a fascinating glimpse into the workings of orchestra colour, which is simply unavailable now to most orchestras, because of the NQHO’s unique instrumentation. Here we have narrow-bore brass and flavoursome percussion, instruments in regular symphony-orchestra use until about 50 years ago, which do not obliterate the characterful woodwinds and strings, the latter using traditional gut – so intense playing does not necessarily mean harsh and too bright sounds. The combined effect of this is that musicians respond much better to each other, as they will be able to hear each other, and each group of instruments can be distinguished even when all are playing. It is an effect that is highly recommended….

It was the orchestral sound that provided the most joy, however. It cannot be overstated that hearing this orchestra opens up meaningful aural possibilities – brass that does not (cannot) overpower such distinctive winds and percussion and the warm-sounding strings.


There is also an interesting write up in the Telegraph here.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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