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Francaix & Schumann/Valiquette-Talbot

Jean Francaix Wind Quintet No.1
Venti Wind Quintet Joshua Batty, ChloƩ Greenwood, Oliver Janes, Natalie Watson, Alex Hamilton

Schumann arr. Valiquette-Talbot Dichterliebe WP
Anna Hashimoto, Jonathan Slade, Vicky Jones, Laure Valiquette-Talbot, Rhonwen Jones - wind quintet
with Tim Lawrence - tenor

Friday Lunchtime 20th January 2012, Regent Hall, London W1

Two wind quintets shared the platform for an auspicious event by the Wind Department of the Royal Academy of Music, enjoyed by an all too small audience at the Salvation Army's Regent Hall, set back in Oxford Street - very close to Oxford Circus, but its entrance easily overlooked by the numerous shoppers who might enjoy a musical break there.

First the Venti Quintet, an established young group with good CVs, tackled the intricacies of Francaix's delightful first quintet, which posed difficuties in the over-resonant hall, leaving them not quite able to fully convey the sheer joie de vivre and fun of this composer born 100 years ago.

It was followed with the world premiere of an ingenious and persuasive arrangement for wind quintet of Dichterliebe, by Laure Valiquette-Talbot (hornist & brass teacher).

My picture shows her introducing this novelty, sung with confidence and vocal allure by Tim Lawrence, a young tenor of real promise, one to look out for in RAM opera productions.

This convincingly viable arrangement was greatly to be welcomed by those of us who frequent song recitals and will have heard countless Dichterliebes over the years... It is a time for arrangements and for original repertoire in CDs as calling-cards.

Peter Grahame Woolf