RNCM Festival OF Brass - Radio 3 - 08/03/2006

Discussion in 'The Auditorium - Concert Details' started by brassneck, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    ....and I have therefore given the delights of the Champions League a miss for once. Just heard Peter Meechan's Snake Eyes, which made me smile, and the Elgar Howarth Cornet Concerto, which made my jaw drop:eek:
  3. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    May I make the suggestion that if you enjoyed the broadcast, and want to encourage the BBC to broadcast more of the same (and give Paul Hindmarsh some well-deserved support), that you drop the Beeb a line to let them know your feelings. Follow this link:


    and give it to them between the eyes!
  4. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Good idea. I did enjoy it immensely and have just done what you suggest.
  5. Jonesy

    Jonesy Member

    I was at the RNCM that night and I have to say I was not alone in being particularly non-plussed by Hakan Hardenberger (I don't think 4br were either judging by their review!). Technique very good (though more splits - and good 'uns at that- than you would ever hear from the likes of Richard Marshall or David Daws) but his sound was incredibly thin and flimsy throughout the range, and his upper register at times very forced and thin. Just my opinion of course, but sound-wise he is, to me at least, very, very ordinary. Talented player but I went there with rave reviews about him ringing in my ears, he's the best in the world etc etc. Not a patch on the other two aforementioned players IMHO and certainly not in the league or Marsalis.

    What's with the random sound quality on the radio 3 online player? Sometimes it plays at a fairly high quality, other times it's something silly like 40k. It seems to be pot luck?
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I thought the Dyke performance of Wilby's 'Music For A Moving Image' was excellent!
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's bandwidth limited I think - so the more people there are online, the lower it is.
  8. zak

    zak Member

    I had the pleasure of doing a rehearsal and the concert with him and have to say that the playing was of a high standard. To compare him to others and say he is very ordinary is a bit over the top in my opinion. This guy has a big reputation and makes a living playing trumpet so he cannot be so bad can he?????

    This is my opinion after hearing him probably more than others on here but I am not saying others are wrong but perhaps over critical.

    Personally I thought and still think he is a class player!!!!!!

  9. Jonesy

    Jonesy Member

    In the grand scheme of things, he is a class player I would agree. Just personally I don't think he is in the very upper tier of world class players such as those I mentioned, who play with more ease, have a thicker and more pleasant sound and split a note once in a blue moon. When he was playing in the upper register (and I'm not talking stupidly high, even on top Bs and Cs) he was really straining and the sound was wafer thin. Like I say, compared to most then yes he is a class act, but not the creme de la creme IMHO.
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Ouch!!! To say with possibly one listen that HÃ¥kan Hardenberger is not one of the most outstanding players that the brass world has experienced in modern times is difficult to comprehend. All because of a split note and thin sound? He is a trumpet player by profession and one of the very best!
    I have been to concerts where players such as Wynton Marsalis have split notes and had to play works again for the sake of recording crews that accompany. The occasional mistake doesn't make a player a bad one!!


    available recordings ...

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2006
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Hakanberger quite possibly doesn't have as good a sound on a cornet as cornet specialists like Marshall or Daws, because he doesn't spend the majority of his time playing the cornet. He is, however, one of the finest and most versatile all-round trumpet players in the world. I would have preferred to hear him on trumpet, and it would have been an ideal opportunity to commission something new for trumpet and band, but to describe him as "very, very ordinary" seems over the top to me. The Howarth concerto is, obviously, stonkingly difficult, and there are probably only a dozen players in the world who could do it justice - I think Hardenberger did, admirably. I love Wynton Marsalis's jazz playing, especially his early stuff with smaller bands, but I'm never convinced by him playing things like the Haydn or Hummel - they come across to me as technical exercises (albeit superbly executed). Hardenberger's true gift IMHO is a real grasp of the structure and style of everything he plays, from Haydn the most complex avant-garde music (stuff like Birtwistle's Endless Parade) where mere technique simply isn't enough.

    I sometimes think that when we banders describe a player as "the best in the world" we mean the most technically accomplished rather than neccesarily the most musical. Hindmarsh touched on this aspect of banding, a kind of "cult of virtuosity" in the programme last night.
  12. zak

    zak Member

    Without wanting to be rude I don't think you appreciate the versatility of the guy. He is a trumpet player by profession and to compare him to cornet players is ludicrous! There is more to being a great musician than the number of split notes etc. It seems to me that you judge him by your own brass banding standards or brass band cornet players whom you have heard which is wrong. I just find it unbelievable to read that someone can only rate this player as "very very ordinary".

  13. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    And you might have added, of course, that the concerto was actually a trumpet concerto before its brass band version. I agree with everytning else you say about the man. He is one of the greatest trumpet soloists of the past 50 years.
  14. Jonesy

    Jonesy Member

    But to me, sound is everything. I'd rather listen to David Childs play Benedictus than Hakan rattle through that concerto. I don't doubt it is a hugely difficult piece of music and he is very talented. Just his sound does nothing for me and, like I say, for myself if you don't have sound you have nothing. Others may disagree, I just found it too coarse and whiny.

    Also, out of the ones I mention, it's not only Wynton who plays the trumpet. Richard is starting to do so extensively too; he isn't just a traditional brass band cornet player.

    Also, if you go back, the 'very, very ordinary' quote was about his SOUND. His technical ability is beyond question. I didn't label him very ordinary as a player generally. Context!

    Just my opinion as a paying punter :)
  15. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I think Jonesy makes a valid point about Hardenberger's sound quality. It's the one area of his playing I find dissapointing, too. I have his 1985 CD "The Virtuoso Trumpet" in which his musicianship and technique are remarkable, but the sound..... I also found it a slight hinderance to my enjoyment on the RNCM broadcast. Another very fine and celebrated player whose sound similarly dissapoints me is Martin Winter.

    However, sound quality is a subjective issue -- but an important one. I can think of famous soprano singers (and soprano cornet player for that matter) who are highly rated by critics and whose musicianship is in no doubt, but have vibratos I find distracting.

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