I’ve been really busy lately, with the RLPO but have managed to squeeze in a little bit of freelance work, here and there, too.
A couple of weeks back I played on a charity single for the Caledonia Pub, on Caledonia Street in, in Liverpool. The Caledonia is a great real ale pub, by Philharmonic Hall, and a thriving music venue, for jazz, country, folk etc.
Laura King, the manageress, had booked Sandhills Recording Studios to record a version of Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. This one, an arrangement of the Ronettes’ reading of the work, which was produced by Phil Spector at the time.
It was a good laugh, with many regulars in the pub featuring, alongside many of the musicians. Local jazz legend Martin Smith and I played trumpet and my main contribution, apart from putting up the instrumental section an octave, was to do the horse winney, at the beginning and end, on the trumpet. A specialist job, and means I am always in demand at this time of year…
It is in support of CALM, a Liverpool charity to help men with mental health issues. Have a listen and buy a copy. It’s good fun and all in a good cause.
Link to listening and buying this important fundraiser!
Tonight, I was playing a piccolo trumpet programme for Liverpool Hope University Chamber Choir and Orchestra. Squeezing this in after a recording session for EMI with the RLPO, I hadn’t seen the music prior to the rehearsal, so would hope that there would be nothing to spoil my tea time break, before the concert.
The programme was not by composers I was overly familiar with. In the second half was Christmas Oratorio, not by JS Bach, but Reinhard Keiser. Sub-titled ‘Dialogue on the birth of Christ. Quite an impressive trumpet obligato in one of the arias and some fancy numbers for the three trumpeters.
The first half consisted the Advent Cantata by Gottfried Homilius, For Unto Us A Child Is Born. This lovely work also contains nice moments for the three trumpets. That is two works I had never heard of.
I enjoy doing dates with the University Chamber Choir. It is both founded and trained by the excellent Philip Duffy, ex organist at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ The King. The choir gets bigger and better each year and are now undertaking a more substantial body of work and a heavier concert schedule, including some international work abroad. Other members and ex members of the RLPO also augment the university orchestra.
The first piece of the concert was the ‘Concerto – The Sweetness and the Tenderness of the Night’ by Johann Josef Fux. I found this piece rather amusing, and not because of the name of the composer. Behave yourselves! Fux is a very fine composer. It was becuase one of the movements was entitled ‘Rontaforre’, or The Snorer! This had RLPO Principal Bass, Marcel Becker, making bizarre violent scale passages which did indeed sound like someone snoring.
I had recently photographed Marcel, asleep in his bass case, in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, in a break during our recent performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. Sadly, you can’t hear Marcel’s snoring from the photograph!