The exterior of the fold-down desk surface depicts Salzburg, and musical instruments are featured on the door fronts: a violin, flute, natural horn and basset horn
. These latter are especially appropriate: when Mozart was living in Ebury Street he wrote his first symphonies (probably K16 and K19) and his sister, Maria Anna, who transcribed them for him, famously reminded him 'to give the horn something worthwhile to do'.
The Big Chris Barber Band comprises Chris himself on trombone and& bass, Bob Hunt (trombone), Pat Halcox (trumpet), Mike Henry (trumpet), Richard Exall (clarinet and sax), Tony Carter (clarinet, sax and flute), John Defferary (basset horn
and sax), Andrew Kuc (banjo and guitar), John Slaughter (guitar), Vic Pitt (bass), Colin Miller (drums).
Markus plays the flugelhorn, the silver trumpet and the piccolo trumpet; Tara the clarinet, bass clarinet and the basset horn
. (No--not all at once.) They play their own compositions and improvisations.
, is for basset horn
and tape, "conceived for and inspired by sounds & words of Georgina Dobree." I will discuss the tape collage pieces in detail, and .
For two key arias in Clemenza, principal clarinet James Shields plays the extended range basset clarinet and the basset horn
, and the rest of the time his regular B-flat darinet.
The disc is completed with the lateAdagio in C for wind quartet for cor anglais, basset horn
, basset clarinet and bassoon on which he is joined by RachelAger,Colin Powell, Alan Pendlebury.
This movement is much more chromatic than the basset horn
pieces above, and the necessary adjustments for range, balance, and things like double-stops are handled deftly.
"Strauss wrote for this very large apparatus: three flutes, a piccolo, two oboes, an English horn, two clarinets, a C clarinet, a basset horn
, a bass clarinet, three bassoons and a contra bassoon, in addition to four horns and so on and so forth.
The Albion players, led by the oboe of Birmingham Conservatoire principal George Caird, and including Conservatoire head of woodwind Michael Harris on basset horn
, deliver a performance which combines pert wit with heart-breaking inwardness.