Iffley Music Society

The Pavlova Wind Quintet

Iffley Church Hall, Sunday November 16th 2014.

Pavlova Wind Quintet

The Pavlova Wind Quintet comprises leading local musicians who have been playing as a group for fifteen years. Their programme combined original compositions for wind quintet with works arranged for the medium.

The opening piece, Pot-pourri fantastico on themes from the Barber of Seville, combined virtuoso figuration with a medley of themes from the opera. This was followed by a faithful arrangement of the opening allegro of Borodin's quartet no. 2. The romantic colour of the original was fully transposed in the arrangement.

For the next piece, Mozart's quintet for piano and wind in E flat, K452, Chris Britton exchanged his flute for the hall's upright piano. All the quintet showed great sympathy with this famous work. In the introductory largo and the central larghetto the players lingered attractively over Mozart's richness of melody, demonstrating delicate phrasing. The live performance was an opportunity to enjoy fully the colours of such instruments which sang out individually with a warm tone. Chris Britton was master of the piano part and blended tactfully with the wind players.

After the interval we heard the wind quintet opus 14 by Gustav Holst. It comprises four short movements. This piece is not often played, possibly because the material is not very original, but the quintet gave a confident performance displaying Holst's usual mastery of form. There followed arrangements by Chris Britton of piano music: three of the Seasons by Tchaikovsky, and Mozart's Rondo K511. The concert reached a dynamic finale in a quintet arrangement of Weber's "Invitation to the Dance".

Altogether this was an ambitious programme. The Pavlova Wind Quintet revealed themselves as a polished, confident, and professional group whose efforts delighted the full audience.