Was I the only person in the audience to feel that there was a touch of the Spanish to the evening?
Firstly the cool of St Leonard’s Church was welcome after the Mediterranean heat of the day, then the ladies of the West Oxfordshire Clarinets were dressed somewhat like flamenco dancers, as was the ever industrious and hardworking conductor, leader and arranger Wendy Marks. Opening with joyful melodies from “Die Fledermaus”, the full depth of sound afforded by those wonderful bass clarinets was amply demonstrated in the Mozart Largo/Allegro. Any initial nerves were forgotten as they harmonised beautifully in the “Caprice” by Grundman, followed by toe-tapping pieces with East European flavour by Bartok. Their set returned to the Spanish theme with the humorously conceived “Bikina” by Fuentes… OK he’s actually Mexican but why let geography spoil a theme?
Overture to Die Fledermaus – Strauss arr. W Marks
Largo/Allegro (from Gran Partita) – Mozart arr. van der Wal
Carpice for Clarinets – Grundman
Romanian Folk Dances – Bartok arr. Shigeta
La Bikina – Fuentes arr. Mazzini