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REVIEW: Double Concert 2018

On Saturday March 10th, when all the snow of the past days luckily had melted, Brass Band Willebroek organised together with Young Brass Band willebroek their annual concert at the local venue of Willebroek. Both bands performed a brand new programme with interesting repertoire, some test pieces and even new choreography.

Young Brass Band Willebroek opened the concert for the first time led by young cornet artist Lode Violet. Lode however, is not the only one from the Violet-family that has lots of talent and brother Jonas showed that right away by performing ‘Carnival Cocktail’, a rather special series of variations on the well-known theme from Carnival de Venice. At the end of April YBBW will compete at the Flemish Open Brass Band Championships held in Mechelen, due to not being able to come to Utrecht for the EYBBC. The set test-piece for the Flemish Open category B is called ‘Toccatina’ a new piece by Olivier Marquis specially commissioned for the contest. The band gave their first reading of the piece this evening. The warm sound where both bands are known for, can be heard in ‘Prelude on Lavenham’. Combined with some intimate playing by the soloists this is a charming performance followed by another musical work ‘Cantabile’ by Philip Harper. This piece was the chosen test piece which they performed at the Belgian Nationals back in November where they became champions in third section. Before the break YBBW both the band and the audience went crazy with ‘Thrift Shop’, which remembers us the Gala Concert at the Europeans of 2016 in Lille, France.

After the break, the stage was cleared for Brass Band Willebroek, currently holding the Belgian and World title, led by Frans Violet. They opened their programme with ‘Waves on Deck’ by the Norwegian composer Kjetil Djønne. This piece was specially written for Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag for their participation at the 2017 Brass in Concert and Siddis Brass. This band recently became Norwegian Champions with Willebroek’s own principal cornet Lode Violet sitting in for David Morton. And this brings us immediately to our next soloist: Lode brought a classy performance of ‘The Debutante’ by Herbert Clarke. With the next piece ‘Memories of a Lost Boy’ by Ben Hollings, the band surprised us not only with their sound but also with their voices as the beginning of the piece asks the musicians to sing their parts. This is very touching music indeed that brings us to the wonderful world of Neverland. Besides being a top-class band, Willebroek also has some top-class soloists, as we have seen already during this concert, but know it’s Wim Matheeuwese’s turn to show his skills on bass trombone with the Edvard Grieg inspired piece ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.

From our journey to Norway, past Neverland and back to Norway, we are now heading for the moon. Paul Raphael found his inspiration for ‘Destination Moon’ with the stories of Tintin, a Belgian comic character. The piece not only shows us the technical difficulties of the science behind the journey to the moon, but also questions the human part of sending other humans to this unknown place. Eventually the rocket launches into outer space and earth is trying to make contact with the rocket that is traveling further and further and further… in to the unknown. ‘Destination Moon’ was premiered by Cory Band at the 2017 EBBC in Ostend and served as the chosen test piece by BBW for the Belgian Nationals back in November. The last stop on our journey with Brass Band Willebroek lies over rainbow. ‘Rainbow Conncetions’ is an arrangement of Over the Rainbow which is definitely on steroids.

As a surprise the youngsters of Young Brass Band Willebroek again entered the hall to interrupt the audience and claim the stage again with ‘Thrift Shop’. Together with Brass Band Willebroek they ended a splendid concert with some really nice music and classy soloists. The musicians enjoyed as well as the audience and we are looking forward to their next Double Concert of which the date has yet to be announced.


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