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Tom Lee Hong Kong Youth NeoWinds Orchestra

Danilo Delfin, Conductor

Saxophone soloist: Kenneth Tse

Simon YAU Yuen-hing (b. 1959)Alishan Suite
LO Hau Man (b. 1965)Untitled Composition Reflecting Life in Hong Kong
Gustav Holst (1874-1934)Second Suite in F Minor
CHEN Qian (b. 1962)One More Cup of Wine
Ron Nelson (b. 1929) Danza Capriccio
Satoshi Yagisawa (b. 1975)Hymn to the Sun with the Beat of the

Concert three was given by the Tom Lee Hong Kong Youth NeoWinds Orchestra conducted by WASBE Board Member Danilo Delfin with a nicely eclectic programme drawn from China, England, America and Japan. They started with Three Scenes Sketches Alishan Suite, by Simon Ysau Yuen-Hing, which is one of the few Chinese works that I would like to revisit when I get my collected CD recordings from Mark Morette. A lot of atmosphere here, interesting scoring and a nice mix of scales and modes. The second Chinese work, Urban Landscape  by Lo Hau-Mau was not so sure footed, full of events but seemingly strung togethera little haphazardly.

Chen Qian, staff composer with the People's Liberation Army in Beijing, is a composer who has long interested me ever since I was given a record of his music called Fissure which included a trumpet concerto, and overture and a symphony, all quite avant garde, especially by wind band standards. Two works were featured in Taiwan, the first in this concert entitled One More Cup of Wine, perhaps a little diffuse but full of interesting sounds and a free development of the rather sentimental pentatonic melody which pervades the work, often set against trilling woodwind, or in canon in the brass. I think this is well worth exploring, as is certainly Ambush; Return with Honour which we heard in a rep session.

Back nearly thirty years to the hey-day of the American wind band with Ron Nelson's bouncy Danza Capriccio for saxophone and band - shades of Rocky Point Holiday, good healthy fun, splendidly played by Kenneth Tse, but who was much of the time, from where I sat, overwhelmed by the scoring for the band. This hall is very lively, great care is needed with balance and many of the conference concerti were poorly balanced. No problems with balance for the Hollywood style Hymn to the Sun with the Beat of the Mother Earth by Yagisawa which ended the programme. A nice choral episode was memorable, and as with much of the Japanese repertoire, if you are looking for a Broadway-type show stopper, gorgeously scored, this might be for you. How well most of the Japanese composers score for band and how well they imitate American models.