Haydn & Mozart - Cadogan Hall

Cadogan Hall was the venue for a concert given by Goldsmiths Choral Union, celebrating the 70th birthday of their acclaimed and longstanding Musical Director, Brian Wright. The programme consisted of Haydn’s 'Nelson Mass' and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’. The choral union was accompanied by the ‘Musicians of London’ orchestra.

The period-instrument orchestra featured a fantastic obbligato from Martyn Sanderson (trombone) in the Requiem's Tuba Mirum and beautiful wind playing came from the basset horn section of Emily Worthington and Louise Strickland, as well as the Bassoon section of Robert Percival and Inga Maria Klaucke throughout the Mozart. The Haydn, in particular, was expertly led by violinist Bojan Čičić and the string section did a fantastic job playing the complicated, fast-paced movements in this piece. Brian Wright kept the sizeable choir and orchestra in shape and directed us clearly and musically. The orchestra had three natural trumpet players for the Haydn ‘Nelson Mass’: Russell Gilmour, Will Russell and Nick Wright - all playing on very similar, uncompromised, natural trumpets.

I heard after the concert that Frank Tomes’ widow had been at the concert, at the invitation of the secretary of the Goldsmiths Choral Union. Frank was a dear friend and a fantastic craftsman. He had made both mine and Nick Wright's natural trumpets. He went on to train David Staff as his apprentice and David Staff now makes fantastic instruments, utilising some of Frank’s original tools and mandrels. The second trumpet player, Will, was playing on a trumpet made by David Staff in this concert. Frank’s widow had contacted the conductor to confirm whether the instruments had been made by Frank. Brian's son, Nick was the third trumpet player and they were able to inform her that we were - directly or indirectly - playing on something Frank had made. Their message included a link to my blog article from 2009, when I purchased 'The Last Trumpet’ that Frank made - the trumpet I cherish and use most frequently. It was so pleasing to hear this story and it was great to discover that keeping an online journal has been useful for someone.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of this concert and best wishes to Brian Wright on the occasion of his 70th birthday, celebrated by this wonderful concert.

Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.