Wed 21 Mar 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - Culture

Another Great Concert from ICSO

Dec 05 2005 12:05
Kate Sloyan
Following on from the Medics? orchestra concert last week, Imperial College Symphony Orchestra provides the second concert of the term from Imperial?s student orchestras.
ICSO whilst on their recent tour of the Czech Republic

Friday 2nd December saw the first Imperial College Symphony Orchestra concert of the term. Although tinged with sadness by the recent death of former member Jasmine Anandarajah, in whose memory the concert was performed, the night featured some beautiful music and stunning performances.

The concert opened with Mark Jutton?s Celebration and Meditation, written in memory of Jasmine. Scored for brass and percussion, this interesting piece gave ten of Imperial?s impressive array of brass players the chance to shine. Although the performance was perhaps not as tight in some places as it could be, this was more than made up for by some very sensitive playing.

Next was Javelin, written by Michael Torke for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Despite (I am told) the piece being quite difficult, it was exciting and featured some very nice woodwind playing. There was a great sense of energy, although this was taken a little too far by some of the aforementioned brass players, whose sound was a little overwhelming at times.

The third piece in the first half was a wonderful rendition of Prokofiev?s Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring a magnificent performance by soloist and third year Aeronautics student Michal Cwizewicz. Starting and finishing with a haunting violin melody and featuring some stunning musical acrobatics in the second movement, the piece was both exciting and beautiful. Although in places the orchestra could have been a little more sympathetic in accompanying the soloist, the performance overall was excellent.

After the interval the orchestra moved on to probably the most famous of the evening?s works, Symphony No. 3 (?Organ?) by Saint-Sa?ns. After a slightly ragged start, the orchestra soon settled down. The first movement included some lovely lyrical string playing, the second had a great sense of drama and featured the beautiful theme that many may recognise (shamefully or not, you decide) as the theme from ?Babe?. The whole piece built up to a great climax, and was a fitting end to what was in this reporter's opinion a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “Another Great Concert from ICSO”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Dec 05 2005 15:18

dear 'Live!'. when are you going to start sending musicians to review concerts. it is quite clear that this review is written by somebody who understands little of the music.

Dec 05 2005 15:52

Dear "A musician",

If you were prepared to post under your own name, then I might be prepared to take your point more seriously!

However, the reporter in question is a musician. She is in fact the chair of ICU choir and the windband. Live! reviews are written for a mixed audience and we therefore ask that they do not go too deeply into the technicalities of the music.

If you think you could do better, perhaps you could email me, (my email address can be found by clicking on my name - unlike yours) and you can review the Sinfonietta concert tomorrow.

Ruth Davies

(Culture Editor)

Dec 05 2005 16:35

I would like to add that the reviewer doesn't appear to be a musician. I quote: "Despite (I am told) the piece being quite difficult". If she was a musician she wouldn't have to be told.

This reviewer also seems to make some not entirely substantiated comments about the brass playing. It would be nice to ascertain why their performance wasn't tight.

Dec 05 2005 16:48

If I hadn't played a piece before, especially a modern and not particularly well known piece, I would probably be tempted to say "I am told" also.

And the same applies to you, if you think you can do better, email me and you can write a review for a concert.

Dec 05 2005 17:19

To our embittered musicians:

Firstly, one would have thought that if you believe so strongly that Miss Sloyan was indeed not a musician, then the fact that she was able to spot such points (I refrain from saying the word flaws) in the performance ought to give you, as a supposedly talented and rehearsed musician, cause for much concern.

Secondly, as musician myself I would like to point out that if I had not played a piece of music I would have to rely on others opinions of the relative difficulty of a given work. I would most definitely be out of my place in claiming to know the standard of all musical works despite having played in bands and orchestras for the better part of a decade.

Thirdly as a brass player myself, and given Miss Sloyan's involvment in windbands, I would suggest that when she referred to the performance as not being 'tight' she was indicating that the players were not together either rhythmically, or in pitch. This is in my opinion quite a common comment with regard to brass playing in groups and I would have expected such an obviously experienced musician to be able to interpret such a comment rather than showing their ignorance in a public forum.

Finally, I would like to point out that any review is inherently subjective, but points, especially from a lay-person should always be born in mind and taken in the constructive spirit in which they have no doubt been made. If some of the members of ICSO (which i presume, however incorrectly, you both are)feel they are unable to take criticism and possibly dent their belief that because they are in ICSO they are definitively the best musicians in the college then I suggest they deflate their egos and actually return to planet earth!!

Dec 05 2005 18:09

So, on first hearing of the Rite of Spring (random well known modern(ish) piece of music), did you think it was:

a) Easy

b) Difficult

c) My friend told me it was diffcult so I'm assuming it is(!)

'nuff said :-)

Dec 05 2005 19:37

Dear oh dear, this is getting a little feisty...

Personally I think the reviewer is spot on in the review and her approach to the review is really beyond reproach. The terminology is appropriate to the audience and frankly necessary in order to try and dispell the obvious elitism surrounding classical music concerts.

Firstly it is not at all uncommon to go to a concert and hear music that you've never heard before. As a side note I would add that it is in fact normally wishful thinking for most musicians to turn up for a rehearsal of a seldom played piece and have listened to the piece or looked at a score. If you don't know the piece, how it comes across to the listener may have little to do with the technical or ensemble challenges of the piece: the point made about the Rite is somewhat stupid in this regard.

Mozart is incredibly difficult to play well, probably much harder to do right than the Rite but it sounds easy when it's good. A brass choral sounds eurphoric when played with sensitivity and accuracy but is really hard to do (hence the reviewer's comments about tightness in the opening piece). Just because the piece sounds busy and has a lot going on doesn't necessarily mean it's hard - the sacraficial dance from the Rite is much harder to conduct than play, it's all just a matter of counting and other than that, fairly straight forward, yet sounds really hard.

And frankly, every comment I've heard from members of the audience of ICSO concerts for the last couple of years has been derogatory with respect to the quality and sensibilities of the brass section. Volume certainly does not imply quality; quite the opposite in my opinion...

Dec 05 2005 20:15

I think the reviewers' comments are in no way sufficient. Firstly, in reviewing something for a wide audience you first want to describe the piece in order to give any comments with regards to the performance context. I think this is particularly important if it is a new or not very well known work. No comment of either piece is made that would help a reader to truely understand what the piece might have sounded like (other than "interesting" or "energetic", which I feel is poor reviewing (you'd expect a piece written for the olympics to be energetic wouldn't you?). Saying something isn't 'tight' without being contextual is neither constructive nor indicative of what might have been flawed about the music: was it not 'tight' because of rhythmical difficulties or intonation or balance or all of these?

Secondly, I think the comment about The Rite were probably trying to demonstrate that rhythmically complex pieces are in general tricky to get to grips with. Something that every musician should know and understand, and would have guaged from a rendition of the piece.

Dec 05 2005 20:36

Yes, I take your point. It could be that the reviewer was subtly implying that Javalin is a completely superficial, trite and unmemorable piece that has done nothing to progress either the state of modern music or the typical audience's understanding and appreciation of modern music. I rather hope she was, though I doubt it.

I do think that it's very hard to describe a piece of music sufficiently in words for any such description to be worthwhile. You typically end up either making grade meaningless noises "sweeping melodies", "virtosic playing" etc or you deal with the technicalities of the structure: "after the exposition follows an invertion of the opening theme in compound triple time". Neither goes anywhere near explaining what the piece sounds like and it is pointless trying to form an opinion from such a description. It's probably best to say nothing if you don't know what to say.

You say "No comment of either piece is made that would help a reader to truely understand what the piece might have sounded like", but what would you like to be said? I just don't think words can describe in any meaningful what how a piece sounds. I do agree that then lack of details about the 'tightness' is unfortunate, and you can argue it both ways: if she expands that then she risks alienating an unmusical reader, if she doesn't then the musicians are left guessing, and if she leaves it out then there ends up being no critical judgement made whatsoever. It's difficult to strike the right balance.

And to be honest, I'm not sure that rhythmically complex pieces are 'trickier' to assemble than non rhymically complex pieces: I think the difficulty normally lies not in what the dots are in front of each player but how those dots interact with all the other players' dots. Now sure, that's hard in fast and intricate rhythms but it's also hard in slow and sonorous passages where little mistakes and timing errors become so obvious.

Of course, the reviewer's original comment could have been a complement: "I'm told it was hard, but they played it in a way that made it sound like child's play, such is the quality of the ensemble".

Dec 05 2005 20:47

I enjoyed the review and I'm very grateful that someone took the trouble to write it.

Constructive comments about the concert would be far more welcome in the discussion than derogatory comments about the review.

In my experience (which is not insignificant) ICSO does represent the most accomplished musicians in the college, and is one of the finest university orchestras in the country. That it is, by contrast to other university orchestras, largely made up of students who have never studied music full time, is all the more to their credit, and perhaps helps to justify the odd flaw!

Kate, keep up the reviews (and the thankless task of chairing the choir!), and ICSO, keep up the great performances!

Dec 05 2005 21:02

Indeed, I don't really have a major problem with the review. I was more making comments in response to the discussion. Apologies if I offended the reviewer.

Dec 06 2005 10:02

And I am very grateful that Kate reviewed it, because if she hadn't, as culture editor, I would have had to and I had other committements last Friday that I couldn't get out of.

Please, does anyone out there want to review Sinfonietta tonight - I'm in that so I definitely can't review it!

13. Editor   
Dec 06 2005 13:55

Just to keep fans happy, another article from Kate is likely to be appearing very soon.....

Dec 06 2005 14:03

Personally, I just think we are getting way too much culture on Live!

Dec 06 2005 14:20

It's nice to know I make an impression :-)

Just to reply to a couple of points:

a) It is possible that I am not a true musician and that I don't know what I'm talking about. However, if playing five instruments and being chair of two college music societies doesn't give me some insight, I don't know what does.

b) You can't tell whether a piece is difficult by what it sounds like. Some of the hardest pieces I know are hard precisely because you have to make them sound effortless.

c) When I said tight I meant rhythmically. I apologise if some people were confused by this. Given that I made the same comment using the same words to one of these brass players during the interval and he understood and agreed with me, I didn't feel that it needed more clarification.

d) While I've got your attention, COME TO THE CHOIR CONCERT (Friday 9th December, Great Hall, 8pm) AND THE WINDBAND CONCERT (Thursday 15th, Great Hall, 1pm) AND DIDO AND AENEAS (see for more details)

I wonder if I can make the Sinfonietta review this contraversial...

Dec 06 2005 14:27

And to clarify I thought the concert was excellent. The performance wasn't perfect but given that this is live music and the orchestra is only human I wouldn't have expected it to be. Overall, I had a great evening and would recommend next term's concert to anyone.

17. Ruth   
Dec 06 2005 15:07

You see, Engineer, it's the time of the term when culture happens. You may or may not have noticed, but until the medics orchestra review and the dramsoc preview went up just over a week ago there hadn't been a culture article since the beginnning of term.

And personally, I think it's good that we have articles about things other than engineering. It shows that most of us are well rounded individuals at Imperial who do things other than our degrees!

Dec 06 2005 17:03


If you would like to see something else appearing on Live! I would suggest you write and then email any articles you would find more noteworthy to the editors.

You really can't complain about the interest of the content or complete lack thereof unless you are willing to contribute yourself.

Dec 06 2005 22:57

Well, it seems that the only other things we do besides engineering is limited to the performing arts.

20. Editor   
Dec 07 2005 10:30

As you will see from the black links bar at the top of the page, Live! has plenty of scope for including other articles from opinion pieces and columns to sports.

However unless people volunteer to write them or the editors suddenly develop a means of fitting extra hours into the day, the content of Live! will remain down to those who put in the effort.

Those who can do. Those who can't be bothered just bitch about it.

21. Steve   
Dec 07 2005 11:49

On an unrelated subject:

Could the editors avoid using pictures nearly 2MB in size for thumbnails on the front page. It's sligtly irritating and not the first time it's happened recently.


Dec 07 2005 14:42

Why is it irritating? I hadn't noticed anything particularly irritating.

23. Jan   
Dec 07 2005 15:04

As the self-proclaimed most overwhelming member of the brass section I think it's fair enough that the "Devil Woman" gives her opinion. It's difficult to judge how tight a piece is while you're playing it, and it seems probable there were a few interesting moments (it is after all, an interesting piece), especially with the short amount of time we had to rehearse.

As regards the loud playing in Javelin, I can only say we obviously disagree with how this piece should be played. That's OK, I'm not going to take it personally (or really take any notice of it at all for that matter, no offence I hope). I dare say Miss Sloyan isn't a particular fan of brass playing in general, and admittedly, it was quite loud. I can only say that if Maestro Dickens felt it was a problem, I'm sure he could somehow muster up the nerve to mention it...

Unlike ICSO musician. I wonder who she is? It seems she has a problem that she's too shy to share with us in person. Perhaps it would be more constructive to approach the offending parties and - gasp! - talk to them? Perhaps she's intimidated by our obvious good looks and charm. Or maybe it's Doug.

Kate, I would come to your concerts and review them, but seeing as I'm not a huge fan of either genre it would probably be less than enthusiastic (perhaps I would complain that the brass were woefully quiet?) and I'm just too nice a guy to do that to a fellow musician. I hope you understand!

Having said that, make sure you come to the gig in dB's on Thursday 15th December at 8pm featuring the award-winning IC Big Band, for some MUCH louder playing. You'll hate it.

Thank you all for an "entertaining" discussion.

Jan out.

P.S. It's funny, everyone I've ever talked to after an ICSO concert has agreed that not only were the brass the strongest section, they were also the prettiest. Different strokes, huh?

P.P.S. "Revolving Gnome", it seems we may not be the only embittered brass players with huge egos at IC... Enjoy that chip on your shoulder.

24. Ruth   
Dec 07 2005 15:42

Jan, in my experience (although that could be because the brass are normally directly in front of the sopranos) the brass in the orchestra accompanying the choir tend to be on the loud side, so you might enjoy it! ;-)

And you needn't worry, I've probably found someone to review the wind band.

More seriously though, seeing as (by his lack of response) it looks as though the Revolving Gnome is not at a computer this afternoon, I should probably remind you that not all brass players play an orchestral instrument and some of those who do, may be good enough to play in ICSO but choose not to.

Dec 07 2005 16:14

It's not about how ?good? he is. It's about making snide comments from the safety (and anonymity) of a computer screen without having the balls to put himself up for criticism.

The way I read his post he wasn?t even at the concert, but jumped at the chance to attack the symphony orchestra. I can?t see any motive there but misplaced bitterness.

Perhaps I?m wrong. Perhaps he?s just a giant tool. But it strikes me that people secure enough in themselves generally resist the urge to do others down.

26. Ruth   
Dec 07 2005 17:08

"It's not about how ?good? he is. It's about making snide comments from the safety (and anonymity) of a computer screen without having the balls to put himself up for criticism."

That's not the way your original point reads at all.

""Revolving Gnome", it seems we may not be the only embittered brass players with huge egos at IC... "

You appear to suggest that he posted what he did because he was for some reason embittered by ICSO. Your point is nothing about his choice not to reveal his identity, but rather one of the kind of repsonses that always seem to come up when someone dares to criticise ICSO and has come up before in discussion about ICSO concerts. Have a look at the discussion on a previous article about an ICSO concert which is

It's no wonder that people make points like the Revolving Gnome's if some ICSO members' first response come across as, well you must be jealous because you're not in it. We're the best musicians in college (we must be becuase we're auditioned) so how dare you crticise us.

It's a great shame that a few people in ICSO have this kind of stupid attitude that doesn't allow for the fact that not everyone plays an orchestral instrument and many people have other committments on a Wednesday night. It reflects badly on all ICSO memebrs, most of whom are not quite so arrogant!

Although, yes, I agree with you, in that I don't like all the hiding behind aliases people do on Live!

27. Ruth   
Dec 07 2005 17:21

And yes, my typing is atrocious.

28. Jan   
Dec 07 2005 18:52

This gnome fellow is apparently a friend of yours, but perhaps you could be more objective?

My P.S. was slightly tongue-in-cheek, and, as I'm sure you noticed, only re-used insults he had chosen to use (including embittered - one would never be so pretentious...)

For you to interpret this as "well you must be jealous because you're not in it. We're the best musicians in college (we must be becuase we're auditioned) so how dare you crticise us" is a bit of a stretch, to put it mildly.

Having said that, I stand by my second post in that I don't think there are many ways to interpret his obvious animosity for the orchestra. He's either a troll just looking for a fight or he's got a grudge. If you can suggest a more plausible explanation, please enlighten me.

As to your accusations that I can't take criticism of ICSO's playing, that's ridiculous. If you read my 1st post again, I don't think I begrudge Kate her opinions at all.

If you think anything I've written is arrogant on the same scale as the gnome's first post, then I think you're a little blinkered by your friendship.

Although I am an arrogant bastard, maybe you're spot on. I don't really care any more.

Over and out.


29. editor   
Dec 07 2005 19:01


The thumbnails are created automatically within live, which was written prior to digital cameras producing pictures of current day resolution. We will however take your comment on board for the re-write of live.

Dec 07 2005 19:35


It has to be said that the number of people who have suggested I have a large ego could be counted one the fingers of one hand.

As for being embittered towards ICSO, I would suggest that I neither like or dislike them particularly. In fact I have, in the mysterious way that the union works, been a member for the last 3 years, although this is I would admit with some reluctance. Discussions on that matter however have been had before and it is neither my place nor wish to resurrect them at this time I object to the accusation that I was 'attacking' ICSO.

My comments were certainly not meant to be 'snide' as you put it nor were they derogatory towards anything other than the frankly rude response of one or two members of the orchestra. I regret that I was unable to be at this term's concert as I was participating in another performance elsewhere however I have enjoyed previous concerts immensely.

As for hiding behind a pseudonym, if you actually check the link I have provided a perfectly valid email address which is more than most do when psoting on this site. However whilst I do have some reason for not using my own name in this case I have been a major proponent in recent times of fewer pseudonyms being used generally on Live! and also attempting to ensure that a valid email should be submitted in order to post. That i believe is still a work in progress.

I would also like to point out that I found the "giant tool" comment quite offensive and would ask that in future you at least remain polite even if it is clearly laced with sarcasm.

Dec 08 2005 00:11

Revolving gnome argues that "I would most definitely be out of my place in claiming to know the standard of all musical works despite having played in bands and orchestras for the better part of a decade". The thing that has annoyed ma about this discussion is the igonrance with regards to this point. I would have expected such "experienced" musicians to not to show their ignorance in a public forum. It is the job as a musician to understand what is difficult about a piece and why: as part of an ensemble one relies on others, and it is a responsibility to understand why and how other members affect a group. This means understanding why a piece of music may be difficult for each member of the ensemble. Good musicians will be able to ascertaining this on first hearing.

Revolve around back to your garden pond...

Dec 08 2005 00:34

Children children, this is all getting rather out of hand i fear.

Whilst I must admit that I don't agree entirely with some aspects of the review, Kate also makes some good points; the beginning of the symphony, was, indeed ragged.

But I must say that as a brass player myself I do feel aggrieved by both her comments and the comments of 'icso musician' (whoever that may be ;) !). I have never heard the brass described as the weakest section. That is simply rubbish when referring to an orchestra that has until recently had no bassoons and half an oboe section.

The dynamics of the brass were in perfect harmony with the directions of Maestro Dickins. If you have a problem with it, take it up with him. And if anything, one might argue that the strings lacked power... :P

"Jan, in my experience (although that could be because the brass are normally directly in front of the sopranos) the brass in the orchestra accompanying the choir tend to be on the loud side" So what have we learnt here? Sopranos are a bunch of pussies?! Brass instruments are loud, my dear. That is why they are used sparingly.

"I should probably remind you that not all brass players play an orchestral instrument and some of those who do, may be good enough to play in ICSO but choose not to." Who can name a non-orchestral brass instrument? Or anyone at IC that plays it. And I really can think of very few brass players that I would deem of suitable standard to play in ICSO that are not in it, and those i do know would not criticise.

I must agree with 'appreciative' - I believe ICSO does represent the most accomplished orchestral musicians at Imperial. That's the whole point. Anyone who feels otherwise is most welcome to come and audition to me.

Ultimately, you're all entitled to your own opinions. I think ICSO played bloody well and I congratulate them for it. In the end, the recording will reveal all...

Thanks, Kate, for taking the time to review us. I'm not sure, though, if the title of the review matched the opinions aired. But whilst I may take issue with some of the comments made in the discussion, I value your opinions and the time you have taken to write this. I wish you the best of luck with the choir concert on friday - I'm told the lamb is quite hard...

33. Kate   
Dec 08 2005 10:22

I would like to point out that at no point did I agree with the comment about the brass being the weakest section, if fact in my experience the section is always excellent. I just found it slightly jarring, with the brass being so much more obvious than any other section in a part of the piece that (as far as I could tell) was not supposed to be a brass feature. However, as you point out, it could be that the strings lacked power. Given that most of them will be accompanying me this weekend I'm not sure I want to p*** them off...

I apologise if the review came across as less than positive; believe me this was not supposed to be the case. I had a great evening and thought that everyone played extremely well. Having said that, the better you are the more picky reviewers are going to be. I guess part of being consistently one of the best student orchestras in the country means that people come to assume that you're going to play perfectly.

And thanks Dan, at least you're responding to my comments without sarcasm or name calling. This is refreshing.

34. Kate   
Dec 08 2005 10:24

And yes, the Lamb is hard (if fact, it sounds easy but is actually extremely difficult. See if you can tell when you hear it). Place your bets now on how far out of tune we'll be by the end of it...

Dec 08 2005 10:42

word count approaching 5,000...

36. Kate   
Dec 08 2005 11:00

Has this ever happened before on a culture article?

37. Jan   
Dec 08 2005 11:34

I should let this go, but...

Gnome, here is listed every insult (or possible insult) used prior to your post:

"Obviously not a musician".

"Does not appear to be a musician".

Maybe a bit arrogant, but really just a bit of harmless banter. Let's compare to your first post:

"embittered musicians"

"she was able to spot such points (I refrain from saying the word flaws)" - arrogant? Sarcastic? You decide...

"supposedly talented and rehearsed musician"

"showing their ignorance"

"unable to take criticism"

"deflate their egos and actually return to planet earth!!"

I'm not saying these snide comments really bother me, but it does appear you have a rather disproportionate dislike for all things ICSO.

I stand by my comments, either you have some reason to particularly dislike the orchestra, or you're a giant tool. Oh and if you find this "quite offensive" you probably need to grow up and quit taking yourself so seriously.


P.S. Not that it bothers me, but your comment regarding pseudonyms is pretty funny. Having a gmail account under your pseudonym makes you less anonymous than everyone else? Pshaw.

P.P.S. Nothing I've written has been sacastic, no matter what you may think. Except that last sentence.

38. Kate   
Dec 08 2005 13:21

Jan and Gnome: if you want to insult each other that much could you not find a quiet space somewhere and vent your feelings at each other there?

Dec 08 2005 14:01

My apologies Kate.


If you wish to talk further please feel free to reply to the email you have been sent.

40. Ruth   
Dec 08 2005 16:13

Don't worry Dan, the ICSO Chair,

"Jan, in my experience (although that could be because the brass are normally directly in front of the sopranos) the brass in the orchestra accompanying the choir tend to be on the loud side"

wasn't mean to be serious! I even put a smiley at the end in my oiginal post;-)

And on non-orchestral brass instruments, how about the euphonium, flugel horn, tenor horn or baritone horn... I think there are players of a few of those round and about college.

Before anyone else form ICSO starts moaning about my posts, although I didn't get to this particular concert, that wasn't becuase I didn't want to, I know ICSO do good concerts (having been to several in the past)and would have gone if I hadn't have another committment I couldn't get out of. I would even count some ICSO members as being amongst my friends so none of my points in the discussion are intended as criticism of ICSO as a whole. It is just a shame that a few people - like the people who first posted in repsonse to this article (and started all this argument off) - didn't seem to be able to take any of Kate's crticisms.

And Jan, yes of course I know the revolving gnome - he writes culture articles and I am the culture editor! Sometimes we even write articles together!

Lastly, I am the culture editor of Live! but my opinions in discussion are generally mine, not Live's, in case anyone was worried about journalistic bias.

Dec 08 2005 16:41

"And on non-orchestral brass instruments, how about the euphonium, flugel horn, tenor horn or baritone horn... I think there are players of a few of those round and about college"

If you like I can prob find you some orchestral pieces that feature these instruments. Except maybe the tenor horn, but that's really only the brass equivalent of the recorder... merely a training instrument. :D

42. Ruth   
Dec 08 2005 16:45

Well, perhaps, I'm a string player and a singer so I couldn't be expected to know :D

Dec 08 2005 16:52

As for the tenor horn player being a training instrument, as far as proper brass bands are concerned the French Horn doesn't exist.

Very very few horn players can play as precisely or pitch as securely as is necessary for 'tight' band playing on the french horn. However the French horn does offer a nicer quality of tone and in the right hands a lot more volume than the tenor.

Personally I enjoy playing both, they may have their own places, however neither should be discounted as a mere training instrument.


This discussion has become rather fun, the musical hacks are all crawling out of the woodwork. It does make a change from the union hack normally so prevalent on Live!

44. Ruth   
Dec 08 2005 16:55

Ooh, we've opened a whole new can of worms now. And there was me trying not to p*** anyone off this afternoon...

45. Jan   
Dec 08 2005 18:01

RG, I'm not going to get into a big emailing frenzy with you. To be honest this is getting a bit old.

I'll just finish by saying that if you were genuinely insulted by my assertion that you might be a "tool", then hopefully you'll believe me when I say that wasn't my intention.

If you want I'll go back and edit it out. You'll have to tell me how though.


Dec 08 2005 19:54

Dan, FYI: I believe Mahler 7 has a tenor horn part. Yes, I'm a geek.

Dec 08 2005 23:51

i'm sure that due to the large number of pieces of music, there exists an orchestral part for almost any instrument you can name (i say this with a western bias, obviously cultural tradition instruments make it a little more difficult).

my favourite is the rite of spring which has alto flute in :) most people dont know there exist several types of flute of differing sizes, bar picc and "flute".

Dec 09 2005 00:19

And a bass flute (thought not yet seen an orchestral work with it yet- I'm sure that can be arranged)

Check out some more obscure ww instruments...

my personal favourite is the subcontrabass saxophone:

This is getting rather fun!!!!

49. Kate   
Dec 09 2005 09:40

Wow that's some serious sax, although my personal favourite on that contrabass link was the "Heckelphone"


Dec 11 2005 17:26

Yes, I doubt there will be an orchestral part for bass flute, it is rather quiet, luckily our flute choir several years ago had two :)

I once saw a sub-contra-bass flute. Now thats big. Imagine having you own assemble-on-the-spot organ pipe and you wouldnt be far wrong.

Dec 12 2005 14:39

No-one's blamed the acoustic yet...

Kate: Being on committees does not give anyone insight into reviewing concerts. Just look at Dan. He can barely write... However, I would suggest that you have written your review of Javelin backwards, ending on the negative instead of the positive. Perhaps you should avoid the word "although".

THP: I used to play french horn in a brass band. There is nothing inherently less "tight" about a french horn. Pitching is harder, but when playing perpetual offbeats, it's not really a problem.

Clearly ICSO should play Mahler 7.

What would be the point of a sub-contra-bass flute? You wouldn't be able to hear it!

Keep the contoversial reviews coming - we need more slagging matches on Live!

Jan 11 2006 10:39

How can something written in 1996 be classical?

I think that this article shows the dumbing down of IC cupture that has been prevalent since the dark days of Harold Wilsons government. In these days of terrorism, climate change and what with Charles Kennedy's departure from the Lib Dems surely we should concentrate our efforts to solving the more pressing issues facing IC and the World?

Also it is really appropriate to discuss music on an engineering news site? I feel at least that we shoul discuss the ever important issue of signal to noise.

53. Editor   
Jan 11 2006 13:51

Ta King,

I'd like to point out that this is not an engineering news site. THe site merely aims to report on news and events etc that are relevant to engineering (and often other) students at Imperial.

If you would like to write pieces on other subjects please feel free to get in touch.

Jan 11 2006 17:40

Hi Kate

Do you remember me? (I was the lonely, untalkative second flautist in the Milton Keynes Symphony Orchestra).


55. Martin   
Jan 30 2006 11:52

"How can something written in 1996 be classical?" - Ta King

Nobody said it was.

Mar 07 2006 15:54

Oh dear... and I thought we were all big boys and girls now... Don't you think that maybe as fellow Imperial College students and musicians we could all be civil! What is wrong with peace and harmony - I'm sure there is a nice person in all of you somewhere! :D Enjoy the music, enjoy the experience, and smile about it afterwards!

Jul 07 2006 14:58

Can we all remember the point of this concert? To remember Jasmine. I am sure it was a wonderful tribute.

Add your comment:

If you can see this, something is broken (either with your browser, or with our system). Please leave the box below empty, or your comment will be considered to be spam.

See Also

  1. The End of an Era for ICU Choir
    30 May 05 | Concerts & Gigs
  2. A Musical Feast
    15 Feb 05 | Concerts & Gigs
  3. ICU Choir's Autumn Term Concert
    04 Jan 05 | Concerts & Gigs

Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published