The Annual “Club Night” at The Dubrovnic Hotel, Bradford
Tuesday 29th October, 2013
featuring: The Craven Orchestra under the direction of Harry Hinchcliffe
The Bradford Accordion Band under the direction of Anita Basic
Our annual pilgrimage to the Dubrovnic Hotel, uniting the 2 bands, known as the “Club Night” is looked forward to each year as we meet up with friends who share a common interest for music and passion for the accordion. We play as individuals, duettists, separate bands and together as one band. The performers, all of different abilities deserve our admiration. We acknowledge it is not an easy task performing in front of other accordion players. Credit should be given to them all, especially those who played solo. It was a privilege for us to hear them perform, entertaining and enlightening us with a wide selection of musical styles.
We give a special thank you to Peter who organized the event and to Anita and her family for allowing us to perform at such a spectacular venue.
Also, Harry does a great job of encouraging and praising the young accordionists. They are a credit to him.
It would not be an accordion concert with out the inclusion of a Tango. The Craven Orchestra opened the evening with Graham Laurie’s ‘Tango di Eva-Lena’. The “Melodian Cocktail” introduced us to various “swing” numbers played with style. Concluding with “Wild Mountain Thyme” their programme had highlighted the orchestra’s excellent use of dynamics, phrasing and inclusion of added “twiddly bits” which all added to our enjoyment. Christina, their singer enhanced the piece with her confident, controlled, melodic performance.
Bradford Band chose the nautical, “Biscaya” which creates the movement of the sea likened to the Bay of Biscay. “Canon in D”, which is a piece which we have recently mastered. Anita informed us that it had been on the agenda for 16 years, so it was appropriate that is should, at last, be given an airing. The jaunty “Boogie in G” was played with “attitude” . We tried to express the rhythmic, syncopatic style, reminiscent to the period it reflects.
Together both bands played “What a Feeling”, with tricky rhythm variations, especially for second accordions. Its presentation was powerful and “upbeat”.
The “Floral Dance” is always popular with audiences. Its appeal results from the gentle introductions, lead ins from different parts of the band and gradual build up of dynamics and forte ending.
The “Final Countdown” went at a pace that we in Bradford Band are not familiar with. Apparently, it is the opinion of many that this is the correct tempo for the piece, but many players were unable to perform the semi-quavers separately and detached at that speed. After the first few bars of pianissimo, the dynamics increased and continued throughout, not allowing for the variations of sound.
Peter introduced a change of instrument with his viola playing friend, Sarah. They were well matched in their expressive playing, being calm and well rehearsed with a varied programme. The accordion and viola complimented each other as instruments played together.
The highlight of the evening was a performance by Anna Leskela from Finland. We had an expert in our midst and she did not disappoint with her selection of music. Her rendition of “Romance” by Franck Angelis was particularly well received. She played with feeling and her skills of articulation, bellows shake, changes of tempo and dynamics enthralled us all. We had a bonus when she agreed to play an additional polka.
Special thanks should be given to our supportive audience of friends and family, who were very accommodating. Their encouragement is very much appreciated.
Everyone had an enjoyable evening and returned home in good mood on a high note!