REVIEW – Devizes Arts Festival –Borealis Saxophone Quartet @ St Andrew’s Church 16th June 2022

Sax in Church

Andy Fawthrop

OK it’s a clickbait headline, but now you’re here, there’s more good news to report.

If you look upon The Devizes Arts Festival as a box of chocolates, this particular concert was a sweet little surprise – an additional lunchtime treat if you will, a chocolate to be enjoyed with a nice cup of (free) tea or coffee (thanks to the grand volunteers at St Andrew’s).

St Andrew’s church is a light, pleasant airy space, and an ideal venue for this sort of lunchtime concert, and it was good to see the Festival making good use of additional venues around the town.

The Borealis Saxophone Quartet is an award-winning chamber ensemble, led by Alastair Penman (soprano saxophone), with the other three members on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.  They played a varied hour’s programme featuring contemporary & recently commissioned pieces, together with more well-known items by Bach, Gershwin, Rossini and Bernstein/ Sondheim.  Hence we had extracts from West Side Story, and the William Tell Overture (the “Lone Ranger” theme for our more childish readers; Editor’s Note: That’s a-me!)

As one might have expected from such experienced and professional musicians, this was an immaculately performed concert, full of brightness and verve.  All the pieces were well received by an appreciative audience, and the final applause was justifiably fulsome.

All of DAF’s offerings so far have been exceptionally good, and this one just kept their good run going.  Short and sweet, but an excellent concert. 

The Devizes Arts Festival continues every day until 25th June at various venues across town.  Tickets can be booked at Devizes Books or online at www.devizesartsfestival.org.uk 


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