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Reviews & Articles
Thursday, 22 July 2004

© The Brass Herald Review by Peter Meechan
The second piece of the half was Michael Ball's Euphonium Concerto, with David Childs as soloist. He produced a superb display of shaped lyrical passages and well defined technical passages. David communicated the piece to the audience, who were treated to a memorable performance.

© Review by Malcolm Wood
The middle piece of the first half came from euphonium genius, David Childs, performing the English premiere of Michael Ball's "Euphonium Concerto". If ever pride shone from the face of a father, it was there at the end of son David Childs' impeccable premiere performance of Michael Ball's work as part of RNCM Festival. It was a truly superb performance.
In recent times, there may have been minor improvements in the design of this instrument, but the real progress has been made by the continual development of players' abilities and the academic opportunities to further emulate these abilities by younger players who follow them. This has led contemporary composers to develop the role of the player and the instrument within their musical thinking.
As a consequence of these developments, and his personal, exceptional talent, the enjoyment of David's performance at the RNCM, and on many other occasions, was never in doubt. It was never a question of 'Will he – won't he?' when it came to the technical hurdles set for him. It was all about the subtleties of the music, and his interpretation of it. His father, his uncle, the composer, the band, the whole of us assembled there, were thrilled to have shared in this unique occasion. Players from within the band, and David Thornton and other Black Dyke players, listened in awe.

© British Bandsman Review
Dr. Childs pointed out that all three living composers featured that afternoon were present in the auditorium and he invited the first, Michael Ball, to say a few words prior to the performance of his Euphonium Concerto, commissioned in 2002 by Pare and Dare Band for Cory's principal euphonium, David Childs and premiered that year in Treorchy. Although suffering from a heavy cold, David played to his usual high standard, giving an outstanding performance in which he was ably accompanied by the band. Of particular note was the cadenza linking the second and third movements in which the percussion entered into a very effective dialogue with the soloist. The final scherzo movement brought the work to a brilliant conclusion.

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