SKIPTON Music’s highly successful season ended with a spell-binding concert by the brass quintet “Connaught Brass”.

One expects brass ensembles to be – well, brassy – and the quintet did not disappoint in the lively opening number, Mogens Andresen’s fanfare and dance in Norwegian folk style; and later in the suite of rollicking numbers from Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera.

But what made this concert at Skipton Town Hall very special were the delicate and subtle sounds that these brilliant players were able to conjure out of their instruments. A Romance by Clara Schumann sounded as if made to measure for brass quintet, but even more astonishing were the five hauntingly beautiful chansons by Lili Boulanger, with each instrument in turn delivering the melody and the composer’s highly idiomatic piano accompaniments expertly transcribed for the remaining instruments.

For me, the stand-out piece in this superbly varied programme was the “street song” by the American composer and conductor Michel Tilson Thomas, originally for a larger brass ensemble but sounding totally convincing in this reduced version. If there were echoes of Aaron Copland – his “Quiet city” and “Appalachian Spring” for instance – that is only a compliment to the subtle harmonies and jaunty dance rhythms of this compelling piece. Connaught Brass were worthy ambassadors, handling the considerable technical demands with easy virtuosity and revelling in the haunting dissonances. A truly memorable finale to a wonderful season of first-class music making.

Details of next season’s programme will be posted in due course on the society’s website at and season tickets will be available from July onwards.