Bury The Cheese 15.5.18

The great diarist Samuel Pepys famously buried his block of Parmesan before alerting his family when flames threatened to engulf his house during the 1666 Great Fire of London. It’s one of the more unusual episodes of that turbulent periods of British history and it has been celebrated in a suitably unusual new work by Trinity Laban composition student Caitlin Harrison which was premiered at the Old Royal Naval College chapel by the conservatoire’s Wind Ensemble. Entitled Bury The Cheese, the 21-year-old’s creation was the centrepiece of an open day for Trinity’s Faculty Of Music – and it’s hard to imagine a better exemplar of excellence. It was scored for two piccolos, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns and a tuba. So far, so predictable. But for most of the time the oboists, clarinettists and bassoonists were required to put down their instruments and play their mouthpiece reeds like kazoos while the horn and piccolo sections dealt with uptempo cascades that must have been highly challenging to play. Meanwhile, the melody was primarily carried by the tuba and was performed with thunderous virtuosity by Joe Tucker. It was simply wonderful. It was also witty and wildly original – and was thus the perfect advert for Trinity Laban.

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