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THE BESSES O’ THE nATI's. "What is music ?” asks a great Continental critic. As far as wc are concerned the Besses o’ the Barn band has offered a profound solution. Invercargill has four brass bands presenting- various degrees of proficiency, an'd two, at least, arc decidedly above the average. .But the Besses ?—well ! "Wc do not know what music is,’’ continues the great critic. "But wc know what is good music, and still better do we know what is bad music ; for our ears are greeted by the latter with greater frequency. Musical criticism can base itself on experience alone, and not upon synthesis ; it should classify musical works only by their analogies, and should take as criticisms the collective impression produced.’’ The great strength of the band lies in interpretation. Nothing is slurred. The ideals of the conductors and soloists are gained without the least appearance of effort, and while mechanically perfect and visibly accurate, the inexplicable subtlety of true music lends its magic quality to, every selection rendered. Mr Owen kno'Wis how to maintain a crescendo, and his band can deal wonderful--ly with rapid legato passages, while in fast staccato it is a revelation. Every player possesses a marked musical individuality, and these remarkable units are so ably requisitioned by the man with the baton that the genius of each is never lost or depreciated. The band gave us music (with a capital M) and to refer to the programme in detail must be more weary than a twice-told tale. By .the way, it has been noted that some music is difficult because it is simple, a paradox no doubt ; but containing a certain degree of wholesome truth, and truth that will appeal to all those who were enthusiastic regarding the Besses at their initial performance.

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Musical., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 49, 2 February 1907

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Musical. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 49, 2 February 1907

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