2012 Finals test piece (Rumours/thoughts)

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Laserbeam bass, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Lets give it to the third section then....;)

    To be honest I don't really care what pieces are picked as we're not going (booo! Not that I'm bitter or anything...) but pleeeaaaase no more Frank Wright / Berlioz / overture arrangements. We're better than that. It would be nice to see some pieces by our up-and-coming composers, but I'm not holding my breath.
  2. How about Fireworks (Elgar Howarth) for the first section? According to Brass Band Results website not used as a set test piece since the Open in 1975. Shirley worth another outing?
  3. The Wizard

    The Wizard Member

    Partita ---- Gregson ----- for the 4th Section
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    +1 :tup:

    You could easily pick something like 'Truth aflame' as a test-piece as well. It certainly tricky enough, and is an absolutely great piece to listen to. Maybe as a 2nd section finals piece?
  5. The Godfather

    The Godfather Member

    My passion and pastime is brass banding Maestro, and my roots are in the Northwest. I visit as often as my 'family' commitments permit. Perhaps we will meet at the national finals. Who knows? A rumour is circulating in the LSC region that you will get Anglian Dances, but we must wait and see my friend. CORLEONE.
  6. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    Totally agreed. The 1st Section National Finals should be full of bands making the move to the championship section. Instead of throwing yet another 'old standard' at them, try giving them a test piece that's suitable for Championship contenders! (the same goes for the areas too - the glut of not so difficult test pieces for the 1st section has seen a number of bands thrown into the championship section without being ready for it - and this is very damaging for both the contest and the bands themselves).
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Active Member

    Mind you, a number of bands now in the 1st section were relegated from the championship section off the back of a pair of joke area test pieces there... I'm starting to forget what a decent musical challenge looks like! Broken only by the worthy but far from impossible 'English Heritage', the last five years of area pieces I've run across otherwise read: 'Festival Music', 'Salute to Youth', 'Carnaval Romain' and 'Mountain Views'. Must be due some better luck soon...
  8. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy For Brass Band for the 1st section would be good :D
  9. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Was used a few years ago for 1st section final
  10. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Hang on a minute Waverly was used in around 1984 Championship section arr by Howard Snell and proved to be a very good test and as not been used since 20 odd yrs on would prove to be a good piece for 1st section today i might be wrong.
  11. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Dave you are just 1 year out my mate 1964;)
  12. GJG

    GJG Active Member

    That may well be true, however 20-odd years on we should not still be relying on arrangements. There is plenty of original music to be explored.
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Bearing in mind some of the dross we've had to put up with recently, I think I prefer an arrangement. At least an arrangement would be of a well known piece by a proper composer. An encore of Mountain Views anyone? I thought not ;)
  14. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

  15. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    Actually Mountain Views was a good piece of music. Just not an ideal choice as a test piece (for 1st section anyway).

    No problem with arrangements that challenge the bands at the appropriate level eg the newer transcriptions of Les Preludes or Enigma Variations are both still challenges for top section, whereas the older transcriptions aren't really appropriate.

    (yes i know, 'every piece is a test', but we wouldn't put the Floral Dance on for a championship contest!! So that's a bunkem excuse, we all know there has to be appropriate grading of music where contests themselves are graded)
  16. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    They could always get out Rienzi for the 1st section.
  17. GJG

    GJG Active Member

    And you thought "Carnival Romain" was better? It may well have been "well known", but personally I struggle even to view Berlioz as a "proper composer" ...

    We'll have to agree to disagree, I'm afraid. Irrespective of how appropriate or otherwise the choice of "Mountain Views" was for 1st Section, I am in principle opposed to the use of arrangements/transcriptions as set tests.
    I am well aware that not everyone will agree, and I am also well aware of the historical background to the use of classical transcriptions as standard repertoire in the early days of the movement. However, in my view their day has passed.

    "Mountain Views" may possibly not have been the most technically competent example of original writing for brass band, but how can we expect to force an improvement in the standard of new compositions if we don't actually use them?
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Active Member

    MV wasn't a new composition - it's 13 years old! Fact is that the pieces we see are very rarely new - even the much-loved and fresh-sounding 'Paganini Variations' is 20 years old now. The 'Devil' felt new because it's hardly ever played - but it's 19 years old. Most of the 'newer' repertoire that we contrast with the yellow stuff from the days of Frank Wright et al is itself between 10 and 30 years old.

    Which is to say that I agree with your final point Gareth, but that picking MV as an example for a 'new' piece shows what a hole we've got ourselves into in terms of introducing new repertoire.
  19. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    Although on the flip side, we're also falling into the trap of believing that pure technicality itself makes great music. The constant churn of the same technical phrase by Paul-Lovatt Cooper is absolutely not 'great' music, and we shouldn't be putting such emphasis on this soulless music above others. Yes it's part of the picture, but we're relying on it too much (while rejecting such talented musicians from outside our insular field such as Judith Bingham - remember the Prague fiasco?).

    As long as we keep trying to satisfy the middle ground (the same old popular arrangement, and a percussionist who once wrote an impressive concert piece for Dyke) we'll never get away from this age old problem. In fact if anything it's worse now, as we aren't encouraging development in our musical spectrum at all nowadays. Something we've lacked since we don't have brave musicians like Mr Hindmarch trying to steer our wretched corpse to pastures new.

    When you try to satisfy everyone you often end up going nowhere at all.
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    When was the last time we had (if you'll permit me a blatant americanism for a moment) a "game-changer?"

    Something that, while potentially not a new concept to music per se, is a new idea to brass banding, and is something unlike anything ever written for the ensemble before?

    I'll bet there's not that many. I mean, Cloudcatcher Fells would probably be considered a bit 'way out' for selection today - but was written back in the 80s! If anything, we're becoming more conservative in our selections - not less.

    We need another 'Spectrum' moment.

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