2013 European Championships

Discussion in 'The Auditorium - Concert Details' started by John Brooks, May 7, 2013.

  1. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I was looking for a thread to hopefully read comments from the Euro's last weekend but can't seem to find anything. I would be interested in reading about it from those who were there. If there is a thread already, I apologize.
  2. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Not sure if there is one, but even better you can watch the whole thing back for yourself online:


    You have to subscribe for NOK 49 (around £6) but you get the whole contest. Make sure you cancel the subscription though as it's a rolling one! All details are on the link, the quality of the recordings and visuals is excellent.
  3. pt88

    pt88 New Member

    Quality was fantastic, connected by iMac to a pair of decent speakers sound quality was very good, wish here in the UK we could get this service for the Open ,Nationals, Brass in Concert etc

  4. ben16

    ben16 Member

    what do you think this is? a brass band discussion site?
  5. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Sorry, my mistake ;)
  6. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I was at the europeans this year. Because it was so close to us (in Denmark) we figured it would be a cheap year to watch the europeans live, so 12 of my band mates plus 3 other friends flew up to Oslo. Well the flight and hotel were cheap anyway, but when beer prices starts at £7 (no typo I'm afraid) it wasn't exactly a cheap weekend.

    We arrived just too late to hear the first band (Paris Brass Band) on friday afternoons set piece section of the championships, but when we finally got us into to the concert hall we were treated to one of the most intriguing set test pieces in many years.

    Myth Forest by local composer Stig Nordhagen was a tone poem about an old pond in the woods near his home. It was in one continuous movement but with very different sections with names such as Sunburst - Bugs and Birds - Black Water Abyss - Water lilies - Echo from the other side and finally The creatures of the forest are dancing into the night. It is not as overtly a technical tour de force as the previous years set test pieces like Spiriti, From Ancient Times or Audivi Media Nocte and certainly not in such a classical style as last years great Vitae Aeternam Variations.

    It was a very evocative piece and as such relied very much on interpretation, so when we had heard 4 bands, we had not heard any performances that sounded like any of the other - each band seemed to find something that had eluded the others or had another feel for the Myth Forest.

    4barsrest has live comments of each band, so I will not go into details about each performance. It was a hugely satisfying evening and when the dust had settled 5 performances stood out for me
    Brass Band Schoonhovens interpretation was so clean and almost fragile and had some otherworldly eeriness (is that a word?) to it, that really resonated well with the composers section-titles given above. A very good marker for us.
    To me their interpretation was quite similar to that of Eikanger Bjørsvik (that played as band number 8 . They just had added inner band details that we didn't hear from any other band all day (we sat at the back of the balcony, and accoustics were such, that the adjudicators may very well have heard those details from other bands too).
    Black Dyke and Cory had completely different approaches to the piece - they were - in lack of a better word - a bit robuste in some of the quiet passages but both were very compelling in the louder parts of the piece. I found Black Dykes bass-section to be the best of the day.
    Of those four I personally had Eikanger on top followed by Black Dyke and Cory with Schoonhoven very close but I was glad I wasn't the adjudicator. My mates were almost all in agreement with who should be in the top 4 but we had very heated discussions in the bar afterwards about the individual merits of each of those 4 bands.
    The fifth band that stood out for me was Leyland - we all loved their performance which was so emotionally conducted by Michael Bach - we all suspected that it would not feature in the prices (too many details lost) but it was so musically pleasing (I really hope they stick with mr Bach even if they don't get the results that they deserve!).

    Saturday saw all the bands own choice selections.

    Black Dyke played symphony in two movements by Gregson. I think it is the best Gregson piece I've heard in years and they did go all in - perhaps too much so given the result, but for me, they were the band of the day.

    Cory played Perihelion by Philip Sparke - I am a big Sparke fan, but this left me oddly cold (others amongst us loved it!), but there was no denying of the quality of the playing. Rock solid technique all the way round paired with a clarity in details throughout the piece. Second best on the day for me.

    Eikanger played Spiriti - a brave choice given Cory's faith on the same piece last year. I think Eikanger had taken a lesson from what happened and played a much more subdued Spiriti than Cory. Given the noticable error count and (to me) rather underwhelming performance I thought they had thrown their lead from the previous day away (as it turned out they got 97 points for Spiriti and "only" 94 for Myth Forest - just goes to show how much I know).

    Buizingen gave the most extraordinary performance of the day. When Worlds Collide by Nigel Clarke. It had all kind of effects including about ten players swinging some soft tubes above their heads to give a very peculiar feeling to the music and I guess that it is the first time in the history of the europeans that a test piece ends with a confetti bomb!. Most of my mates didn't like the music, but I enjoyed it very much. What was undisputed was the fact, that they played brilliantly not least their principal cornet player who was outstanding.

    A mention should again go to Leyland for their performance of Fragile Oasis by Peter Meechan. Great piece of music and played very well. It just somehow seemed out of place here (I can't put my finger on why) - very entertaining though.

    Now it was up the adjudicators to come to a decission.

    I had Black Dyke and Cory in that order in top followed closely by the trio of Eikanger, Schoonhoven and Buizingen in no particular order.

    Those 5 bands very also the 5 bands to to take the top places so I have absolutely no problems with the results.

    Highlight of the weekend: Cory band manager Austin Davies belting out the national anthem at the awards ceremoni with absolutely no problem with projecting his sound to the back of the concert hall.

    Well this turned out to be a bit longer than I had thought it would be, that is my two pennies worth

    Cheers Erik
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  7. And most interesting it was. Thanks Erik.
  8. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Thanks Erik; exactly what I was hoping to read.
  9. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I have now heard most of the pieces again on the norwegian televisions site. Their live stream is on the web until may 18th for 49 NKR (aprox. 5£).


    As always the norwegians are leading the way with these live streams - hopefully british contests will follow soon!

    As I suspected the perception of some of the performances were a little different when I heard them again on my PC, rather than from the back of the concert hall.
    It doesn't change my ranking of the bands much, but I must say that I have perhaps been a bit harsh when it comes to Eikangers rendition of Spiriti. Details were now heard that I couldn't hear in the concert hall - mainly the low brass flourishes in the end when cornets play the main chorale. But it is still so different from the Cory version from EBBC 2012, which I believe I heard 5 times in a row immediately after downloading it - so great was the impact on me then, that it has undoubtedly coloured the way I judge the piece when played differently.

    But conductors who wishes to choose Spiriti for other contests (or if it should be chosen as a set test piece) should take notice - playing OTT here may please the crowd (including me!) but will be penalized!

    I would love to hear if other tmp'ers have watched EBBC 2013 - either live from Oslo or on the web - espicially what your thoughts are on Myth Forest.

    Cheers Erik

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