Academic Festival Overture

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by fabled inferno, May 16, 2012.

  1. I was very disappointed to hear that this dusty old Dennis Wright arrangement is to be used for the National Finals in September. Can anyone explain the thinking that allows Cross Patonce to be the second section area piece, but then this dreadfull old fossil gets picked for the finals? I speak as a percussion player who has felt very involved during the rehearsals for Cross Patonce, and has been able to make a contribution to my bands efforts to qualify for the finals. However, I now face the prospect of being virtually redundant in the run up to preparations for Cheltenham.

    It could be better though, if the people who rule us had bothered to make some sort of effort. The chosen test piece for the second section is of course, as you will all know, an Orchestral work by Brahms. The original score includes Timpani. The Dennis Wright arrangement ( written sometime during the reign of William the Conqueror) does not include the Timpani. Surely, in these enlightened times, is it not reasonable to expect that the Timpani part should be included?
  2. yoda

    yoda Member

    The publishers (powers that be) usually do put a new (artistic) timp part into the old arrangements these days, and make a few artistically tasteful adjustments to the scoring dont they.......?

    To make the original arrangement better............. or to require bands to part with another 90 odd quid for a new set

  3. I would be delighted if they have updated the Jurassic Dennis Wright arrangement, but I doubt it. Its probably far too soon for such a rash decision to be made by the Brass Band Deity, after all, Timpani have only been used in the UK since 1188!
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    One wonders whether they considered using Howard Lorriman's arrangement of the same piece. I've not seen or heard it, but I wouldn't mind betting that it's faithful to the original, percussion-wise.
  5. jezza23361

    jezza23361 Member

    On balance I find this choice to be disappointing. It clearly is a classic piece of writing in its original form but has been used so many times in so many places. It seems to me to be a 'lazy' choice. It also has been rightly pointed out that percussionists will be largely under-utilised/bored. They are an intrinsic part of bands and should not be scantly regarded.

  6. chrisjohnston

    chrisjohnston Member

    I am surprised about this choice, I played this in the National Finals second section in 1984, which back then was in the Royal Albert Hall, surely bands have improved technically over the years, nice piece of music but after rehearsing Cross Patonce this is rather a strange choice and not a good enough test for todays's second section bands. (in my opinion)
  7. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Well I just wonder how many bands will survive the syncopation at the end without the wheels coming off !!

    ~ Mr Wilx
  8. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Good choice musically although I understand the feelings of percussionists. Disappointing that the parts don't always match the score rehearsal marks in the wrong place, instructions like rit missing from some of the parts.
  9. Despite the comments I think its a good choice overall, and it's not a bad arrangement either - I've played much worse.

    I feel for the percussion players, however getting a piece like this every now and then should be expected. I hope those who complain they haven't got much to do deliver their parts and the musicality perfect on the day they play this piece at Cheltenham or else their argument might backfire!! Anyone who says this piece is easy should look again. Technically it is, musically it isn't.

    They obviously chose this piece to test 2nd section band's musicality/artistry which is a wise move and what the 2nd section needs at the moment, I'm not surprised at the choice.
  10. umchacha56k

    umchacha56k Member

  11. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Translation please!
  12. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I think you are dead right.
    It will take a good band to fit together all the interlocking quaver patterns without disturbing the rhythm. Bringing out the music and catching the different styles will not be easy.
    It is full of good music and should be a satisfying piece to rehearse, although I do sympathise with the perc players and I think it is imperative that an updated perc part is provided and stipulated for the contest.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  13. I seem to remember rehearsing this piece way back in 1977, with Bram Gay conducting. He told the band that in his opiniion the Wright score was better than the orchestral score because Wright was better at brass band arranging than Brahms was at orchestrating his compositions.

    I am humble blower of brass instruments, with no experience in composing or arranging, so cannot comment much further, but I have dislodged this piece of information from my memory after 35 years in the hope that it might make room for something new...
  14. jimmymac

    jimmymac New Member

    Having played this many years ago I'm actually not feeling so bad about not qualifying for the finals afterall! What a shame that the rumours of a new commission for the second section finals weren't true. I've already heard of one MD with the dilemma of which of his 4 young percussionists to disappoint by not playing at the finals.
  15. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps that very lucky band could lend them to a band in another section ;)
  16. To answer 2nd Troms points. I fail to understand why the fact I will be severely under employed in the second section test piece means I wont be bothering to play my part (such as it is) properly on the day. No percussion player I know would act in such an irresponsible way, especially after having worked so hard to get to the finals.

    Regarding your views on musicality and artistry, Cross Patonce gave ample scope for bands to display their musicality and artistry, but at the same time gave the whole band a chance (including percussion) to show its metal. All I expect from those who choose the music for the finals is more of the same please!
  17. I might also add that as a percussion player, I have to accept that depending on the choice of test piece for contests generally, I will sometimes find I have very little to do. This is of course linked to the history of Brass Bands, and the fact that the significant use of percussion is a relatively new development in the movement. So, although I might not like it, I realise I have to accept this in the context of contesting generally. My complaint is specifically aimed at the NBBA and the choice of test pieces for the areas and the finals.
  18. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    What's the NBBA?

    Kapitol run the National championships, and the test pieces are chosen by their Music Panel. If you feel that strongly about this, there may be more mileage in talking to them directly rather than just complaining on here (at least one of the panel is apparently a regular watcher of this site, but that doesn't mean he's going to spot your post or pay any attention to it!)
  19. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Now and again someone writes something that makes me laugh out loud. :clap:
  20. Accidental, sorry if I got my acronym wrong, but I dont think it makes much difference to the strength of my argument. As I understand it this is a forum for the disscussion of all things brass band related. Why do you object to me expressing my views on this subject on this web site? but then you go on to say that it might be a good idea as someone from Kapital does come on the site and may read the post, but then you conclude by saying he might not read it....blimey! make your mind up duck!!!