Area 2011

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tromwinst, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    But that's what Stravinsky did! here's a list of (just) his ballets written after The Rite:-

    Les Noces
    The Fairy's Kiss
    Jeu de Cartes

    All tonally based and not influenced by The Rite - except in that they were the composer's only way forward after 1913.
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with all of those; I would agree in the case of Pulcinella, but I'm not so sure about Jeu. The musical language may not be comparable to that of The Rite, but I don't think you can argue that Stravinsky would have written it like that if he hadn't written the Rite first.

    Additionally, I'm not convinced that there is a parallel with how a composer relates to his own (earlier) music, compared with how other composers react.
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Not just the Rite, but also the entire sweep of mainstream musical thought from about 1880 onwards. Composers as conservative as (for example) Elgar wrote stuff that was more profound and advanced than Eric Ball's stuff half a century before Ball was writing. Resurgam even just about postdates Turangalila!

    But this is all a symptom of a wider malaise in musical fashion - what's seen as "serious" and "high quality" in music long ago became disconnected from what is actually popular. But banding has always retained a close association with its populist roots, and so it has had the confidence and conservativeness to reject those musical growths that haven't appealed to the mainstream - and as the forefront of musical thought has receded from sight, has simply settled happily somewhere around the mid to late 19th century in style. Composers such as Eric Ball knew and still know their market - people-who-know-what-they-like, people who are willing to take a dash of chilli in their musical fare, but prefer roast beef to a vindaloo... Or even a pathia... Or a korma, in quite a few cases! But the composers of rare quality - they are almost always diverted away from us by their academic education, acquiring tastes that we as a movement do not care to acquire. And therein lies the problem - I believe that there *are* still deeply interesting musical things to say with a musical vocabulary that bands will accept (Philip Wilby is the most recent person of a very very small list to do such successfully, in my opinion), but they are not being said because there are no top-rank composers who are interested in saying them.

    I think our best hope lies in finding someone with a fondness for bands and an intuitive feel for what makes them tick who retains that connection through an apprenticeship to the dark art of becoming a successful modernist composer - someone who can please the academics with squeaking gates with one hand, but please bandsmen with profound turns of melody and harmony with the other. I currently have high hopes of a young composer from the Forest of Dean who I've recently encountered in both modes - a chap called Gavin Higgins.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The metric tricks and regular harmonic astringency of the works of Stravinsky's Neo-Classical period I think are more 'advanced' than the pieces that really get banders going even today. And that's leaving aside the fact that Stravinsky became a dedicated serialist in his final years. I agree that he retreated from the peak of iconoclasm that he surmounted in the Rite, but he didn't retreat as far as the furthest advance that banding has even yet popularly accepted.
  5. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    If you haven't come across Orpheus, it's worth looking out. Very beautiful!
  6. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Very, very well expressed :clap:
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    :clap: Quality!
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Aaalreet Gareth lad.

    First, I can't believe you've not played it before, what with your voracious appetite for band pieces.

    Secondly - I seem to recall one rehearsal where I warned you that you'd be bored when it was first mooted around as an option.... ;)
  9. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Exactly my thoughts, posted on the other Area thread. Glad I'm not a lone voice.
  10. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Hmm is this why so many are predicting car crash performances in the first section next March? Half the band will be asleep by the bottom of the first page :tongue:

    Personally, i've never played it - have listened to it, and didn't get all the way through :redface: - i got bored listening, but it may surprise me when i come to play it.

    Would rather be doing PV....oh well :rolleyes:
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I think it's maybe just the trombones theat Mr Wright wasn't particularly kind to in his transcription. From what I recall, the other parts are pretty flippin' tricky in places. I know for a fact the BB part ain't exactly the easiest ever written.

    Plus LOTS of unison triple-tonguing for everyone.
  12. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    And then there's Agon, which draws extensively upon his serial technique alongside references to tonality/neo classicism and a sharply defined episodic structure...

    I don't think that even Stravinsky could have continued to turn out Rites, particularly in the economic climate following WW1 when Diaghilev could not afford an orchestra on that scale. But the musical world changed then anyway; it wasn't only Stravinsky who fell under the influence of popular styles.
  13. At the end of the day all these testpieces need playing, its still the adjudicators that haven't been sorted out.
  14. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    does EVERYONE include Bass Trom?

    I doubt it.

  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    We've probably got the first of every three... I've got to get the score out to see how bad it really is!
  16. G D Bush

    G D Bush Member

    Who is it that actually choose the test pieces? Not meaning another nameless faceless panel, but actual names of the guys involved?

    A quick glance through the internet archives shows that with another 2 test pieces being published by Kirklees Music it takes their total of pieces used at major contests (Butlins, Pontins, Areas, Nationals, Open, Masters) to over 20 since 2005 alone!

    Proprietor of Kirklees Music is a certain Mr D. Horsfield.... is he on the choosing panel per chance?

    Nice job if you can get it! ;-)
  17. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I've got it, but I will probably be buying my own sometime soon.
  18. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    The Music Panel for the National Brass Band Championships, comprising C. Brian Buckley, John Maines, Richard Evans, Philip Morris and Alan Hope (Secretary). Not sure if same for Area though
  19. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    It is, I think.
  20. It's no wonder that many 'older' pieces get picked. There should be some younger blood on that panel.