Best 2nd Section Test Piece

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Valvecap, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Well we have all read, contributed to and decided upon the best contest pieces of all time.... What do people reckon is the best SECOND section test piece? Often when I have been to listen to 2nd Section own-choice contests the bands have chosen either traditional first / top section pieces or perhaps easier pieces which may have been used in sections below.
    What do people reckon is the best example of a TRUE 2nd section test piece? Personally, I think Sword, Jewel and Mirror is great, but again, I have heard it used in 1st section contests and by 3rd Section bands....
  2. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I have only twice got 1st prize in the 2nd section, one was North West Areas 2003 "Celestial Prospect" I think... Hatfield could confirm - they went on and beat us at the finals that year! Incidentally Sunset Rhapsody is excellent as well!
    The other time was in about 2001 at Buxton Own Choice and we played "Scena Symphonica".

    I love them both for obvious reasons!!! but Scena Symphonica is my favourite and a great example of a Traditional piece suitable for the 2nd section. Anyone else played it???
  3. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I really like "Renaissance" by Peter Graham.
  4. matthetimp

    matthetimp Member

    Purcell Variations?
  5. topeuph

    topeuph Member

    Try "California Legend" by Bruce Broughton. Its a pretty spectacular piece of music, very exciting.
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Oh yeah, I like that one too!!

    How about: Spectrum, Firestorm, Symphony of Marches, Land of the Long White Cloud, Variations on a Ninth
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    For the second section? :eek: Ouch!
  8. the fish

    the fish Member

    I think both Ken Downie's Purcell Variations & Dean Goffin Rhapsody In Brass are good second section tests
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Rhapsody in Brass is fab, I just wish more bands used it.
    Isn't Purcell Variations a bit tough though? Its not so long since 1st section bands were struggling with it for the areas!
    My all time favourite for 2nd section is Salford Sinfonietta
  10. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    John my mate i think you have lost the plot on your selection for 2nd section bands here
    These are all definatley 1st section pieces.:clap:
    But i like the way you are thinking:biggrin:
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Well, I guess that's a matter of personal opinion.

    I conducted Symphony of Marches (2nd Prize), Land of the Long White Cloud (1st Prize) and Firestorm (1st Prize) with 2nd section bands. I nearly conducted Spectrum (the band had to choose between this and Firestorm and chose firestorm) - but I will admit that Vars on a 9th would possibly be slightly pushing a second section band.

    I would say that the standard of playing in the 2nd Section has dramatically improved over recent years. When I was playing as a teenager and into my early twenties, there would have been no way we'd have attempted any of those pieces. Nowadays though, things are different.
  12. jim

    jim Member

    wow john the memorys! salford sinfonieta was pretty special tho from wat I rember I think it was my last peice I played with cwmbran, but Ill 2nd firestorm wat a peice and the perc parts are rather good to.
  13. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    RVW Variations for Brass. A real quality piece of music anyway, but as a test piece it has lots of places where a band can really be expressive and some pretty tough sections technically too. Other than that, California Legend, and LotLWC are both great. Also from Phillip Sparke is his Diversions (On a Swiss Theme) (I think thats the right title) which is a fantastic piece and very under-played IMO.
  14. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Anyone played Partita "postcards from home"? what section is that? Ive heard it used in 3rd, 2nd AND 1st section own choices... with varied degrees of success.
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I like 'Abstractions' (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) and 'Kaleidoscope' (Philip Sparke), two works that typify great second section tests!
  16. matthetimp

    matthetimp Member

    This test piece is definately 3rd Section. It doesn't mean that you cannot play it in a higher section, but you may get a strange comment off an adjudicator if you play it in 1st section because of it being "too easy".
  17. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    This was the set 2nd section test piece at Torquay last year - my first test piece with Lympstone band, and compared to the test pieces that followed it, it was pretty easy!

    Royal Parks and Spectrum are brilliant pieces in my opinion...and I quite like Kaleidoscope too! :)
  18. Veri

    Veri Member

    I played Postcards from Home with Lympstone too - but, we did it in the 2nd Section at Pontins, back in 2001. My first contest!!
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Maybe Kenneth Downie's 'Princethorpe Variations' could be a candidate as well?
  20. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I also quite like Jan Van der Roost's Toccata Festiva :tup
    I thought that was 2nd section?

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