Best 4th section testpieces of this millenium

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by euphoria, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I have been contacted by a friend, who needs a good modern own choice piece for a competition for his band. It needs to be 4th section or not too difficult 3rd section. He has a load of shed builders to keep happy, so it is a bonus if there are interesting percussion parts.

    So what are your favourite pieces from the last decade or so?

    Cheers Erik
  2. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    Without a doubt Erik, the best 4th section piece we've had in the last 10 years has been Philip Sparke's Saint-Saens Variations (a cheque or brown envelope won't go amiss, Mr Sparke!), requires work to get it right but it is well worth the effort. If you want to go back a little further then have a look at Peter Graham's The Haslemere Suite.
  3. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    Hi Nigel

    Saint-Saens Variations is actually the only piece i have recommended so far. Not sure how much perc there is?

    I have conducted Haslemere before and really liked it - I will recommend it (very fun to play - not least the Charter Fair)

  4. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    You can get by with two percussionists - excellent Timpani part!

    Of course there's the hearty "HUH!" in Charter Fair to look forward to :D

    But if you wanted to try something different we have several Major Works in our catalogue ( that can be played by 4th section bands.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  5. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I think that he has 4 percussionists to keep happy.
    I have just mailed a link to this thread to him, so I am sure he will have a look into your catalogue.
  6. critic

    critic Member

    Lydian Pitchures Simon Dobson. Well constructed and great for solid ensemble playing
  7. Tam O Shanter

    Tam O Shanter Member

    I'll vote for Lydian Pictures too.

    There is also Philip Sparke's "Four Noble Truths" used as the National Finals piece for 4th section in 2004.
  8. Band_Beefcake

    Band_Beefcake Member

    Having conducted in this section for several years I feel the best one has to be Saint Saens Variations by Philip Sparke - something the band really enjoyed working on and a great piece of music.
    Other notable favourites have been
    A Cambrian Suite
    Lydian Pictures
    The Talisman
  9. Helen D

    Helen D New Member

    I would suggest The Narnia Suite - it was 3rd section a few years back but not overly difficult and plenty to keep 3 or 4 percussionists happy especially in the last movement!
  10. JR

    JR Member

    another Sparke classic of the genre

    I agree but the best ever 4th section piece in my opinion is Sparke's Malvern Suite from 1985

    John R
  11. simonium

    simonium Member

    To continue the Philip Sparke love-fest, Portrait Of A City would make a good fourth section testpiece.
  12. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions

    Narnia is a very fine piece, but was used as a set piece for the competition in question a few years back, so he will probably give that a miss.

    Malvern Suite is another fine piece, but has been played so often over here (Denmark) that I think it is time to give it a well earned rest.

    I don't know Portrait of a city, but I know that Mr Sparkes music is always popular with the players.

    I know that my friend bought Saint-Saens Variations (played by Cory) on iTunes and liked it very much, but if you have more suggestions please bring them forward.

    Cheers Erik
  13. IJK

    IJK Member

    Dark side of the Moon
  14. Brian

    Brian Member

    Three Saints by Goff Richards: Cavandish Suite by Iain Raynor are both superb pieces that could be well suited to a 4th section Band, looking for a challenge. I have conducted both over the last few years, and certainly my Band enjoyed preparing them; not quite sure they would come under the term "Best of the Millenium" though
  15. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    I haven't really got any new suggestions, but I enjoyed playing Saint Saens Variations a great deal.
    Lydian Pictures is a great piece of music too, especially the middle movement.
    Personally, I really enjoyed Alta Vista by Bruce Fraser, but I'm not sure the rest of the band did...

    Roman Triptych by Leigh Baker sounds fab too, although I've never had a chance to play it.
  16. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    A Malvern Suite has got to be the best 4th section piece ever! But the Seasons by Philip Wilby is a very close second.

  17. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    Great piece and certainly playable by a good 4th section band. Lots of percussion too
  18. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Over the last 3 years ive played in 4th section helping a band out it as to be "Saint- Saens Variations" by a very long way out in front of anything else around:clap:

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