Between the two Rivers - Philip Sparke

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Rodney, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Rodney

    Rodney Member

    Some time back, I wrote about my dislike for London Overture by Philip Sparke. Our band was rehearsing it for a competition which we went on to win. 'London' did sort of grow on me, however, I really want to tell you about Between the Two Rivers which no doubt, a lot of you have played at some stage in the past. We are rehearsing it for the Victoria Championships on the 24th August - so only a couple of rehearsals are now left. What an absolutely awesome piece of music this is - I love it and love playing it. I have it on my MP3 player and listen to it every break I get at work. The first variation (bar 44) moves along and you just get swept along with it - in fact, each variation is just great and if by chance, Mr Sparke happens to be reading this - I'm sure that Geelong West Brass will do you justice.

    I will report back with the competition results :tup

    Cheers all and thanks for reading this.
  2. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member


    Glad you like it so much! My only fear is that you will grow to hate it the more you rehearse it! Good luck at the contest!!

    PS How are the '12s' going???
  3. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong Philip ;) ), the piece was originally written for fanfare band. We have played it a couple of years ago, and I (and most of our band) enjoyed it very much too. It was also the 1st section test piece at the WMC contest in Kerkrade in 2005, and I enjoyed listening to it there as well. It certainly sorted out the good bands from the "less good" (both technically and musical interpretation-wise)

    However, I have spoken to some (British) brass band people, and they didn't seem to like the brass band version very much, but I'm not sure why. I also remember 4BarsRest writing some not-so-nice comments about it in a review from a contest where it was used as own choice piece (I think it was in the Norwegian nationals).
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  4. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    Yeah it is a good piece - enjoyable to play and listen to! I played it with my french band last year - it was amusing hearing the pronunciation: 'beetween zuh too reevurs' ! I especially liked the flugel part - lots of pretty melodies to play!! :biggrin:
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Pretty Melodies - there's an easy way to keep Carolyns happy. ;)

    Not a piece I'm familiar with myself - but I've never heard a Sparke piece I didn't like listening to so far, so will have to put it on my list to look up. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
  6. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Great piece this. I believe Sellers International Band(alas no more), have recorded it on Anglo!!

    Mr Sparke you should've mentioned that!! Am I doing your job for you(ha ha!!). Very good piece of music.(Not being partisan either!).
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    They have, but I must admit that it's not my favorite recording of the piece...
    The fanfare band version is on the WMC 2005 Highlights double-CD (available through Mirasound)
  8. I've never heard it either but i'm a big fan of Sparke music ;)

    I'm listening to Music of the Spheres on a daily basis on the way to work at the moment!! Incredible music!! :clap:
  9. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Thanks for that Jan H. Will have a look. Music of the Spheres, I think is one of the best pieces of music that PS has omposed so far. May the music keep on flowing from your Sibelius!!!
  10. Rodney

    Rodney Member

    Yes..........awesome piece of music this. Am listening to the Sellers recording of it as I write.

    To those who have yet to listen, do yourselves a favour and get hold of it.

    The hymn tune Ein feste Burg forms the basis with variations.

    Have been rehearsing it for about 6-8 weeks now plus home practise and am still mucking up the last seven bars.....(must get it right, must get it right, must get it right). We're having an all day work-shop/rehearsal this coming Sunday then there's only one more Tuesday night rehearsal, so please wish us luck.

    We're up against some pretty good competition. For interested people, it's the Victoria State Championship competition and I feel sure that 4BR downunder will do a decent report on their web-site. Anyway, wish us luck :)

    See ya
  11. Rodney

    Rodney Member

    Open B Grade Brass
    Test: Between the Two Rivers, Philip Sparke
    1. Geelong West Brass Band, Jeff Steele, 92,42,39,42,123
    2. Wonthaggi Citizens' Band, Fred Heesh, 86,40,39,38,117
    3. Maroondah Brass, Ron Moore, 85,39,35,40,114
    4. Box Hill City Band, David Farrell, 83,36,33,38,107

    Yessssss.........................another win for us :clap:

    An interpretation of the scores for you - we got 92 for Between The Two Rivers, 42 for our hymn 'I'll Walk With God', 39 for our first concert item and 42 for the next.

    My personal thanks to Philip Sparke for composing such an awesome piece of music as Between The Two Rivers - listening to the adjudicators comments (Mr Peter Younghusband) on our recording, he thanked the band for really bringing the music to life for him. That's the sort of thing we all like to hear.

    I believe our webmaster will be putting excerpts on our website in the very near future (or will that infringe on copyright Mr Sparke)??? along with 'I'll Walk With God'.

    So, there you go........get yourself a great piece of music, rehearse it over and over and over and the results pay dividends.

    Cheers all
  12. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Congrats to you nd your band /rodney!! Well done!!
  13. Rodney

    Rodney Member

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