Commissioned Test Pieces...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by HannahLouise, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. HannahLouise

    HannahLouise Member

    I'm writing a dissertation on brass bands, in particular how the test piece has evolved.

    Just wondering if anyone knows of any test pieces that have been specifically commissioned for a certain contest in recent years or whether this rarely happens these days?
  2. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Pieces are commissioned regularly for contests, either by the band or by the organisers. To name a few:

    ...And when the river told... - Commissioned for the 2010 Scottish Open
    Infinity - Commissioned for the 2008 English National Championships
    The Torchbearer - Commissioned for the National Championships of GB 2009

    Red Priest - Commissioned by Black Dyke for 2010 Europeans
    A Tale as Yet Untold - Commissioned by Cory for 2010 Europeans
    On the Sholders of Giants - Commissioned by Cory for 2009 Europeans
    Spirits of Puccini - Commissioned by Brass Band Oberosterreich for 2009 Europeans
  3. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Beat me to it....

    More info here
  4. HannahLouise

    HannahLouise Member

    OO thank you!

    The recent literature I've read suggested that composers are not composing as much specifically for the contest arena but I'm glad to hear thats not the case!
  5. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    It is most definitely not the case. If you research recent works by Martin Ellerby, Peter Graham, Phillip Sparke and Philip Wilby you will probably find many that have been specifically commissioned.
  6. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Vienna Nights, Rococo Variations and A Night to Sing were all commissioned by the Open afaik. I think Ken Downie's Elgar tribute (Elgar Variations?) was too.

    Within Blue Empires, Infinity and Dances and Alleluias for the EN.

    Sleepless Cities for Butlins.

    I think Eden was commissioned for the Nationals?

    Plus of course the set test for the European is commissioned every year.

    So there's quite a few...
  7. RobBari

    RobBari Member

    i think Martin Ellerby wrote Elgar Variations?
  8. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    Titans Progress (Hermann Pallhuber) for Oberosterreich in the 2007 (?) european own choice.
  9. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    Visions of Gerontius (Robert Redhead) for the 2007 (I think) Open
  10. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    He did
  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    No; Kenneth Downie
  12. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Not forgetting Music for Battle Creek (Sparke) for the 2007 finals

    Some European set tests have included Spiriti, From Ancient Times and Brass Blot

    Ellerby composed Malcolm Arnold Variations for the 2008 Masters and I believe that a new work has been commissioned for the 2011 Masters, although I do not know who by or what it might be about
  13. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Not forgetting Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Peter Graham, commissioned by Black Dyke for the 2005 Europeans
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I thought it may be helpful to repeat a post from anther thread on this subject, particularly as it highlights a couple of pieces that were joint commissions from more than one organisation:

  15. Jacob Larsen

    Jacob Larsen Member

    Labour & Love 1913.... :)
  16. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Not so. It was commissioned by the Brass Band of Battle Creek (!!) and selected for the RAH. The National Championships don't very often commission test pieces these days, either for regionals or finals, though there are exceptions, of course.

    I'm distinguishing between 'would you like to write us a test piece' and 'can we commission a test piece'.. ie is there actually a fee involved.

    It is, of course, very nice to have a piece used either way.
  17. HannahLouise

    HannahLouise Member

    Yes this is what I found and meant in my original post, that it seems nationals are not using commissions much anymore. I had not gone as far as looking at the Europeans and other festivals but will have to do so.

    It is interesting what you say about the difference between asking for a test piece and actually commissioning one. Is it still the case that composers are asked to write a test piece for nothing?
  18. wittig

    wittig Member

    I'm pretty sure that Within Blue Empires was commissioned by the Coalburn Band and not for the contest. I seem to remember something about it from the sleeve notes...and I thought Red Priest was commissioned by Black Dyke - for use as own choice at the Europeans (or whichever contest) and not specifically by the contest for the contest. (That's why internet forums aren't the best place to quote information from. Best to take it all with a pinch of salt and back it up with your own research)
  19. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    I can, obviously, only speak from personal experience. I've been lucky enough to have 3 Championship Finals pieces, but none of them was commissioned by the Nationals. My piece for the English Nationals was a full commission at a professional rate. The Europeans also commission properly. A couple of years ago one of the Area pieces was 'commissioned' but generally I think composers are grateful to have the exposure and a number of guaranteed sales.

    Pieces I've written for individual bands' own-choices for the Europeans have been commissioned by the bands.
  20. HannahLouise

    HannahLouise Member

    Haha definately! I just needed a starting point really to work from and get researching!