Extreme Make-over/ Johan de Meij

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Redhorn, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Firstly, apologies if a thread on this topic already exists elsewhere!

    I've just received the CD 'A Golden Year' by Black Dyke (which incidentally WILL win CD of the year unless Leyland get their "top 10 testpieces" CD out pretty pronto!) and I've just listened to 'Extreme Make-over' on the way home in the car.


    Would have been great to have that piece at the RAH this year- but thats a different story! Perhaps it will feature elsewhere soon- lets hope so! (unless you're a marimba player!) What a fantastic 'arrangement' of Tchaikovsky's melody (albeit nicked from a Russian Folksong)- I was gripped from start to finish! (Unlike some modern test pieces, which are just full of 'musical-cheese', this is MUSIC!). Amazingly played too, cracking top C at the end from Mr Roberts! If id heard this a month earlier it would easily have made my top 10.

    So, whats it like to play? Whats the general opinion of this piece?

    Has Johan de Meij released any other works for brass band? are there any other recordings of his work? (for b.band or any other grouping?)
  2. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    I love the piece! Is soooo cool! Love the way it climaxes and dies away into the bottle section is great!
    What about as an area piece!?? what would the feeling be about that!? :rolleyes:
  3. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree more. One of the best in recent years and, for me, is right up there with Eden, St. Magnus and Albion.

    I must admit that when I first heard that it featured tuned bottles I didn't react too favourably, but upon hearing the piece and that section in particular, was quite amazed.
  4. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    It is for the greatest test piece ever written it has all the qualities a brilliant test piece needs! For the players its ****** hard to play thus giving it the test piece title and then its brillaint to listen to i never ever get bored of it! I must have listened to it 1000 times already and i only heard it for the first time at the euros in belfast!!!! An amazing piece of writting and everyone gets the melody!! Even the timps if u listen carefully it plays the melody hehehehe oh its just a brilliant piece!
  5. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Amazing piece - the bottle section with the Marimba section is superb! Well impressed wth it when ever i have heard it. Great stuff.
  6. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    Its my belief(but i could be wrong) that Extreme Makeover was his first work for brass band. He usually composes works for wind bands(and maybe orchestras?). Hes a profesional trombonist aswell as a conductor, so i dont kno how much music he has had the time to write.

    p.s. 'A Golden Year' is an fantastic album-one of the best recordings around.
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I thought so too, that Extreme-Makeover was his first piece for brass band. But his pieces for wind orchestra have been extremely popular in the last 20 years or so (like his "Lord of the Rings" Symphony for wind orchestra - which predates the movies ;-) ). He has also done some terrific arrangements...

    Here's his website: http://www.johandemeij.com/ (Amstel Music)
    about Extreme Makeover: http://www.euronet.nl/~amsmusic/toelicht/extreme.htm
  8. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Totally adore the piece! It's very special and I listen and watch Dyke play it regulary (euro 05 dvd) :)
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  10. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    One of my favourite pieces too! I was the same when I first heard there was bottles featured in it, but after seeing the Euro DVD I thot it was awesome!! I kept rewinding it 2 or 3 times before I saw the rest of the DVD! Would love to play it sometime if I could get the chance!

    Personally I prefer the live recording over the CD (Golden Year) recording, cos I think its seems to have more of a buzz about it being live, and having the contest pressure gives it abit more sparkle, but thats just my opinion!!

    Cracking piece :clap:
  11. Euph Kidd

    Euph Kidd Member

    Yeah, its an amazing piece.

    I had the privilege of playing it at the Euro's with Whitburn, and it was great to work on. Its very clever in the way it quotes Tchaik, and the use of the Gamelan effect bottles.

    Something very very different - maybe a potential selection for a bold panel at the British Open??

    Anyway I hope it gets selected by more bands in own choice contests-its well worth the effort - but its certainly a challenge!!!!!

    Richard Kidd
  12. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Have to agree here, Extreme Makeover is a superb, ground-breaking piece of music that is excellently transcribed and orchestrated for band. Soe of the effects simply have to be heard to be believed, they are astounding and just where our movements needs to be heading. I am certain this piece will feature in our contest repertoire extensively over the coming years.

    I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to talk with Johan a few days ago about the piece in prep for a tMP Online interview which I am going to be writing up over the course of the weekend. So... look out for this yeah which will be pubished on tMP early-mid next week...;)
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Is he coming over for the recording? I've heard that it's the kind of thing he's interested in attending?
  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    You mean the CD keith? if so.. he did express an interest yes!!! :)
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep - it was dropped into the conversation I was having with our Producer elect that he was a "nice guy who was into attending sessions" ;)
  16. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Fi and myself saw black dyke play it on saturday...I always liked it before, but now I love it! Watching them play tuned bottles was quite amusing aswell :tongue:
  17. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    oh yes! it is actually amazing! I love how the bass players played their bottles so gracefully :tongue: (I loved doylie's dancing more though)
  18. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    (DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE DANCING!! Watching Richard Marshall and John Doyle dancing to Riverdance has to be the highlight of my whole life!!! :biggrin: )

    But yes, the bass players were quite graceful! Considering they're pretty big blokes! Have any tMPer's played this test piece? Is it hard to play the bottles?
  19. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I have recently obtained the DVD for the Europeans last year when Dyke performed their brilliant rendition of this piece. Can anyone tell me who the young lady is playing Solo Horn on that recording please. Wonderful performance, beautiful sound, brilliant playing... but... it sure looked as though she was actually chewing gum throughout the performance.
  20. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Leslie Howie?

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