Favourite test pieces?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sionrhysjones, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. sionrhysjones

    sionrhysjones Member

    Hi everyone! Just out of interest wanted to know what test pieces you enjoy listening to or playing and would say is your favourite?

    I enjoy listening to Kensington Concerto or Journey Into Freedom and so on..
    But from playing, I would say my favourite pieces would be Spiriti (Thomas Doss) or Music of the Spheres (Sparke)

    Thanks! :)
  2. Parp

    Parp Member

    Hi Sion,

    It's really hard to choose just one favourite, but if I was pushed I'd opt for Paganini Variations to listen to and Rococo Variations to play.

    But I reckon my favourites change fairly often so if you asked me again in a month then it'd be totally different!

  3. Backrowmike

    Backrowmike Member

    Like Parp says, it's really hard to choose just one favourite, but I would go for Diadem of Gold to play and Spectrum to listen to.

  4. bbg

    bbg Member

    Listening - "Vienna Nights" is up there although rehearsing "Chaucer's Tunes" led me to have a good listen to "Whitsun Wakes" a couple of weeks ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it after a few years. Playing - have not actually played this on stage, but just for rehearsal purposes we had a look at "Rhapsody in Brass" last summer - absolute banding gold.
  5. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    "Blitz " to listen and play followed closely by "on the shoulders of giants", "devil and the deep blue sea" " year of the dragon" and "the essence of time" quite partial to a bit of "tam o shanters ride" and "resurgam" too.
  6. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    A decent recording of tam o'shanters ride here that you probably haven't heard before!
  7. Spiriti or Rococo :) love myth forest too.
  8. kriseuph

    kriseuph Member

    Think its easy to say the only test piece i didnt like was prague, dont think eric ball ever wrote a bad one, same for sparke and wilby
  9. jonny1note

    jonny1note Member

    For many years Elgar Howarth's Fireworks has still remained a favourite of mine.
  10. Statto

    Statto Member

    Cracking piece and one of my favourites too. I played in the '82 European and was fortunate to be in the audience for Cory's performance, which I assume you played in.

    Dave Taylor might have more extensive information but, as far as the brassstats.com database is concerned, this is the only instance of the piece being played (other than as the set piece for the 1975 British Open of course)!
  11. jonny1note

    jonny1note Member

    Hi Statto,
    Thanks. I did indeed play Fireworks at the 1982 European as assistant to Jim Davies. A memorable week-end. My first Nationals win on 'Contest Music' the previous day (Saturday) and then 2nd to 'Dyke', I believe, on the Sunday.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well, it's not my info, it belongs to all of us... But we have a couple of other instances of contest use of it, both at the Leamington Spa own choice contest, oddly enough - Coventry CPA (the band now known as City of Coventry) reprised it a couple of weeks later in September 1975 to win, while Telford, then a 2nd section band, came 2nd with it in 1976 (in the open section).


    I also played it with the NYBB in concert in about 1995. If I'm honest, not one of my personal favourites - my reaction to Elgar Howarth's writing tends to be 'Well, that wanted me to think that it was very deep, but either it didn't have much point or it completely passed me by, and I am doubtful that it passed me by'... But on relistening recently, it seemed more deft than I remembered, so maybe I just need to give it some more time - maybe one of those that's better to listen to than to play.

    As I'm here, should probably contribute a favourite or two... Here's a list of one from each of the last 10 decades I'd be glad to see either on the stand or in a programme to listen to:
    1920s: A Moorside Suite
    1930s: A Downland Suite
    1940s: Rhapsody in Brass
    1950s: Resurgam
    1960s: Spectrum
    1970s: Energy
    1980s: Odin
    1990s: A Lowry Sketchbook
    2000s: Harrison's Dream
    2010s: Spiriti

    Interesting that while older pieces jumped out for consideration, I really had to dig to think of a piece from this decade that I liked enough to nominate. Not sure whether that reflects on me or on current band repertoire... Bit of both, I suspect!
  13. whippet

    whippet New Member

    I played Fireworks at the British Open in 1975 at Belle Vue (those were the days - with a following wind you could smell the Zoo!!). Didn't win because Wingates won it. Came about halfway.
    I though it was a great venue, pity it's gone.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  14. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

  15. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    Resurgam, Life Divine and Labour and Love for the old ones.
    Paganini Variations and Revelation come close!!!!
  16. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    That sounds like an excellent idea for a whole new thread... and I have to say I'd agree with you, its a lot easier to think of suitably excellent pieces from the earlier decades.

    Still, you've got me thinking, so lets see...

    1920's: Lorenzo
    1930's: Pageantry
    1940's: Rhapsody in Brass
    1950's: Le Roy d'Ys
    1960's: Belmont Variations
    1970's: Contest Music (Heaton)
    1980's: Blitz
    1990's: Paganini Variations
    2000's: Eden
    2010's: ...
  17. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    This thread could run and run and run and .................. A very subjective subject!
  18. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    And yet likely to throw up a whole bunch of pieces we haven't heard for ages - and can enjoy again :D
  19. simonium

    simonium Member

    In no discernable order, Connotations, Essence Of Time, Pageantry, Resurgam, Rhapsody In Brass, Maoriana, Prague, Dove Decending, Revelation, Land Of The Long White Cloud, Tallis Variations.

    Passing Moods.
  20. Hsop

    Hsop Member

    My first test piece, of men and mountains. Also Isaiah 40 and partita (sparke) good test pieces :tup

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