Forgotten test pieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Highams, May 15, 2003.

  1. Highams

    Highams Member

    What ever happened to these test pieces, should they remain forgotten ?
    any more out there ?

    Embassy Suite, Allan Street
    Joyful Noise & Pride of Youth, Gordon Jacob
    Blackfriars, Cundell
    Lorenzo, Keighly
    The Frogs, Bantock.

  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The Frogs was the first top section test piece I listened to once I started brass-banding. We were competing in the then 2nd section, The Frogs was set for the first and I managed to catch a couple of performances. Rather ironic that it was with The Frogs that my old band, by then Rolls Royce Coventry, won the first section finals in 1995 :!:

    As to whether any of the oldies should be forgotten you can be sure that, whatever you name, someone will have a soft spot for it. I hope we can always keep a balance between developing new repertoire and celebrating our heritage.
  3. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Blackfriars was the Pontin's Section 1 test-piece in 2000.
  4. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    White Company - Norman Richardson

    far too technical and not particularly tuneful from what I remember of it. We played in once - in the Colston Hall - and never again.

  5. forgotten testpieces

    one piece that never gets chosen is seascapes by steadman allen cracking test piece
  6. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    I seem to remember Frogs was a Grand Shield test piece not long back. The results archive pages on 4br aren't working though, so I can't check.
  7. Highams

    Highams Member

    Embassy Suite was the set work for the first Wills Finals at De Montford Hall Leicester in 1970.

    I thought it was a great piece, results were;

    1st. Morris Motors, Cliff Edmunds
    2nd. Ransome & Marles, Dennis Masters
    3rd. Yorkshire Imps, Trevor Walmsley
    4th. Newham, Cyril Suckling.
  8. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Sad, but Lorenzo is probably Thomas Keighley's best remembered piece since it does resurface from time to time, and there is a CD recording currently available from the Virtuosi Band. He wrote the British Open test pieces every year for a decade or so (often on a Shakesperean theme) and it would be interesting to hear some of them again, if only once!

    I'd like to put together a list of my favourite forgotten test pieces but I can't remember any.

  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There is also an archive recording of Lorenzo on the Fodens Centenary double cd, and I'm pretty certain they played it a year or so ago at the Sunday concert following the Open. In fact quite a few bands have used that occasion to dust the cobwebs off some of the older pieces, as well as featuring new works.
  10. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    You're quite right Peter, we did. In fact, it's been requested by one of the band to replace our current "overture" Le Roy d'Ys in concerts. Shame more bands don't play it.

  11. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    Couple of other forgotte greats.

    Labour and Love
    and the Judges of the Secret Court (not heard it in years)

    and Life Divine
  12. Curious

    Curious Member

    If I remember correctly this was used as the 2nd section area test piece around about 1972/3, we also had to play it in the Eisteddfod that same year,but have never heard it live since.

    There's a bizarre recording of it by Morris Concert Band where they experimented with instrumentation, 2 Flugs, some trumpets, tenor cors and I think 4 E flat basses instead of the usual 2 B flats.(Something like that anyway!).

    I've never heard of 'Embassy Suite'.
  13. Andrew R

    Andrew R New Member

    What about Saga of the North, Scena Sinfonica and Oliver Cromwell.........and what about all of those Vinter pieces...James Cook, Spectrum, Variations on a 9th etc!. Even some of the early Gregson works like Plantagenets and Connotations rarely see the light of day today.....

    As for Life Divine....that can stay in the library for another 25years as far as I'm concrened (personal choice!).

    Andrew R
    Redbridge Brass

  14. Highams

    Highams Member

    Anyone remember the Area test piece 'Concert Overture' by Vilem Tausky ? dreadful, with so many misprints !

  15. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Yes I played that one - what a shocker. I've now remembered some forgotten ones: Carnival by Helen Perkin - anyone ever played it or even heard it in the last 20 years or so. I've seen the score...

    Fusions by Howard Blake was considered outrageously modern at the time (70's) but then again so was the Ford Sierra. Never ever heard it played out. Ditto John McCabe's Images which I only know from an excellent Sun Life CD.

    The biggest 'waste' of recent years must be the work of Robert Simpson. Energy, Volcano and Vortex are superb pieces which should see the light more often. Played Energy at the RAH in 91 but not since.

    What was the piece that was composed for the Masters ten (ish) years ago by Robert Redhead (?). Completely forgotten!

  16. nooooo bring it back I like that piece...well ok maybe not to play but I love listening to it!
  17. Highams

    Highams Member

    I agree on Energy, fantastic piece, just around 8 minutes, does exactly what it says on the score !

    I think Images has to be the perfect test piece as far as testing every member of the band goes. I know it's not good listening material but the 4 seperate bass parts were great fun.

    I also liked Main Street by Eric Ball, but I think On The Cornish Coast & 3 Muskateers can stay under wraps.

  18. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think Bob Redhead wrote anything for the Masters, but he did do Isaiah 40 for the Nationals in 1996 or 97. It was recorded by the ISB and Grimethorpe but I agree it is rarely heard. Ray Steadman Allen did write for the Masters in 1996 - Hymn at Sunrise.

    I also remember practising White Company and not thinking much of it - we much prefered Carnival Romain that we were working on at the same time. There was also another one from the same period, I think it was called The Four Corners of the World, that wasn't too bad - at least not for me on bass trombone!
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Quite right - I stand corrected! Hymn at Sunrise hasn't been heard much since despite being generally well recieved in Cambridge.

  20. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Yes, White Company was WOE 2nd section sometime in the mid-70's - I would have guessed 73 if asked... It sticks in the memory because even though we won with it, we still didn't ever play it again.

    The Vinter pieces were something else :eek: we played Spectrum and VonA9th out quite often (The InternationationalYouthMusicFestival in Holland in '74 or was it '75 springs to mind...). I liked them both.


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