"Frogs" for 2nd Section at Butlins 2012 ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else think this is a "Big ask" for your average 2nd Section band or am I out of touch with current standards.
    I know it was used for the 1st Section Finals only a few years ago, but I feel it may be a challenge too far for 2nd Section.
    Any thoughts ?
    (You 2nd Section guys/gals had better get used to sorting out double sharps !!)

    - Mr Wilx
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  2. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Would be a good test for 3rd section but at the end of the day it is a test piece, so could happen :rolleyes:
  3. Isn't it for 2nd section?
  4. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Yes, sorry about that - 2nd Section it is.
    I did edit it, but...........too late !!!

    - Mr Wilx
  5. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Sorry - it's 2nd Section - My brain "Thought" 2nd Section and the fingers typed 3rd Section - Weird !!

    - Mr Wilx
  6. JR

    JR Member

    2nd sec?

    Sorry Ian - I think it has been chosen for the 2nd Section - Phiilp Sparke's 3 Miniatures for the 3rd.

    It was last unearthed in 1995 for the 1st section, quite a while ago now.
    Still a big ask for Section 2 I would have thought.

    At least Butlins are upfront and open about their selection policy (new followed by old etc) and there's no daft secrecy

    JOhn R
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I remember running through it at the time it was set for the 1st section finals (1995, I think?) with a band that was then at the top end of the 2nd section. It seemed absurdly simple for the finals, I recall, particularly when Arthur Butterworth's 'Maoriana' had been used for the 1st section areas quite recently. I remember wondering if they'd got the 1st and 2nd section finals pieces (2nd was 'The Plantagenets') mixed up...

    So, yes, not easy for 2nd section, but then, too easy for 1st section finals.
  8. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Not as big an ask as High Peak in the 1st section
  9. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I did raise an eyebrow at the selection when I saw it in the programme last weekend. I still remember trying to negotiate that opening while depping for a band with a conductor with a less than clear beat. It was a bit like trying to follow a windmill in a hurricane, during an earthquake.

    Butlin's are clearly trying to push the bands - which is no bad thing. There might be the odd trainwreck performance next year though! Personally I'm glad to be (potentially!) playing High Peak - even with the top C in the flugel solo.
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    At least it'll be a wreck of a good piece though...
  11. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I agree with you here, and Stan Lippeatt did indicate that the chosen pieces came after asking bandsman what they'd like to play. As a listener I could quite happily sit through many performances of all the pieces, especially High Peak, its a favourite :p
  12. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    I remember conducting "The Frogs" at the First Section National Finals at Wembley Conference Centre in the mid - 90's. Bob Childs was conducting the band immediately in front of our performance. We had qualified on "The Land of the Long White Cloud" and found it to be such a contrast in test for the band. A little like playing "London Overture" and the "Diadem of Gold". "The Frogs" has not been used as a testpiece that frequently and you have to ask yourself the question, why? Has the test become any easier because it is an older style testpiece? Have brass band standards improved so much that it can now be selected as a 2nd Section test piece? In contrast to the" Land of the Long White Cloud" and "The Frogs" I know which testpiece I would rather prepare and perform at a contest. To what standard are we expecting it to be performed at Butlins? I cannot believe that bandsman in the second section would have naturally chosen "The Frogs" as a testpiece for this contest but then there are not many things that surprise me in the brass band movement nowadays.
  13. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    It's "old style" inasmuch as it's a transcription for band of an orchestral work - plenty of those are still doing the rounds as set test-pieces, and as we all know, they present a very different set of challenges to those works originally written for band.

    For what it's worth, having heard (but not played) 'The Frogs' it's never struck me as being hugely demanding on the technical side - awkward in places, but hardly unplayable. If a set work was well within reach of every band within a section, it wouldn't really be fulfilling its purpose - they call them test pieces for a reason ;)
  14. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    Quite the contary cockaigne do you not regard breath control, good intonation and style as technique? The Moorside Suite would also seem to be not hugely demanding to you then? Ask the first section bands that performed at last year's regional contests.
    Speaking from a position of experience of preparing this music for the First Section National Finals and getting a reasonable result of 9th with a mediocre band I think your theory is not quite on the button. A little like "Resurgam" not being hugely demanding on the technical side? A massive test for any 1st/2nd section band. Maybe a test paper that is too difficult for the majority of bands at the level it is set?
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Am I imagining it, or did you not speak of the piece with quite so much respect when you ran the band I was with through the Frogs? ;-)
  16. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    David, I am not saying I like it. Infact I would not want to prepare "The Frogs" for a contest again. However, I do consider it too difficult for a 2nd section competition. I do not envy any band working on this music and cannot believe it was a popular choice by bandsmen competing at this level.
  17. whitewitch

    whitewitch Member

    can anyone tell me if there is a recording of a band playing 'frogs' ?
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I was just teasing. Ignore me.
  19. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    Good Luck with Carnival Romain!
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Cheers! And likewise with Resurgam. Hope you enjoy it more than you did Frogs...

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