High Time for Another Extended Work

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassbandmaestro, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I think it is high time. As far as I remember the last one is John Pickard's fabulous Gaia Symphony.

    I think it is really important that we keep these works coming in. Broadens the aspect of music making nat least in the brass band movement, of which it is sadly lacking.
  2. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    I second that.
  3. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    We played Phillip Wilby's "Passion for Our Times" twice in Bristol Cathedral. It's scored for band, choir, organ and narrator and is over an hour long. Sadly the brass band press didn't take as much notice of it as they did the Gaia Symphony although it is a fab work.
  4. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Yes, there is that music, why hasnt it, if it is such a fabulous work? Why it shouldn't be, ofcourse from the pen of one of our premier composers.
  5. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    There's also Philip Wilby's Bronte Mass, which our band played last march, it's not as long, just 30 minutes, but is scored for band, Choir, Organ and Harp. It has also been recorded by Black Dyke on their Red Priest album
  6. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Ah, right. I forgot about that one. I also have that recording too! But I think we need another high powered piece, like the Gaia work.
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    You offering to pay for it?

    Because unless someone does, it's not going to happen. Composers don't write an hour of music for a brass band just because they fancy it...
  8. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Obviously that comes into it!!
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Probably rather a lot, Tim :p
  10. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Very tiue Kieth!!:)
  11. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Let's face it. Would it ever get played!?
  12. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Gaia didn't ave many outings........?
  13. HBB

    HBB Active Member

  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Assuming you're talking about a well-respected band composer, like Philip Sparke for instance, I would guess you'd be looking at around £100-200 per minute of music. So anywhere between £6,000 and £12,000. Which, given the time it takes, probably isn't that much in terms of an hourly rate. Said composer is probably going to take the potential for publication, recording and future sales into account as well - which for a piece like Gaia is going to be cock-all. So all the revenue to be derived from the piece is going to have to come pretty much from the commission fee.

    Artistically, I agree with you. I'd love to hear something more ambitious for brass band. I can name maybe half a dozen such works, though, and they NEVER get played. Gaia, The Trumpets, Hoddinott's Symphony for Brass and Percussion, An Age of Kings, Trumpets of the Angels, Passion for our Times, Heaton's Partita - all disappeared after their first performance, pretty much.

    If you're talking about internationally recognised classical composers like Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, Macmillan, Turnage, Nyman, Ades, etc. - then you can probably double the commission fee.
  15. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member

    Your assumed figures are a bit light.

    Bearing in mind the limited opportunity for performances of such a work, I'm sure most composers who would consider the idea (ie not me!) would want to charge nearer the full professional rate, which would be at least £30,000-40,000 for an hour's worth of music. Probably a year's work.
  16. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Get writing Philip, we'll have a whip round :biggrin:
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Philip. Was a bit of a guess, if I'm honest :oops:

    Just out of curiosity, why wouldn't you consider it? Is it down to the likelihood of it being a "one performance wonder"? Or something else?
  18. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Well-Known Member


    Also because length doesn't = quality. Listen to any Bruckner symphony :rolleyes:
  19. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I like Bruckner symphonies ;)

    Now, if you'd said Wagner operas...

    Point taken, though. Even resorting to multiple movement works (rather than a single hour long chunk), it must be rock hard to keep it interesting, intelligent and listenable for an hour of music.
  20. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Mind you, there are longer band pieces which are woefully neglected. Wilf Heaton's Partita is a wonderful piece but has hardly been touched since it's rediscovery in the 1990's. Derek Bougeois has written a number of longer works, some of which have never even been recorded. Perhaps it might be a lot cheaper to try and push the existing long works.

    Vinter's The Trumpets anyone? When was it last played?

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