How do you like your regional test piece?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by julian, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Sounds like excitement to me lolol
    Suzi Q and stevetrom like this.
  2. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I'm enjoying mine :)
  3. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Personally I quite like Ex Terra. Especially the final movement, although having had 2 weeks away with manflu, trying to play pedal E's at fortissimo and hold enough breath to phrase the "tune" properly is a challenge.....

    Also like Napoleon. Its spot the film reference time - so far we've got a bit of James Bond, Star Wars, Zorro, along with a bit of New World Symphony thrown in for something different. To be honest all 5 sections are "listenable to" this year
  4. tat

    tat Member

    Ha Ha
  5. julian

    julian Active Member

    I've played a lot worse. I think that those who think there is little in it might just find the banana skins........
  6. julian

    julian Active Member

    Sorry to hear about the 'manflu' there will be those on here that just don't appreciate how serious it can be. Just saying.......
    mikelyons and Euphonium Lite like this.
  7. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    When you are feeling rough and you see a £10 note on the ground; if you can pick it up it's just a cold, if you really can't face bending down because you feel so ill then you may have flu.
    Or you are Donald Trump and use £10s as spare toilet roll.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  8. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Do I like my part of Ex Terra? No, not really but I can appreciate how those long quiet ppp notes in the 2nd movement are going to test the nerves rather than the skill. Ouch. I'd rather listen to it than play it. Are the adjudicators going to want a real jazz feel or a more straight laced brass band swing? ( like a hangman's noose). Think the results may be all over the place on this one and maybe, just maybe, there will be one or two odd ones in the mix and a few "we wuz robbed"...
  9. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Name, names!
    Worse Area set test pieces only.

    For what it's worth I hated Moorside Suite, mainly because my part (bass Trom) was neither challenging or interesting.

    Brass Band contesting is my hobby, I do it primarily for my own enjoyment so when I am forced to play a piece I would like it to be either interesting or challenging, or maybe even both !!

    Banana skins or random results due to every band being able to play the notes so it becomes an interpretation (conductors) contest and not a brass band contest?
    Slider1 and Mesmerist like this.
  10. GER

    GER Active Member

    We wuz robbed, the adjudicator didn't know what they were talking about! That band should never have one in a million years, it wasn't bad intonation it was meant to be like that! If they think we lost tempo they couldn't have read the score properly!
    Should never have been a test piece. It makes you wonder sometimes what you have to do to win!.
    I know it still over 4 weeks away, but just thought I'd put some practice into moaning instead of practising the test piece :):):):)
    Mesmerist, Euphonium Lite and tat like this.
  11. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Bending down to pick up £10 would have sent me into a major coughing fit a week ago so I may well have left it. £20 notes however are a different story.....
  12. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    The mental side of playing should (rightly) be tested as much as the physical - its not the Rhapsody test of last year, but that came from a different age. Muting horns, Euphs and Baris - something that doesnt often happen at this level - will bring plenty of tuning issues, and force people to listen at very quiet dynamic levels. There are physical tests too - especially for basses and euph - as well as stylistic ones. In terms of swing, remember the AOBBA PAC sheet refers to "do we hear what we see" - so theres no license to improvise, but the style should be improvisation-like in its flow. Not easy to manage

    Personally I think anyone that doesnt recognise Ex Terra as being a very good test has underestimated it (and I think there will be plenty that do) - personally I like it, but I know plenty of people that wouldnt
  13. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    I've just started playing again after a 30 year gap since I last played on a regular basis. Never played in a competition before, and never been impressed with the test pieces I've listened to.

    Fortunately I am really enjoying Napoleon though. I'm surprised given my reservations about previous test pieces I've heard. I've always found Harper's compositions and arrangements like Marmite; I either love them or hate them. A lot of them I find boring and repetitive (Napoleon is a bit repetitive)

    Of course if could be that I'm enjoying Napoleon because I'm playing it rather than listening to it.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  14. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    I get the impression that Napoleon is one of those pieces which is great to play for the first few times, but the initial enthusiasm quickly turns into fatigue when the clichéd writing starts to penetrate.
    David Evans likes this.
  15. julian

    julian Active Member

    Every band being able to play the notes. Hmmm.......... I'm not a gambling person, but I'd bet your arm and leg (not mine) that plenty of bands will be playing wrong notes. Personally, "I'm playing ALL THE RIGHT NOTES, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THE RIGHT ORDER - I'll give you that Sunshine!" (Eric Morcombe).
    stevetrom likes this.
  16. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Thing is, "test" has several different connotations...

    Will Ex-Terra provide learning opportunities and keep players honest? Sure.

    On a purely technical level it's easy, maybe too easy (IMHO) - there's not going to be clear indications that certain bands can't play the notes, or that certain bands are considerably more comfortable than others (it can go too far - Maccabeus a few years ago, for example, was too far too difficult for 2nd section)... the idea isn't that the pieces should be purely technical challenged and nothing else - but without a technical element to the challenge, it's a "test" that's lacking a key dimension, and that dimension is one that makes splitting the results up much easier, much less subjective and therefore fairer (which we all want, surely?).

    In an ideal world, the testpiece for each section should provide enough of a challenge that it pushes most of the bands, with a few towards the bottom end that find it very hard work and a few towards the top that master the vast majority of the technical difficulties and can therefore go further into the music.

    This is purely from a pragmatic standpoint - the point of a test is to test in as many ways as possible, but it's also required to produce a fair set of results.... and a reasonable degree of technical difficulty is required for this (as can be seen with results lotteries when pieces that border on too easy technically get chosen).
    stevetrom and mikelyons like this.
  17. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Exactly Tom. I wish I had said all that ^ ^ ^ .
    Thom and Tom-King like this.
  18. Queeg2000

    Queeg2000 Active Member

    I fancy a bit of Holszt's Planets suite in there too.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  19. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    And Mastermind theme tune.
  20. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Not spotted that one yet