Judges of the Secret Court

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by timbo100, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. timbo100

    timbo100 New Member

    Have I missed something here or has the revelation that Judges is set for the Albert Hall in October only come out today?
  2. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

  3. matti_raz

    matti_raz Member

    Is it official yet though, or am I being even slower???
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I think it's official...
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's just one of those worst-kept secrets: at least I won't worry so much that I can't be there this year ;)
  6. matti_raz

    matti_raz Member

    Yup, Its on 4br now.........Open here I come I think then :)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  7. dyl

    dyl Active Member

  8. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    I think its a bit of a downfall really. Going from Eden to this....well....
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Why, particularly?

    Playing this kind of music well takes just as much skill as playing Eden - it could just be that the skill base has to be in a different area. Granted that there are other transcriptions that may be better - but IMO using Rienzi at the Area last year only proved to me that sometimes concentrating on all things new can lead to a lack of focus on the fundamentals....like playing tunes, playing in tune, playing quietly (without with and without mutes ;) :D )....it's surprising how many bad performances of that so-called 'easy' piece there were.

    I'm all for new repertoire - but some of the older stuff is worth revisiting.
  10. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    Oh no i love the old stuff more than the new stuff really. Just not Judges that much. I also think that Eden is a fantastic piece. Its not the fact they r going from new to old. Its more to do with the pieces.
  11. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member


    Check out the link above , the New York Phil program notes on a Berlioz program in 2004 , as it states Mendlesohn hated the Judges overture and it never found favour with audiences ( apart from the Overture) , Brilliant test , a mad cheeky Eb Tuba part ( 6 sharps bit If I remember), and hopefully Bands will have to play the full overture instead of the cut version ( which has been used in the past) , still after Eden , All the Flowers..., Masquarade , I am glad I will be doing something else in October than listen to 20 performances of a 45 year old arrangement of an overture :(
  12. Judges is a cracker of a piece, and it will take some playing. After listening to all 20 performances of eden last year there was only half a dozen bands or so in my opinion that did it justice, and with the dynamic markings and exposed parts at the beginning of judges there will probably only be the same amount this year.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  13. tubaturk

    tubaturk Member

    But Nick, you must've have it all wrong - the selection panel have chosen Judges because, to quote Philip Morris, it is "a popular choice that will help to attract a large audience to the Royal Albert Hall".

    Maybe they have teamed up with SAGA holidays and intend wheeling the old folk in from all parts of the UK.;)

    I'm a bit cheesed off with the choice really as this year will be only our second appearance at the RAH, and yet again we have to play a rather dodgy arrangement (Enigma in 2003 was our other appearance).

    Philip also explains that "one of the reasons behind the choice of Les Francs Juges is the Panel’s policy of having a cycle consisting of three years of commissions and one traditional test-piece" - going by that, shouldn't 2006 be another commission year then? I fear that they have treated 2003 as a commission year with Bram Gay being "commissioned" to choose which of the 8 Enigma variations bands got to play.
  14. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe they meant 2 commisions + 1 old piece = 3 years = 3 year cycle...?
  15. A popular choice? I don't think so. I agree with tubatalk - in my opinion this isnt what the modern brass band movement needs.

    Interesting debate though.......

  16. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It all depends on what you mean by popular choice, and who exactly that phrase is aimed at.

    If you're taking the base approach of bums on seats, you're more likely to attract an audience of Joe Public by playing the arrangement rather than by a new commission - regardless of how good it is. Eden and Extreme Makeover are cases in point - both of them are phenomenal pieces, but you've got to put it into the audience perspective. Instantly accessible they're probably not - and more's the pity.

    The RAH is an extremely expensive place to hire. You're not going to fill it with paying Bandspeople listening - so you've got to attract people in off the street and my opinion is that you're more likely to do it with a 'tune they know'. That statement's likely to spark the "Let's move it from the RAH" debate again ;)

    I'm all for pushing the movement forwards - I've said so before - and my background stems from being around Besses when they and Grimethorpe were at the forefront of new commissions in the 70s and early 80s, but you've also got to put the logistics of the contest into the equation. As much as we'd like it to be, it isn't all about the Bands - the continuance of the contest has to be funded from somewhere.

    I acknowledge that it isn't the best arrangement in the World - but it's still a fairly stern test.
  17. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member

    So how many non-bandspeople are going to come to the RAH to hear 20 plus bands play an unknown arrangement of an unknown overture?

    I have nothing against Judges as a piece, good for concerts and would have made a decent choice for the areas but surely the National Finals is all about the bands. Its the Final of a band competition and as such needs something that is suitable. Yes it will test the bands but I suspect too many bands will end up playing the loud bits far too loud and we will get lots of unmusical performances as bands try too hard to make an impression on the men in the box.
    As has already been voiced on this forum bandspeople are questioning whether to go or not and that can't be good for the bums on seats. I'm not sure if I'll bother and if I do I'll cherry pick which bands to listen to whereas last year I stayed in for nearly all.
  18. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    In my estimation, link the name Berlioz with it then more than would if you said "Johan de Meij" - sad maybe, but true. I'm not saying it's right but it's what the market forces would tell you.
    Funnily enough, I believe that was what it was arranged for ;) As I said before, it'll still test the Bands, just in different ways. The last sentence is no different irrespective of the piece - that'll happen anyway.

    Maybe so - but the economics dictate as I said before. You'll never please everyone ;)

    I still reckon it'll be an interesting day.
  19. tubaturk

    tubaturk Member

    You may well be right Jan - I interpreted it as 3 commissions plus one old piece in one cycle.
    However, in the 5 years 2002-2006, there will have been 2 arrangements, one 10-year-old test piece and 2 new commissions. This is really consistent with the selection committes's reasoning, regardless of whether they're basing it on a 3-year or 4-year cycle.
  20. tubaturk

    tubaturk Member

    How many people unconnected with Brass Bands actually go to the finals anyway? I think it's fair to say that 95% of the audience are made up of players, past and present , as well as supporters of the playing bands. The worrying things is, just based on the tMP members contributing to this thread, we'll be LOSING not gaining some regulars from the audience.

    For some of the bands (like ourselves), it is a once in a lifetime experience to perform on such a stage but I'm afraid to say that we've been short changed in terms of the test piece. That it will test the bands is not in dispute, but it still doesn't detract from the fact that it's a tired old arrangement from a time when brass bands were a world away from what they are now.

    The golden oldies in the movement will say that we can't play tunes like they did in their day...if only it were true...unfortunately I've heard too many old recordings to believe it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2006

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