Most Fiendish March

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Bungle, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    So what do folks recon is the most difficult march to play? I can only speak in my limited experience as a bass player, that the most difficult I've come across is British Bandsman, purely because of the key it's in, but I think Under Two Flags comes close. I've only listened to 'Navigation Inn' but it sounds tricky.
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I think it depends where you're sat.

    For instance, probably the hardest bass solo I know is in Alexander Owen's "Around the World" - the original version starts off with a semiquaver arpeggio for troms, baris, euphs and basses from bottom C to top C (in Bb pitch ;) ) and contains some lovely chromatic sextuplets for the same instrument group....

    Cracking March, though (Pelorus Jack isn't much easier either - that covers a 2 octave range in the bass solo as well, and the solo cornet / rep bit that goes with it is full of triple tonguing and molto wagglo valve stuff.

    You've probably gathered by now that I'm an Alex Owen fan :D
  3. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Brilliant J Ord Hume is a real pig of a march the trio section for cornet is a real nightmare , dont think it's been recorded much either ,it's a fantastic march , tricky trio section for the cornets as I remember.
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I'm sure theMouthpiece will crop up!
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Have you played that Ben?
  6. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Not yet - but looks hard!
  7. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member


    As a fellow bass player, i'm sure you'd agree, the most difficult march is not always the one with the most notes in it. As some Marches require the ability to breathe through one's A*** or any other available orifice! - especially 'on the road'
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    You'll be able to judge for yourself fairly shortly when you can download it being played from this very site :D
  9. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Indeed, for those who may not have read this elsewhere on tMP... I am working this week with KMJ recordings and Leyland Band to record the tMP March which once mastered and mixed by Keiths expert hands (or ears) - I shall make available on tMP for free download for all!
  10. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Right on !
    I must say though, that, as a Bass Player, playing an unrehearsed "Army of the Nile" on the march with a 3rd Section Band many years ago at the Miners Dem. is an experience I wouldn't like to repeat ! ( and I'm sure the listeners would agree !)
    It is a cracking March though when practiced and played in a concert environment.
    - Wilky
  11. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    When you say "British Bandsman" are you talking about the Derek Broadbent march, or is there another? I played on the World Premiere of that - encapsulated on the British Bandsman Centenary Concert CD from Chandos, and other than a few back valve things I don't remember it as being overly taxing...but then it was a long time ago :eek:. Attempting to follow an increasingly circular beat was highly entertaining though.

    As a Euph player, I always found The Champions a bit of a slog....particularly when it's put on the end of a concert as an encore. Other things that are hard on the face in some circumstances are things like Old Comrades and Colonel Bogey....

    Surprisingly, even 'standard' marches can be some of the hardest things that Bands play - particularly if you're going to do it well. Putting quavers in exactly the right place isn't as easy as a lot of people seem to think ;)
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    One march not seen very often on the contest stage is 'Raby' by George Allen. Try it out at one of your rehearsals and you will discover why ... ;)
  13. vcbjet

    vcbjet Member

    Glemdene is quite tough - the opening bars especially.

    Also Pendragon is a bit of a blow. Played it on Friday up in Tameside, quite a technical bass part as well!
  14. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    err.. exactly what I remember about it ;)

    I do like the sound of Navigation Inn, it was on the sample CD from de Haske, but I doubt my band would ever play it in a concert, so it's purchase couldn't be justified. Oh well, if anything this thread might give some ideas for the masochists out there.
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Going off on a light tanget, here (sorry mods), I played in a concert for Philip Wilby in Harrogate a few years ago. During the 'wanm up' our bass trombone player was playing things like high Fs, Gs and As (or super Fs, Gs and As depending on what you call them) - like you do when you're warming up ;)

    Dr Wilby's comment in passing was "Ah, now I know that that's the real range of the bass trombone, I shall definitely use it in my next piece"...

    Moral: Be careful what you do when you're warming up - it might set a precedent with the composer of your next testpiece :D
  16. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I've never played it, other than on CD :) , but Best Foot Forward by Ernest Tomlinson sounds like it would fit into this category. It's not played very much which might confirm that opinion, but I think it's a cracker of a march.
  17. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    We've played 'Around the World' quite extensively and it's certainly a really great march. legend has it that Owen wrote it on the ship on one of Besses tours to Australia.

    Does anyone out there have a set of Pelorous Jack? Would love to have a go at that one!

  18. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    They shouldn't have (legally).

    I haven't released it into the public domain from the archive.

    Incidentally, Around the World was written on a train, I believe - it was Pelorus Jack that was written on the boat, and was named after the famous dolphin was alledgedly seen.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2006
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Thanks Keith. I assumed it was merely out of print. I wonder how I've heard it then - have Besses recorded it?

    David (Alex Owen Scholarship winner 1976!)
  20. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    They have, but only on a very old record - "Well Done, Lads!" Pye (1966) IIRC.

    It's likely (as with a lot of these things) that there are a few, er, spurious copies around. That was certainly the case with Around the World. The first time it was actually made available on general release was when Jagrins published it 3 or 4 years ago, along with a few other things.

    My main reason for holding it back was that I wanted to keep something solely Besses, whilst releasing what I consider to be fantastic arrangements / selections / compositions in things like Rossini's Works and Tristan und Isolde.....

    Thinking about it, I reckon there was another recording of Pelorus Jack. I think it was on the (tape only) recording that Doyen did of the Besses Boy's Band 50th Anniversary concert...not sure what I've done with that - I'll try and dig it out and check.

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