national finals test pieces 2009

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by sirbucko, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. sirbucko

    sirbucko Member

    please please , who ever choses the pieces for the national finals this year, can we have something with MUSIC IN IT. lets not have another pentacle or prague. there are many great test pieces available to pick from. dont forget the players have to enjoy rehearsing them, also the paying public has to be considered. looking forward to harrigate, just hope the commitee who chooses the pieces feels the same. lets have the contest halls full again with people listening, instead of going to the bar. thanks ian buckley.
  2. doug sumner

    doug sumner New Member

    How I wholeheartedly agree. One of the test pieces this year sounded like feeding time at the zoo. With pieces of the stature of Winter's and Simpson's amongst others, why do we need such rubbish?
  3. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    If you look back at the thread on Pentacle (I assume that is the piece you are on about, if not why not name and shame the piece you don't like) generally speaking players view on the piece improved the more they got in to the piece.

    It sounds like you want something old, with a nice tune you can whistle - it's a contest not a concert, the whole point is to challenge the bands and see who copes best, not have a nice day out.

    p.s. we did'nt qualify this year, if we did I would be calling for something new, and even something'different'
  4. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    I have to agree. That said, I think set pieces for ALL contests should be reviewed. I'm all for new pieces and would love to think someone could write a new piece which is musical, other than just for the fourth section. Lets remember, we are brass bands. Golf balls in buckets, bottles of water, Cello bows, whale call recordings and train noises etc. I ask you!?

    We brought percussion in for extra effect which is ok to a degree, but its about time we were tested again on our ability to play the brass instrument. Where has the musicality gone. Not all, but some need to go back to playing from the heart which, I agree is more enjoyable to listen to. Didn't Salute to Youth test some bands and bring some refreshing results? Great Top section listening this year! Not a rant at all just rallying the musicians amongst us.
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    What paying public? The "paying public" have got better things to do than sit and listen to twenty performances of the same piece, no matter who meldious it might be. The "paying public" hasn't gone to brass band contests for half a century, and it's got nothing to do with the music - there are simply more diverting ways to spend a day, unless you're a band geek (like me). We play to ourselves, our families and supporters at contests. Even flagship events like the European, the Open and Brass in Concert tend to get an audience of band geeks (like me :D), rather than Joe Public.

    @Doug: If you mean Robert Simpson, pieces like Volcano and Energy, splendid though they are, could hardly be described as bristling with whistlable melodies! Certainly not as whistlable as the 2nd movement of Pentacle, which is gorgeous.

    @Jason: Didn't you think there was music to be wrung out of the slow movement of The Talisman? However, I might be with you on the Whale noise, I think the jury's still out on that one :rolleyes:
  6. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    Yes, I do and hopefully we did it, however, I did say other than the 4th section. I also suppose it begs the question, what is classed as testing. It has to involve the brass instrument and our ability to play music not effects and noises.
  7. doug sumner

    doug sumner New Member

    You miss the point. It's got nothing to do with 'old' or 'new'. Whether it's Beethoven or Boulez there is an intrinsic merit in their music totally lacking in many of the recent brass band test pieces. Yes - they need to test the players, but they need to be worth playing as well.
  8. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    OH YES PLEASE!!!!!! please please please no more pentangular pustulations of pillockry.
    (in other words I'm with him :) )
  9. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member

    Yet another thread saying please can we only have the music I like.

    We all like different stuff, thats what makes us interesting. Enjoy the ones you like and accept the rights of others to enjoy the ones you don't and, most importantly, allow composers the time to practice their craft, even Mozart wrote some duff stuff that doesn't get played much anymore.
  10. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    I'm sure I'm not alone in disliking the implication here that the perceived problems with more recent test pieces can be blamed on the percussion section. Why shouldn't we be tested on our ability to play percussion instruments? (And please, adjudicators, could bands kindly be judged on whether their "percussionists" can actually play? I have heard more than one "timp player" during these Areas who has just hit pretty much random notes. Would you ignore a brass player doing that? I think not...) We need at least as much musicality as any brass player to play our parts.

    I can't speak for Pentacle (I don't know it), but having played percussion on Prague at the Areas I can assure you that there wasn't actually that much to do. I was far busier when playing New World Sketches this time around and whatever is said about that piece, it certainly doesn't lack tunes!
  11. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Music would be nice,regardless of whether I like it or not.
  12. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Ah the annual "I don't like it so it's not music" rant. Shows how far banding has moved on over the years, all these progressive attitudes...
  13. rogernann

    rogernann New Member

    'Test Piece' is the relevent phrase. We should be more than happy to have music that tests our ability to play rather than how many tunes you can hum. The Talisman was not well recieved but, for Fourth Section bands, it is a test. It removed the lottery than can be the fourth section. At Torquay we had to compete with 18 others as against 24 or so at other West of England regionals. I am probably going to be shouted down but, if a band wants to improve and show their ability, The Talisman and it's like have to be good news. OK, Downton Band are off to Yorkshire but, along with bands in all sections, it was achieved by us being able to play 'The Test Piece' as set.
    Roger (The Old Codger) Bandmaster and second trombone The Downton Band.
  14. nhrg

    nhrg Member


    Usual stuck in the past heritage brass band people all coming out here. Thank goodness for Prague and Pentacle. If it was down to them we'd have percussionists topping themselves because we're playing Eric Ball and Rienzi.

    New music or die.
  15. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Have you sneaked into one of our rehearsals?
  16. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    which, IMHO, Pentacle did very well
  17. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

  18. hornydevil

    hornydevil Member

    :clap: Totally agree, people will always moan whatever gets chosen :rolleyes: You just have to get on with it! Loved Pentacle by the way!:biggrin:
  19. lowsaints

    lowsaints Member

    Let's face it, old or new doesn't come into it. There are plenty of old pieces that can give any band a good challenge.

    There is also plenty of good, innovative new music that is capable of providing a challenge whilst at the same time the players with some enjoyment.

    After all, the vast majority of us do the banding thing as a hobby, not to say we don't take it seriously, but we do it for fun. Remember that thing called fun?? I'm just starting to remember what it is all about after burning Pentacle. No, my band didnt qualify, but that's not the point, we generally prefer modern pieces over older pieces as they seem to suit the band better.

    As a test piece Pentacle just doesn't tick all of the boxes. It may be a suitably difficult technical test (there's a whole other argument in that oine as well!), but the majority of comments I have heard or read weren't praising the delights of playing Pentacle!

    So in response to the start of this thread, YES tunes would be nice. Just because there are tunes doesn't make it old OR unsuitable for use as a test piece - Essence of Time is one example of the well written, testing yet musical piece that makes a good test piece for bands and audiences alike.
  20. sirbucko

    sirbucko Member

    national finals pieces 2009

    read with great interest some of the comments on this subject. i know the brass band movement has to move on, but the end of the day we are brass bands. making animal noises, whale sounds, farmyard animals. david attenborough will be judging next. in this thread i have been asked to name OLD test pieces. what is wrong with with downland suite, moorsidesuite, the corsaire, promethus unbound etc for the lower sections and wilfred heatons partita, pagentry, y. o . t dragon, for the top section. philip wilby has composed some great pieces. 95 pc of people agree with me on this thread about this subject. all the above pieces , great MUSIC which need some playing. what would you rather listen to 20 performances of pentacle or 20 performances of the above. lets get back to playing from the heart, and not just become guinea pigs for some new wave technical exercise. spoke to many well known championship players past and present who all agree. mant thanks ian buckley.