NYO on BBC2 Proms - full

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Masterblaster jnr, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    Just watched the NYO in the proms on BBC 2 playing to a packed out Royal Albert Hall and it made me wonder; how come the NYO, (playing pieces which last nearly an hour and a piece which just sounded like the composer having an epileptic fit while using sibelius for 15 minutes) manage to fill to the max the Roayl Albert Hall, London, whereas the National Youth Band (Playing music which generally makes sense and meets musical logic) can only fill 89 seats in the Royal Albert hall, Nottingham?

    Surely the common public must prefer to listen to the latter, yet if brass bands were put on the Albert Hall stage playing some of the true greats (Ball, Vinter etc) why would it be that the hall would more than likely be half full? Is it the music, the publicity, the fact that its the proms, or just something else?
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    What was the piece?

    Possible reasons:
    1) There are a lot more people in London than in Nottingham.
    2) The Proms is extremely well established and has a reputation and attendance that any concert series would sell its soul for.
    3) The NYO has a higher profile amongst its core audience than the NYBB.
    4) Ball and Vinter are not true greats of musical composition.
    5) The NYBB concert may have been poorly publicised? Concerts certainly were at times when I played with it.

    Some combination of those, I'd imagine?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  3. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    Fantasias by Anderson or something contemporary. A lot of the points made are very understandable, however is 'that anderson bloke' a true great of music composition? Listening to that then certainly not however this gets much more global recognition than pure genius like much of Ball's slow music.
  4. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Dunno. Good on the NYO and the Proms for giving "that Anderson bloke" a chance. He might be great; we won't know unless we give him an airing.

    On the other hand, Ball and Vinter are done and dusted - they produced some diverting pastiche / light music 40 years ago, but their music was ultimately not diverting enough to produce an impact on a bigger stage, and so there's very little demand for it from audiences such as those at the Proms.
  5. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    True but i can't help thinking that surely as an historic british musical organisation, the brass bands should get slots at the proms as it's more british than the orchestral world. In fact, im sure there was a brass day at the proms a few years back but that seemed to go down the pan nice and quickly?
  6. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Brass bands don't command audience numbers as high as an orchestra does, British or not. The brass day went down the pan because there wasn't enough interest in it.
  7. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    There was a Brass Day a couple of years ago, which featured a joint concert between Black Dyke and Grimethorpe (if memory serves).
    The problem with the brass band world is that to those involved it is one of the most important things in life, but to the wider musical audience it is considered a very small market.
    There are very few serious pieces that have been written for the brass band genre - test pieces are a test, not necessarily a piece of music that can compete in the "real" world of music. The very best are good pieces, but many have been written for the purpose of testing a band rather than appealling to a wide musical audience for many years to come.

    It would certainly be interesting to see if the regular Prommers would be as enthusiastic about a brass band concert as they are about even the most obscure composers that are featured at the Proms.

    Talking to someone who was involved in the organising of the Brass Day, it was a one-off. They have tried other instrumental families over the years, as well as certain different styles of Proms. The ones that have gone on to great success have been the Youth Prom and the Doctor Who Prom - the Brass Prom obviously wasn't well enough supported.
    Out of interest - did you go to the Brass Prom?
    I did.
    To all three of the concerts on the day.
    If you didn't go, maybe this is an explanation as to why they might not be so keen to repeat the experience.
  8. trombonebabe

    trombonebabe Member

    and Berlioz Symphony Fantastique. A great composition for sure.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  9. KenIrvin

    KenIrvin Member

    Perhaps here lies the problem. The brass band community as a whole tends to stick to "traditional" brass band music. Maybe if "that Anderson bloke" was to write something specifically for brass band and the band was to play a similar selection of music as the NYO then we may get a different response.
    I personally did not like the piece by Anderson but acknowledge that it did show the skill of the players very well.
  10. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I'll never know. Philistine that I am, I turned over after the first few mintures of it, found a repeat of Sharpe and never returned.
  11. Bandstand

    Bandstand Member

    The range of music at the Proms is widening each year. Brass bands should be involved and don't have to imitate symphony orchestras. Who would have thought that a Prom could be presented containing only music from MGM films. This happened last year and is going on national tour this Winter. This year it has moved on to music from Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Brass bands play this kind of music - so where's the difference?
    Are London Brass not playing at the Proms this year? I went to a concert by London Brass in Durham on the World Cup final evening and they still played to a full house!
    Why don't the Brass Band powers-that-be get organised and put on a programme of the best and most popular brass band music to appeal to the masses. Don't try to copy symphany orchestras.
    The best brass band music can compete with any other genre of music.
  12. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I'm afraid that we are often in the habit of overvaluing our little hobby. If Brass Bands 'should be involved' I wonder what criteria you judge their importance? Is the brass band medium more worthy than big bands or wind bands? Are we somehow more deserving than a jazz combo or a Gamelan orchestra? How's about Folk/Traditional music? For that matter, we might as well include Britain's biggest musical export, pop/rock music (and all it's sub-genres).

    To assume our hobby is of such great importance to somehow deserve a position in the World's biggest music festival is short sighted to point of delusional. Sorry mate, banding just isn't half as big as you think it is ;)
  13. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I imagine that the lack of any sort of national leadership since the mid-19th century to convert the image (and reality) of brass bands from a closely-knit contesting club into a global brand of music-making would have something to do with it.
  14. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Because there are no 'powers-that-be' which exist to do it (see my last post). The 'powers' you refer to are merely a disparate group of contest promoters, publishers, local committees etc. who have narrow and defined responsibilities. Promoting brass bands as national or international music-makers form no part of their responsibilities.

    The body which, theoretically, ought to be able to do what you want is the BFBB, but unfortunately, it lacks support from the very people it seeks to represent. And that, I'm afraid, is entirely the fault of the representees - the bandsmen who choose not to be BFBB members.
  15. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    How big was the hall?
    Something tells me it wasn't close to the size of the Albert Hall

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