NZ Solo Cornet Test

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nethers, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I'm just interested to hear other people's opinions on this...

    A friend of mine enters the 'Amateur Cornet' section of the National Championships here in NZ most years. He's a cool dude. I was helping out his band the other night as he dug this year's test out of the library for a squint.

    It is Philip Sparke's arrangement of 'Blue Bells of Scotland' scored for euphonium.

    A fine arrangement, but I wonder how it will fit for an amateur cornet section.

    For one, there are several (including the last long FF note) low F naturals. Bread and butter for a modern euphonium, but for a cornet?

    For another, while the original sounds great on a good trombone, and I can see the logic around the changes in this version for euph, I'm not sure that the composer's/arranger's intentions are going to be heard, even with a very good cornet player (for a start it's all an octave higher against the piano of course!).

    I'm wondering if I'm being a bornig old fuddy or if anyone else is raising an eyebrow?

    Last year I questioned some of the test choices in other sections (flugel got Curnow's Rahpsody for Euph) and was told that there wasn't enough in-print repertoire of sufficient quality to stop these kinds of odd decisions... which I don't believe at all!

    Argument please!
  2. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    It's quite possible that there isn't enough decent cornet/flugel repertoire. There's never really been a champion of "new" cornet music in the way the Childs brothers and Steven Mead championed euph music in the 80s. As a result the generation of euph players that followed (especially the two Davids) have the concept of commissioning new music almost ingrained into them in a way that contemporary cornet players perhaps don't.

    The obvious answer to that is for the contest to commission something though, not to use throughly unsuitable repertoire for other instruments.
  3. TrumpetNick

    TrumpetNick Member

    I waited for someone more experienced than me in brass band repertoire to comment, so there go my thoughts: It would be probably easier just to get an appropriate arrangement/piece for cornet. However, if the low F is the only problem in the euphonium part, the best way is to pull both triggers out and play F with all valves down (as for F#) - if it is still too sharp your friend will have to lip it down, which doesn't seem too difficult in that register.
  4. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Is it an f nat in Bb? It's a concert f in the original trombone solo.

    Anyway, I can't say I like the idea of it being played on cornet. Surely there's a few air varies for cornet that would do better.
  5. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Yes, F in B-flat. So on a euph, 1st and 4th valves.

    Admittedly, a good cornet player with lots of trigger and some practice will be able to pull it off, but it all seems unnecessary.

    I just did a little mental gymnastics and came up with about a dozen suitable, available pieces, mostly written for cornet (and a couple for trumpet). If I hit google I'm sure it would soon become dozens.

    I also agree that if an appeal for new music that was going to be used as a test at a National Champs was made here, many quality compositions would emerge.

    I'm a little puzzled and I want to make sure I'm not missing a trick before I go to the contest organisers to ask about this!
  6. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Yes but isn't lipping an f# "cheating" ?! ;)
    Triggers are for the weak :p whack down a 1st and get practising those false hamonics! ;)
  7. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I'm happy to announce that this is included in the latest BBANZ Contest Newsletter:

    2: Amateur Cornet solo The Blue Bell of Scotland:
    a)Take all bottom Fs up an octave
    b)Ignore 8ve in bar 6
    c)There are no multiphonics in the cadenza on page two it is just a choice of octaves. Take the higher octave.

    I guess someone else beat me to the punch!
  8. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I was just wondering what they were going to do about all the pedals. That cadenza's not nearly as interesting without them. What about the triplet octaves near the start? They'll go down to an F as well surely?

    Seems it would have been much easier to pick a cornet piece.
  9. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Agreed! Yes, the opening will sound pretty interesting...
  10. Di B

    Di B Member

    Why mess with something so much?! I can understand someone who doing this for a recital (even if I wouldn't agree with it) but am I right in that you are stating that the New Zealand Brass Band Officials are advocating this?

    If so, they need to listen to more brass bands! lol!
  11. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Agreed again! There have been some very odd choices in the last couple of years...

    Last year, Blue Bells was the trom piece. No particular arrangement was specified, so the original Arthur Pryor with piano was assumed. Myself and some others got to practising it, and then, a month or so later we were told it was in fact the Philip Sparke euphonium arrangement. For the soloist, essentially the same but a tone lower. I was so mad I fired off some cranky emails and didn't bother entering :(
  12. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    So they chose a trombone piece, rearranged for euphonium, to test trombone players? Isn't there a wasted step in there somewhere? Or do they just really love Sparke's arrangement of it?
  13. TrumpetNick

    TrumpetNick Member

    I wouldn't be so surprised... :rolleyes:

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