Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by glen miler, Feb 4, 2008.
Anyone got any good suggestions?
Downie: Purcell Variations
Steadman-Allen: Chorale - although it polarises opinion a bit.
How good's your band? - you could give John o'Gaunt a go.
Diversions (Variations On a Swiss Folk Song) by Philip Sparke. Great piece, and not played that often.
Vaughan Williams: Henry V
Andy - not a test piece!
Land of the Long White Cloud
nothing like aiming high! Long White Cloud's not easy either.....
Essay or Plantagenets? (both Gregson)
Or, if you've got good shed builders, what about Frontier! by Michael Ball? Rhythmically tricky, but not a big blow, from what I remember.
Rhapsody In Brass Dean Goffin.
The Aeronauts Goff Richards
If you were aiming high(ish) you could also have a bash at California Legend by Bruce Broughton. Another good piece that isn't played much.
Princethorpe Variations by Ken Downie
Romans 8 by Ray Steadman-Allen (maybe a bit hard for 2nd section though)
Big fan of Prisms too.
Most 1st section bands at Butlins (including mine) found Plantagenets quite hard enough for that level. Essay is slightly easier but would put an inordinate amount of pressure on the principal cornet -the 2nd movt would be a killer for 2nd section but the outer 2 movts might be playable.
I have to say Frontier would be out of the reach of most section 2 outfits (was used as 1st section finals test in 2000 - not many played it)
The suggestion of Bruce Broughton's California Legend is a very good one
Laudate Dominum, Gregson
Was Plantagenets technically hard, or was it more a problem of getting the right style for the music? - I've never played it in anger, other than a quick run through. I heard a couple of bands at Butlins and they seemed to put all the notes in without giving really convincing performances.
I have played Frontier!, although not in the 2nd section; I didn't think it was that hard, although it's a while since I've seen it. It's tricky without knowing the standard of the band, I suppose.
2ns section pieces are tricky anyway; there comes a point about halfway down the 2nd section where you need pieces written specifically for that standard, rather than simply cascading down old top section pieces (as regularly happens in the 1st) - hence some of the strange choices for area pieces over the last few years.
I suppose sometimes with own choice pieces there's an argument for playing an easier piece really well, rather than aiming high and missing.
Toccata Festiva by Jan Van der Roost maybe? or is that too easy?
or Music for a Festival (Philip Sparke)?
I would say very tricky
Most of the 2nd section choices recently, for both finals and area have been too difficult e.g Belmont Variations, Variations for Brass Band (Vaughan Williams), Images of the Millenium or slightly bizarre e.g Carnival
Aiming high and missing badly is so common - several times over the last few years I have been handed a pile of scores with bands 10 and 11 attempting Trittico and Long White Cloud - really looking forward to hearing them after the usual stuff - then listening to the first 5 bars of each....
But I understand fully why they choose to give it a go - they are great fun to play - just like Rhapsody in Brass was when it first surfaced nearly 60 years ago (so my Dad tells me..)
Entertainments/Tam O Shanter(yeah I know they have been used in 3rd section before you say!!
Sword, Jewel and Mirror.
The SCABA Suggested Graded Pieces list is always useful for these threads: Link
Bear in mind though that National Second section is equivalent to parts of both SCABA First and Second second sections, since they only have four sections and most of their third section are nationally ungraded.
Looking down that list, things that I've enjoyed playing include:
Resurgam (possibly more a first section piece)
Page and a half in and no-one's suggested Blitz, Journey into Freedom or Year of the Dragon.
Frankly, I'm disappointed. These threads have usually gone completely mad by this stage. :biggrin:
Henry V and Aeronauts are great pieces, although I'm not sure about for 2nd Section - I've used both with 3rd Section bands.
Can I point you to a new piece of music published by us which is being used as the Section 2 Brass set piece at the IABCB Championships in Limerick this year - Psalm 98 by Paul Hamilton.
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