Philip there any information....anywhere??

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Trav1812, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Trav1812

    Trav1812 New Member

    [FONT=&quot]Hi all

    Was wondering if anyone can help me, I'm currently doing some work on composers not massively known outside the band world mainly Philip Sparke. As much as I have searched the net and books I seam to be able to find very little information on him. Does anyone know any good sources of information on Sparke as I really seam to be drawing a blank so far. Any help would be gratefully received.

  2. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    I assume you already had a look at ?
    Another very good source of information would be to contact him directly ;) Especially since Mr. Sparke is a regular visitor of this website... (username: Anglo music press)
  3. Trav1812

    Trav1812 New Member

    Cheers Jan

    Thanks for your help, though I have read his webpage already. Maybe I should have been clearer: what I'm really looking for is critial analysis of his work (and having read the interview on Mr Sparke's views on analysis are rather clear!). If anyone knows where I could find such information particularly on The Year of the Dragon it would be a great help.

  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I'll tell you what is on the 1985 sleevenotes of Cory's 'Dances & Arias' LP ... cough!

    "The Year Of The Dragon - Philip Sparke:-

    The highlight of Cory's centenary celebrations throughout 1984 was a concert held in St. David's Hall, Cardiff, in March. The band, with aid of funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council, commissioned Philip Sparke to write a work for first performance at this concert. The result was 'Year Of The Dragon'of which the composer writes:

    "At the time I wrote 'The Year Of The Dragon' Cory had won two successive Nationals and I set out to write a virtuoso piece to display the talents of this remarkable band to the full. The work is in three movements:

    1. Toccata opens with an arresting side drum figure and snatches of themes from various sections of the band which try to develop until a broad and powerful theme from the middle of the band asserts itself. A central dance-like section soon gives way to the return of this theme which subsides until faint echoes of the opening material fade to a close.

    2. Interlude takes the form of a sad and languid solo for trombone. A chorale for the whole band introduces a brief spell of optimism but the trombone solo returns to close the movement quietly.

    3. Finale is a real tour-de-force for the band with a stream of rapid semiquavers running throughout the movement. The main theme is heroic and march-like but this is interspersed with lighter, more playful episodes. A distant fanfare to the sound of bells is introduced and this eventually returns to bring the work to a stirring close"
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Trav1812

    You'll find that Philip doesn't bite and is really, quite approachable... :) Perhaps send him a PM...?

    Philip Sparke
  6. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    I'd second that - he was the Composer in Residence when I was at Salford - a top bloke and very down to earth.
  7. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta New Member

    I know it's kind of off thread but does anyone know where I can get a recording of Year of the Dragon. I played it just recently and really liked it but i can't find it anywhere.... :(
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    There's a few here.
  9. tutin_trumpeta

    tutin_trumpeta New Member

    Many thanks
  10. Yes there is information - HE CAN'T DO ENDINGS!
  11. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    1) No need to shout
    2) Its only a personal opinion but I'm guessing you may not have heard or played

    Hymn of the Highlands
    Year of the Dragon
    Music of the Spheres
    Jubilee Overture

    Great thing about music its all personal and I for one cannot remember a piece by Phillip I have not enjoyed.
  12. Sorry about that

    The pieces are great - which is why the naf endings make me frustrated. The Centurion is brilliant, but the endings let it down - I'm sure you understand.
  13. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Really? Interesting point of view that. So how about the endings of Year of the Dragon, Harmony Music, London Overture, or most notably Tallis Variations? All great pieces with terrific - and in the case of Tallis and Harmony Music - interesting endings. Nothing wrong with opinion (though you might like to choose your words a bit more carefully) but I don't see any evidence in the Sparke pieces I've played that "he can't do endings" - maybe you can persude me otherwise?
  14. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    Hmmmmm. Maybe he can, but certain bands can't?
  15. That would be a good explanation, I'm afraid to say

    I haven't played much Philip Sparke stuff with Trentham, more with wind orchestras
  16. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    Hmmm didnt know this was woodwind forum.....?

    Well up until youve played and performed (or even just listened) to many of his great pieces, I think you should keep your young & very inexperienced view to yourself and stop clogging up these all threads with you naff opinions and views.

    Especially when he's a member on here anyway.

    Its really starting to annoy me now and youre not really adding anything interesting to the forum.....
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    An example being? That's harsh words for one of the band movement's most respected composers, would you care to back them up with specifics?

    I take it you haven't heard, or played, Variations on an Enigma, Year of the Dragon, Harmony Music, Music of the Spheres or Dances and Alleluias? Or do they come under your definition of "naff"?
  18. rcalvert20

    rcalvert20 Member

    I think Phillip Sparke has written some fantastic pieces and still does. I love such pieces as Year of the Dragon and Partita (which i have played recently) as it provides the band and every single player with something to sink their teeth into! Love the endings too!! I admire him for writing his own brass band pieces and for providing the bands with good arrangements of music. I loved Song and Dance for cornet as well!!

    Anyway, the info i got on Phillip Sparke when i was writting a brief ('very brief'!!) essay on the history of brass band composers came from such sources as old British Bandsman and

    Anyway hope some of these things help when looking for info on Phillip Sparke.


  19. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    Are you Shaggy in disguise??;)
  20. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    :) thats priceless - cant do endings...............!
    Let me think ...
    Harmony music - builds and builds - my favourite piece of BB writing
    Music OT Spheres - incredible to play and listen to
    Year O T Dragon .. need I go on???
    TMP is for everyone and nobody should shy away from having an OPINION no matter what their experience ( or lack of) BUT - sweeping statements like that leave you open to ridicule IMHO

    I guess (and hope ) you are regretting that post???

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