Regionals 2009: Third Section Test Piece: The Once and Future King, Andrew Baker

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Di, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    So is what you're saying by this is please ignore everything you post as it is intended to be a joke and to provoke, or have I misunderstood?
  2. baritoneboy

    baritoneboy New Member

    cant wait for tomorrow been a great picece to work on even if my part is a little light on notes in places. dont think i have ever played a part with so many bars rest but god its got me counting!!
  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    you will soon see where im coming from:biggrin:
  4. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    It's where you've been that worries us Ian!

  5. DangerousDave

    DangerousDave New Member

    Andrew - your comment you made about sticking a sign on your back saying "Sop players; kick here!" was totally unneeded in my opinion!

    Hey, so I may as well have been blowing out of somewhere else and fluffed up my solos on the day but I enjoyed playing it - really good sop part, lots of fun! Was nice to actually listen to the piece from outside a band too - was a really nice piece to listen to.
  6. Pedge

    Pedge New Member

    well, it's now six days until not only my contest debut, but also my timpani debut, and with this absolutley brilliant piece to get stuck into i can't wait :)
    wish me luck all!
  7. QAD

    QAD Member

    Just wondering what you thought of the 6/8 tempo's in the last movement of your test piece. I heard a lot of bands play this much too fast in my opinion, and you yourself have said that this is much too stodgy from some of the bands.
    If I take your last movement at crotchet = 144 (148 doesn't exist in my book or on my metronome) then the dotted crotchet speed is 96 - a notch up from the opening tempo and very nearly a nice relationship(!) - and does feel quite stodgy, so we gave it plenty of style to give it life. Many bands I heard in the West of England played this much faster (anything from 104 - 120!) and were rewarded for that, even our percussionst adjudicator(s) didn't agree with the pure maths of this situation.
    So question is did you intend the 6/8s to actually go faster than the quaver=quaver allows?
    Nice peice by the way
  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Hi Huw, and thank you for the kind words about the piece.

    To answer your question: The tempo is c.148 - so TBH 144 or 152 would be fine, and quaver pulse should remain absolutely consistent throughout until the rall near the end; one thing I've consistently said is that faster and louder does NOT necessarily equal more exciting. I've heard a variety of interpretations of the 6/8 sections especially, and very few bands have got it spot on, for me.

    A bit faster or slower than I've marked isn't the end of the world if the quaver pulse is consistent, the ensemble is tight and, crucially, the style is right. A lot of the more ambitious tempi just sounded rushed to me, and I've heard a few that actually got faster!

    As you say, the key thing is the style. The whole movement works at the printed tempo if the style is right, but many band MDs seemed to only have listened to other testpieces - a good diet of early music and Vaughan Williams would have helped in the run-up for some!

    I can't comment on any of the performances, as I wasn't there, although I've heard anecdotally that Brunel were very good.
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    If these were the only positive comments the piece had received, it would have been worth every second of the work it took to write. The thought that my piece convinced one player to postpone his retirement, and another is looking forward to making his debut on it (I remember fondly my debut on Connotations and I've still got a soft spot for the piece 21 years later!) are enough to make me very proud. Thank you.

    Oh and best of luck for Saturday, Pedge, and everyone at Darlington, Stevenage and Dundee this weekend :tup
  10. Pedge

    Pedge New Member

    Thanks andy, that means a lot coming from you :D
    3 more rehearsals to go and then its showtime! (and one of those is on sunday morning early doors without any drums to practice on)
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    This is a bit last minute I know, and a shameless bit of self-promotion, BUT if you enjoyed The Once and Future King:


    Another of my pieces will receive its broadcast premiere tonight on Listen to the Band - The Singing Stones is a tuned percussion solo written for Sarah Burn of Leyland Band, who feature in tonight's programme. Worth a listen just for the virtuoso xylo/vibraphone playing, even if you're heartily sick of my stuff after the Areas! Many thanks to Jason, Sarah and Leyland for including in tonight's programme as well as a number of recent concerts :tup

  12. Martin

    Martin Member


    Just listened to it and really enjoyed it (as I did Once and Future King), well done. :clap: Sarah Burn played it brilliantly. :clap:
  13. Al

    Al Member

    Our band just played Once and Future King at a concert. It went down quite well and it was wonderful to play it again.

    It is a shame so many test pieces end up in the library awaiting the possibility of being used at a contest in a decade or so.

    I wondered how the performance was compared to the Regional though...
  14. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Well the 2 adjudicators at our area midlands(Mr Hardy& Wormald) said it is a great piece to even play at a concert and to explain what each movement is about to audience so they could get the picture of what it was about.;)
  15. Al

    Al Member

    Anyone at all interested in Once And Future King will enjoy the BBC Radio 4 programme:

    Smash Hit of 1453

    And go to the Listen Again facility (available for until 17th April 2010)
  16. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    [Gratuitous Self Publicity]

    For those of you who enjoyed playing The Once and Future King, you may be interested (or not :biggrin:) to learn that an orchestral transcription of it (by John Bryant, many thanks John :tup) will feature in the programme of music for the National Childrens' Under-12s Orchestra course this week. I haven't researched this in great depth, but to my knowledge this is the first orchestral transcription of a brass band work for quite some time - I think the last one may have been Downland Suite. Anyone know any more recent ones?

    [\Gratuitous Self Publicity:oops:]
  17. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    In addition to my brass and wind-band versions of "Euphonium Music", on sale from Winwood Music, the same publisher has an orchestral version on hire only.
  18. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Thanks Brian, of course I should have realised that there would be some concerto-type works that have undergone the band-to-orchestra conversion.

    There are a lot of links between Dances and Arias and Gregson's Concerto for Orchestra, but I'm not sure which came first and although they share material it certainly isn't a transcription.

    Any others?
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Resurgam went from band to orchestra didn't it?

    Pretty sure that was done a while ago though.
  20. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Going off topic, but I aways loved that piece Brian! :clap:

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