Regionals 2010 : First Section Test Piece - Moorside Suite

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Di, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    Discussion thread for the Regionals 2010
    First Section Test Piece

    Moorside Suite (Gustav Holst)
    published by R. Smith & Co.

  2. ISBBBb2

    ISBBBb2 Member

    Looking forward to it!
  3. adrian90s

    adrian90s Member

    Have'nt seen this for many a year but I remember Elgar Howarth rehearsals on it. Apart from end chairs, the rehearsal will seem to drag on a little. Perhaps, if you have the players, it would pay to only get this out 10-14 days before the contest.
  4. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    10-14 days sounds great, the pity is many bands will start rehearsing before christmas !
  5. blue juice

    blue juice Member

    We had a bash through it tonight to get a bearing on it. The challenge will be intonation, dynamics and control in the 2nd movement, it'll be what separates the good from the excellent. Love the sop part at the end.
  6. glidng_slide

    glidng_slide Member

    I took that as a typo, replacing days with weeks!!!! :-( :-( :-(
  7. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    Please no, i cant stand 10 weeks on the damn thing, even if im on sop!! feel soo sorry for the horns and baritones!
  8. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    OK OK time for a moan! Why oh why do we seem to go from the sublime to the ridiculous with these test pieces? I mean,realy,last year we had more percussion than you could shake a stick at (pun intended) then this year there's nowt!!!

    Once more Animal wanders off muttering into his beard in total perplexity. :confused: :biggrin:
  9. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Perhaps percussion players should be exempt from registration allowing them to help out whichever band/section needs the most percussion players each year?
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    I was discussing this with someone recently. I don't see how one could realistically have percussionists exempt from registration, however I do think there is room for more flexibility in registration rules for percussionists. Perhaps the rules could be changed so that percussionists could simultaneously register with another band in a different section? (although that might cause difficulties with large areas such as L&SC where different section qalifiers are run simultaneously in multiple venues.)

    I think it needs some thought, anyway.
  11. tubbytuba

    tubbytuba Member

    At a recent concert we played Philip Hunt of BBC Sounds of Brass did the compereing.Whilst chatting in the interval ha stated that The Moorside Suite is one of the finest if not the finest test piece ever written for brass band!!!! What do you think???
  12. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I think he is wrong (IMHO) :D
  13. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

  14. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    At least you can play it in a concert for the general public (as we plan to do in the run up to the contest) and not have them leaving in droves, like you would with Pentacle, Coventry Variations, Maoriana etc, etc
  15. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I think it is a great piece, and a very good test...
  16. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    We played Coventry variations out in the run up to the '04 area. Went down rather well as I recall. Maybe to do with our md mentiong what the various sections were about before we played it. However I do firmly agree that pentacle may not have produced such a favourable reaction - however well explained....

    I think it's a decent piece, and - whilst I maintain it is an ill-balanced choice and will produce exceptionally tedious reheasal time for anyone but the end chairs - it'll sort out the winner on the day because it's hard to play perfectly.

    However, it's not hard to play reasonably well, which neatly brings up Moomindave's excellent point from the other thread about it not sorting out the rest of the places very well - which I also agree with.

    1st section Shed-builders everywhere, you have my sympathies....
  17. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    re-typing a comment I have made repeatedly, I don't know the piece but (from what i have heard/been told) it will NOT test the WHOLE band sufficiently to be a fait test for 1st section bands.
  18. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Why continue to repeat the comment then? if you feel that strongly then go talk to the selection panel, contstantly moaning about it on here won't change anything, you'll still have to play the piece... I take it your confident you'll win your area comfotably then.:rolleyes:
  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Oh here we go "...oh well if you think it's an easy piece .... if it is easy you'll win your area then... let's see how you do..."

    I've heard a lot of this in the other thread so let's put it to bed right away. Just because you can play the piece and play it well does not in any way guarantee winning your area this year any more than it does any other year. But there are other issues that Moorside brings with it which a more balanced selection would not have.

    1) No it isn't an easy piece, nobody is saying it is and anyone who does is plainly wrong - but does it test the whole band? The simple answer is no, it does not. Several parts double others and can be omitted in quiet passages in order to cut the volume. Likewise many contain little shorter than a crotchet so rhythmic challenges and technical challenges are missing. Therefore a halfway reasonable band with a nice sound and good corner-players could very well win it, as long as they get their basics (tuning, intonation and balance) right - even if they are pretty inept technically.

    2) Generally, the best band on the day will win - but with a piece such as this the differences between performances will be much smaller than with a more balanced choice. So the whole Stephen Mead argument comes back into play - and when promotion and relegation is decided on one performance it's important the adjudicators can find a clear difference between fifth and fifteenth. This piece makes that job very much harder for them.

    3) Likewise, you may be left with five or six bands who can really get a lot out of it - so how does the adjudicator differentiate? A tenner says they go with what they like/how they played it in 1928 with mickelthwaite porridge works band (and what a band we had back then) not necessarily with what Mr Holst actually put on the score - so the result becomes something of a lottery.
  20. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Might've been in 1954 (or whenever it was written)....not so sure now :)

    I was going to qualify what I just said, but Andi has it pretty much here. IMO its a piece that will test the bands - you could probably judge the whole contest on the 5 or so bars in the middle movement that crescendo from ppp to ff. But having played similar pieces before (Belmont Variations springs to mind, as I said before) I'm resigned to knowing that there will be some horrendously tedious rehearsals during February next year. I also agree that there may well be an awful lot of "also-ran" bands which may make for some quirky results and - heaven forbid - unfair relegations.

    Its a good piece of music. Its probably a good test for the 1st section. However, it is not a good choice for the area.

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