Regionals 2010 : Fourth Section Test Piece - Saint-Saëns Variations

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

  1. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I had my first blow through the piece with a band last night, and I really like it. There's plenty of the original in there but with a Sparkean twist. And this year I'll be mostly playing....?
  2. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    I'm pleased Mr. Sparke has left most of the orchestral symphony intact; – I’m aware he would respect the need to retain musical architecture, in order to capture the valuable essence of the variations. Like a lot of Sparkean work, it stands out when it is played with the intended musical style – I know that sounds a tad vague.
    As a trumpet player and general brass player, I can relate with this great testpeice and I feel Saint-Saëns Variations (Philip Sparke) is well executed as a testing piece. What is significant is that this tests all players’ ability in different ways. :D

    The solo cornet part is relatively simple for most while remaining interesting. However I’m unsure that cornet players in lower section bands are consciously aware; the trumpet drills are important, not just to this piece of music, but for specific purposes such as warming up before practicing, as are the long tones and scales.
    A good and proper tutor of trumpet will teach this from the outset. Articulating these phrasings the way a trumpet player would play them is crucial.:tup

    I haven’t fully listened to the recording of Cory band', though what I would like to say to aspiring musicians and bands is; because it is performed by that particular band, this doesn’t mean to say that this is how the rehearsed piece should be performed.
    Use a tad bit of your own imagination, feeling and soul toward performing the classical Saint-Saëns Variations.;)
  3. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    This is the first thing that popped into my head when I had a blow through it on sunday...couldn't remember who it was that sang this version so thanks for that! Reached number 3 in 1977...showing my age :tongue:

    I enjoyed it apart from getting lost in the middle of the piece which was due to a combination of poor sight reading and a lack of familiarisation to the stick wagger in residence ;-)
  4. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    Ha ha ha, yeah your age is being revealed now Rob! It's strange this 70's take is distantly familiar…. I wonder if it must be on my mums old Saudi Arabia pirate copy Dolby cassette tapes?! There must be several hundred old tapes in my parent’s house from this era. :clap:
  5. Elliebone

    Elliebone Member

    Hey, forgot the key technique - never look up!!! :p
  6. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    The Saint-Saëns Metamorphosis is growing in my head rapidly now. I’m well in the mood!:cool: (bar 18 solo cornet) “de dah de dah da da de da…”. dotted (p) with subtlety

    Cornet plays – BLAST those drills (bar 92 +) out like fanfare trumpets, (ff) and again at 520 (Maestoso) make those chords with the G sharp (after 536) discordant and frighten people like a person possessed playing a pipe organ!:tup Smash those cymbals! (Wherever marked)

    A bit of a theme at 194 and then; - (bar 219) “de dah de dah da da de da” (dotted quavers)

    304 Transformation (bit of tension and drama going here; band in unison)

    Goodness I’m off now!:eek:

    And finally (565) VIVACE! Marked 100.

    In a nutshell!;)

    Exciting stuff; - I’ve gone doolally over Saint- Saëns!:D

    GUTBUCKET New Member

    Re bars 434 to 475, if you've got Sibelius, type in these bars then go into plugins>accidentals and respell sharps as flats, you get a much more readable, and hence playable copy ( or you could do it on ms by hand, but I hate playing from ms
  8. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    But it is minim=100 therefore crotchet=200, so Vivace indeed if not Presto!! :D
  9. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    My thoughts exactly; so why are there bands playing it at 100?:confused:
  10. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    (A rhetorical question)
  11. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I forgot my band were playing it minim = 100 not crotchet....ignore me :)

    Piece is going ok and i'm still liking it (a first in the run up to the area) but that scherzo variation towards the end is still tricky!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  12. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Active Member

    I heard our B Band play it in a concert last night. Its lovely to sit and listen to it. Wish we were playing it. They are finding it a little tricky in places although the Euph and Cornet nailed their solos very well.
  13. Elliebone

    Elliebone Member

    We are playing it at Stocksbridge Band Club tonight....oh well... it's a run out on it but I'm sure glad the contest isn't tomorrow! Supporters and hecklers welcome - see you there 8pm :)
  14. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    The Haworth Bands concert rendition was also very good over in Halifax last night. It gave me a chance to listen to each of the testpieces the Yorkshire bands will be performing on the day
  15. E flat fred

    E flat fred Member

    Off now to hear the favourites for the 4th Section in the N.W.tonight. Boarhurst Band Club.
    Plus the other sections being played bu digfferent bands. Hoping to learn how to play it tonight. 2 more weeks to go and then it will all be over apart from the recriminations and the adjudicators comments.
    It will all be perfect tonight.
    No PRESSURE at all.
    Just a normal concert
  16. E flat fred

    E flat fred Member

    Excellent comments from the adjudicator after the first band played.
    He stated that these were the events he liked to judge at.
    5 Sections.
    5 Bands.
    All winners.
    He will still be everyones friend at the end of the night.
    Good turn out.
    Hall packed standing room only and overflow rooms also full.
    Thanks for an educating and a very pleasant evening.
    Met a lot of wonderful people.
    Bands people and non bands people.
    Very well organised.
    Thanks a million.
  17. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Worsborough Brass (4th section) and Barnsley Building Society Band (2nd section) gave a run out of the test pieces on Friday 26/02/10 to a packed hall at Tankersley Welfare Hall. John Roberts was the adjudicator/comment giver.

    A week to go and I guess both bands have got some useful directions to hone the piece for next weekends contest.

    Dronfield did a run out of Saint Saen as part of a concert at City of Sheffield's Band Club night at Niagara Conference Centre too - not sure if we got any written remarks, but there were plenty of "adjudicators" in ;)
  18. IJK

    IJK Member

    I dont know what you mean Fran???
  19. Elliebone

    Elliebone Member

    I'm sure I saw you writing remarks Ian!! :)
    What did you think to the rest of the programme??
  20. IJK

    IJK Member

    Hi Helen yes I only wrote remarks as John asked. I wasnt going to as was there mainly to see the venue and the format as we are there later in the year. But as John said there is still 2 weeks left before the area and it was good to have a run out of the test piece. I am only disappointed that we couldnt have our run out at NEMBBA a few weeks ago.

    As for the Programme John said you guys are playing not a 4th section program which I agree and you guys only put the programme together at the last minute so you know as a good band should what was good and what didnt come off 100% right but it was a good programme. It is always hard playing a concert to band geeks (I class myself as one) and not your standard audience who dont listen to a band every week

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