RNCM Festival in Janury - well worth a visit?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by johnflugel, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    The RNCM Festival of Brass is taking place next month - for me, this one of the best opportunties to hear most of the best bands in the world, playing great music in an intimate venue (if you like that sort of thing!).

    This festival needs more support from the banding public....most of the concerts I attended last year were not more than two thirds full. Just seen the full programme and for those who don't really enjoy contests but like hearing our top bands play substantial works, then this festival could be for you. Give it a go!

    What does everyone think to the programme? If you haven't been before, will you make the trip this time?

    Dates, times & programmes are below:
    FRI 21.01.05 19.30
    Tippett (arr. Howarth) Praeludium for brass and bells
    Tippett - Festal Brass with Blues
    Beethoven - Sonata in F major Op. 28 [Pastoral](arr. Howarth)
    Howarth - Concerto for tenor horn and band Soloist: Sandy Smith [World Premiere]
    Delius (arr. Warlock) - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
    Gregson - Connotations

    SAT 22.01.05: 12.00
    Conducted by James Gourlay and John Miller
    Bliss - Greetings to a city
    McCabe - Desert II Horizon
    Rautavaara - Playgrounds for Angels
    Howarth -Mosaic
    Birtwistle - Grimethorpe Aria
    Gregson - Essay
    Richard Strauss - Festmusik der Stadt Wien

    SAT 22.01.05: 15.00
    Buy As You View Cory Band/ R. Childs
    Dvorak (arr. Brand) - Carnival
    Howarth - Stories of Saroyan
    Euphonium soloist: David Childs
    Pickard - Tsunami
    Ireland - A Downland Suite
    Gregson - Of Men and Mountains

    22.01.05: 19.30
    Gregson - Concerto for French Horn and Brass Band
    Soloist: Jeff Nelsen
    Henze - Ragtime and Habaneras
    Wagner (arr. Owen) - Prelude to Tristan
    Howarth - In Memoriam R.K.
    McCabe - Cloudcatcher Fells

    SUN 23.01.05: 12.00
    BRIGHOUSE and RASTRICK / Gourlay
    Howarth - Ascendit in
    Coeli George Benjamin - Altitude
    Gregson - Tuba Concerto
    James Gourlay(soloist)Gregson(conducting)
    Walton (arr.Howarth) - Spitfire Prelude and Fugue
    McCabe - Salamander
    Elgar - Severn Suite (first published version)

    23.01.05: 15.00

    Programme feature a new work by Kevin Norbury, On Ratcliff Highway, My Strenth my Tower

    23.01.05: 19.30
    Gregson - Processional
    Howarth - Fireworks
    Howarth - Trombone Concerto
    Soloist: Brett Baker
    Gregson - Age of Kings
    Dances and Arias
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ...very pleased to see Elgar Howarth get appreciated in this way. His new tenor horn concerto should be really interesting to hear. I wonder if Dyke are going to use a narrator for their performance of Fireworks? I don't know his new euph work, Stories of Saroyan, ... so maybe a second premiere? Shame that Howarth's arrangement of Takemitsu's Garden Rain wasn't included too, then all the works from one of the best brass band albums of all time (Grimethorpe Special, 1977) would be in the festival in complete form!
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    "Stories of Saroyan" was broadcast by the BBC a little while back, but I don't recall who the soloist was. The festival looks to have a great programme this time, but I shan't make it up to Manchester, and I don't think any broadcasts are planned.
  4. WorldofBrass.com

    WorldofBrass.com Active Member

    I understand that the RNCM has been refurbished in recent months.

    The World of Brass trade stand will be on the first level concourse as a result.
    We should have a couple of new releases for that weekend and I'll let you know about those in the new year.
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    The broadcast was from Grimethorpe's concert on the South Bank last year. Unfortunately, the name of Grimethorpe's principal euph escapes me......
  6. WorldofBrass.com

    WorldofBrass.com Active Member

    Michael Dodd
  7. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    I was there last year, and it was a terrific event. I got my tickets for this year as soon as they went on sale, and I'm there for the long haul (Friday to Sunday inclusive).
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Since the series is a sort of tribute to Gary Howarth, I noticed that the ISB doesn't have a full listing of their concert in the first post. Are they joining in the fun and playing one of his works? Maybe Hymns At Heaven's Gate? Or is the Kevin Norbury premiere some sort of appraisal of his music?
  9. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    According to the December edition of Brass Band World, the ISB will be playing "Five Folk Songs for mezzo soprano and band" by Elgar Howarth. A strange-sounding choice for an SA band!

    I would have thought that they would have chosen to play "The Bandsman's Tale", written by Elgar Howarth to mark the retirement of a long-serving Salvationist relation of his from Cardiff Canton SA Band. A very good piece (aren't they all?) but then I suppose they probably wanted to avoid doing the obvious.

    Also according to BBW, the Kevin Norbury piece is called "Rhapsody on a Theme by Purcell". They will also play 3 pieces by Edward Gregson - "Dalero", "Symphonic Rhapsody for Euphonium and Band" and "Variations on Laudate Dominum". The rest of the programme (if BBW is correct) will consist of "My Strength my Tower" (Dean Goffin), "Glorifico Aeternam" (Dean Jones), "Shekinah" (Kenneth Downie), and "On Ratcliffe Highway" (Ray Steadman-Allen).
  10. jonford

    jonford Member

    Looks like a good festival, may go to some of it but doubt I'll be able to afford it all anyway!
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Yeh, it is a shame that 'The Bandsman's Tale' wasn't included but maybe it had something to do with the jazzy electric piano interlude?

    post-edit ... oops! called the piece 'The Soldier's Tale' (Stravinksy) in my original post! (I wonder why? :rolleyes: )
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Yes, the new colour-scheme is simply delightful :-? looks like a painter from the smartcar factory has escaped!
  13. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    What prices are the tickets?
  14. jonford

    jonford Member

    From the RNCM website:

    [size=-1]Single Tickets: £9.50 (£8.50) Children: £5.00 Day Tickets: £20.00 (£17.50) Children: £10.00 Weekend Tickets: £39.00 (£37.00) Children: £20.00[/size]

    Not too bad I suppose but I think it becomes expensive for a family
  15. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I can't help thinking, sadly, that the rather poor attendance indicates that the majority of band followers are less interested in the quality band repertoire than competition and knock-about entertainment (which have their place). Let's hope non-banding musicians are attracted to what's on offer. It seems a shame (or shameful) that the BBC, having dropped their original sponsorship of the festival, still don't think it worthwhile to record the event. (Does Radio 3 have a problem with brass bands?) If only I lived nearer....
  16. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    Looks correct to me apart from the slight (BBW?) mispellings of Dalaro (should have those funny two dots above the 'o' also!) and On Ratcliff Highway.
    Elgar Howarth came to our rehearsal a couple of weeks ago to rehearse the folk songs with the singer and band. I'm afraid that I can't remember her name but she has worked with Mr Howarth in opera and it was clear that they had a good rapport.
    I would have liked to have played Acendit in Coeli by Mr Howarth. I recall hearing the piece for the first time in 1980 (I think) when Grimethorpe came to Tunbridge Wells and remember being knocked out by the whole night!
  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It's a bit of a shame that no recording of the RNCM Festival has been arranged since the Beeb pulled out. With the Doyen mobile travelling to various contests throughout Europe, you would have thought that this momentous occasion could be captured for those who cannot make it there.

    Carl, I take it from your comments that Elgar Howarth will be conducting his own work with the ISB?
  18. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    We went last year. The Festival was fantastic. It is probably what put us over the edge and got us to move to England.

    We plan on attending again this year (Although we will risk attaining groupie status with Dyke and Fodens)

    I would recommend to all to come!!
  19. cornetkate

    cornetkate Member


    Sounds like a great weekend but it's the same time as Butlins :-(

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Quite a demanding show getting put on by the RNCM brass, including one of my favourite PJBE works. Playgrounds For Angels by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. That, with the 10-piece Desert II Horizon (McCabe) joined with the band's contribution Grimethorpe Aria (Birtwhistle) will make it quite challenging for a traditionally minded bander's ear!

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