RNCM Festival of Brass 2012

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Tubaloo, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Tubaloo

    Tubaloo New Member

    What another fantastic weekend of Brass Music at the RNCM, well done to Ross Knight on his award tonight well deserved!!

    What were other peoples highlights this weekend??
  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Gavin Higgin's Destroy, Trample... was stunning, I thought. Does the brass band finally have its very own 'Rite of Spring'? Possibly. Simon Dobson's Symphony of Colours also highly engaging - a very different musical language to his previous works (a change he recognises himself in his Trombone Concerto which we heard in the final concert). Andy Scott's Spirit of Mingus quite fantastic - what a great bit of theatre at the end!

    I found my attention wandering in the UFO Concerto though. Disappointed to be turned away from the Hardenberger master class (that's a first for me after many years of attendance). The final concert was a a bit of an anticlimax (Dobson Trombone Concerto excepted). And on a sartorial note, could someone at Tredegar have a word with Mr Porthouse - bright red ties are distracting, but not as distracting as brown shoes with a dark suit. The chap must be a bounder!

    Overall though - 4.9 stars out of five.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    re:James Yelland ... if you listened to Cory, what was the Golland work, Bellina, like? It's one that I haven't listened to.
  4. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes, I heard Bellna. Pleasant enough as I recall and nothing to frighten the horses, but it didn't have me on the edge of my seat, as some other pieces did. No doubt repeated listening would allow me to arrive at a more considered view - but when the chance to do so will arise, I don't know. If only the festival was recorded (as I think I may have said before!)

    Cory's soprano player was certainly on the edge of his seat during a fine performance of Prague - the sop flourishes in the first section were so vigorous I feared for his health! Fantastic stuff.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Steve will like that comment. Hopefully more performances will be broadcast this year.
  6. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I fear not. The BBC wagon was only present for Dyke on Friday night, mainly I suspect for the Luke Carver Goss piece commissioned for the Olympic celebrations, and for the final concert which incorporated the Radio Two Young Musician of the Year competition. Things aren't getting any better I'm afraid.
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    A crying shame. Less & less exposure certainly won't encourage people like Judith Bingham to cross over and write for bands. That reminds me, isn't Jimmy MacMillan's commission meant to be completed sometime this year?
  8. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    Just returned to Denmark after my first visit to the RNCM festival.
    I heard every concert and had a great time.

    The highlight of the weekend for me was the Foden concert. Spirit of Mingus was simply fantastic!
    Rex Richardson showed his extraordinary talents in Rextreme - not least his piccolo playing.
    And then there was the recreation of that memorable performance in Festival of Brass 92 of Heatons Partita that showed that Howard Snell hasn't lost his touch. This was probably the finest brass concert I have ever heard.

    Coming a close second (for me) was Cory's concert and HÃ¥kan Hardenbergers recital. Can't really compare these since they were so different. Hardenberger showed why he is regarded by many as one of the finest trumpet players of today. His final piece was simply stunning. The pianist didn't play a single note but simply pressed diffent chords silently to allow the strings to ressonate with the overtones of the trumpet. That gave the most eery atmosphere.

    Cory were stunning also - none more than David Childs in the UFO concerto (a 25 minute solo). I enjoyed the piece very much but I hope that it will be recorded soon, since the soloist got drowned a bit by the band at times, which probably has something to do with the acustics of the concert hall (It happened to all the euph soloist in the weekend).
    I really enjoyed Bellna, but I am also a big fan of Golland (I was rather dissapointed whit Black Dykes version of Sound which to me sounded uninspired and rushed at times - but they had a less than perfect concert to say the least with players unable to make it to the concert due to snow closing the M62 - including their Bass Soloist!).

    Tredegar, Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern and Fairey made great concerts too.

    I will definately be back here next year.

    Most edge of the seat stuff for me was hiring a car in the airport and make it into the afternoon Manchester rush hour traffic being the first time I have ever been driving in the "wrong" side. That was interesting to say the least :sup

    Biggest surprise was the low attendance for the concerts. No concert filled the hall to more than two thirds I would estimate. Are people in the north of England that used to hearing great bands play that they can't be bothered to attend the Festival of Brass?

    Well that was just my thoughts - points: 5.1 out of 5

    Cheers Erik
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Can't speak for the rest of the North of England, but I'd have gone to a few concerts (I normally do) had I not spent the whole of the previous weekend at the Butlins Mineworkers contest (and most of the Sunday before that rehearsing for it) - I suspect that's a factor, although not a full explanation.
  10. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    My comment wasn't ment as a criticism - merely reflecting my mild surprise that the festival wasn't sold out. I am sure that had the festival been placed in scandinavia or other countries where brass banding is present, there would have been red lights weeks before the festival - we are not so used to this level of playing even if these countries have quality bands.
  11. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    In honesty, I think the simple (and sad) explanation is that the majority of players aren't bothered about going to see other bands. Add to that the 'isn't that where they play all that new untuneful rubbish' factor into it, I think you have the answer.
  12. euphoria

    euphoria Member

    I'm sure you are right. I was actually quite surprised to see so many elderly people in the audience (I think I can use this term without offending anyone). It contradicted my preconception that original music is for the younger audience and the older audience is more into the Brass in Concert repertoire.
    I found none of the new music unaccessible and often it was quite tuneful.
  13. sheilakey

    sheilakey New Member

  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Wasn't taken as such, honestly. But given that over 4,000 banders were at Butlins according to 4BR, I coudl imagine that the appetite for another weekend of brass music, even amongst geeks like me, was sated.

    I'm sure you're right, had it been in Bergen or Lucerne I'm sure it would have been sold out months ahead. I also think John has a point about banders not listening to other bands, especially when they're playing music that might be seen as "challenging". Sad but true!
  15. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    I've done the whole weekend of concerts before now but the sad fact is that this year I just couldn't justify spending nearly 100pounds to go to everything, and that's just the tickets.
    I did attend the Fodens concert though which was exceptional from start to finish. A real contrast of styles with all the Jazz in the first half and then a very traditional second.
    One thing to note Euphoria is that I think even the organisers said that audience numbers were down compared to last year. I certainly remember the Friday and Saturday night events being complete sell outs in previous years.
  16. DobX Dave

    DobX Dave Member

    Spot on John.

    Personally I wish to be entertained not educated ~ perhaps the banders/followers this year felt the same and decided not to go ~ programme choice and ticket prices certainly put myself and friends of mine off.
  17. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Obviously down to personal preferences, but I thought this year's programme was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, I can't justify the cost of travelling "oop North", with accommodation etc to be paid for. Nearer to home, and I would have been there!
  18. tonyknowles

    tonyknowles New Member

    I travelled with a friend from Devon to the RNCM and attended all of the concerts of the weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed all of the concerts, even though for me there were one or two pieces that didn't float my boat. However some of the newest compositions were absolutely amazing. Simon Dobson's "Symphony of Colours" and his trombone piece played by Peter Moore were superb (IMO).

    One of the disappointing aspects of the Brass Band scene in Great Britain is that this is the only event where bands put together concerts of any substance. So often I attend concerts around the West of England where leading bands put just one "big" piece on the programme if your are lucky, invariably a romp through the finale of a Tchaikovsky (spelling?) symphony or "The Pines of Rome" or "Procession to the Minster". I shall be hearing Grimethorpe in Torquay on Saturday (with or without Sop ?) and I sincerely hope they will include something more challenging than "Londonderry Air" ! It is a great shame that the jewels in the brass band repetoire are so rarely on show.

    My only slightly negative view of the event is the bias in programming content towards the Euphonium. This is not intended as a slight towards any of the Euph soloists - they were all superb and I thoroughly enjoyed their performances. But is no-one writing substantive works for Cornet these days ?

    I look forward to seeing Paul Hindmarsh's blue print for the 2013 event and hopefully will be able to attend again next year.
  19. garsop_2000

    garsop_2000 Member

    He never fails to amaze me whether British Open or Nationals R.A.H, surely he wins the award for the most Animated Soprano Cornet ever !
  20. jezza23361

    jezza23361 Member

    I would certainly not count myself in amongst those, but the programmes didn't appeal massively to me - I heard the two new big works at the Europeans and enjoyed both - but much of the rest is obscure/not played for a reason in my view. I would have walked to see Howard conduct the Fodens programme however but was busy elsewhere sadly.


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