Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Dave Payn, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Well, ARE our best bands losing the ability to play pianissimo or piano, or indeed simply ignoring the idea of playing quietly? Is playing 'safe and split free' the order of the day now or is Mr Wise not so? (I wasn't at the Open so to those that went... does he have a point?). It'd be interesting to hear tMPers' views on this.

  2. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Hell No!!! March this year, Tristan Encounters, YBS & Leyland!!! Both extremely quiet and well controlled performances!!!
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think he definitely does have a point. Very few bands on Saturday seemed willing to take risks and play as quietly as marked, particularly at the bottom end of the band. One of the many joys of Saturday night and Sunday's concert performances was that the bands were ready - and more than able - to play really quietly. I'm not saying it applied to all the bands, but one or two who were placed fairly high I had put lower down for not observing the quieter dynamics properly.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2004
  4. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Bands To LOUD?

    I was also at the OPEN SATURDAY.
    A few bands did not get down to p,pp/ppp where marked.
    One Band could not even play the SECOND BAR TOGETHER of Contest Music!!
    And these are the bands who should be able to do that.
    I did hear ALL THE BANDS.:-D
  5. JR

    JR Member

    Jeremy Wise is quite correct - I have written to 4br to agree with him (by the way is he still conducting ?)
    Just about the only time a real pp is heard is when top bands are cup or harmon muted e.g. Tristan - Or worse still, bucket muted when the passage is marked "open" - therein lies another thread methinks..
    The safety first approach has taken hold over the last decade or so. Conductors are less willing to take risks because there is more at stake
    In fact bands are prepared to go to some pretty extreme lengths to sound louder not softer! - witness the much criticised "turning out" antics at the Grand Shield
    In general bands are louder these days in all dynamics - perhaps the "electrifying pianissimo" of CWS Manchester under Alex Mortimer circa 1961 will never be replicated - maybe it just isnt possible nowadays on modern large bore instruments...

    john roberts
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Except that all four bands in the Sunday gala concert produced some really quiet playing that had the audience on the edge of their seats. As for an "electrifying pianissimo" on the contest stage, I remember Dyke on "Between the moon & Mexico" being really special - but being placed down in fifth place.
  7. JR

    JR Member

    You're right about dyke but they were criticised for being almost inaudible by the judges - i remember this because i conducted EYMS to 10th place on the same day
    The passage you refer to though was again a muted one

    john r

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