You may, on occasion, have heard me mention that I don’t really like old-school pieces very much, and that Vinter doesn’t really do it for me. Well, my opinions did start to change after the areas because I very much enjoyed listening to “Salute to youth.” And now, having agreed to do Blackpool with my old band, (because I’m still registered there) I’m really warming to spectrum as well. It appears I may have misjudged the man, based upon some of his… shall we say “less successful” work – and I’m actually rather glad to be able to say that. It’s nice to post something positive about a composer who previously appeared to have written little that I would enjoy. Spectrum is a really, properly good bit of music, and I like it a lot. And I can see why so many people list it amongst their favourites. Now, we’ve already had the debate over the awful quality of parts in “Salute to Youth” at the areas, which was very similar to the chaotic fiasco which accompanied the use of “James Cook – Circumnavigator” at the 2008 first section. Now with “Spectrum” for the senior trophy in a couple of weeks, and having very properly laid in the latest edition of the score and parts…. …once again, the parts are exactly the same as the old set, are littered with mistakes, missing dynamics and articulations, wrong notes and general chaos that saps fifteen minutes out of every rehearsal. Crescendi that are marked over a full bar on the parts are marked over the last three quavers on the score. That is where they appear on the parts at all. The solo euph and second horn yesterday found a 4:4 bar each (both different bars) which had four and a half beats in them – because the beams on the stems were wrong. I’m marked FF for half a page where I should have dynamic changes going down as far as Piannisimo. On another occasion, the basses have an MF marking, followed by four separate Crescendi, which strangely only takes us to Forte. As suspected, two Diminuendi have been omitted from this. I don’t know how much say vinter had in the typesetting of the score either, but the notation clearly runs contrary to the nature of the music on a number of occasions. There are groups of five 4:4 bars where the music is clearly in 5:4 .(I’ll admit he may have decided hemiolic writing was better than a change of time signature – but he’s been perfectly happy to use 6:4 bars in a similar context later on…) Upon reaching the “Blue” section, we are greeted by bars of 3:4 where the beat groupings are clearly in 6:8. So the publisher has either got the time signature, or the groupings wrong… and a change of either would utterly change the feel of the music. It’s not like the publishers haven’t had enough time to fix all these issues. Isn’t it the fortieth anniversary of his death? Isn’t that why we’re playing all this music of his this year? I write music myself and I would be embarrassed to even put out a draft set of parts which contained as many mistakes as this set does. There is, frankly, no excuse. I find it immensely annoying that a piece which has (finally) started to win me over into believing that one of the true banding greats - with whom I've never connected before - DID write some music I can really enjoy after all… is hamstrung by so many needless and eminently correctable publication issues. If this was a piece of software I’d bought which had so many glaring omissions, I would be expecting the manufacturer to issue a free software patch as soon as possible to fix the problems and make it do what it’s designed to. Can we expect a free replacement score and parts? I ain’t holding my breath….