Spectrum - Senior trophy 2009

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thirteen Ball, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    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….
  2. Tubah

    Tubah Member

    On a totally tangential note. Good to see you've come out of retirement. Too young to pack in. Too much wind to go to waste!!

    Stick in and keep blowing.

  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Its so unfair to pay out good money for music to find so many error's in.
    Publishers should check parts before they go out instead of bands having to waste valuable rehearsal time correcting parts.
  4. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Ian, Spectrum was written 40 years ago!! - long before the advent of sophisticated computer programmes.

  5. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    IMHO I dislike Spectrum extremely. I think this is Vinter at his most pretentions and noisy. I didn't like this kind of music in the orchestral world and I personally feel that it doesn't move well onto the brass band sound. It is probably the only piece of his that I don't like.
  6. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I think it's fantastic - I spent the coach journey to the area with a score and my ipod listening to it for a couple of hours just listening to all the detail.
  7. halsasaurus

    halsasaurus Member

    Perhaps I am not as **** as I thought I was! trying to fill in for the 1st Baritone!!!
    Was I playing the right notes in the wrong places or the wrong notes in the even more wrong places and at an inapropriate ff with the horn section as they played at ppp?
    In all of the cofusion I even forgot myself!
    I hope that i am lucky at Blackpool
  8. halsasaurus

    halsasaurus Member

    If the different music parts and score are so at odds with each other and knowing Vinter as I believe I perceive a conspiracy
    Who knows or can verify the 100% correct version?
    That allows the players and the conductor to interact and improvise in several possible combinations!
    This means that we may be chosing between musical performances with the joy of alternative interpretations rather than just harsh technicalities!
  9. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Once again I find myself thinking that surely you have all played this many times over the last 40 yeras and must have found the errors already! How many bands actually need to buy a new set for this contest? (Not enough I suspect to warrant the publisher doing more than a reprint).

    We're beginning to sound like Arsene Wenger - it was the pitch, it was the ref, it was anything other than our own inability to win!
  10. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I refer the honourable members to the answer I gave some months ago ;) (I was referring to Salute to Youth but the same applies here)

    There's absolutely no financial incentive for a new edition. That said, I see no reason why an "official" errata list couldn't be produced and made available - as Andy said, enough bands have played this over the last 40 years for there to be a great many conductors who are familiar with the major errors and whom I'm sure could be induced to type it up for a small fee :rolleyes:

    Can I humbly suggest that you take care changing these? Most Vinter pieces that I've played or conducted have a bit of this sort of "one rhythm in the time of another" effect somewhere in them, it's almost a musical fingerprint of his. The "Fete Basque" movement of Vizcaya, for instance, has precisely the same 6:8/3:4 effect. It's a technique I like to pinch now and again when no-one's looking :oops:
  11. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Aside from the score issues, I believe this to be Vinter at his best.
    It is difficult to understand the criticisms of the piece as a work, as it demonstrates a clear understanding of the path that bands were destined to follow over the next 4 decades.
    The counter-melodies within the Euphonium part are gorgeous and never played better than by LB on the Stanshawe recording from the mid 70s.
    It is extraordinary that the parts still contain errors in print but again, reflective of our inability to communicate our concerns or observations to the right people.
    It will challenge all bands on May 9th, testing every section as well as the conductor.
    Good luck to all.
  12. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Roger ;I know that but publishers should check parts before they reprint them;)
  13. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Very true Vinter's music just leaves you wanting more
    Yes this is a great recording by Stanshawe with LB on Euphonium
    The Euph playing is well TOPDRAW and will take something really special to beat it:clap:
  14. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    fair point, but I'd be willing to bet that most (if not all) the Senior Trophy bands are using old brown sets that have been in their libraries for 20+ years, and not reprints... I know we are!
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Doesn't really matter....as Andy's already pointed out in a much more eloquent fashion than I could, that it's not financially viable for the publishers to reset....so they'd either just use authorised photocopies or the original plates or something.

    The only way round it is to include a new re-inputted and error checked set as parts of the contest entry. It levels the playing field and gets round all the cock ups....but it raises the cost of entry....
  16. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Fair enough points but it does make you wonder how we ever managed before :rolleyes:
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member


    By fixing them in the bandroom and keeping quiet in the hope that the adjudicator will notice and it'll give you an advantage over others.

    Although freedom of information through places like this is a fantastic thing, it also opens up the conversations such as these whereby people are wondering why they're apparently short changed. Previously, the only time you collectively get bandspeople together talking about things like this is in the bar after the contest.....
  18. Scottw

    Scottw Member

  19. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Grief above, seventeen pages!

    I wonder....how long is the score again?

    Regarding the point of "How many bands have played this over the years - havent you found all the errors by now..." etc.

    The only reason we laid in a new copy was because there wasn't one in our library. Not every band has original forty year old parts that have all the corrections helpfully marked on.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  20. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Spot on. Roy Newsome said at a NABBC workshop last year that there have always been these frustrations with errata, but 30 years ago at Black Dyke they used to fix them in the bandroom (using their own common sense and judgement) and keep schtum about them in the hope that other people hadn't spotted them!

    However, that isn't really the point. Just because something's always been cack shouldn't mean that we mindlessly accept it without complaint. We do though, much too often :mad:

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