St. Magnus- your thoughts

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ali, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Ali

    Ali Member

    Have just seen that St.Magnus has been chosen for the top setion at Butlins early next year. Just wanted to know peoples thoughts and opinions about this as its very new and not many will have played it.

    GINSTER New Member

    St Magnus

    I Think Its A Great Choice Haven't Played It Myself But Have Listened To It Over And Over. It Sounds Technically Tricky And Beleive It Uses A Vast Array Of Percussion. In Fact The Xylo Part Sounds Fabulous.

    Thank God I Don't Play Percussion!!!!! Mind You I Haven't Seen The Cornet Parts Yet.

    Its One Of Them The More You Here It The More You Seem To Get Out Of The Piece.
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    It will certainly test the bands, not least the percussion section. The opening is quite deceptive, and caught a few out at the Europeans. Good to see it getting wider exposure so soon.
  4. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    I'd verge on the "too hard" side after playing it at the Europeans. I know my current band would struggle with it!

    Couple of nice Eb and BBb solos though.
  5. brass journo

    brass journo Member

    marvelous piece - extremely hard.

    we played it in New Zealand and played it really well (and I have the recording to prove it to any doubters!!!!). It took alot of work though and it takes quite a bit of brain power - a lot of individual work needed - you can't just rely on band rehearsals to get you through it!

    An excellent choice - I'm just peeved we are back in the 1st section from January!! typical!!!

  6. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    I think its a rather interesting choice - Europeans, Open, now Butlins, dont get me wrong, it is a superb piece of music, but maybe a tad on the difficult side, and maybe too soon?
  7. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    I agree that its a good piece but also think it maybe getting a bit too much exposure.

    On the subject of the remaining Butlins Test Pieces, I think the music selection panel need commending for taking the steps to include new pieces for the lower sections. Both Peter Meechan (Purcell Variants) and Ian Raynor (A Cavendish Suite) have both had pieces chosen for the 3rd and 4th sections respectively. Both are members of tMP too!

    Well done chaps.

  8. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Purcell Variants is actually the 1st Section piece!

    Full list of test-pieces here:

    Can we keep that thread for general comments about the test-piece choices and perhaps leave this to discuss the merits of St. Magnus, which incidentally, I absolutely love as a piece, but also feel that it is in grave danger of being over-used so soon after it's debut.
  9. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Why is this a problem?

    What we have here, in St. Magnus, is a fantastic contest test piece. I was at the European and listened to every band - and would do the same again.

    St Magnus deserves to become the "standard" contest piece that every band plays. Yes, it's difficult, but isn't a championship test piece supposed to be.

    St. Magnus is so good perhaps it should be considered as an Area test piece or even the Finals piece. Now THAT would sort the bands.

  10. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    I'm not saying it's a problem Matt, just that so soon after the Europeans it was chosen at the Open, admittedly not too many bands chose to play it, and now again it is chosen as a test-piece. Three times in about 14 months.

    Don't get me wrong - I think it's an excellent piece, one of the very best to come out i nthe last few years imo, but surely three times as a chosen test in such a short time is taking things a bit too far.
  11. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Yeah, I feel this too. St Magnus is one of the few pieces I could listen to all day, BUT there are so many other pieces to choose from, with equal merits. IMHO, i thought it should be an area piece (although of course it could yet be!) either in 2006 or 2007, just for a break. Three times in 14/15 months is a bit much.

    It is certainly a piece that will be a "standard" selection for the top bands for a long time.
  12. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    It would be a bit much if the piece was chosen for contests where the same bands would be competing - but that isn't really the case. How many bands who competed in the European also competed in the Open on St Magnus who are also competing at Butlins on St Magnus - very few, I would think.

    So, if an Association hears a piece and thinks "that would be great as a set piece for our next contest" - why should it be considered as "over exposure". Would we have said the same in the era of Eric Ball and Gilbert Vinter or even Philip Sparke and Edward Gregson - I don't think so.
  13. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Look at it from the other side too - how many have been in the audience at all the contests? How long will they put up with hearing the same piece over and over - no matter how good? We're already talking about dwindling audiences at our contests - does this sort of choice help matters?

    We're not that 'unoriginal' a movement to have to keep sticking to the same 'flavours of the month' are we?
  14. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Yea - good point - BUT - the members of the audience who have attended all three contests probably wouldn't have minded hearing St Magnus as the test piece. And those that were attending for the first time - hearing St Magnus would probably have encouraged them to attend more contests.

    I'm not saying that other pieces wouldn't have the same effect but using St Magnus would not have a detrimental effect on audiences. In other words - I am a Butlins virgin, but now I know that St Magnus is the test piece I am far more enticed to go.
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It's a great piece of writing and will certainly sort out competing bands on the day. I'm rather surprised that another great work, 'Isaiah 40' hasn't come back for a competition like this.
  16. Big Gav

    Big Gav Member

    I think it's a great choice. It is a difficult piece but this is a good thing in my opinion as it stretches the abilities of the bands. Being exposed to difficult music will improve players reading. Let's not forget the MDs either! There's a lot of maths to work out here, so get your calculators out!

    Gavin Saynor
  17. Mrs Fruity

    Mrs Fruity Member

    I enjoyed playing St Magnus at the Open last year, mainly because the 2nd horn part is as interesting as the other two (which is nice, for a change) but also because it's a challenging piece to put together and enjoyable to rehearse. Have fun, everyone (especially in that mathematical bit!) ;)
  18. LeDragon

    LeDragon Active Member

    I've never played or even heard St. Magnus, but after reading the comments here, i'm really looking forward to getting stuck into it for Butlins!
  19. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    If you were wanting a copy of St. Magnus to listen to, it's availiable from worldofbrass on either the Amsterdam Staff Band Cd Exultation, The British Open 2004 dvd with Buy as you view playing, or on the European Champs with YBS playing. Sales pitch over!
  20. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The Amsterdam Staff Band's "St Magnus" is by Ray Steadman Allen, not the Kenneth Downie one.

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