The Best Test Piece over the last decade

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ian perks, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    In your view what do you think as been the best NEW test piece used at a Contest this decade
    Open/National Final/European/Area/Masters.
    I will start this one off with:
    2009:National Final Championship Section,
    The Torchbearer:clap:
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  2. bassendworld

    bassendworld Member

    St Magnus Euro 2004
  3. ilovespheres

    ilovespheres Member

    Rococo Variations by Edward Gregson

    British Open 08
    Grand Shield '10
  4. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    I have a few in order of preference:

    Extreme Makeover Euros 2005
    Music of the Spheres Euros OC 2004
    Vienna Nights British Open 2006
    Titans Progress British Open 2009
    Within Blue Empires English Nationals 2009
    The Torchbearers NBBGB 2009
    From Ancient Times Euros 2009
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Dances and Alleluias
    Extreme Makeover
    Within Blue Empires
    (in that order for me)

    all separated the bands and were great to listen to over and over
  6. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Within Blue Empires?

    Are you having a laugh? It's a crock of sh!t.

    Extreme Makeover for me....
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    as already mentioned:
    1. Extreme Makeover
    2. St Magnus

    and I'd like to add:
    3. Prague

    other contenders for third place were: Music of the Spheres, Vienna Nights or Journey to the Centre of the Earth, ...
  8. bassendworld

    bassendworld Member

    Been a fair feqw good ones hasn't there and a few Turkeys.

    As mentioned earlier - St Magnus for me but others I have enjoyed are:-

    Extreme Make Over
    Vienna Nights

    On the flip side the most dissapointing un enjoyable day in recent contests was when Maunsell Forts was the Test at the BO.
  9. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Obviously we can agree on EM, but why be so harsh in your criticism of Blue Empires.

    I liked it because 1) It separated the bands at Preston and 2) I listened to it 10 or so times and never got sick of it. In fact, now that the recording is out, I still enjoy listening to it.

    Are you willing to take your balls out of your handbag, not hiding behind some anonymous alias and tell us 1) what is your criteria and 2) why it doesn't match it or are you more likely to 1) crawl back in your hole or 2) (which I'm betting on) throw up more unsupported rubbish just to be mean.

    Discuss groups are great, dissenting opinions are great (as they push along discussion), but not when they are mean, anonymous (which I realise I'm pseudo-anonymous at the moment) and fail to get any legitimate reason except "it's s---!" then you are part of the reason this forum is not as good as it could be.

    Rare (perhaps first) rant from Pat over!
  10. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Sorry, I feel a bit bad as I did not articulate the third (albeit implied option) 3) have a well substantiated arguement on the piece where we may persuade each other or agree to disagree.
  11. euph1991

    euph1991 Member

    I'm with The Torchbearer; cracking piece of music - the best thing about it that as I (and many others) were leaving the albert hall, there was a lot of humming going on of different parts of the piece. Nothing can beat a good tuneful piece! Just a shame fodens didnt win it however.....

    My second choice would have to be Dances and Alleluias
  12. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    In my opinion Within Blue Emipres is sh!t because PLC doesn't really know how to score for a brass band. It has a couple of nice ideas in it that aren't really developed very well and for the most part is too thickly scored and puts parts on instruments that make it difficult for a band to sound in its best light. It's not a piece I enjoyed playing and certainly wouldn't pay money to listen to.

    With all due respect any test piece separates the competing bands (hymn tunes do), so that's hardly a reason to make it good is it?
  13. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    St Magnus
    Extreme Makeover
    Music of the Spheres
    Vienna Nights

    Well done Perks for a proper thread for once, plus you nearly made a post without a smilie in it! :clap:
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Whilst I enjoyed "The Torchbearer" I don't know that it will have the staying power of some of the others mentioned. I also seem to be one of a minority who enjoyed "Maunsell Forts", and wonder whether it should be revived by someone as a concert piece.

    As for my top choices, I would include the following (in no particular order):

    Vienna Nights
    A night to sing
    Titan's progress
    Rococo variations
  15. I think that it has been the poorest decade of brass band writing since the 2nd World War. For the majority of it, the period since 2000 has been dominated by very average composing, but it has produced one gem, which in my opinion is just abou the finest work for brass band, Eden.

    EM is good fun, but I would say that Harrisons D
    ream and Music for Battle Creek were the other two class acts of the decade.
  16. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Harrison's Dream and Extreme Makeover are the two outstanding pieces of the decade as far as I'm concerned.

    BTW - why resrict this to the very top section? Surely there are some decent candidates in the lower sections? Just because a piece is blindingly difficult it doesn't make it good...

    ...or more correctly, just because a piece is not a demi-semi quaver fest it doesn't make it any less worthy as music?

    ...or is this just me being a romatic idiot again?

    (Having said that my two picks are both ****** difficult pieces of music...;))
  17. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    ah yes, how could I have forgotten about Eden...
    I didn't know Harrison's Dream was from this decade as well, so I'll have to include that too.
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Difficult one to call, expecially when you have a look at commissions outside the UK. Endearing tests mentioned already such as Eden, Vienna Nights, Harrison's Dream, St. Magnus & Music Of The Spheres will be heard for quite some time but I prefer the risks John McCabe took when he sculpted the dark hues in The Maunsell Forts.

    Outside the UK there have been some remarkable scores ... Extreme Make-over (Johan de Meij), Klang! (Orjan Matre), Aubade & Cantigas (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen), Ginnungagap...seeming emptiness (Johan Evenepoel), Titan's Progress (Hermann Pallhuber), Grafitti (Knut Vaage) and my favourite, Exergy Re-Revisited (Dag Egil Njaa). This is modern/cotemporary music writing at it's best and provides bands and MDs with plenty to think about trying to master it.
  19. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    Spot on! I adore playing A Kensington Concerto. 1st/2nd section but gorgeous to play and listen to. Beautiful Ball.
  20. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Ian;Ive put in National Final im sure there have been some good lower section pieces picked or if you would like to add Area test piece you can do;)

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