The Lion and The Rose

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bassmittens, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Just wondering if viewpoints have changed on this or if people still don't like it.....

    The more we play it the more I can actually see its a very clever piece. Not perhaps the most listenable-to, but then a lot of medieval music wasn't. Some very nice bits - I love the middle 2 movements and some of the comedy bits as well. Theres a lot of snippets from other stuff in there too.....Greensleeves, Pop goes the Weasel, etc.....

    Shame the Rep player isn't going off stage anymore. We were planning to add to the experience by sending ours to a location near the adjudicators tent......

    Lindon - I heard your band play this at Leicester. Brave choice, especially when there were more "aesthetic" testpieces elsewhere, but certainly a valuable experience for the band - you'll have a certain amount of headstart having played this "out" as its unlikely to feature in many concert programmes.
    Certainly was interesting taking a step back to listen to it, you get far more appreciation than the usual perspective from the middle even with a recording
    bassmittens likes this.
  2. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    Thank you. Yes we went knowing it wasn't the finished article, and playing a 3rd section piece in a 2nd section contest is rarely going to pick up prizes. I wasn't sure if you'd picked up theat were running it out there from previous posts or not (you should've said hi!)

    Likewise, having heard a recording of one of our performances now - i appreciate the piece a lot more, as do the players in the band. It's still very hard to rehearse because of the structure and sounds used within it (and that makes building the overall picture very difficult too), but am glad we got to run it. It did the band a world of good, and while full of basic errors we managed to attempt the "style" i want to aim for.

    It's a good testing piece - perhaps more 2nd section than 3rd (imo), but then Butlins is often that way
    Slider1 likes this.
  3. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    I did see a couple of the band before you played and asked what you were playing - I hoped someone would play it during the day, but no-one in the 3rd or 4th section did. We have entered the Leicester contest the last couple years and used the Butlins piece but half of the band had gone to Brass in Concert so we didn't enter this year. As for saying hello, I would have done but the band I was playing for were on last and I had to go and warm up - will come and say hello at Skeggy, draw permitting :)

    Butlins testpieces seem to vary from the sublime to the ridiculous - we did Goff Richards' "3 Saints" with 2 front row in the first year, "5 French Masters" the following year on the other hand was the other extreme. Last year's "Platform to the Heavens" was arguably more technical than S2 "Fire in the Blood". We generally go for the social element primarily - half the band go on holiday for the 2 weeks over Christmas which means we never get great results there but we generally get good results at the area. But we generally enjoy the pieces selected - this one is now starting to grow as it starts to make more sense......
    bassmittens likes this.
  4. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Nope - still hate it. I thnk the majority of it is musically unpleasant to play and even more unpleasant to listen to. The one or two nice tuneful bits don't go anywhere near making up for the countless untuneful bits.

    As a conductor I'm finding it difficult keeping my sanity considering the number of times I stop and think 'there's a wrong note in there somewhere' only to find it's what's written.

    The adjudicators are going to have a tough time trying to figure out if anyone is playing a wrong note - especially in the totally incomprehensible last movement.

    Just my opinion and good luck to everybody competing in January.
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  5. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Last few days of this guys - and then on to Darkwood..... its been an interesting challenge....
    bassmittens likes this.
  6. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

  7. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    I recall the errata for Hollywood in 1996 (?) being issued less than 2 weeks before the areas and having difficulties retuning our ears to the correct notes
  8. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    How do all the changes and errata affect the adjudicating? They have to know how it sounds when played correctly, and if they get corrections late, that has to affect them too.

    And fff? When I was directing the local band I always made a big speech about dynamics. ff was fortissimo, which is playing as loud as possible while still having good tone and balance while pp was pianissimo which is playing as softly as possible while still producing a decent sound.

    We had one piece marked ffff at the end. I used to tell the band that no such dynamic existed. What did the composer want, everyone blasting a nasty sound?
    bassmittens likes this.
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I can believe you about the big speech !

    However my Professorial lecturial friend (not sure if there is such a word as lecturial but it fits you), FF does not mean "playing as loud as possible" and there is such a dynamic as FFFF but I doubt Americans are capable of it. The same should also be noted about PP. Its not about decibels its about contrasts.

    The old adage of "a tiny bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing indeed" is correct in this instance once again.
    Bbmad likes this.
  10. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Brilliant! ff is playing as loud as possible and there is no such thing as ffff? And a band still let you conduct them?
  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Well, yes perhaps, sometimes; who knows? and who is to say the composer is wrong to demand it? Perhaps you should revisit the full score of Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" symphony and consider some of the dynamic extremes demanded by the composer, a noted master of orchestration ...
    And the literal translation of the Italian "fortissimo" is "very strong'; 'fff' therefore would be "very, very strong", and 'ffff' 'very, very, very strong", and so on. To say there is "no such dynamic" is nonsensical.
    Slider1 likes this.
  12. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    But he is a Yank ;););) (smiley face inserted to demonstrate that a joke was intended)

    I am however expecting a reply that goes into 1000's of words. My T'Interweb also just froze for a second under the weight of research he is now doing prior to typing War and Peace part Deaux !!
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  13. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Really? What is it's musical name? What is it called in Italian? ffff = ????. What does very, very, very strong mean? Sorry Ian, but it has nothing to do with me being an American and probably more with me having a classical music education. I have a music degree and I directed a symphony orchestra for several years.

    I know this board loves to bait me, so I will take it with a grain a salt. Tchaikovsky is modern enough (he did help open Carnegie Hall) that he may have gone away from traditional music notation. I would venture ppp and fff are more of a non-classical style of writing dynamics and probably blamed on Americans. If it is a problem, blame it on the Americans, and if it is different, blame the Americans for being too (dumb, bull-headed, stupid, closed-minded) to understand.

    How would an adjudicator tell ff from fff? If there is one thing I admire about top brass bands is that they play dynamics magnificently. You can only play so loud and sound good. Beyond some point, it sounds nasty.
  14. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    May i suggest that you stop digging now ?
  15. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    You know Ian, conversations around here are becoming fewer and fewer. I paid for an advert before the board was sold and never got an ad. I get the privilege of posting in the sponsor section for my money (yea!). In the last few months, the more involved conversations have been topics I have started or interjected into. I remember when people supported me on this board. Lately, I have been attacked, despite the fact I am always polite. I have been called names, criticized about my writing rather than the point I am making, etc.

    Bdmad said if I didn't believe in ffff I was not qualified to conduct. Hmmm ... It is not about being thick-skinned, I am just tired. Everyone needs friends and supporters. Mike Lyons has always been nice, but honestly, I am tired of being made fun of personally rather than taking on my question or idea. I asked how do the adjudicators adjust to late errata changes. That was skipped for the Olympic Sport of Fox Hunting.
    Accidental and Jack E like this.
  16. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Well, I fail to see where I am digging, but I am stopping. For good.
  17. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    you have not been attacked you have been corrected. You put yourself there. Now put your toys back in the pram and post again.
  18. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    But who says it's always wrong to sound nasty? I very much doubt that Stravinsky intended much of Le Sacre to sound "nice" ...
    There's a lot of angst in Tchaikovsky 6; it was, after all written by someone on the verge of suicide. When he wrote ffff for a full symphony orchestra (4 bars before rehearsal letter 'II' in the 3rd movement) I very much doubt that he expected it to sound pleasant. I don't believe 'nice' was the emotion he was trying to convey. I've heard several top-class international orchestras (including the notorious Chicago Symphony brass) live and up close, playing right on the upper limit of dynamic control, and it's not always "nice". It's exciting, but not pleasant. But music isn't always supposed to be pleasant. Sometimes it deals with ugly emotions, and the sound sometimes has to reflect that. Personally I don't have a problem with that.
  19. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    S**t. Most lower section players genuinely fear pp, but pppp would perhaps mean a mass exodus from banding?!?!?!
  20. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Er, fortissississimo; where's the problem? And, yes it is in the dictionary: OnMusic Dictionary - Term
    Slider1 likes this.

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