I have been a little disappointed of late when listening to some of the more recent brass band recordings and contest/concert performances at the moment, I am finding a lot of the top level banding to be a bit 'sterile'. The technical pyrotechnics are played with a clinical style, huge band sounds seem to just be loud and lacking in a warmth, the whispering pianissimo sections infrequently are mute assisted. Some test pieces seem to be music for music sake, which I'm sure are rewarding to play well but leave me feeling somewhat cold. Which leads me on the thread title, in the same way that football is a slightly poorer place due to the larger than life characters, (Best, Gascoigne to name a couple) where are the banding equivalents now - greats such as Clough, Sheppard, Whittam - larger than life figures. (I’m not trying to start an argument about who should or shouldn't be included here...). Will we still be talking about say a performance by David Thornton or Glynn Williams in 15 or 20 years time in the same way that Geoff Whittam’s performance of Le Roi[FONT="] [/FONT]D'Iys has and still is? What will be the next moment that sticks in the memory like Alan Morrison’s Albert hall performance in the gods for Grimey. Is it a society thing where it is now a case where a win by percentages is more important than taking a risk and trying to lift the music of the pages by being slightly more expressive? Hopefully we are seeing a bit of a seed change at the moment where musicality has won over the technicality in one or two contests of late and long may it continue. I only play at a level where I can only dream of being as technically good as the names mentioned above and the post is not meant as a personal slight on anyone but just my feelings on listening to top level banding nowadays.