Which piece to choose ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Eziachco, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Eziachco

    Eziachco New Member

    Hi everybody,

    I'm playing in Brassage Brass Band, a french brass band (yeah it does exist;)) and we're going to compete at this year national french championship (it does exist two) in november.
    We have to play a test piece, a piece that we choose in a restricted list and a own choice one.
    Last year we've played Variations on Laudate Dominum for our restricted choice but this year we don't know which piece to choose because we don't know any of them (in fact we know one : Oregon but we've already played this and I guess it's what you call a cheesy piece).
    So I have selected all the pieces from the composer I know but it still let me with a huge choice. I think you guys can help me to reduce the choice by telling me if you have already played or heard some of them.
    Here is the list :

    Célébration (Eric Ball)
    Little ballet suite (Eric Ball)
    Scottish festival overture (Eric Ball)
    Sunset rhapsody (Eric Ball)
    Brass miniatures (James Curnow)
    Prelude and celebration (James Curnow)
    Adventures in brass (Ray Farr)
    Labour and love (Percy Fletcher)
    Tantallon (Glenesk)
    An Essex overture (Gordon Jacob)
    Second suite for brassband (Gordon Jacob)
    Coriolanus (Cyrill Jenkins)
    Victory (Cyrill Jenkins)
    Three Haworth impressions (Gordon Langford)
    North west passage (Roy Newsome)
    Bel air (Goff Richards)
    Doyen (Goff Richards)
    Rock music (Goff Richards)
    King Lear (Drake Rimmer)
    Othello (Drake Rimmer)
    Fragments for brass band (Trevor Sharpe)
    A celtic suite (Philip Sparke)
    A malvern suite (Philip Sparke)
    A Tameside overture (Philip Sparke)
    Fanfare, romance & finale (Philip Sparke)

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Of course, without knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your band, it would be difficult to recommend a piece. I suppose the best piece would be the one that shows off your band's best points and perhaps hides your band's weak areas. I personally would choose one of the older pieces in the selection. They were written in such a way to highlight the principal players and allow weaker players to enjoy the piece without too much stress! The more modern pieces tend to try and test every chair, which is difficult if you have players of differing abilities.

    Most importantly, WELCOME TO THE MOUTHPIECE!:hi

    There are lots of opinions on here, but as long as everybody remembers that I'm always right, we all get along :biggrin:
  3. simonbassbone

    simonbassbone Member

    Hi and welcome,

    I don't know every piece on your list, but two I really like are Three Haworth Impressions and Sunset Rhapsody.
    Three Haworth Impressions is quiet easy (far easier than Laudate Dominum) and has no big solos.
    Sunset rhapsody is a bit harder and has solos for (from memory) sop, solo cornet, solo horn, euph and Eb Bass. Quite a reflective musical piece, hence the title.

    Good luck.
  4. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    If you did Variations on Laudate Dominum, then (a) you have at least one good Eb bass player, and (b) it sounds as though the standard of your band is probably equivalent to a British 3rd/2nd Section band, at least.
    I seem to remember enjoying doing Othello at a local contest some years ago (unless I'm getting it confused with something else). If I'm right, then your bass section may enjoy it too.
  5. axelo

    axelo Member

    I haven´t played many of the works listed, but I have played "Adventures in Brass" by Ray Farr. Excellent piece! I had the honour to be conducted by him during a band camp in my hometown Jonkoping (in Sweden) where he was the guest conductor. The piece is not very hard, but it´s a really enjoyable piece, both to play and to listen to. Maybe not optimal for a contest, it´s a bit more of a concert piece, but still, it´s a great piece that you at least can recommend your MD to bring into your repertoar!
  6. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Apart from the bits that are a direct crib from Carmina Burana and 'America', which is most of it. Out and out plagiarism. Can't believe he got away with it.
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    You just call it "pastiche" instead ;)
  8. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Ha ha! A bit like the old saying; copying one book is plagiarism, but if you copy from two books, it's 'research'. I think Mr Farr researched his piece well :biggrin:
  9. axelo

    axelo Member

    Well, you´re actually right. He told us in the band that he found it´s "inspiration" from those pieces, and the start is almost a rip off from Carmina Burana, I know. But still, it´s a truly enjoyable piece.
  10. FlugelGirl

    FlugelGirl New Member

    I would probably suggest Adventures in brass OR a celtic suite.

    bryony x
  11. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    From the list I would recommend Sunset Rhapsody. Like a previous post said it is quite difficult for soloists - starts off with a lovely part for Euph and Basses. Tricky Sop part too. It's quite different from a lot of test pieces as it ends very quiet (ie the sun setting) but it's lovely to play and listen to.

    We came 2nd at the 2nd section finals back in 2003 with it so fond memories.
  12. The best pieces on this list, at least in my opinion:

    - Labour and Love (true classic)
    - A malvern suite

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