Who do you think is the greatest brass band composer?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jamie the euph, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. jamie the euph

    jamie the euph New Member

    I think that it is hard to determine a individual greatest brass band composer because they are all good in diffrent ways and because there are so many!e.g Philip Sparke, Peter Graham, George LLoyd,Eric Ball,Herbert Howells, Percy Fletcher,etc

    but i think my overall favourite would have to be Philip Sparke!

    Whats everyone else's opinion?
  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    That's quite freaky!!!

    a) you've got my avatar that john added to the library

    b) this is the same question I asked about 8 months ago!!! :D

    I'll try to find the link ...

    Mine's sparke too (I love Mace)

  3. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Don't think it's really a viable subject for objective debate, however, FWIW, I personally would be hard-pressed to choose between Wilfred Heaton & Ray Steadman-Allen. Allthough they are not overtly similar, I find that there is something in both their harmonic languages that relates to my own musical thinking. Just personal of course (or is it psychological? Now there's an interesting subject for debate........)


  4. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I can think of plently of very BAD composers/arrangers for brass band. Without any libel infnrigements, some of those old air varies are terrible.

    They're great to play though.
  5. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Best composer?

    Well in my opinion it has to be (at least in recent times) Philip Wilby.
    Anybody who can produce pieces of the stunning quality and consistency of Dove Descending, Revelation, Jazz, New Jerusalem, Masquerade etc has to rank amongst one of the finest composers that has ever lived.

    The pictures that Wilby is able to evoke in his music are breathtaking, and the sheer quality and difficulty of the pieces means that when they are played properly (e.g Faireys masquerade 2002) they are just the most amazing pieces of music.

    However i have yet to decide what he has against Euphonium players? :? :D
  6. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    Philip Wilby definately, Paganini and Jazz are excelent and I wish that I could write something like that one day!!!! :D
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I wouldn't know where to begin defining "greatest"!!! IMHO it would have to be someone who can write a good tune as well as push the limits technically, without sounding like they're recycling the same ideas all the time. Tough gig!

    If I had to name 1 person I think it has to be Peter Graham.
  8. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Peter Graham is excellent. Montage is just stunning, however, in my book his works are just too identical.
    We played a Christmas piece tonight and it had sections that were almost identical to Northern Landscapes. To me his works are just that too similar.

    For me Wilby's works are so different and every piece paints a different picture. The moon rising in Masquerade is just the best bit of musical imagery! :D
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Yeah, I agree about Wilby, especially Masquerade, but I think some of his newer stuff is a bit short on tunes, and having to play Leonardo last year put me right off him!!!!
  10. BreadOfHeaven

    BreadOfHeaven Member

    Again something that's difficult to determine who is best, just who is someone's favourite (tastes etc)

    Peter can write some gorgeous melodies (Time for Peace, Blazon, Alderly Edge to name a few) but yeah it's a bit of Cut-and-paste with the main bodies'.

    I'd put Sparke, Ball, RSA and Heaton ahead of the rest. And if I was pushed I'd say Heaton. Just something special about his music
  11. sharpnote

    sharpnote Member

    Wilby is great but the greatest ever were (sorry, two) Eric Ball and Wilf Heaton!! Hands down!

  12. Tpascoe

    Tpascoe New Member

    I would say Eric Ball. I just enjoy his music and his mastery of skills in writing for brass band. Never played anything by him I didn't like.
  13. ted

    ted Member

    I enjoy Philip Sparke's music the most, they're always a joy to play and listen to.

    However, I find Philip Wilby's music the most interesting, you can't really appriciate his music until you hear a piece at least several times. (The last 5 minutes of Revelations is simply stunning!)

    Other of my favourites include
    Derek Bourgeois (I can't believe no one has mentioned him yet!)
    Edward Gregson (Of Men and Mountains is a great piece)

    Out of all the Peter Graham music, I only like Montage. (simple idea behind the whole piece but the combined result is amazing, wish he would write more intelligent pieces like that instead of things like those Something of the Somethings pieces)