Wych's 4barsrest comments!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by the_special_one, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. the_special_one

    the_special_one New Member

    I agree totally with the comments made by Alan on his recent 4bars interview. The Soprano cornet has a glorious sound. When you here a great sop player the hairs stand on the back of your neck playing a bottom a or a top c or d.It is not an instrument just to be blasted or to hit stupid high notes.No one wants to listen to a screechy noise surely?.Good luck to all the sop players at this weekends open but if you have to put a stupid mouthpiece in to play the notes even if you hit them you have failed!!
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's not just sopranos either....witness some of the, er, more 'esoteric' euphonium parts....

    AEHOWGATE Member

    I agree, I hope It does'nt come down to who jumps through the hoops best! It used to be all about the sound at one time, I hope those days return. I wnjoed it most when they chose a modern work for the nationals and a classic for the open, it used to work really well. Good luck to all competitors.

    AEHOWGATE Member

  5. The piece for the top section nationals this year has a top E for Euph to come in on piano! not just the sops!
  6. Squeaker

    Squeaker Member

    Yeah but that's a top E on a Bb instrument! Trust me when I say a top E on an Eb instrument, particularly sop is far more difficult!
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Don't quite follow your logic there! - there's no intrinsic difference between Eb and Bb instruments as regards playing high notes, but I should imagine it will be harder on a smaller instrument. Peter Graham has certainly written his horns (solo and 1st if I remember) up to top F (actually E# to be correct!) and top Es for Eb bass are not uncommon.

    I think one of the factors in pushing the soprano range up in recent days has been the number of sop players who have also studied trumpet etc, and who do not have the traditional brass band hangups regarding a theoretical "ceiling" above which they should not go.
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    There's always the danger of the composer/arranger pushing the boundaries too far and risk not getting repeat perfomances of that work (or his/her music). It must be remembered that Titan's Progress was specifically written to spotlight the talents of one band, and that sop. player may have been consulted before or during writing.
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    What? Above the stave? :eek:

    The man's a fool. :cool:
  10. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Fully agree with Wych's comments on 4BR.
    Sadly this whole trend is a case of 'Be careful what you wish for'. If the band movement persists in treating contesting as a sport rather than an avenue for making music then this is what is going to happen. It's the musical(?) equivalent of trying to knock another tenth of a second off the 100 metres record.
  11. HornMaster

    HornMaster Member

    Will be interesting to know how many get that on the day!! It's reasonable to expect composers to push the boundaries of range within the context of music-making and the piece itself, in the same way that pieces have challenged and pushed technical ability. However, I'd hope things aren't just being written for the sake of sticking in something ridiculous (and I'm not suggesting for a second that this is the case with Peter Graham's piece).
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I agree with most of the points in the article (linked here, btw), but think he mischaracterises piccolo trumpet playing when he says "but now all I seem to see at times is ever higher and ever louder requirements – writing that has more in common with piccolo playing than traditional soprano playing". Most of the use that the piccolo trumpet gets is in the Baroque repertoire - Bach, Handel, etc.; music where blasting away at high volume is totally inappropriate. Yes, there are more modern piccolo trumpet parts that require lots of power (Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring', for example) - but I'd argue that high-pitched searing is and has been for a long time rather more characteristic of the brass band soprano cornet repertoire than the piccolo trumpet repertoire. Bit of a pot-kettle moment, with all respect for the great Mr Wycherley.
    With respect to range limits - it is my impression that piccolo trumpet parts and soprano cornet parts tend to top out at about the same point - top Dish for Sop, high Gish for picc; the piccolo gets written for more for its sound than its high range - after all, the brass players who go highest - jazz squealers - tend to do it on normal-sized trumpets; you didn't see Maynard picking up a piccolo to hit a double high C...
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    The thing I always question is when the note's there for the music....or when it's there to make it hard....

    ....and, for example, I'm still waiting however many years on for someone to explain the euphonium part for Dove Descending (sorry Prof Wilby) which otherwise contains some really nice stuff.
  14. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    [Pedant hat - on]

    Indeed, but remember that the "Rite" isn't actually a "Piccolo" part at all; it's written for "petite trompette en Ré", or "small/little" trumpet in D. Although many modern performers use the Bb picc for security and safety, it doesn't blend with the other 'C' trumpets as well as a 'D', nor are many players capable of obtaining the power and weight of sound necessary for the style of the music out of a picc.

    I've occasionally heard performances of the "Rite" where a player has been brave enough to use a 'D', and it sounds much better.

    [Pedant hat - off]

    More on topic, I personally very much agree with Mr. W, however I don't think the composers are necessarily to blame, particularly (as someone else already mentioned) with the rise in popularity of the commisioned "own-choice" work for events such as the Europeans. It stands to reason that if a band wants to commision a piece that will show off it's star players' strengths, then they will expect the composer to fully exploit them. If I remember correctly "Titan" was commisioned by BrassBand Osterreich (sp?) who had Florian Klingler on soprano, someone most likely not remotely fazed by the range demands. I think the bigger question has to be whether or not works which originate as own-choice commisions can be considered suitable for use as set-works.
  15. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    If the boundaries are never pushed how will you ever find out what is possible?
  16. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Or perhaps just because it's possible doesn't make it either good or appropriate?
  17. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    I got onto the NYBBGB for Easter 1975. The first time we ran through Kenilworth I couldn't believe what I was hearing from the guy on sop. It isn't a high part but his sound was everywhere. He was sat 20 feet in front of me and his sound was hitting me from all sides. I've never forgotten that revelation - it's got to be what it's all about.
    The guy's name was Wycherley.....
  18. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    but you still won't find out unless you try.

    'good' and 'appropriate' are judgements that anyone can make in their own opinion.
  19. gaussy

    gaussy New Member

    It was Christian Hollensteiner who played the soprano with Brassband Oberoesterreich at the Europeans 2007 in Birmingham.
  20. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    My mistake. It was impressive, whoever ...

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