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Di
06.10.2009, 12:18
Discussion thread for the Regionals 2010
Fourth Section Test Piece


Saint-SaŽns Variations (Philip Sparke)
Published by Anglo Music Press.

:)

sopranoplayer
09.10.2009, 10:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWxkv3fPsag&feature=player_embedded

:p

Tubamutha
09.10.2009, 11:36
Love the Organ concerto, love the mice arrangement, think I will love the test piece - a big thanks to everyone who made this possible!

euphalogy
09.10.2009, 21:58
Another excellent piece of music from the pen of Mr Sparke, wonderful choice!!

Frontman
09.10.2009, 23:08
I am very pleased with this choice of piece for the 4th section. At least band will have something strong enough to get there teeth into as well as difficult enough to make it a very interesting competition.

Congratulations to the Music Panel for an excellent choice.

Columbo
10.10.2009, 15:14
I like this one too. Good luck Dave . The band is settled now and more than capable of making this special and should enjoy rehearsing it also.

skweeky
17.10.2009, 14:13
I know most people will recognise the organ symphony but it has been bugging me all week about what film I remember it featuring in. It's BABE!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyqjN8Au8QI

Sorry about the rush of excitement but that's all I can think of when listening to the piece now!

stickwaggler Al
19.10.2009, 15:33
Received my copy of the score at the weekend. Looks good. Looking forward to it!

MartinBen
19.10.2009, 22:10
Played it through tonight and I can see some 4th Section Bands really struggling with this piece just like The Talisman from this year.

Makes me wonder how many bands will actually bother to go to the areas - they may well take one look at the piece and decide it is beyond them - why flog it to death if they know the band won't be able to play it well?

My prediction for the Midlands Area is for an all-time low for the number of bands entering the 4th Section but we shall see.

MrBb
27.10.2009, 13:24
Played this for the 1st time last night and......


What a pile of rubbish! repetitive boring drivel with absolutely nothing in it for 8 PAGES! It's another example of picking a piece by a "known" composer that's resting on their laurels from the couple of piece that they have done that were genius.

Save the tree's... Stop Philip Sparke writing anything ever again!

Even Taliban was better than this.

batonwaggler
27.10.2009, 16:33
I take it MrBb that you are a master composer and have written pieces that can be remembered. When you say itsa pile of rubbish You mean you cant play it right yet. Shame your not in our area, at least you would make it easier for us. Maybe you should consult with composers and ask why they wrote the rubbish then you may enjoy it more.
What have you played of his music.

MrBb
27.10.2009, 16:51
When you say its a pile of rubbish You mean you cant play it right yet.

PMSL ROFLMAO i like how you think that "not liking" equates to not being able to play it, is that how you judge a piece of music?

I personal go for how it sounds, does it have those WOW moments in it that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Could i sit down and listen to it 10/ 15 / 20 times at the area an listen to it and enjoy everyone's own interpretation of it, and most of all, what's in it for me as a musician.

Go and listen to Purcell Variations by Kenneth Downie, thats a tests piece, fantastic melody, great solo in it, that massive bit where its like a bag of flower hitting the floor in slow motion. simply brilliant!

Getzonica
28.10.2009, 15:45
Even Taliban was better than this.

Don't you mean the Taslisman?

Alyn James
28.10.2009, 16:27
OH MY GAWD!!!:biggrin:
This thread is gloriously nuts! I love it!!!
Keep it up - Mr Sparke must be LHSHAO!!. :clap:

MrsDoyle
30.10.2009, 14:56
I looked at it last night - and first impressions:

Lovely piece - the Organ Symphony was beautiful in the first place, but dare I say it the variations add something. And - wait for it - a test piece with a tune!

Difficulty - it strikes me as being quite easy, apart from the Molto Vivo section at crotchet = 240, which is terrifying.

Overall, the nicest test piece I've ever played. :)


Don't you mean the Taslisman?

I think it was a joke :rolleyes:

Andrew Norman
30.10.2009, 17:14
Go and listen to Purcell Variations by Kenneth Downie, thats a tests piece, fantastic melody, great solo in it, that massive bit where its like a bag of flower hitting the floor in slow motion. simply brilliant!



We are talking about a Fourth Section Test Piece - As far as I can see Purcell Variations hasn't made it down that far yet....
From listening to the Saint-Saens and looking at the score I think it's going to be good to play and useful as a Concert item too.
Looking forward to a blow through next week.

..JB..
31.10.2009, 18:14
What do people think of the recording of the test piece.

skweeky
01.11.2009, 20:57
I think it a fantastic piece. Start with a beautiful piece of music by an amazing composer, score it for brass band and add the Sparke flair... put it in a pot and BANG, you have genius! I think I have listened to it around 60 times! There are tricky bits in it, but individuals should find it easy to play. Getting it to gel like one organist playing will be the hardest part! I'm looking forward to contesting on it!

Bb! Who ruffled your feathers? I think you are going a bit overboard with your negative comments. How about "I dont like the piece, because...." not "I HATE MY PART; I DON'T PLAY ANYTHING FOR 8 PAGES" - Play an interesting instument then dude!

KMJ Recordings
01.11.2009, 20:58
What do people think of the recording of the test piece.

What do you think of it?

..JB..
02.11.2009, 07:48
I dont think its the best recording ive heard . The more i listen to it the more tempos and tuning seem to be wandering. Some of the entries seem just slightly out i hope its not written be be that way .Is it just me who thinks this?

Frontman
10.11.2009, 22:34
The discussion regarding the playing of the Regional CD always comes about at this time of year. People have to remember that the pieces that are recorded are never exact and have always been played as a concert performance with only the shortest amount of rehearsal time. However, why, because Cory have recorded it, do people think that it is as it should be played?

Some bands and conductors are already thinking that because of the pedigree of the band who recorded it, it must be correct. I cannot rememeber how many band players and even conductors who I have spoken too, actually believe that the tempo's etc must be right and as a result thats how they are already rehearsing it. How sad....

euphalogy
13.11.2009, 20:28
I have had the pleasure of the Midlands Area for the last 5 years............ Anglian Dances (OK) The Seasons (xlent) Four Cities Symphony (cut n paste twaddle) The Talisman ( Err!!) and 2010 Saint Saens Variations............... The Wilby piece was a joy to rehearse (remember 4th section) with players of varying talents, age, experience, skills and attention spans, and i am of the opinion that 2010 choice is an inspired one given the basic requirements in the 4th section.
It will be interesting and entertaining to hear and witness which bands can play fast AND QUIET at the same time, and i suggest that the earlier correspondent practices that during his 8 pages of doing nothing. Then his trip wont be wasted!! Bravo, excellent music

Getzonica
03.12.2009, 21:38
I personally think the test piece is a bit repetitive. This is my view after sight reading it at band a few days ago.

popmills
06.12.2009, 09:43
I for one have never enjoyed contesting but have gone allong with it out of loyalty to the band. In the past I have sat through a rehersal without playing a note and would have been happier watching TV. After Fokstone I decided to quit contesting then they put this piece in front of me. I enjoyed this and have decided to give contesting one more try. If rehersals are not structured I may revert to my earlier decission

Martin
07.12.2009, 12:41
I for one have never enjoyed contesting but have gone allong with it out of loyalty to the band. In the past I have sat through a rehersal without playing a note and would have been happier watching TV. After Fokstone I decided to quit contesting then they put this piece in front of me. I enjoyed this and have decided to give contesting one more try. If rehersals are not structured I may revert to my earlier decission

Good for you, Baz.

Why don't you speak to Paul and ask what his intended rehearsal plan is. Explain how you feel and he may arrange it to avoid any unnecessary gaps. Not only that, now you are on Euph, the part will probably be busier.:)

Cornet Nev.
11.12.2009, 21:22
Listening around playing, or at least trying to play my own part, I think overall it is a great piece of music.
Skweeky said " Getting it to gel like one organist playing will be the hardest part!" is correct in my opinion. The actual notes aren't difficult, it is getting them in the right place.
With all the rests, some a few beats, some for many bars, all a matter of counting. In fact for us on the back row, I will say that it is not a test of how well you play the notes, it is more a test of "Do you know where we are?"

on_castors
16.12.2009, 18:16
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWxkv3fPsag&feature=player_embedded

:p

It was plagiarised long before that.....

Yvonne Kelley and Scott Fitzgerald.......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCvrpy8LwU

Still, it got me to listen to the original years before I would have heard it otherwise, and as bad as the overall sound is, I have a strange "draw" to the reggae style Bass line, and just wonder whether or not it would sound OK as a Brass band arrangement! (perhaps I just need treatment?) :rolleyes:

E flat fred
17.12.2009, 12:28
reply to cornet Nev.
Perhaps that is the reason you are on the back row

fretty
18.12.2009, 21:27
...What a pile of rubbish! repetitive boring drivel with absolutely nothing in it for 8 PAGES!

This comment coupled with the fact you are playing Principal Cornet tells me exactly your assumptions.

From both listening to and playing this piece, I can tell the Principal cornet part isnt exactly the bulk of the piece, mainly that part has all the "twiddly bits" that are more important to the fitting together of the piece rather than the music itself.

So it is obvious that the assumption you are making is that just because you dont have the "tune" or aren't getting featured much, the piece must be rubbish, repetitive and not comparable to the real thing. If this is the case then how do you think players on low positions feel having to play the same old minims etc piece in piece out?

I think if you listen closely to the piece being performed (either on the CD or by your own band), you'll find that it is actually the middle of the band that plays the tunes and makes up the piece, taking away the repetitiveness of your part and making a piece which is great to listen to and well written.

As for Purcell variations, why not play that for your part at the areas instead? Give yourself a challenge and see if you can make the hairs stand up on the audiences necks? It's not as easy as just playing the piece.

Frontman
19.12.2009, 13:49
I'm very sorry Mr Bb, but rubbish or not it still has to be played next year and for anyone to say there is nothing in it for 8 pages gives me the impression that your band will obviously do very well on what must be a very easy piece, (the results in the North West will be interesting to read I feel) because to be honest I am finding a great deal in it to keep everyone occupied, especially my Principal Cornet. Try reading the score you will see the overall picture.

With regards to the insultive comments directed at Philip Sparke and the one or two good pieces that he has written, I think that Philip, as a member of tmp, would be interested to read which ones of his numerous pieces that most bands have in their libraries you wish to rubbish and also the reason for so doing.

E flat fred
19.12.2009, 18:07
reply to Mr Frontman,
Perhaps if you have ever listened to B flat's band you will inderstand his comments.

Jan H
19.12.2009, 18:29
let's discuss the test piece, instead of fighting out personal rivalries

E flat fred
20.12.2009, 11:17
With ref. to my last posting. I was in no way critising B flat's band even though some readers appear to have thought so.
I was referring to the statement made by B flat and Mr Frontman.
This posting was I.M.O.H. my own statement and has no connection with the band in which I play.

Mrs Horn
05.01.2010, 11:04
I personally think it's a great piece and am thoroughly enjoying rehearsing and playing it. I have always found Philip Sparke's pieces very musical and well written. As anyone with any real banding experience will know, there is no way you can make any accurate comment on a test piece after the first run through. OK, you may not like it at first but the more you play it, the more you see in it and the majority of test pieces do grow on you.

Mr Bb, please can I ask you once again to remove your signature from your posts as your view is not the view of Nelson Band and only your own personal opinion - thank you.

MrBb
05.01.2010, 12:59
We are talking about a Fourth Section Test Piece - As far as I can see Purcell Variations hasn't made it down that far yet....
From listening to the Saint-Saens and looking at the score I think it's going to be good to play and useful as a Concert item too.
Looking forward to a blow through next week.

Your quite correct.. Purcell was (at least when i played it) a 2nd section piece. I was just using it to highlight what i like in a test piece, yes i did win several times on it, but that doesn't detract that it is great to play and beautiful listen to. Defiantly one of my very favourites, i'm getting that chill down my neck just thinking about it :D

wagger-g
13.01.2010, 13:30
I am very pleased with this choice of piece for the 4th section. At least band will have something strong enough to get there teeth into as well as difficult enough to make it a very interesting competition.

Congratulations to the Music Panel for an excellent choice.

I entirely agree with David - this is a superb piece and wholly suitable as a 4th section test. :clap:

I have now rehearsed bands on the testpieces for section 2, 3 & 4 and for me this is the one I would prefer to work on. As for repetition this is only at the superficial level - or should I say at the level of an individual part. The piece develops, so while an individual contribution may look similar it is adding to a different ensemble.

I think bands will find it hard not to enjoy this one, unless of course you have MrBb in your ranks - all that wasted education!

GUTBUCKET
13.01.2010, 14:26
Mr Bb says "I have won several times with this piece " Fancy that, you learn something new every day, all these years and I never realised that Purcell Variations was a cornet solo, I was under the impression that it was scored for a whole band. As to the Sparke/ Saint Saens combination, lets see how many "Organ "simulations we hear, instead of a piece which lets the prima-donnas demonstrate to the rest of the ensemble (only 96%) how very clever they are,

Nanny Ogg
13.01.2010, 18:52
Love it, brings out a bands musicality. Speaking to other members at Barnton they all like it too.

Metoo
15.01.2010, 00:40
Your quite correct.. Purcell was (at least when i played it) a 2nd section piece. I was just using it to highlight what i like in a test piece, yes i did win several times on it, but that doesn't detract that it is great to play and beautiful listen to. Defiantly one of my very favourites, i'm getting that chill down my neck just thinking about it :D

I take it that you are refering to your time on the 2nd cornet at Goodshaw with Alan Widdop when your Dad was on 3rd. I seem to remember you playing with us for a short time whilst Alan was there. But I dont remember you ever playing with Oldham Brass.

Still back to topic, I also agree with David, a damn fine piece of music.

Elliebone
15.01.2010, 12:04
We haven't played it yet! Love the Cory recording though and really looking forward to getting stuck in. It sounds like the trombones have lots of good themes from the original symphony which suits those of us who are orchestral refugees! :-)

Getzonica
15.01.2010, 16:45
We haven't played it yet! Love the Cory recording though and really looking forward to getting stuck in. It sounds like the trombones have lots of good themes from the original symphony which suits those of us who are orchestral refugees! :-)

Just listened to the recording and love it :)

Mesmerist
15.01.2010, 22:56
I`m not playing it but have heard the recording and thought it was a beautiful piece of music. Our newly formed Band, Verwood B, begins its Contesting career in the West of England Areas which is why I have a particular interest. Actually our MD is signing for Verwood B (he is solo Euph with Jag Coventry at the moment) because this is such a good piece...

Frontman
17.01.2010, 02:37
Looking forward to this years North West Area this year after being told that there are 24 bands entered in the 4th section.

Very Interesting.

Andy_Euph
17.01.2010, 14:31
We haven't played it yet! Love the Cory recording though and really looking forward to getting stuck in.

Some decent playing on the recording but it smacks of what it probably is, sightreading tazzfest. Some of the tempos seem to be out and there are some effects that aren't in the score.

We've been blowing through the piece the last couple of weeks and i'm starting to like it...its going to make for a very interesting contest in Blackpool, bring it on! :biggrin:

backrow
18.01.2010, 16:45
Mr Bb
As a founder member of Oldham Brass 97, I have to say that I don't recall you either. Could you clarify when you played for them.

cookie101880
18.01.2010, 16:59
Mr Bb
As a founder member of Oldham Brass 97, I have to say that I don't recall you either. Could you clarify when you played for them.

And I must say having been there from start I don't recall you? Maybe i'm wrong but please enlighten us?

Anno Draconis
18.01.2010, 19:37
Mr Bb
As a founder member of Oldham Brass 97, I have to say that I don't recall you either. Could you clarify when you played for them.

Why, will it add to everyone's understanding of Mr Sparke's testpiece?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cb/Topic_%28chocolate_bar%29.jpg

Haven't had chance to hear the piece yet, I'm interested to hear how much of the original is in there, and how deeply buried - must be hard to resist the temptation to just put the last 30 bars in without alteration, because it takes some beating as a finale!

Anglo Music Press
19.01.2010, 10:54
Can I just bring something to the attention of all timpanists? There are three timp rolls in this piece where I managed to forget to add the slashes - in bars 93, 100 and 543. These should all be rolled through to the next note.

Apologies for the errors, but I hope these are the only ones in the score.

batonwaggler
19.01.2010, 18:40
Thanks for that, our Timp guy would like to know if its plain Cheese or any filling of his choice

Anglo Music Press
20.01.2010, 09:09
Thanks for that, our Timp guy would like to know if its plain Cheese or any filling of his choice

I don't do cheese, I'm afraid.......

batonwaggler
20.01.2010, 18:27
Thats so true, but youve put us in a pickle a few times!!

b-flatcharlie
04.02.2010, 17:29
I am very pleased with this choice of piece for the 4th section. At least band will have something strong enough to get there teeth into as well as difficult enough to make it a very interesting competition.

Congratulations to the Music Panel for an excellent choice.


Its time to break the silence! I’ve got my teeth into the solo cornet part now. The harmonies in the band are great. I enjoy it from start to end, especially the last bars where my band in the northwest take it at something like 200! :eek:
Even people I know who play in 4th section bands but haven’t contested and
don’t normally have heard it and think it’s an excellent choice for a test piece.

E flat fred
05.02.2010, 09:47
Will they be providing portable oxygen masks for the Bass players for the last three lines.
There is no way on Gods little earth that Bass players can play ALL the music on the last three lines.
By the time you have taken a breath you have missed two bars.

Frontman
05.02.2010, 10:20
Its time to break the silence! I’ve got my teeth into the solo cornet part now. The harmonies in the band are great. I enjoy it from start to end, especially the last bars where my band in the northwest take it at something like 200! :eek:

So will everyone else. Its marked at minim = 100.

There are 23 bands actually competeing at Blackpool and it is happening in the Spanish Hall again, starting at 11am.

b-flatcharlie
05.02.2010, 11:33
Only joking! I think they must have been taking quicker then normal for the sake of practicing fast. It’s nice to hear there are to be more bands at the Northwest. There were nine in all competing in the Yorkshire fourth section last year.

backrow
05.02.2010, 11:43
An interesting piece. The word is that the adjudicators do not expect any fourth section band to be able to play it.

b-flatcharlie
05.02.2010, 12:26
An interesting piece. The word is that the adjudicators do not expect any fourth section band to be able to play it.

Well the adjudicators will just have to wait and see which bands can! The word is also that players have a good feeling about pulling the test piece off well, even if it isn’t to some persons taste.

backrow
05.02.2010, 13:42
b-flatcharlie

very good point, with any luck the adjudicators will get a shock, I think that bands are enjoying this and there will be some good performances come the day.

E flat fred
05.02.2010, 16:14
Frontman,
Where did you hear that the 4th Section starts at 11-00a.m.I was informed by Peter Bates that it starts at 11-30a.m. Has there been a change in starting times?

euphalogy
05.02.2010, 17:11
Well the adjudicators will just have to wait and see which bands can! The word is also that players have a good feeling about pulling the test piece off well, even if it isnít to some persons taste.

Adjudicators have been, and most still are, players of the highest quality who understand what can and cant be achieved in the lower sections, and this is exactly what makes Saint Saens Variations an excellent choice. Whatever the results, whatever the region, players can only improve with the experience of the harmonies and rythmic challenges that the piece sets.
Excellent music.

:clap:

b-flatcharlie
05.02.2010, 18:35
Adjudicators have been, and most still are, players of the highest quality who understand what can and cant be achieved in the lower sections, and this is exactly what makes Saint Saens Variations an excellent choice. Whatever the results, whatever the region, players can only improve with the experience of the harmonies and rythmic challenges that the piece sets.
Excellent music.

:clap:

Genuinely I couldnít agree more. Thank you for your valid contribution.

E flat fred
10.02.2010, 16:37
Qualification rules for Harrogate finals.

Qualification to the Finals
i) In respect of sections 1 – 4, qualification for an invitation will depend on the number
of bands entered in the sections at the Regional Championships.
Up to 16 bands entered ……………………………….. 2 bands qualify
17 to 24 bands entered ……………………………….. 3 bands qualify
25 bands and over entered ……………………………. 4 bands qualify

From Kapitol Promotions contest rules.

Elliebone
13.02.2010, 18:09
There's not much chat about the Saint Saens Variations on here - is everyone too busy practising it to talk about it or just bored with it already??? I love it so much I am doing 5 rehearsals and a performance of it this week - those who know me will say I need the practice!! :-)

Any other trombone players finding the intonation tricky from 434 to 475 or is it just me and my intense dislike of accidentals?

Andy_Euph
13.02.2010, 19:18
Any other trombone players finding the intonation tricky from 434 to 475 or is it just me and my intense dislike of accidentals?

Is that the same bit where the tuba's are higher than the euph's???

I think this piece is good but there is a couple of moments where it feels like i'm playing the wind band part!

Elliebone
13.02.2010, 21:20
Is that the same bit where the tuba's are higher than the euph's???



I think this piece is good but there is a couple of moments where it feels like i'm playing the wind band part!

Sorry - no idea. I haven't got to the stage where I can listen to what's going on at the other side of the bandroom :)
I agree that the scoring and writing style is not typical of a 4th section test piece. But surely that's a good thing? Some definitely orchestral moments for me :D

Andy_Euph
13.02.2010, 22:32
Sorry - no idea. I haven't got to the stage where I can listen to what's going on at the other side of the bandroom :)
I agree that the scoring and writing style is not typical of a 4th section test piece. But surely that's a good thing? Some definitely orchestral moments for me :D

I think it might be one of those moments where the troms are deafening me :p

I'm not too sure about some of the scoring if i'm totally honest....sounds like a cut and paste sibelius job...but that said Mr Sparke obviously knows what he wants it to sound like and he's one of the best band writers around and i'm not...so doesn't really matter.

As for the whole thing about the judges not expecting to hear a good performance... well thats all well and good as long as we don't have to sit through another lecture on how c**p 4th section bands are, after lots of bands putting in a lot of effort and giving committed performances.

Elliebone
13.02.2010, 23:19
I think it might be one of those moments where the troms are deafening me :p.

Sorry, mate - I thought that was what us trombones are there for! :p


As for the whole thing about the judges not expecting to hear a good performance... well thats all well and good as long as we don't have to sit through another lecture on how c**p 4th section bands are, after lots of bands putting in a lot of effort and giving committed performances.

Let's just try and exceed their expectations eh? :D

Backrowmike
14.02.2010, 13:23
Why shouldn’t bands make a success of Saint Saens Variations? It has long flowing phrases, good harmonies and rhythms. Adjudicators will bear in mind that in the 4th Section, many bands are made up of a variety of players, some at the start and some at the end of their playing lives. However, all will undoubtedly play to the best of their individual technique and talent. Having recently returned to playing, I am this year playing in the 4th Section for the first time. The band I am playing with is approaching this test piece with musicality and enthusiasm. I am sure the other bands are approaching this contest to highlight their strengths and not their weaknesses. Let’s not talk down the 4th Section but celebrate the success bands are making of this test piece.

Elliebone
14.02.2010, 14:28
Letís not talk down the 4th Section but celebrate the success bands are making of this test piece.

:clap::clap::clap:

I couldn't agree more. Not many of us start at higher levels - and some never play at higher levels. This is music-making which is accessible to almost everyone and long may it continue. :D

Andy_Euph
14.02.2010, 15:00
Let's just try and exceed their expectations eh? :D

I totally agree...I was just trying to make a point that no matter how well we'll play the judging will still be close minded....you should have heard David Read at Preston last week.

I think there will be a lot of very good performances of this piece....hopefully my band will be one of them :p

b-flatcharlie
15.02.2010, 08:28
Good common wisdom has prevailed ladies and gents.:tup

GUTBUCKET
15.02.2010, 14:54
[Any other trombone players finding the intonation tricky from 434 to 475 or is it just me and my intense dislike of accidentals?[/quote]

I'm with you all the way there and writing in positions seems to make it even more confusing

E flat fred
15.02.2010, 17:58
why is it always more difficult to read and play alternative accidentals such as
A sharp-B flat. G sharp- A flat D sharp-E flat G flat-F sharp D flat- C sharp etc. etc.
430 to 475 therefore now becomes very difficult to read and worse to play.

Elliebone
15.02.2010, 18:07
[Any other trombone players finding the intonation tricky from 434 to 475 or is it just me and my intense dislike of accidentals?

I'm with you all the way there and writing in positions seems to make it even more confusing[/quote]


Thanks - you make me feel less of a numpty!

Tubamutha
16.02.2010, 09:33
[quote=E flat fred;730430]Will they be providing portable oxygen masks for the Bass players for the last three lines.
There is no way on Gods little earth that Bass players can play ALL the music on the last three lines.]

HAHAHA...... I couldn't agree more....... the other killer is the really BIG bit on the penultimate page (cannot remember bar numbers but it's the bit where the basses/euphs/troms are supposed to blow everyones socks off). Quite worrying really as I always start to see stars after two bars of that section - it's very exciting but I have to make a conscious effort not to pass out - AND what's worse is I thought there would be some support from Bb basses but they are not playing there..... bah humbug.

I think this is a fantastic piece though.....

piston
16.02.2010, 14:11
Good piece, will enjoy it.

Elliebone
22.02.2010, 21:46
Still loving it! And that weird bit is more in tune if I think in bass clef! ??

E flat fred
22.02.2010, 22:39
I am still loving it but it does not get any easier even with practice. I simply do not have enough breath and when you take a breath the MD looks at you like you have just committeed the biggest blunder in the world. I cannot cicular breath on an E Flat but that does not bother the MD. He just has to wag his stick.

Backrowmike
22.02.2010, 22:53
Just in from Band practice. The more I get to know this piece the more I like it. Especially the second movement, a sheer delight to listen to. Thank you Mr Sparkes.

Tubamutha
23.02.2010, 09:29
I am still loving it but it does not get any easier even with practice. I simply do not have enough breath and when you take a breath the MD looks at you like you have just committeed the biggest blunder in the world. I cannot cicular breath on an E Flat but that does not bother the MD. He just has to wag his stick.

the only way to breath - miss a couple of notes out (just make sure you split it with your Eb partner in crime so you dont miss the same bits). That's how we have to do it.... though we need lots of air and we're not very 'boomy' on the best of days...... still practising how to fill that bell!

David Mann
23.02.2010, 10:02
I had my first blow through the piece with a band last night, and I really like it. There's plenty of the original in there but with a Sparkean twist. And this year I'll be mostly playing....?

b-flatcharlie
26.02.2010, 02:02
I'm pleased Mr. Sparke has left most of the orchestral symphony intact; – I’m aware he would respect the need to retain musical architecture, in order to capture the valuable essence of the variations. Like a lot of Sparkean work, it stands out when it is played with the intended musical style – I know that sounds a tad vague.
As a trumpet player and general brass player, I can relate with this great testpeice and I feel Saint-SaŽns Variations (Philip Sparke) is well executed as a testing piece. What is significant is that this tests all players’ ability in different ways. :D

The solo cornet part is relatively simple for most while remaining interesting. However I’m unsure that cornet players in lower section bands are consciously aware; the trumpet drills are important, not just to this piece of music, but for specific purposes such as warming up before practicing, as are the long tones and scales.
A good and proper tutor of trumpet will teach this from the outset. Articulating these phrasings the way a trumpet player would play them is crucial.:tup

I haven’t fully listened to the recording of Cory band', though what I would like to say to aspiring musicians and bands is; because it is performed by that particular band, this doesn’t mean to say that this is how the rehearsed piece should be performed.
Use a tad bit of your own imagination, feeling and soul toward performing the classical Saint-SaŽns Variations.;)

Robhibberd29
26.02.2010, 04:43
It was plagiarised long before that.....

Yvonne Kelley and Scott Fitzgerald.......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCvrpy8LwU

Still, it got me to listen to the original years before I would have heard it otherwise, and as bad as the overall sound is, I have a strange "draw" to the reggae style Bass line, and just wonder whether or not it would sound OK as a Brass band arrangement! (perhaps I just need treatment?) :rolleyes:

This is the first thing that popped into my head when I had a blow through it on sunday...couldn't remember who it was that sang this version so thanks for that! Reached number 3 in 1977...showing my age :tongue:

I enjoyed it apart from getting lost in the middle of the piece which was due to a combination of poor sight reading and a lack of familiarisation to the stick wagger in residence ;-)

b-flatcharlie
26.02.2010, 15:41
Ha ha ha, yeah your age is being revealed now Rob! It's strange this 70's take is distantly familiarÖ. I wonder if it must be on my mums old Saudi Arabia pirate copy Dolby cassette tapes?! There must be several hundred old tapes in my parentís house from this era. :clap:

Elliebone
26.02.2010, 16:31
I enjoyed it apart from getting lost in the middle of the piece which was due to a combination of poor sight reading and a lack of familiarisation to the stick wagger in residence ;-)


Hey, Rob...you forgot the key technique - never look up!!! :p

b-flatcharlie
26.02.2010, 17:56
The Saint-SaŽns Metamorphosis is growing in my head rapidly now. Iím well in the mood!:cool: (bar 18 solo cornet) ďde dah de dah da da de daÖĒ. dotted (p) with subtlety

Cornet plays Ė BLAST those drills (bar 92 +) out like fanfare trumpets, (ff) and again at 520 (Maestoso) make those chords with the G sharp (after 536) discordant and frighten people like a person possessed playing a pipe organ!:tup Smash those cymbals! (Wherever marked)

A bit of a theme at 194 and then; - (bar 219) ďde dah de dah da da de daĒ (dotted quavers)

304 Transformation (bit of tension and drama going here; band in unison)

Goodness Iím off now!:eek:

And finally (565) VIVACE! Marked 100.

In a nutshell!;)

Exciting stuff; - Iíve gone doolally over Saint- SaŽns!:D

GUTBUCKET
26.02.2010, 20:47
Re bars 434 to 475, if you've got Sibelius, type in these bars then go into plugins>accidentals and respell sharps as flats, you get a much more readable, and hence playable copy ( or you could do it on ms by hand, but I hate playing from ms

Nigel Hall
26.02.2010, 23:35
And finally (565) VIVACE! Marked 100.



But it is minim=100 therefore crotchet=200, so Vivace indeed if not Presto!! :D

b-flatcharlie
28.02.2010, 02:26
But it is minim=100 therefore crotchet=200, so Vivace indeed if not Presto!! :D

My thoughts exactly; so why are there bands playing it at 100?:confused:

b-flatcharlie
28.02.2010, 03:30
My thoughts exactly; so why are there bands playing it at 100?:confused:

(A rhetorical question)

Andy_Euph
28.02.2010, 10:11
I forgot my band were playing it minim = 100 not crotchet....ignore me :)

Piece is going ok and i'm still liking it (a first in the run up to the area) but that scherzo variation towards the end is still tricky!

Mesmerist
28.02.2010, 12:52
I heard our B Band play it in a concert last night. Its lovely to sit and listen to it. Wish we were playing it. They are finding it a little tricky in places although the Euph and Cornet nailed their solos very well.

Elliebone
28.02.2010, 14:20
We are playing it at Stocksbridge Band Club tonight....oh well... it's a run out on it but I'm sure glad the contest isn't tomorrow! Supporters and hecklers welcome - see you there 8pm :-)

b-flatcharlie
28.02.2010, 16:41
The Haworth Bands concert rendition was also very good over in Halifax last night. It gave me a chance to listen to each of the testpieces the Yorkshire bands will be performing on the day

E flat fred
28.02.2010, 17:45
Off now to hear the favourites for the 4th Section in the N.W.tonight. Boarhurst Band Club.
Plus the other sections being played bu digfferent bands. Hoping to learn how to play it tonight. 2 more weeks to go and then it will all be over apart from the recriminations and the adjudicators comments.
It will all be perfect tonight.
No PRESSURE at all.
Just a normal concert

E flat fred
01.03.2010, 03:13
Excellent comments from the adjudicator after the first band played.
He stated that these were the events he liked to judge at.
5 Sections.
5 Bands.
All winners.
He will still be everyones friend at the end of the night.
Good turn out.
Hall packed standing room only and overflow rooms also full.
Thanks for an educating and a very pleasant evening.
Met a lot of wonderful people.
Bands people and non bands people.
Very well organised.
Thanks a million.

tubafran
01.03.2010, 10:35
Worsborough Brass (4th section) and Barnsley Building Society Band (2nd section) gave a run out of the test pieces on Friday 26/02/10 to a packed hall at Tankersley Welfare Hall. John Roberts was the adjudicator/comment giver.

A week to go and I guess both bands have got some useful directions to hone the piece for next weekends contest.

Dronfield did a run out of Saint Saen as part of a concert at City of Sheffield's Band Club night at Niagara Conference Centre too - not sure if we got any written remarks, but there were plenty of "adjudicators" in ;)

IJK
01.03.2010, 11:12
I dont know what you mean Fran???

Elliebone
01.03.2010, 14:26
I'm sure I saw you writing remarks Ian!! :-)
What did you think to the rest of the programme??

IJK
02.03.2010, 10:56
Hi Helen yes I only wrote remarks as John asked. I wasnt going to as was there mainly to see the venue and the format as we are there later in the year. But as John said there is still 2 weeks left before the area and it was good to have a run out of the test piece. I am only disappointed that we couldnt have our run out at NEMBBA a few weeks ago.

As for the Programme John said you guys are playing not a 4th section program which I agree and you guys only put the programme together at the last minute so you know as a good band should what was good and what didnt come off 100% right but it was a good programme. It is always hard playing a concert to band geeks (I class myself as one) and not your standard audience who dont listen to a band every week

backrow
09.03.2010, 14:32
All gone a bit quiet on here, perhaps the Dinnington Saga is taking over a bit. Well done to all the yorkshire bands for last weekend and good luck to all the rest of us over the next few weeks. This has a been quite a challange but it is playable and I think a number of bands will be able to confound the sceptics that said this was to hard for the 4th section, I just hope we are one of them.
Hope to see some of you at Blackpool on Sunday and once again - Good Luck

Elliebone
11.03.2010, 14:04
Well done to the Yorkshire qualifiers and good luck to all playing this gorgeous test piece this weekend. There's lots of music to be made in performing this piece and the 4th section as a whole has a chance to demonstrate what we at the "bottom end" can do. Thanks again for choosing a piece with such contrasts of styles - lyrically slow and also excitingly vivace.

I have thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing this piece and know that our band has learned a lot from spending a few weeks with Mr Saint-Saens and Mr Sparke - under the guidance of the unique and inimitable Mr Davis :-) All that and a pig theme too...what fun!

In particular Good Luck to all at Bedworth - see you there! :-)

ian perks
12.03.2010, 11:45
This piece is a real test for 4th section bands>
The first bar will cause problems for so many bands at the weekend.
The 2 slow movements are just a real class piece of writting and that is where it will come down to picking the winning bands;Tuning&Intonation must be 100% as so many will just play notes and wont listen to what is going on around them.

E flat fred
12.03.2010, 11:57
I thought it was Rafa himself writing the article. Defensive , defensive, defensive.
What about attacking the peice and scoreing more goals than the others

ian perks
12.03.2010, 13:49
I thought it was Rafa himself writing the article. Defensive , defensive, defensive.
What about attacking the peice and scoreing more goals than the others
lmao;)

brass_master99
13.03.2010, 15:44
Have played it and I mean, it's more of an endurance test than anything isn't it?!

Thirteen Ball
13.03.2010, 18:59
I've not often had chance to listen to our fourth section bands, but I sat in for five bands at st george's last weekend - and I have to say I really like this piece!

It's one of those that a fourth section band can play and play well in a lot of cases.... yet having spent most of my time rattling around the 1st section, I'd still quite like a crack at playing it myself!

I've said before, Mr Sparke simply doesn't miss. Nor has he in this case. :clap:

James Yelland
13.03.2010, 20:48
Certainly a good piece. But what is going on at bar 219 in the lower brass? I don't recognise it as anything from the original symphony. It sounds like it's something played backwards, or upside down, or both, or something. (As you can tell I'm no music theorist). Any ideas?

Mrs Horn
14.03.2010, 23:24
Crikey - no results on here yet (or 4 Bars Rest) ?? :eek:

1st - Hazel Grove
2nd - Besses Boys
3rd - Farnworth & Walkden
4th - Nelson Brass (YAY :biggrin:)
5th - Boarshurst
6th - Dobcross Youth
7th - Rivington & Adlington
8th - Darwen Brass

A good results for the "dark horses" :clap:

E flat fred
15.03.2010, 00:28
Excellent result for Nelson.
4BR have got their published result completely wrong.
They must have been at another contest.Definitely not at Blackpool yesterday.
Their PUBLISHED result is nothing like the proper result.
I had the eight but not in that order. The problem is Mine don't count only the man in the box matters on the day.

marc71178
15.03.2010, 00:36
As far as I can see 4BR haven't put results up yet, that's still the draw details.

E flat fred
15.03.2010, 00:45
It was there but I sent a message to 4 BR and they have taken it down RIGHT AWAY.
I have just been on the web site and found it now back to just the draw.
We did not play in the postion they had our band and we did not get that position in the count down either.
I stick to my original message. The 4BR published result was not correct

Mattytheshark
15.03.2010, 11:30
Well done to all bands in the 4th section at Blackpool. Well done in particular to the bands who will be representing our area at Harrogate.

Nice to see Besses Boys up there and I hope you do really well in September! Congratulations to you. :clap:

Also, well done to our friends at Nelson Brass - a great result. :clap:

pagliacci
15.03.2010, 13:14
Did Mr Buckley have anything interesting to say in advance or in his summing up regarding the Saint-Saens Variations last weekend (for those of us yet to play it under his adjudication this weekend)?

Mattytheshark
15.03.2010, 16:30
Our adjudicator was Steve Prichard-Jones this weekend pagliacci but from the little he said to us dynamics were his focus so maybe that will be a running theme with them all?

Backrowmike
15.03.2010, 19:00
For us the road to Harrogate is over and at the Winter Gardens many of the bands did themselves proud showing what can be achieved through dedication and practice in the Fourth Section. Lets hope that the success of this test piece will not be lost on those who decide the next.
Well played and good luck to Hazel Grove, Besses Boys and Farnworth & Walkden at Harrogate.

From one of the "dark horses" at Nelson Brass. :tup

GUTBUCKET
15.03.2010, 21:30
Did Mr Buckley have anything interesting to say in advance or in his summing up regarding the Saint-Saens Variations last weekend (for those of us yet to play it under his adjudication this weekend)?


We've been there and done it and come away feeling chuffed with ourselves, I think I'm gonna miss the Sparke/Saint Sans collaboration for a week or so. Advice on what Mr Buckley is looking for, dont make the loud bits too loud, dont "overcook (his terminology) passages, where there's interplay detail, let it stand out, make sure your dynamic contrast is recognisable, and of course try to put the right notes in the right places, good luck. Hope you sorted out those accidentals Elliebone

Elliebone
15.03.2010, 22:54
Hope you sorted out those accidentals Elliebone


Yes thanks - so pleased I did. We came 22nd out of 24 bands and several of the bands that beat us were absolutely dire. One almost stopped during the performance. Don't ya just love contesting!:D

pagliacci
16.03.2010, 08:26
Advice on what Mr Buckley is looking for, dont make the loud bits too loud, dont "overcook (his terminology) passages, where there's interplay detail, let it stand out, make sure your dynamic contrast is recognisable, and of course try to put the right notes in the right places, good luck.

Many thanks Gutbucket,

Frontman
16.03.2010, 09:50
Advice on what Mr Buckley is looking for, dont make the loud bits too loud, dont "overcook (his terminology) passages, where there's interplay detail, let it stand out, make sure your dynamic contrast is recognisable, and of course try to put the right notes in the right places.

Funny this, Steve Prichard - Jones used exactly the same word, 'OVERCOOKED'.


I am fascinated to find out what the general meaning of this word is when describeing a musical performance as I have never come across it in adjudication before. I wonder if it's part of a new ABBA directive regarding words which are to be used to confuse bands. No wonder bands are getting annoyed with adjudictors. Lets go back to the standard list and phrases used by adjudicators like rhythm, over blowing, harsh, untuneful, etc. Come on it's not difficult.

Just a final comment, if a piece is marked 'ff' does this not actually mean loud? So why penalize bands for playing a full 'ff'? Do I take it that the 'ff' on the Grimethorpe recording of Saens Sans Organ Symphony is to loud or did they only play it 'f' because its too loud.

Daveoo
16.03.2010, 10:19
It seems lilke when the adjudicators have all got together to discuss what they want from this years winners, nothing has been said about the music at all, they seem to be looking for the flatest, most boring reading of the piece, nothing about mf. If it slows down or the band doesn't play together that doesn't matter, just as long as they are playing quietly!!! The quietest most labourious reading wins!!

KMJ Recordings
16.03.2010, 10:26
I've a feeling that Steve PJ's biography mentions Mr Buckley as a mentor.......

floppymute
16.03.2010, 11:27
Funny this, Steve Prichard - Jones used exactly the same word, 'OVERCOOKED'.


I am fascinated to find out what the general meaning of this word is when describeing a musical performance as I have never come across it in adjudication before. I wonder if it's part of a new ABBA directive regarding words which are to be used to confuse bands. No wonder bands are getting annoyed with adjudictors. Lets go back to the standard list and phrases used by adjudicators like rhythm, over blowing, harsh, untuneful, etc. Come on it's not difficult.

Just a final comment, if a piece is marked 'ff' does this not actually mean loud? So why penalize bands for playing a full 'ff'? Do I take it that the 'ff' on the Grimethorpe recording of Saens Sans Organ Symphony is to loud or did they only play it 'f' because its too loud.

Hang on!......
I think we have some confusion here about who adjudicated what.
Mr. Buckley didn't adjudicate any 4th Section contest last Sunday. He was in the box for the top section at Blackpool. When we're talking about the term 'overcooked' I think we're all referring to its use more than once by the same adjudicator, Mr Pritchard-Jones

Frontman
16.03.2010, 13:09
Hang on!......
I think we have some confusion here about who adjudicated what.
Mr. Buckley didn't adjudicate any 4th Section contest last Sunday. He was in the box for the top section at Blackpool. When we're talking about the term 'overcooked' I think we're all referring to its use more than once by the same adjudicator, Mr Pritchard-Jones


I think that if you actually read what is on my comment, it clearly states that :-

Originally Posted by GUTBUCKET
Advice on what Mr Buckley is looking for, dont make the loud bits too loud, dont "overcook (his terminology) passages, where there's interplay detail, let it stand out, make sure your dynamic contrast is recognisable, and of course try to put the right notes in the right places.

Absolutely nothing to do with Brian Buckley adjudicating the 4th Section.

pagliacci
16.03.2010, 13:15
Hang on!......
I think we have some confusion here about who adjudicated what.
Mr. Buckley didn't adjudicate any 4th Section contest last Sunday. He was in the box for the top section at Blackpool.

Apologies, I think the confusion stemmed from me. We're being adjudicated by Mr Buckley in the fourth section this weekend coming and in my enthusiasm to get feedback from the other regions I think I must have misread 4barsrest and mistakenly thought he'd adjudicated the fourth elsewhere. Anyway, the feedback from him in other sections and from other adjudicators in the fourth section is still useful, so thanks to all who replied.

Euph1175
16.03.2010, 16:53
It seems lilke when the adjudicators have all got together to discuss what they want from this years winners, nothing has been said about the music at all, they seem to be looking for the flatest, most boring reading of the piece, nothing about mf. If it slows down or the band doesn't play together that doesn't matter, just as long as they are playing quietly!!! The quietest most labourious reading wins!!


Agreed, They wern't looking for loud FF's, but just very quiet reading, no matter if you slow down or not.

Daveoo
16.03.2010, 17:38
Agreed, They wern't looking for loud FF's, but just very quiet reading, no matter if you slow down or not.

Doesn't even have to be loud ff's, I said on another thread, if we'd known you wanted it loud we would have given it. 90% on stage!

Mattytheshark
17.03.2010, 15:03
It happens all the time thought doesn't it? It's can be a bit of a lottery guessing what the adjudicator is looking for in a performance. When we left the stage on Sunday we were pleased with what we produced but the man in the box wasn't keen on it (overcooked :) ) No complaints about the bands in the prizes though - thoroughly deserved. Just wish we'd have done our 'well done' performance medium rare instead!

Frontman
17.03.2010, 17:37
I wish it to be known that a comment which was inserted under my name, was meant in no way to criticise or offend Mr Brian Buckley and I appologise sincerely to Mr Buckley for the offending comment.

nigeb12
17.03.2010, 20:00
I wish it to be known that a comment which was inserted under my name, was meant in no way to criticise or offend Mr Brian Buckley and I appologise sincerely to Mr Buckley for the offending comment.

Oh dear sounds like Mr Buckley may be being very precious (again?). be interesting to know what it was you said Dave that made you issue such a post. I'm sure insecurity has nothing to do with it.

Columbo
17.03.2010, 23:48
It seems lilke when the adjudicators have all got together to discuss what they want from this years winners, nothing has been said about the music at all, they seem to be looking for the flatest, most boring reading of the piece, nothing about mf. If it slows down or the band doesn't play together that doesn't matter, just as long as they are playing quietly!!! The quietest most labourious reading wins!!

Seems you got it bad mate! I'm sure you will be popular with all the winners. I get your point and I think we know what you mean, but a bit of credit for the qualifiers please , who I'm sure, did not spend weeks rehearsing 'labouriously' to play a dull performance.

I posted a new thread some time ago 'ABBA Criteria'. I believe the last was in 2006. Would it be reasonable to ask for an updated version to be written to suit new members and as a refresher to existing members who perhaps have disregarded it?

I'll say it, well done all who did well at the weekend.

fretty
18.03.2010, 08:01
Yeah, some adudicators like bands that mess up totally and wreck the piece. If your band actually stop playing midway then this is a bonus (bear this in mind for next year possibly).

I'd like justification as to why being on the loud side has cost 20 places, when compared to quite a few bands above us, the performance was clearly ahead by miles. We didnt start off fast then end up dragging the tempos dramatically (like many bands did, couldnt keep up with the piece), nor did we fall to bits to the point where less than half the band were playing (nearly grinding to a complete halt).

We gave a performance of the piece itself and coped very well to play everything written in the piece. Does this not count for something anymore?

Elliebone
18.03.2010, 08:51
We gave a performance of the piece itself and coped very well to play everything written in the piece. Does this not count for something anymore?


Seems not this time Fretty. It's time for us all to get on with the next thing. Pontins anyone? :p

tubafran
18.03.2010, 09:56
Seems not this time Fretty. It's time for us all to get on with the next thing. Pontins anyone? :p


Yes indeed, "you shall go to the ball Cinders" - oops wrong character, just remember to avoid any poison apples.

GUTBUCKET
18.03.2010, 21:09
Mea culpa,mea culpa mea maxima culpa ! Grovel grovel apologies to Brian Buckley, of course ,my comments in fact referred to Pritchard Jones who adjudicated the 4th section,I think I was still a bit high when I posted, Sorry again Brian

James Yelland
22.03.2010, 08:02
As an incidental observation, I notice that this piece of music has the subtitle "Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony".

Mr S is known to have a certain waspish sense of humour. I wonder if perhaps there is a certain amount of fun being poked at another 'symphonic metamorphosis' which was written not so long ago, by an eminent professor of music? Or am I being overly cynical?

Anglo Music Press
22.03.2010, 08:27
As an incidental observation, I notice that this piece of music has the subtitle "Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony".

Mr S is known to have a certain waspish sense of humour. I wonder if perhaps there is a certain amount of fun being poked at another 'symphonic metamorphosis' which was written not so long ago, by an eminent professor of music? Or am I being overly cynical?

No, not poking fun, just borrowing Herr Hindemith's title (which was the title of my original wind band piece from which this BB piece is derived).

And, no, it's not possible to be overly cynical .... :)

James Yelland
22.03.2010, 08:31
My prediction for the Midlands Area is for an all-time low for the number of bands entering the 4th Section but we shall see.

Twenty-four bands took part. Of the thirteen previous Midland area contests recorded by 4BarsRest's archive service (back to 1995), that number has been exceeded on only two occasions and matched on one occasion. The all time low in that period was 16 bands.

If you would care to predict the winning numbers in this week's lottery I shall cross them off my list immediately!

Sorry. It's annoying when people like me with too much spare time on their hands go trawling through old posts!