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Thread: Regionals 2008: Championship Section Test Piece: Festival Music

  1. #31
    tMP Senior Friend ROBTHEDOG's Avatar
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    This whole discussion is probably the subject of separate post rather than "Next Years Area" but it seems to raised a few points. However carrying on, the stereotypes of Brass Bands are often held up to the images in "Brassed Off" where William Tell is what we do, even though the film did great things for our audiences..

    Good music is Good music - who decides Berio is better than Mozart, is better than Frank Zappa !!! - or should that read Ball is better than Wilby, Bingham or Vinter

    Remember Vinter's "Spectrum" was thought completely outrageous !!!

    I was a member of The Jones & Crossland Band that played at Granada Band of the Year and opened with the Britten's Fanfare for St Edmundsbury (on trumpets) and finished with the Tippett Festal Brass with Blues. Not generally well received in fact Granada dubbed loads of applause when it went out on TV - BUT I think we played to make a point. Beaten that day by a band throwing peanuts into the audience! (The good news was the Tippet was then used at Next Natonal Youth Band course

    My concern is that it is US that spend our HOBBY time preparing the music and I just feel we ought to be able to be involved in the choice be it in voting scheme or what ever. We have been lucky (at Derwent) that we can chose two or three "own Choice" contests a year and generally discuss amongst the band (Thanks to our MD) what we would like to play In the last couple of years that's resulted in us doing.

    Blitz
    Dances & Arias
    Year of The Dragon
    Paganini Variations

    and have looked ant many others ...

    GOOD MUSIC is GOOD MUSIC old or new but we have to push boundries

    We lament not having more Tippett or Vaughn Williams, but when composers are 'put off' by the reactions of audience and in some cases Adjudicators (I remember Steve Sykes saying that the latest erata for Prague was in fact a typo in the Title should be called Plague)

    Anyway enough of this, we will play Festival Music and enjoy what it has to bring and I'm it will sort the top bands out..

    C'est la vie
    Rob
    Better to B# than out of tune !
    "Loving it in Derbyshire"
    Derwent Brass..

  2. #32
    tMP Master Friend brassintheed's Avatar
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    suggestion:

    3 seperate contests for the regionals. 1) A solid piece of Brass Band heritage (maybe even an excellent arrangement of classical music) 2) Contemporary test-piece 3) Entertainments contest (and I don't just mean playing a Robbie Williams anthology! - could be a jazz programme, a contemporary programme, whatever the band or MD feel is musically entertaining)

    The winners of the regionals are decided from a combination of each result.

    Then the Nationals each year is a newly commissioned piece from a respected contemporary composer - given out 4 weeks before the contest. No recording, and really pushing boundaries.

    The National Champions really would be the best band around. It would also add a real 'buzz' to the very staid contest format and maybe finally bring interest and respect back into brass bands.

    (I realise that this may not be possible, but it's a nice idea)

  3. #33
    tMP Friend Timpking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROBTHEDOG View Post
    !)
    - but our 4 YOUNG percussionists will be taking a holiday..
    YOUNG? Last time I checked, Sion (my bro) was 30 something!! Oh sorry mate that is young to you!!
    I think I'll take the area off as well!!

    Well played last weekend good result.

    See you soon.
    Last edited by Timpking; 05.10.2007 at 22:15.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by brassintheed View Post
    suggestion:

    Then the Nationals each year is a newly commissioned piece from a respected contemporary composer - given out 4 weeks before the contest. No recording, and really pushing boundaries.
    I love it! Why not add a 3 minute sight reading test as well. Each band would have to get something different but comparably challenging. You'd get the music as you registered.

  5. #35
    tMP Master Friend brassintheed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhrg View Post
    I love it! Why not add a 3 minute sight reading test as well. Each band would have to get something different but comparably challenging. You'd get the music as you registered.

    hmmm no comment!

    Anyway, Festival Music is a beautiful piece of music. I love prague and I love Extreme Makeover etc etc, but there is no denying that this is writing of the highest standard.

    Really looking forward to performing the piece at the area and listening to the other bands. I'm sure there will be some beautiful performances of this.

  6. #36
    tMP Senior Friend ROBTHEDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brassintheed View Post
    hmmm no comment!

    Anyway, Festival Music is a beautiful piece of music. I love prague and I love Extreme Makeover etc etc, but there is no denying that this is writing of the highest standard.

    Really looking forward to performing the piece at the area and listening to the other bands. I'm sure there will be some beautiful performances of this.
    Well said & heads down as we were told recently by well know conductor "during the preparation it should be the favourite piece of all of us !
    Rob
    Better to B# than out of tune !
    "Loving it in Derbyshire"
    Derwent Brass..

  7. #37
    tMP Senior Friend ROBTHEDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timpking View Post
    YOUNG? Last time I checked, Sion (my bro) was 30 something!! Oh sorry mate that is young to you!!
    I think I'll take the area off as well!!

    Well played last weekend good result.

    See you soon.
    Thanks Al - actually Sion looks younger every week.. Rgds
    Rob
    Better to B# than out of tune !
    "Loving it in Derbyshire"
    Derwent Brass..

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by brassintheed View Post
    hmmm no comment!

    Anyway, Festival Music is a beautiful piece of music. I love prague and I love Extreme Makeover etc etc, but there is no denying that this is writing of the highest standard.

    Really looking forward to performing the piece at the area and listening to the other bands. I'm sure there will be some beautiful performances of this.
    i totally agree there no comment to the sightreading thing lol
    festival music is a good piece and i think it will test a lot of bands especially the soloists in the bands as there is a reasonable amount for them,
    Stuart Black

    Former flugel horn of Salford Uni band and adelphi band
    Former MD of greenfield band
    MD of Penicuik Silver/Galashiels youth and Senior bands

  9. #39
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nhrg
    And if they had been invented I really don't think he would have written that style of music would he...?
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by that (and my understanding is hampered by not knowing FM yet).

    Help me out - what about the piece makes it violin writing rather than cornet writing?
    We ran through it last night. Interesting, yes, I see where you are coming from now with regard to Mozart, etc. It's a pretty convincing pastiche, isn't it?

    I have to agree with Andy in disagreeing with the sentiment of yours I've quoted though. Mozart liked his innovation, instrumentally speaking, and would certainly have been happy to write for band if it was a viable medium. His style would have been the style that he brought to his writing for other media - and Eric Ball replicates this quite faithfully in the first movement, although his structural sense was not quite as 'tight' as Mozart's was.

    It's an interesting challenge to bands, and one that's possibly more intriguing now than it was at the time it was written, before bands subscribed to the 'bigger is better' ethos. If I can just persuade our tenors onto peashooters, I may have a serious band use for that G/D trombone that Steve Butler sold me... If I can't, I'll just play the bass part on a tenor; there's no need for that fat bass trombone sound at all in this piece.
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  10. #40
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    So what's the story behind the piece?
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    So what's the story behind the piece?
    Mozart was born in 1756 and Eric Ball wrote Festival Music for the 1956 Nationals ... that could be a starter for you!
    It's not how you play ... it's the way how you play it!

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  12. #42
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    Hah yes. Ought to have spotted that. Ta!
    Anything more specific?

    For example, the second movement quotes from a piece by Handel, the name of which escapes me for the moment ('Largo' from something or other. Denis Wright arranged it for band, I think.). From memory, none of Handel's dates tie up nicely with an anniversary in 1956. Any significance there, or did he just like the piece?
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    Hah yes. Ought to have spotted that. Ta!
    Anything more specific?

    For example, the second movement quotes from a piece by Handel, the name of which escapes me for the moment ('Largo' from something or other. Denis Wright arranged it for band, I think.). From memory, none of Handel's dates tie up nicely with an anniversary in 1956. Any significance there, or did he just like the piece?
    - sleevenotes from the 2003 Dyke Festival Music CD attribute part of it (1st mvt.) to Mozart's Piano Sonata K457 in C minor. I can see some resemblance there. Listen to the MIDI here for your own judgement.
    It's not how you play ... it's the way how you play it!

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  14. #44
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    It's quite a heavily edited version, but the resemblance must be there - because I was sat in the rehearsal thinking 'This sounds rather like that sonata that I can never quite get my fingers all the way around at speed' (i.e. K457). What I recall of the harmonies line up between the two.

    That's rather pleasing.
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  15. #45
    tMP Prime Friend geordiecolin's Avatar
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    Not heard or played Festival Music as of yet and accordingly will reserve judgement, however on the subject of Mozart and Eric Ball I feel that they are similar it at least one thing and that is that I feel that some of their writing is placed on a pedestal simply because of who composed it.

    It seems to me that there is an attitude that if something is written by either of these composers it is immediately labelled as being "very good". Don't get me wrong, both Mozart and Ball have composed some simply outstanding stuff but not all that they touched turned to gold in my opinion. I think that a good deal of work by both composers is overrated and is living off the name of its composer.

    A case in point would be Main Street, which in my opinion is particularly prosaic piece of music of limited imagination. If this had been composed by somebody else would it still be making relatively common appearances as a test piece?
    Eb Bass
    Westoe Brass Band
    Royal Signals (Northern) Band <---- Recruiting now!

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