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Thread: 2012 Finals test piece (Rumours/thoughts)

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    What is this fixation with outdated arrangements of classical overtures? With "Carnival Romain" and "Forza del Destino" in recent years, don't you think the 1st section has suffered enough?
    Do you really not believe that in close to 100 years of original test-piece writing for brass bands there aren't any suitable for the 1st Section finals? ...
    Totally agreed. The 1st Section National Finals should be full of bands making the move to the championship section. Instead of throwing yet another 'old standard' at them, try giving them a test piece that's suitable for Championship contenders! (the same goes for the areas too - the glut of not so difficult test pieces for the 1st section has seen a number of bands thrown into the championship section without being ready for it - and this is very damaging for both the contest and the bands themselves).

  2. #47
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    Mind you, a number of bands now in the 1st section were relegated from the championship section off the back of a pair of joke area test pieces there... I'm starting to forget what a decent musical challenge looks like! Broken only by the worthy but far from impossible 'English Heritage', the last five years of area pieces I've run across otherwise read: 'Festival Music', 'Salute to Youth', 'Carnaval Romain' and 'Mountain Views'. Must be due some better luck soon...
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  3. #48
    tMP Prime Friend jockinafrock's Avatar
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    Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy For Brass Band for the 1st section would be good
    Fiona Rolfe



  4. #49
    tMP Friend for Life ian perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jockinafrock View Post
    Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy For Brass Band for the 1st section would be good
    Was used a few years ago for 1st section final
    Looking forward to 2013 with so much in stall

  5. #50
    tMP Friend for Life ian perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    What is this fixation with outdated arrangements of classical overtures? With "Carnival Romain" and "Forza del Destino" in recent years, don't you think the 1st section has suffered enough?
    Do you really not believe that in close to 100 years of original test-piece writing for brass bands there aren't any suitable for the 1st Section finals? And that's not to mention the sizeable library of SA literature, the surface of which has barely been scratched; I happen to think "The Holy War" (RSA) would be an excellent choice for 1st Section ...
    Hang on a minute Waverly was used in around 1984 Championship section arr by Howard Snell and proved to be a very good test and as not been used since 20 odd yrs on would prove to be a good piece for 1st section today i might be wrong.
    Looking forward to 2013 with so much in stall

  6. #51
    tMP Friend for Life ian perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    I once read something about how any given person tends to imagine a 'golden age' as having taken place in the 20 years or so around their birth. I'm not sure exactly when Ian was born, but I suspect that it was somewhere around 1963 or so, which would place his 'golden age' taste squarely in the era of Frank Wright and all those arrangements. Am I close, Ian?
    Dave you are just 1 year out my mate 1964
    Looking forward to 2013 with so much in stall

  7. #52
    tMP Prime Friend GJG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian perks View Post
    Hang on a minute Waverly was used in around 1984 Championship section arr by Howard Snell and proved to be a very good test and as not been used since 20 odd yrs on would prove to be a good piece for 1st section today i might be wrong.
    That may well be true, however 20-odd years on we should not still be relying on arrangements. There is plenty of original music to be explored.
    Gareth J. Green
    MD The Egham Band

    "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." [Attr. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)]
    ... which, logically, must make conducting a form of insanity.

  8. #53
    tMP Prime Friend Bass Trumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    That may well be true, however 20-odd years on we should not still be relying on arrangements. There is plenty of original music to be explored.
    Bearing in mind some of the dross we've had to put up with recently, I think I prefer an arrangement. At least an arrangement would be of a well known piece by a proper composer. An encore of Mountain Views anyone? I thought not
    Duncan Wilson
    MD, Kidlington Concert Brass, L&SC 1st Section Champions 2013!

  9. #54
    tMP Friend for Life ian perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    That may well be true, however 20-odd years on we should not still be relying on arrangements. There is plenty of original music to be explored.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Trumpet View Post
    Bearing in mind some of the dross we've had to put up with recently, I think I prefer an arrangement. At least an arrangement would be of a well known piece by a proper composer. An encore of Mountain Views anyone? I thought not
    Looking forward to 2013 with so much in stall

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Trumpet View Post
    Bearing in mind some of the dross we've had to put up with recently, I think I prefer an arrangement. At least an arrangement would be of a well known piece by a proper composer. An encore of Mountain Views anyone? I thought not
    Actually Mountain Views was a good piece of music. Just not an ideal choice as a test piece (for 1st section anyway).

    No problem with arrangements that challenge the bands at the appropriate level eg the newer transcriptions of Les Preludes or Enigma Variations are both still challenges for top section, whereas the older transcriptions aren't really appropriate.

    (yes i know, 'every piece is a test', but we wouldn't put the Floral Dance on for a championship contest!! So that's a bunkem excuse, we all know there has to be appropriate grading of music where contests themselves are graded)

  11. #56
    tMP Prime Friend Laserbeam bass's Avatar
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    They could always get out Rienzi for the 1st section.
    Nothing to see

  12. #57
    tMP Prime Friend GJG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Trumpet View Post
    Bearing in mind some of the dross we've had to put up with recently, I think I prefer an arrangement. At least an arrangement would be of a well known piece by a proper composer. An encore of Mountain Views anyone? I thought not
    And you thought "Carnival Romain" was better? It may well have been "well known", but personally I struggle even to view Berlioz as a "proper composer" ...

    We'll have to agree to disagree, I'm afraid. Irrespective of how appropriate or otherwise the choice of "Mountain Views" was for 1st Section, I am in principle opposed to the use of arrangements/transcriptions as set tests.
    I am well aware that not everyone will agree, and I am also well aware of the historical background to the use of classical transcriptions as standard repertoire in the early days of the movement. However, in my view their day has passed.

    "Mountain Views" may possibly not have been the most technically competent example of original writing for brass band, but how can we expect to force an improvement in the standard of new compositions if we don't actually use them?
    Gareth J. Green
    MD The Egham Band

    "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." [Attr. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)]
    ... which, logically, must make conducting a form of insanity.

  13. #58
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    MV wasn't a new composition - it's 13 years old! Fact is that the pieces we see are very rarely new - even the much-loved and fresh-sounding 'Paganini Variations' is 20 years old now. The 'Devil' felt new because it's hardly ever played - but it's 19 years old. Most of the 'newer' repertoire that we contrast with the yellow stuff from the days of Frank Wright et al is itself between 10 and 30 years old.

    Which is to say that I agree with your final point Gareth, but that picking MV as an example for a 'new' piece shows what a hole we've got ourselves into in terms of introducing new repertoire.
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  14. #59
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    Although on the flip side, we're also falling into the trap of believing that pure technicality itself makes great music. The constant churn of the same technical phrase by Paul-Lovatt Cooper is absolutely not 'great' music, and we shouldn't be putting such emphasis on this soulless music above others. Yes it's part of the picture, but we're relying on it too much (while rejecting such talented musicians from outside our insular field such as Judith Bingham - remember the Prague fiasco?).

    As long as we keep trying to satisfy the middle ground (the same old popular arrangement, and a percussionist who once wrote an impressive concert piece for Dyke) we'll never get away from this age old problem. In fact if anything it's worse now, as we aren't encouraging development in our musical spectrum at all nowadays. Something we've lacked since we don't have brave musicians like Mr Hindmarch trying to steer our wretched corpse to pastures new.

    When you try to satisfy everyone you often end up going nowhere at all.

  15. #60
    tMP Friend for Life Thirteen Ball's Avatar
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    When was the last time we had (if you'll permit me a blatant americanism for a moment) a "game-changer?"

    Something that, while potentially not a new concept to music per se, is a new idea to brass banding, and is something unlike anything ever written for the ensemble before?

    I'll bet there's not that many. I mean, Cloudcatcher Fells would probably be considered a bit 'way out' for selection today - but was written back in the 80s! If anything, we're becoming more conservative in our selections - not less.

    We need another 'Spectrum' moment.
    Andi Cook: BBb Bass - Hebden Bridge
    Composer in Residence - Skelmanthorpe

    Find me at www.penninemusic.com and www.kirkleesmusic.co.uk
    Got a piece you want arranging? Email thirteen_ball_music@yahoo.co.uk or tweet @13BallMusic to discuss...

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