Ad Undas - to the waves!

Has anyone come across a recording of this?? I know it's a new piece, so struggling to find anything more than excerpts.

This is the 1st section Butlins test
 

ben16

Member
Glancing at the notes in the score is bad enough. Richard Strauss had nothing on this guy.
What utter tripe.
 

rutty

Active Member
Having played through it quite a bit - and performed it at a contest - I really like it. It won't win any prizes for originality, but there's some nice moments in there, especially in the slow movement.
 
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cockaigne

Member
Nice moments are all very well, but what goes between them should count for something as well...

Finding much the same with 'A Tale As Yet Untold'; impressive technically, but musically rather hollow - it's early days, though.
 

pvillers

New Member
Having played the piece for one of the recordings I disagree that it is just a technical exercise. Although there is technical elements the image it creates is forefronted and develops appropriately throughout the work. The Irish dance element especially had a tune I kept finding myself humming for weeks afterwards.
 

Laserbeam bass

Active Member
Having played the piece for one of the recordings I disagree that it is just a technical exercise. Although there is technical elements the image it creates is forefronted and develops appropriately throughout the work. The Irish dance element especially had a tune I kept finding myself humming for weeks afterwards.
Surely that is because it is basically the only tune in the piece, in multiple guises?
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
It's pleasant enough as it goes, and there are certainly nice moments. But the material used in it is stretched too thin - that Irish jiggy tune pretty much makes up the whole piece with a bit of rhythmic distortion. For me, it loses narrative drive as it goes on, and somewhere about the trombone solo in the third movement that drive dips beyond a critical level; and so the piece sags, losing the interest, and never really recovers. A lovely 3rd mvmt tune would do wonders for the piece, but the melodies are a bit lacking in inspiration, I'm sorry to say. It would also benefit from some more changes in tonal centre - or at least a bit more tonal variety, but that couldn't be mended without restructuring it.

It's also a big fat blow, which players resent when they don't like the music. And I am hearing some harsh comments around me about it, I'm afraid. A lot harsher than mine.

Incidentally, pvillers, I see that you play for the band that the composer conducts. I've heard that the piece originally had a different title ("The Titan", I think?) - is that correct?
 
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Laserbeam bass

Active Member
It's pleasant enough as it goes, and there are certainly nice moments. But the material used in it is stretched too thin - that Irish jiggy tune pretty much makes up the whole piece with a bit of rhythmic distortion. For me, it loses narrative drive as it goes on, and somewhere about the trombone solo in the third movement that drive dips beyond a critical level; and so the piece sags, losing the interest, and never really recovers. A lovely 3rd mvmt tune would do wonders for the piece, but the melodies are a bit lacking in inspiration, I'm sorry to say. It would also benefit from some more changes in tonal centre - or at least a bit more tonal variety, but that couldn't be mended without restructuring it.

It's also a big fat blow, which players resent when they don't like the music. And I am hearing some harsh comments around me about it, I'm afraid. A lot harsher than mine.

Incidentally, pvillers, I see that you play for the band that the composer conducts. I've heard that the piece originally had a different title ("The Titan", I think?) - is that correct?
As usual, far more eloquent than me, but I think the sentiment was the same LOL
 

pvillers

New Member
Incidentally, pvillers, I see that you play for the band that the composer conducts. I've heard that the piece originally had a different title ("The Titan", I think?) - is that correct?
When I played on the first recording I think it was unnamed. Generally I'm not very observant anyway.
 
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pvillers

New Member
Surely that is because it is basically the only tune in the piece, in multiple guises?
If that is the crux of your argument I can assume you dislike Bach, Verdi, Tallis, Berlios etc etc all of whom centered their composing ethos around the idea of Theme and Variation?

Plus the constant hideous murderings of Grandfather's Clock and Carnival of Venice we are 'treated' to at every solo contest. Mind you, that's not the best supportive statement of Theme and Variation i suppose.
 

MoominDave

Well-Known Member
To say that all of those composers "centered their composing ethos around the idea of Theme and Variation" is a very long way over the top. After a bit of head-scratching, I can still only name one piece in variation form between the four of them - Bach's "Goldberg Variations" [although I'm sure Tallis must have at some point, given how close he was with William Byrd, a master of the form]. No notable composer that I can think of used the form as a default, although some of the late Tudor keyboard composers came close.

But what great examples of that form have in common is a willingness to play with the underlying sense of the material - to step away from the melodic outlines of the theme, compose fresh melodies on top of its harmonies, turn those harmonies upside down, inside out, and back to front - often to go as far as constructing odd little games out of the notes in a bid to retain a harmonic freshness. This piece does not do that. It isn't really a formal set of variations - rather a set of episodes that are grouped into movements that often happen to share the same melodic line.

Like I say, it's pleasant enough to my ears without being striking. But I don't think it will be seen again after 2013.
 
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MoominDave

Well-Known Member
I suppose Bach's "Art of Fugue" could also be considered as a set of variations. It's certainly a masterclass in how to organically grow an hour's worth of music out of a four bar phrase.
 

pvillers

New Member
Just have to wait and see how it goes down at Butlins I suppose. Anyway, could be worse, could be Prague!
 
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