To follow or not to follow..the score that is


:( I would like to underline some of the comments here. Towcester were obviously disappointed with our 11th place as you might expect. Although not expecting a high placing we did think it unfair to be penalised (and criticised on this forum) for sticking to the published tempos. None of the metronome marks on my (1st trombone) part said circa despite Roy Roe's comments on the subject and whilst taking risks or deviating from the metronome mark might be no disadvantage, I fail to see how it should be part of the adjudicator's criteria. I'm sure we have even been rewarded for following the metronome markings in past contests!

We felt that our performance was pretty good (although nowhere near Desford's) but I appreciate that I am of course biased. Any other issue of intonation, sound, style, interpretation etc is of course fair game and should remain the subjective view of a respected adjudicator provided it does not contradict the score.

There seems to be an obvious inconsistency in adjudicator expectations concerning this piece (and presumably others) which should have been resolved long before the contest. Should the guiding principle be:
  • as printed whilst remaining sensitive to good musical taste,
  • as recorded by Black Dyke (my suspicion),
  • a complete free for all governed entirely by the adjudicator's unannounced preference on the day?
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest, I'll try to snap out of it now.