West Lothian Challenge Final

wewizrobbed

Member
KennyC said:
Les,

Who said anything about loud dynamics?
You did...heehee :p

KennyC said:
...Only thing I would seriously disagree with was his comment about us being too loud. How on earth are you supposed to play a piece about the war, with bombs and sirens going off all over the place, without being loud?
I thought Les was just answering that Kenny... :? maybe I'm wrong.
 

KennyC

Member
...........and here was me thinking we were talking about Kirkie's overture.

I must pay more attention Lucy. :wink:
 

Anglo Music Press

Well-Known Member
McChambo said:
but I found it difficult to accept and agree with some of the written and verbal remarks.

In which orchestra does/did he perform? Which band did he make his name with as a player/conductor? He is a composer of well-loved and accessible test pieces though. :wink:

For me, an adjudicators comments will only be valid if the person has been successful in a performance capacity. Controversial maybe, just my opinion though.
Well that's the first time I've heard complaints from the winning band !! :)

I don't think you have to be a prize-winning player or conductor to have a valid opinion about musical style or performance. In fact it can be an advantage to be slightly an 'outsider'. It's vital to play orchestral transcriptions with a knowledge of the style of the original (in my humble opinion!); if you don't then there is a risk of missing out on some of the subtle nuances. I didn't ever say that either of the bands was too loud, I was pointing out that using volume for it's own sake is something that only brass bands and heavy metal rock bands do; we don't find it in the wider world of music, and there is a reason for that! :lol:
 

noddy

Member
KennyC said:
Les,

Who said anything about loud dynamics?

I think you did!!!!


"Only thing I would seriously disagree with was his comment about us being too loud. How on earth are you supposed to play a piece about the war, with bombs and sirens going off all over the place, without being loud"

:lol:

Good Music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and quits the memory with difficulty. (SIR THOMAS BEECHAM)
 

Les Wood

Member
KennyC said:
...........and here was me thinking we were talking about Kirkie's overture.
Sort of..., but also the loudness thing as well. It's a very small, acoustically dead hall as you know and is easy to blow the roof off if you don't take it into account.

As to lack of dynamic contrast and tempo - it was certainly fast enough for me and my arthritic fingers :D. But too many times I've heard it so fast it is both meaningless and unmusical - fast for fast's sake (see Philip Sparke's comments about playing orchestral transcriptions in the style of the original). I thought we did alright with it and so did both adjudicators.

Philip Sparke's comment about complaints from the winning band is well made :? What more do you want? Well done to Whitburn and Andy Duncan though.

Les Wood
Kirkintilloch Band
 

KennyC

Member
Les Wood said:
KennyC said:
...........and here was me thinking we were talking about Kirkie's overture.
Sort of..., but also the loudness thing as well. It's a very small, acoustically dead hall as you know and is easy to blow the roof off if you don't take it into account.

As to lack of dynamic contrast and tempo - it was certainly fast enough for me and my arthritic fingers :D. But too many times I've heard it so fast it is both meaningless and unmusical - fast for fast's sake (see Philip Sparke's comments about playing orchestral transcriptions in the style of the original). I thought we did alright with it and so did both adjudicators.

Philip Sparke's comment about complaints from the winning band is well made :? What more do you want? Well done to Whitburn and Andy Duncan though.

Les Wood
Kirkintilloch Band
Les,

I thought you did all right with it too, but if you read my original comment you will see that I thought Alan Morrison would be surprised with the result. I would have reckoned he would have been looking for something a little less subdued, especially having played the same piece only a week before with Brighouse. They were fast, by the way, but I don't think it could have been described as either unmusical or fast for fast's sake. It is a very effective overture, even more so when played by a band that can play it the way they did.

Regarding Philip Sparke, I said that I agreed with much of what he said and wasn't complaining about the adjudication at all. In fact we had a very constructive conversation on the night about it (after the contest, before the conspiracy theorists get too excited) during which he made some good points about loose ensemble in a couple of pieces. I was just surprised that he chose to focus so much on loudness in his comments when much of our programme (Phantom Menace, Taras Bulba, Shostakovich, Manchester Tale.....) requires the band to play very loudly. It doesn't make it bad music and it doesn't make us a bad band for doing so. But one thing that I'm sure most people that have heard us will agree with, we don't use volume for its own sake.

Nice to see we're still talking about music though.

Kenny
 

wewizrobbed

Member
But if he thought you were too loud in upper dynamics, and a lot of the programme had loud sections, then surely this would be something the adjudicator focused on.

Then again, maybe it's only because there was nothing else to talk about! :wink: :D
 

Aidan

Active Member
mebbe could have stuck a couple of quieter ones in the programme? that way everyone's happy :p
 

PC

New Member
"lack of dynamic contrast and the steadier tempo"

Im not sure if you are aware Kenny :? but the Corsair is an original Orchestral work. So why would anyone base there interpretation on the way a Brass band has previously played it! (B&R or not!)
 

Tom

Member
Bart

Should you not be out patrolling that cycle path?

Valid points made about the Corsair. I can't say much because I wasn't there (stranded on the Cote D'Azur) but I think brass bands do have a tendency to rely on speed and volume to create (musical) excitement and that some adjudicators encourage this. When playing transcriptions we should always remember the original work.

Too many entertainment programmes nowadays are simply about blowing as loudly as possible and if bands want to be taken seriously then we need to learn to present balanced programmes that audiences will want to listen to. If we don't then we'll just end up playing to ourselves.
 

McChambo

Member
We did play some quiet music too - just in case anyone thought we blasted for 40 minutes.

Ok, the loud stuff was over the top for some people's liking. The venue maybe isn't suited for a full-blooded rendition of Shostakovich 10. But when folk say 'we must remember the original orchestral work', I think Whitburn most certainly has the musician with the most experience of style and knowledge when it comes to orchestral matters (and I'm not talking about Crookston or Fergie - Bolsheviks).

For me, Kirkintilloch's performance of 'The Corsair' was superb and deserved to win the overture prize.
 

Anglo Music Press

Well-Known Member
McChambo said:
We did play some quiet music too - just in case anyone thought we blasted for 40 minutes.

Ok, the loud stuff was over the top for some people's liking. The venue maybe isn't suited for a full-blooded rendition of Shostakovich 10. But when folk say 'we must remember the original orchestral work', I think Whitburn most certainly has the musician with the most experience of style and knowledge when it comes to orchestral matters (and I'm not talking about Crookston or Fergie - Bolsheviks).

For me, Kirkintilloch's performance of 'The Corsair' was superb and deserved to win the overture prize.
Just to put things straight, I don't think either band were 'over the top'. I'm not talking about things being too loud, just hoping we can realise that when you reduce the dynamics, you gain in terms of slickness, flow and fluidity, which is one thing orchestral players value over volume. This would certainly have helped in both bands' programmes
 

Tobin

Member
Playing loud does some to be a bit of an obsession within our movement. Many seem to equate Loudness (over blowing) with effectiveness and quality.

Desford's CD featuring Gregson's music is a great example of controlled qaulity playing - a breath of fresh air!!

Incidently - my points are made as a generalisation, nothing to do with whitburn or kirky :)
 

KennyC

Member
PC said:
Im not sure if you are aware Kenny :? but the Corsair is an original Orchestral work.
Who are you trying to kid Bart? Are you really trying to tell me that French bloke never wrote it for brass band?

KC

PS I should have remembered that Kirkie are Berlioz specialists (Just showing my age again!)
 

KennyC

Member
Never took you for a trainspotter Les, but there you go.

I think Donald Morrison got off at Haymarket that year. :evil:

KC
 
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