Live: 2011 Scottish Open Championship26-Nov-2011
Follow the live 'Battle' action in Perth.
Live coverage of the 2011 Scottish Open from The Perth Concert Hall.
Saturday 26th November
Music for Battle Creek - Philip Sparke
Adjudicators: Dr Robert Childs, Professor John Wallace & Philip Sparke
Additional comments and thoughts on our Twitter site: www.twitter.com/4barsrest
Comments: Iwan Fox, Kenny Crookston & Chris Thomas
Overall a disappointing contest - Battle Creek was too hard a test piece for the vast majority of these bands today.
The best did master the technical and musical issues, but behind them the standard dropped away - at times alarmingly.
We think the title will go back to Wales though with Tongwynlais, with Whitburn upholding Scots honour and Milnrow doing the north west proud. Fishburn and Imps should get in the mix too with Co-op just having enough ensemble quality to take sixth.
4BR Overall Prediction of the 3 press critics
1. Tongwynlais Temperance
2. Exchange Communications Whitburn
3. United Co-op Milnrow
5. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart
6. Co-operatve Funeralcare
7. Marsden Silver
8. Pemberton Old Wigan DW
11. Blackburn & Darwen
13. Kingdom Brass
15. Regent Brass
16. Bo'ness & Carriden
Press Critics breakdown
IwanFox/Kenny Crookston/Chris Thomas
4. York Imps/Milnrow/York Imps
7. Pemberton/York Imps/Fishburn
Fishburn Band, Alan Morrison, 16
A well thought out performance this. Not everything quite came off in terms of execution but all the musical possibilities were explored and delivered with solidity. May squeeze into the top six today.
A very tidy reading from the MD which led to a good performance from the band. Luminoso was one of the best today. Won't be too far today.
Spirited opening movement just lacked a bit of clarity but had dynamic range. This went on all the way though - but you can enjoy the intent from the MD and the solid execution. Just had enough about it to make a mark today.
Marsden Band, Glyn Williams, 15
High pace to start and it went full pelt for some time. This was exciting and colourful, but also edgy and raw. The tempo choices are at the margins throughout. Despite the solid execution this could be an acquired taste today for the judges.
Bold and energetic! Perhaps just too fast in the first movement which made it untidy. Some good soloists though. May figure in the prizes.
Opens well but cornet comes to grief and the tempo is dangerously quick. Detail suffers and it gets hard edged despite the spirited approach. Rondo comes too late to put this one into the prizes.
Regent Brass, Alan Duguid, 14
Too many inherent problems with this one. Had its moments in a well structured reading from the MD, but the ensemble lacked precision and the solo lines didn't always command as they should. The execution just didn't macth the musical intent.
Another band that found Battle Creek hard work, but it hung together fairly well despite the flaws. May take a scalp or two.
Sound enough opening but it really starts to unravel and the Elegy is so slow to the point of laborious. An untidy end to the Rondo finale sums up a scrappy account.
United Co-op Milnrow Band, Marieka Gray, 13
What an exciting and colourful performance this. Pacy and full of energy, the soloists did very well and the ensemble only had the occassionaly nasty mishap. Well directed by MD, this made a mark today both musically and technically. In the mix.
Excellent reading, but the odd lapse did detract. Some excellent solo and ensemble work though, and it should make it into the prizes.
A band punching above its weight today. A solid no nonsense reading which captured the essence of the music admirally. No superstars amongst the soloists but this was a genuine band performance and the more creditable for it.
Exchange Communications Whitburn, Ian Porthouse, 12
Very nearly, but not quite a corker from Whitburn. Some tuning issues and the odd lax moment just took something off the high gloss ensemble finish. There was real class about this at times, but those little nasty moments may just cost them the title.
A real touch of class in the band sound, with dynamic contrast that few have attempted today. Perhaps just too many indivdual errors to win?
Fine opening although there are individual slips as the movement progresses. Elegy has moments of magic and the Rondo is so well measured, However, errors do count against it. Nearly but not quite top of the pile.
Lochgelly, Bryan Allan, 11
Boldly played this. A touch artisan in approach but it was held together with a good understading of the score from the MD. Just got tired and scrappy in places.
An inconsistent mix of the good and the untidy. Excellent attempt at some of the quiet dynamics and good solo work, the the loose ensemble will cost.
The first and second moevements drew playing of considerable quality from the band, but the performance lost its way in the Rondo as the ensemble and soloists became increasingly untidy. An intelligent reading from the MD.
Tongwynlais Temperance, Philip Harper, 10
A different class this. MD took risks with tempos and dynamics (mutes too) but the quality of solo lines and the solidity of the ensemble stood this out by a mile. Got a touch brash to close but this will surely be right in the mix for first place.
At last! Someone gets to grips with the test piece! Perhaps a bit fast in some of the elegy, but at least the band could play it. A distance ahead.
At last, a performance that generated excitement without the hard edged agression! Detail, delicacy and musical shape in equal measure, and although it had its idiosyncracies the consistency was a model today. Right up there.
Bo'ness & Carriden, Bede Williams, 9
There was just far too many forced and unforced errors in this to make anything of a well thought out reading by the MD. The odd bright moment in the solo lines, but overall this struggled.
A real struggle from the start. Perhaps an illustration of why Battle Creek isn't the best choice today.
The MD had a stylish understated approach but there were an alarming number of errors that conspired to give a disjointed performance. Another example of execution not matching intent.
Newtongrange, Nigel Boddice MBE, 8
Yet another very uneven rendition. The musical shape and style was evident but the execution was so flawed and dislocated at times. May struggle.
A very cautious approach and the soloists did step up to the mark. Perhaps just too bland overall.
Philip Sparke's music was the winner of this battle. The band struggled to overcome the difficulties of the music both individually and collectively.
Halfway break and the press trio debates:
Iwan goes for Imps, Co-op and Pemberton
Kenny goes for Dalmellington, Imps, Co-op
Chris goes Imps, Co-op and Dalmellington
Dalmellington Band, Archie Hutchison, 7
An enjoyable reading of the score this - musically free flowing and dynamically coherent. The problems came in execution, which was variable at times. It retained the interest despite the flaws though - and that may give it marks today.
A better reading than anything so far. Some ropey tuning and a few clips and scrappiness may cost. The conductor though did an excellent job and there was a cohesion that few have managed today.
Musically there was clear intent on dispaly here, but the execution was at times flawed. Once again the opening of the third movement proved difficult but there was much to enjoy here.
Co-operative Funeralcare Band, Michael Fowles, 6
A real error strewn one this from Co-op. There was quality to the ensemble at times, but so often the good work was undermined by lax errors and nasty mistakes. Very beatable today.
Some excellent sounds in the early part of the piece, but it was very inconsistent later. Lacked style in the elegy too. Not a winner today.
A performance with detail and excitement and moments of real quality although individual slips were noticeable. A very scrappy opening to the Rondo threatened to de-rail the good work. A leader but one that can be beaten.
Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel, David Nesbitt, 5
Not everything came off with this, but the MD tried to make it musically interesting. Uneven solo work at times, but there was a solidity to the ensemble and the Rondo was the most coherent so far.
A possible leader, but hard to see it staying there for long. Some good solo work but there was a slight franticness about the animated sections.
The MD knew exactly what he wanted from this although the ensemble was not always 100%. The performance had drive, energy and dynamic contrast with a particulaly effective culimnoso in the elegy section.
Blackburn & Darwen, Nick Shephard, 4
Another rather uneven performance that couldn't quite knit together the extended episodes of quality ensemble playing. Solo lines varied but the sensible approach of the MD kept this on track. A midfielder though.
Some admirable attempts at dynamics that few others have really made so far. However, some nasty accidents and a general lack of detail detracted overall.
At its best the playing had real momentum behind it, but issues of tuning and lack of rhymical cohesion in the Rondo hurt their performance at key moments.
Pemberton Old Wigan DW Band, Mark Bentham, 3
A red blooded one from Pemberton - and at times it was raw too. Hard and harsh in too many places, and uneven solo contributions didn't help. Some were excellent, others average. Not on their best form today.
Some excellent ensemble work but harsh tutti sounds and a few slips too many should prove costly in the end.
Technically the most competent performance so far but it could have been so much better if a touch of agression was taken out of it. Vivid stuff but over the top approach takes its toll.
Felling Band, Stephen Malcolm, 2
A performance that held promise after a solid start. Solo lines held up well, but there were questions over some of the tempos employed throughout - especially a pedestrian Rondo.
A good attempt if a bit hard sounding and overloud in places. Good solo work but there were a few too many sticky moments.
Plenty of excitement on display but dynamics mask a lot of the detail. Some nice touches in the central movement but a cautious tempo in the Rondo gave an oddly uninvolving feel.
Kingdom Brass, Andrew Duncan, 1
A really untidy and uneven performance this. Some well delivered solo and ensemble moments, but overall this lacked precision and tired badly to end.
A midfielder at best?
Some excellent solo work, but not always supported by the lower parts. Tough going especially in the Rondo.
May struggle to to make it into the frame.
From a warm opening theme there were some quality moments and good individual contributions. A very scrappy third movement left a very uneven impression overall.
Foden's with Michael Fowles
Featuring the British Open and
National Championships test pieces