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2012 4BR Awards — Test Piece of the Year

Lots and lots of test pieces were performed in 2012 — some better than others it must be said. So which one was the best of the bunch though?

4barsrest awards

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There were works old and new on show all year throughout the banding world, and we do point out that we only select those pieces that have been chosen as contest set works first – and not just ‘one off’ own choice selections, unless they have been subsequently used again in another contest.

Plenty to choose from then – from Butlins and the Areas to the Europeans, Masters, Birmingham, Cheltenham, London, all over Europe and the rest of the world.

These were the five that made the greatest impression on us though.


WaespiAudivi Media Nocte
Oliver Waespi
Own Choice selection at various championships
 

Picked last year for inclusion in our nominations and picked once again after it was used by bands throughout the contesting world.

It remains the ultimate test of class – a piece so visceral that it can only be tamed by the very best conductors and players in the world. 

When it was, the effect was like being hit by a police tazer gun.


SnellDaphnis et Chloe
Ravel arranged by Howard Snell
National Championships of Great Britain
 

The finest ever arrangement for brass band of a major orchestral work: 

This made everything that has gone before – and perhaps nearly all that will come, obsolete.

To produce such colours and textures for brass with such limited resources was the product of creative genius – and provided a test of musicianship of the conductors and performers that made for the most musically satisfying brass band contest for many a year:
 
No make that a decade or more...


GiskeGoldberg 2012
Svein Henrik Giske
Norwegian National Championships
 

‘It’s one of the greatest pieces I have conducted for many years. It was a terrific composition – he is the man of tomorrow and of today.’ 

Don’t just take our word for it – that impassioned endorsement came from Professor David King no less.

From Bach to the Brekker Brothers with all things in between – including a central section of such melancholic beauty it froze the blood in your veins.  

Goldberg 2012 was a work of immense creative musicality.


CommitasVitae Aeterna Variations – Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme
Alexander Comitas (Ed de Boer)
European Brass Band Championships

A work inspired by research on near death experiences is certainly intriguing to say the least – but after hearing it played by the very best bands in European in Rotterdam, it was also one that made a lasting impression on the musical mind too.

It was a wonderful composition
 
Full of beautiful, elegant musicality that enabled the very best conductors to draw out the subtle shades of emotion without resorting to misplaced theatrical pathos.


Nigel ClarkeWhen Worlds Collide – or ‘Little Green Men in Intergalactic Spaceships with Ray guns and Phasers’
Nigel Clarke
Flemish Open, Belgian National, Swiss National Championship

Forget the title for a minute: This remarkable work is a fascinating exploration of individual creativity and imagination – with the emphasis on the bands and their MDs to find it.

Inspired by a combination of Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ and a hundred Sci-fi B Movies of the 1950s it crackles with inventiveness – from the use of ray guns and harmonic whirlies to intimately structured sections of delicacy and rich musicality. 

It is the most brilliant antidote to conservatism in all its stiflingly prescriptive forms.

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Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Lindley Band

May 24 • FRONT ROW CORNET required to join our friendly band who enjoy a sensible mix of engagements and contests. Our inspirational MD Mike Golding takes rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday evenings in our own modern bandroom located only 1m from M62 Jcn 24.


Littleport Brass Band

May 24 • Littleport Brass are currently a second section band in Cambridgeshire and rehearse every Wednesday evening 7.30-9.30. We are looking for an Eb bass and tuned percussionist. We are a friendly, active band playing at a variety of exciting concerts.


Stannington Brass Band

May 23 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Martin Heartfield

GGSM, ARCM, PGCE
Conductor, Adjudicator, Educationalist