General • Sunday 26, 16:30:13
Test Piece: A Kensington Concerto (Eric Ball)
Adjudicators: David Read MBE, Stephen Roberts, Dennis Wilby
1. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
2. Virtuosi GUS (John Berryman)
3. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
4. Thoresby Colliery (Brian Grant)
5. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
6. Tongwynlais Temperance (Steve Sykes)
7. Marsden Silver (Glyn Williams)
8. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
9. Wantage Silver (Philip Bailey)
10. Concord Brass (Dennis Aaberg Anderson)
11. Kortijik (Ward de Ketelaere)
12. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
13. Aveley & Newham (Melvin White)
14. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
15. Hepworth (Stig Maersk)
16. NASUWT Riverside (Ray Farr)
17. Staines Brass (Melvin White)
18. Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)
19. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (Derek Renshaw)
20. Bournemouth Concert (Captain Dave Barringer)
21. Regent Brass (Alan Duguid)
4barsrest.com Best Instrumentalist Award: Nicholas Hughes - Principal Cornet (Seindorf Beaumaris)
Best Trombone: Zone One Brass
Withdrawn: Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone); Newstead Welfare (Duncan Beckley)
General • Sunday 26, 16:06:02
Youth Brass 2000 are now taking to the stage to entertain us prior to the announcement of the results at about 16.45.
It's been a disappointing and at times frustrating contest as the bands struggled to get to grips with the musical challenges of Eric Ball's A Kensington Concerto. It could be close at the top but we are going for.
1. Tongwynlais Temperance
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Tredegar Town
4. Seindorf Beaumaris
5. Brass Band Willebroek
6. Marsden Silver Prize
Dark Horse: Zone One
General • Sunday 26, 15:55:19
22. Virtuosi GUS (John Berryman)
The opening cornet solo is sweetly enunciated by Peter Collins and the opening paragraphs unfold with a graceful ease. The quieter dynamics are impressive and there are some little touches of mystery that really add intrigue to the musical picture. A cornet slip momentarily disrupts the flow but it recovers well.
The Andante moderato opens in dark fashion and there is an underlying power allied with the pathos that we have needed but so rarely heard today, whilst John Berryman keeps the flow moving ever onward in what is an entirely convincing realisation of Eric Ball's Musial intent.
There are some lovely little touches of colour along the way and the final reprise of the opening scheme on horn is so touching.
A compelling reading of a piece that has caused so many problems for the competing bands today. Full of atmosphere and so beautifully characterised.
General • Sunday 26, 15:35:23
21. Thoresby Colliery (Brian Grant)
There's a genuine sepia tinted style about the opening with a man in the middle in Brian Grant that knows the score from his immense experience as a player.
It's not without slips along the way but there is so much about this that gets to the heart of the music and finds an underlying darkness that few have found today. It gets harsh at times though and it doesn't need to be but the emotion of the Andante moderato is ever present.
What a shame that the ending seems to throw caution becoming harsh and abrasive. It took the edge off what could have been a much more rounded performance.
General • Sunday 26, 15:17:45
20. NASUWT Riverside (Ray Farr)
A shaky opening that sees the principal cornet drop off the solo at the end. Tuning is unsettled in the cornets and the band doesn't quite sound comfortable with intonation and skewed entries continuing to disrupt the flow.
The central Andante moderato is better and the MD tries to find the character of the music but those inconsistencies continue to raise their heads at key moments with the louder dynamics tending to push the limits in an acoustic that struggles to take it.
The final stages are big and bold but this was a performance that needed much more light and shade.
General • Sunday 26, 15:02:28
19. Marsden Silver Prize (Glyn Williams)
A safe opening and a nicely shaped account of the opening Allegro that finds the contours of the music with aplomb. We hear the quaver runs through the middle of the band with clarity and this a more confident sounding band than we heard in Blackpool on Red Priest two weeks ago.
Solo euphonium delivers his part with pathos at the opening of the Andante moderato and there is an Edwardian majesty about the climaxes that sits well within the stylistic context of the music. This is unmistakably the language of Ball.
Just one or two slips interrupt the flow as we move into the the final Allegro and the runs become a little scrappy but this is a reading that has offered much to admire. Not a challenger for the top honours maybe bit a performance of musical integrity, neatly delivered.
General • Sunday 26, 14:46:27
18. Kortrijk Brass ( Ward de Ketelaere)
One of many opening cornet solos today that have got the principal's nerves jangling. It makes for an unsettled opening that takes time to find its feet. When it does it finds the style of the music well but the execution is not always precise with ensemble not entirely taut.
There's real passion evident in the Andante moderato. This is a band that isn't afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve but erratic execution will prevent a serious challenge on the podium finishers today.
General • Sunday 26, 14:26:18
17. Tongwynlais Temperance (Stephen Sykes)
A beautifully phased opening from the solo cornet, full toned and with a wistful sentimentality. And as the band enter there is a quiet authority about the playing with carefully balanced sounds. Just the odd intonation issue but no band has escaped those today.
There's a nice lilt to the Grazioso and an intensity to the central Andante moderato that finds its way to the soul. This is playing of stylistic awareness and atmosphere that finds both the joy and the tragedy of Ball's multi- faceted musical portraits with a searing but not forced emotional depth.
The final Allegro is big and bold and maybe takes the slightest of chances with the dynamic but its an ebullient ending to a well conceived reading that found the light and shade of the music with awareness.
General • Sunday 26, 14:09:31
16. Wantage Silver (Philip Bailey)
The opening is just a touch ponderous but there is a clear intent to find the style of the music and the dynamics are kept well under control. One or two untidy solo entries are noted and ensemble is not always entirely precise but there is an atmosphere about the playing that captures the era.
The Giocoso has a nice lilt to it and we hear the dynamic contrasts. It's just a shame that careless entries cost as there is so much musical intent on display.
Solo horn gives us a very nervy reprise of the opening theme before a full blooded ending that caps a well conceived if erratically delivered account.
General • Sunday 26, 13:52:54
15. Staines Brass (Melvin White)
The opening cornet solo is a touch laboured, as is the Allegro quasi scherzo where we don't hear the humour and delicacy coming through in the music. This all needs to flow a little more.
The central Andante moderato, the emotional heart of the piece, is better but again the melodic lines are all too often stopped in their tracks as uncomfortable moments get in the way. We need that sense of refined musicality that has remained stubbornly absent from so many performances today.
The horn solo in the closing bars is just a touch too slow for our ears and although its a spirited ending, this was another performance that lacked any real sense of style or musical empathy
General • Sunday 26, 13:37:57
14. Tredegar Town (Ian Porthouse)
A slight blip in an otherwise finely shaped opening cornet solo and the delicacy in the playing is immediately evident as the music flows with purpose but always with such control. Ian Porthouse finds the shape of the score and we hear a cohesion to the interpretation that is so refreshing.
There's a lovely old fashioned pathos to the euphonium solo in the Andante moderato and the musical pictures are so well characterised. We hear the personalities come shining through along with their warmth and humour. The climaxes are big but never over blown and all the stronger for the extent of the band's dynamic range at quieter levels.
The runs in the cornets are so neatly done and as we head towards the conclusion there is a delicious combination of joy and wistful melancholy as the solo horn sings the opening melody. The final flourish is emphatic but so well balanced and although there were little slips along the way the sheer maturity of this performance marks it out.
A fine performance but one that might just be beatable by a band at the top of its form.
General • Sunday 26, 13:22:26
13. Bournemouth Concert Brass (David Barringer)
An uncomfortable opening cornet solo and the opening lacks warmth in the band sound. It settles in the Grazioso but the occasional scrappy entry impedes the musical picture.
There is a feeling of confidence about the playing though. We would like to hear more refinement in the characterisation of the score's many musical portraits but solo entries are generally safe and this is certainly a reading of solidity in the context of what we have heard today.
The ending is scrappy. A shame as there were some moments of quality that shone through although inconsistencies will surely cost.
General • Sunday 26, 13:02:35
12. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
A confident opening cornet solo and there is a feeling of authority about the playing that immediately makes an impression with generally taut ensemble and well shaped solo lines and phrasing.
This is coming across as a performance of traditional musical values. Very English in its way and imbued with a pathos that really gets to the heart of the music. The climaxes are big but not harsh and there is a warmth to the middle of the band that radiates, if sometimes offset by a powerful cornet section with an extra man on the back row.
The contrasts are well characterised and although the final horn reprise of the opening is a touch too heart on sleeve its bold, confident music making. The end is a touch loud but there was so much to admire here from the Belgians.
General • Sunday 26, 12:48:32
11. Aveley and Newham (Melvyn White)
Four trombones seem a touch over the top for A Kensington Concerto.......with the front row also sporting five cornets.
The opening cornet solo is safe albeit not the most refined so far but the Allegro progresses well into the Grazioso and the error count is kept comparatively low with solid solo lines through the central slow section.
There is a fine poco allegro introduction to the final Giocoso (well done sop1) )with a nicely shaped solos horn reprise of the opening them leading to a bold ( perhaps a little too bold) closing flourish.
A well put together account for Aveley, directed with purpose and thought by Melvyn White.
General • Sunday 26, 12:27:02
9. Zone One (Richard Ward)
A nicely shaped opening cornet solo with only three cornets on the front row. There's a clear approach to finding the style of the music by the MD and the ensemble is generally tight in comparison to many that we've heard so far today.
The dynamics are wide ranging but we don't get the hard edge that has been all too prevalent with many bands and the solo work is of a high quality; sensitive and sympathetic to the character of the music.
Poco Allegro into the final Giocoso is well done and its a well handled ending, controlled and carefully judged.
A well thought out performance with a relatively low error count in comparison to many today.
General • Sunday 26, 12:06:50
8. Seindorf Beaumaris (Gwyn Evans)
Well done solo cornet. A nicely shaped opening but a shame that tuning then grates in the ensuing cornet entry. There's a feeling of style and integrity about this though, even if there are the odd uncomfortable moments.
A fine introduction by the bass end into the allegro and there are fine dynamic contrasts heard with neat nicely balanced trombones. At last this is getting close to the sepia tinted musical imagery that the music cries out for with full credit to the MD for finding a refined quality to the reading with climaxes that are all the more impassioned for adherence to the dynamics of the score.
The pathos comes through with a burning intensity as we head into the final section of the piece and the spirit is always evident. A little slip as 1st horn gives us the reprise,of the opening theme but its a fine ending to a performance that although not flawless, was imbued with character.
General • Sunday 26, 11:50:10
7. Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)
An unsteady, nervy opening cornet solo and the progress of the music is unsettled with a tendency to push the dynamics too far. We have heard so many ugly sounds so far today in music that desperately needs empathy and sensitivity.
Individual lines are better in the slow music although there needs to be vary careful attention to balance and tuning grates on the ear at times.
It's so uneven in execution and we desperately want to hear a refined musical picture that sadly never comes. Another disappointing account in an increasingly frustrating contest.
General • Sunday 26, 11:34:00
Friary Guldford (Chris King)
Opening cornet solo is cleanly played if lacking a touch of poise and the MD keeps the dynamics on a generally tight leash. Cornet tuning suffers when muted and there are inexcusable slips in some of the solo lines, including principal cornet.
We hear passion In the big central climax but it is so difficult to be swept along by the performance when intonation is so consistently problematic and individual clips mount up.
The sound get harsher as we get closer to the end and although there are movements of quality inconsistency is again a serious issue.
General • Sunday 26, 11:16:52
5. Regent Brass (Alan Duguid)
Again we miss that hazy sense of distant memories being relived that the opening cornet solo so desperately needs. Tuning is so often amiss and again the ensemble is crappy with ragged phrase endings and little shape to the melodic lines.
Well done solo euphonium. A ray of sunshine that penetrates the darkness!! But again nasty moments in the ensemble are unsettling and the performed overall lacks shape as we don't hear any real feeling for the architecture of the piece as a whole.
Tuning issues persist to the end in a disappointing performance form the London and Southern Counties champions.
General • Sunday 26, 11:03:42
4. Unite the Union City of Sheffield (Derek Renshaw)
Opening cornet solo is rushed and we miss the wistful quality that it needs followed by a band entry that isn't together.
It's so untidy and we hear so little of the musical characterisation that the music calls for with tuning often proving to be problematic and hard, harsh sounds.
The upper dynamics really grate and although there are decent solo entries notably solo euphonium, the playing needs more of a refined approach.
A disappointing performance that will struggle to make any kind of mark today.
General • Sunday 26, 10:44:54
3. Concord Band Copenhagen (Dennis Aaberg Anderson)
What a fine opening cornet solo. Refined and wistful although the opening band entry isn't quite together. The band really keeps the dynamics in check; essential in this extremely dry acoustic.
We are hearing cultured playing here that really gets to the emotional core of Ball's score. Just minor slips along the way but the soloists play with a striking sense of musicality that engages.
Good opening to the final section on soprano in difficult low register and the MD builds the spirit without pushing the upper dynamics too far leading to a bright conclusion.
A good effort from the Danes but all three performances so far have been untidy at times.
General • Sunday 26, 10:30:06
2. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Opening cornet entry just falters initially but recovers. The style is so nicely captured though and as we progress through the early stages the dynamic contrasts are effective but always controlled. Fine individual work from solo,euphonium and solo trombone.....a great take on a vintage sound!
It just tends to get a little harsher in sound as the performance progresses and we would like to hear more marked characterisation of Ball's musical pen portraits.
A solid account but perhaps not the most refined we would hope to hear today.
General • Sunday 26, 10:15:41
1. Hepworth (Stig Maersk)
Just a hint of nerves about the opening cornet solo and the initial entry from the band is not absolutely tight. It settles and we hear playing of good spirit in what is an unforgiving acoustic to say the least. Euphonium playing of such lovely pathos from Mike Kilroy and there is passion in the playing even though frustrating clips continue to unsettle the musical picture.
Stig Maersk really tries to draw playing of emotional depth from his team but again clips and fleeting intonation issues intervene.
Sensitive reprise of the opening theme on horn and its a bold close.
Playing that really tried to find the heart of the music although those moments of untidiness could well cost.
General • Sunday 26, 09:57:13
All England International Masters
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts, Denis Wilby, David Read MBE
Live Comments: Chris Thomas
Aveley & Newham, 11
Bournemouth Concert, 13
Brass Band Willebroek, 12
Concord Band, 3
Friary Guildford, 6
Hammonds Saltaire, 2
Kortrijk Brass, 18
Marsden Silver Prize, 19
NASUWT Riverside, 20
Newstead Brass, 10
Regent Brass, 5
Seindorf Beaumaris, 8
Staines Brass, 15
Thoresby Colliery 21
Tongwynlais Temperance, 17
Tredegar Town, 14
Unite the Union (City of Sheffield), 4
Virtuosi GUS, 22
Wantage Silver, 16
Zone One Brass, 9
General • Sunday 19, 04:05:09
21 bands will compete for the Silver Jubilee All England Masters International title.
Bands will perform 'A Kensington Concerto’ by Eric Ball.
The competing bands are:
Aldbourne, Aveley & Newham, Bournemouth Concert, Concorde Brass, Friary Guildford, Hammonds Saltaire, Hepworth, Kortrijk Brass, Marsden Silver Prize, NASUWT Riverside, Newstead Brass, Seindorf Beaurmaris, Skelmanthorpe, Sovereign Brass, Staines Brass, Thorseby Colliery, Tongwynlias Temperance, Tredegar, Virtuosi GUS, Wantage, Zone One Brass
General • Sunday 19, 04:02:36
Twenty bands will descend upon The Lighthouse Theatre for this contest which also includes a Gala Concert at night.
Further information from The Box Office on 01536 414141 or Philip Biggs 01223 234090