Having a blow on Whit Friday

Issue 5955

All the action from the ‘Greatest Free Show on Earth’

Funding boost for Brass Bands England

Encouraging a new generation of composers

European Brass Band Championships - Own-choice Section

Saturday 29 April, 2017

Championship Section Results

Adjudicators
Test-piece: Torgny Hansen, Jan Van der Roost, Dr Roger Webster
Own-Choice: Philippe Bach, Ben Haemhouts, Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen

Test Piece: Where Angels Fly (Kevin Houben)
(Draw): Set Work/Own Choice = Total

1. Eikanger-Bjorsvik (Ingar H. Bergby) 95 (test-piece) + 98 (own-choice) = 193 - Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

2. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc) 96+95 = 191* - Goldberg 2012 (Sven H Giske)

3. Cory (Philip Harper) 94/97 = 191 - Destination Moon (Paul Raphael)

4. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet) 92+96 = 188 - The Turing Test (Simon Dobson)

5. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse) 91/92 = 183* - Prophecies (Gavin Higgins)

6. Concord (Jesper Juul Windahl) 90/93 = 183 - Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

7. Paris Brass Band (Florient Didier) 89/94 = 183 - Horrow Show (Simon Dobson)

8. Brighouse and Rastrick (Professor David King) 93+89 = 182 - Visitations from Beyond (Thomas Doss)

9. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Ivan Meylemans): 88+90 = 178 - Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

10. Brass Band Oberosterreich (Erik Janssen) 86+91 = 177 - A Brussels Requiem (Bert Appermont)

11. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen) 87+87 = 174  - Dial 'H' for Hitchcock (Nigel Clarke)

12. 3BA Concert (Thomas Ludescher) 85+88 = 173 - The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Best Instrumentalist: Glyn Williams, euphonium, Cory

* denotes higher placing in test-piece section being decisive in the event of a tie

 

Draw

1. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen) Belgium

2. Bayerischen Brass Band Akademie (3BA) (Thomas Ludescher) Germany

3. Cory (Philip Harper) Wales

4. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Ivan Meylemans) Netherlands

5. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc) Switzerland

6. Tredegar Town (Ian Porthouse) Wales

7. Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier) France

8. Brighouse and Rastrick Professor (David King) England

9. Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar H. Bergby) Norway

10. Concord Brass Band (Jesper Juul Windahl) Denmark

11. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet) Belgium

12. Brass Band Oberosterreich (Erik Janssen) Austria

 

In the BB Frame

1. Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar H. Bergby) Norway

2. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc) Switzerland

3. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet) Belgium

4. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen) Belgium

5. Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier) France

6. Cory (Philip Harper) Wales

*NOT THE OFFICIAL RESULT

LIVE COVERAGE AVAILABLE AT https://brassbanned.5stream.com

Kenny Crookston reporting


12. Brass Band Oberosterreich (Erik Janssen) Austria

A Brussels Requiem (Bert Appermont)

A good show last night from the Austrians although just perhaps out of the frame for us. This is a lively one, but it’s just right for the virtuosic players around the band. A terrific amount of technical work and although the lines all join up brilliantly, the detail isn’t quite as transparent. Once it gets into the hymn section, however, it’s sonorous and heartfelt, with beautiful solo playing, especially from euphonium. Back to the action and it’s starting to turn into an epic adventure. A love small interjection of calm just before the end though. Great stuff from the Austrians.

 

11. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet) Belgium

Not the cleanest of openings from Willebroek but the trade-mark sound quality is never far away. The intricate semiquaver work is all exposed, while the best sounding cornet section in Europe gives us a reminder of the conductor’s music-making ethos. This is a colourful reading, and even although much of the piece is built on semiquaver rhythms Willebroek still finds the sonority in every bar.

Another fine one to add to last night’s possible contender!

 

10. Concord Brass Band (Jesper Juul Windahl) Denmark

Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

Perhaps the band with the worst draw in history - having to follow Eikanger’s performance of a lifetime. The Danes are unfazed though and the opening is tight and dynamic. Terrific work continues through the gypsy dance and the flugel performs outstandingly. Euphonium and cornet make the searching solos sound easy too. Fantastic energy generated in the final section - brilliant cornet section work too. Concord has performed very well this weekend. Expect to see it take a few scalps!

 

9. Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Ingar H. Bergby) Norway

Fraternity (Thierry Deleruyelle)

After a wonderful show last night can the 1988-89 champion finally regain the title it so covets? The vividly descriptive opening is perhaps a bit ‘safe’ but the block chords reveal a rarely-heard quality - the reference point for balance. All the time in the world offered to the cornet soloist, and he takes it - outstanding! Such commitment in the ensemble before Firedamp, which is powerful even before the brass comes in. Sorry, we had to stop writing…

 

8. Brighouse and Rastrick Professor (David King) England

Visitations from Beyond (Thomas Doss)

High-wire opening doesn’t quite work to full effect, with a number of apparent slips amid the otherwise high-quality ensemble. Some ‘interesting’ effects from the percussion section introduce a more familiar landscape and the band appears more settled. The music rolls along and although much of the individual playing is outstanding the big picture is occasionally undermined by further errors. Disappointing overall.

 

7. Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier) France

Horror Show (Simon Dobson)

Vividly descriptive opening really does evoke memories of a tragic and horrific event in Paris in November 2015. Versatility personified in the cornet solo - but every player is contributing here. This is powerful, dark music - gun shots emanating from the percussion section at irregular intervals a stark reminder of the Bataclan slaughter. Aleatoric section recalls the chaos - followed by a period of reflection, all relayed brilliantly through the music by players and conductor. Just a hint of poor intonation in the flugel, but that is barely worth a mention in this performance. Quite an experience that one. Fabulous playing too.

 

6. Tredegar Town (Ian Porthouse) Wales

Prophecies (Gavin Higgins)

The ever-adventurous Tredegar enters another journey with Gavin Higgins, and this one, although ‘out there’, appears more conventional than his much-admired Destroy, Trample… Band sounds very much in its zone in the opening - very technical and detail-ridden. Some background clips in the florid slow section may detract but we hear glorious chords in appassionato. Perilous cornet cadenza is easily overcome. The following movement challenges everyone - listeners included - but the sounds created are haunting at times. Very inventive ending to a challenging work. Some great playing though.

 

 

5. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc) Switzerland

Goldberg 2012 (Svein Henrik Giske)

Testing opening is atmospheric and 100% secure. Virtuosic cornet section work is just out of this world, while the regular changes of style are handled with ease. Baroque cornet and flugel/horn interplay is something to behold, while the approaching menace in the lower brass background announces another change of mood - every soloist has something to say, and each is of the highest class. Soprano solo - just wow. Control in and around euphonium and cornet solos is astonishingly good too. Now on a superlative search…

 

 

4. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Ivan Meylemans) Netherlands

Journey of the Lone Wolf (Simon Dobson)

Opening is edge-of-the-seat stuff and it is a textbook reading through the animated section. Cornet solo doesn’t quite speak loudly enough, but we loved the gypsy dance from soprano and horn. Flugel solo has plenty of poise and is nearly 100% in delivery, which is also true of the stylish trombone. Baritone and euphonium make the solos sound easy before the tension increases menacingly. Final section is a tour-de-force for the ensemble and it remains on full power to finish. Big improvement on last night!

 

3. Cory (Philip Harper) Wales

Destination Moon (Paul Raphael)

Based on Herge’s Adventures of Tin Tin, this new work by the previously unheard of Paul Raphael (does he like partial anagrams, we wonder?) is in three movements - Science, Humanity and The Launch. He writes in a very flamboyant and virtuosic style, laying a foundation for Cory’s brilliant ensemble to come to the fore. Trombone and baritone shine in their solo contributions but although the slow movement a thing of beauty at times, it wasn’t 100% comfortable in delivery. Magnificent sounds in the final section before it returns to a reflective mood. Back row cornets have departed on their own mission it seems… and we hear them from behind a door to close. Wow! Who saw that coming?

 

 

2. Bayerischen Brass Band Akademie (3BA) (Thomas Ludescher) Germany

The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Bristling with energy to open but quite a few of the solo lines are just off the pace. Tasteful solo work throughout the slow section and it is beautifully shaped by the conductor. Really comes to life following a terrific trombone break and the languid flugel steps into the limelight with aplomb. Better ensemble when the fast music returns and the final section has a lot of class - committed but never over the top. Another to improve on last night’s performance

 

1. Brass Band Buizingen (Luc Vertommen) Belgium

Dial ‘H’ for Hitchcock (Nigel Clarke)

Possibly having a bit of ground to make up after last night, Buizingen has managed to get another number one draw, but it makes an impact right from the start (interesting to see how near the front of the stage it has set up). Initially not quite a sinister as the title suggests, it screams into action and the interweaving lines are quite mesmerising. Lovely flow about the central romantic episode, but it also gives the impression that something darker is looming in the background. Percussive effects add to the drama and we hear playing around the entire band on a level above its contribution last night.