BATTLE OF THE TITANS - Bands gear up for a titanic battle at the Royal Albert Hall

Issue 6016

COMPOSERS' CORNER - Dr Liz Lane looks at the subject of  networking 

HERE IS THE NEWS - Looking back at the Daily Herald's Nationals sponsorship

Philip Sparke work to test Championships bands at Europeans

Saturday 8 February, 2020

Championship Section bands competing at the European Brass Band Championships will perform a work by Philip Sparke at the 2020 contest.

A Road Less Travelled By is a three-movement work, with the title taken from the final lines of The Road Not Taken by the American poet Robert Frost (1974 - 1963),

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference.

All of this year’s set pieces have been commissioned by the host organiser, Palangos Orkestras with the support of the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

A Road Less Travelled By is in three movements: I. Moto Perpetuo, II. Nocturne, in which the soloists are featured in elaborate solos and ensembles, and III. Scherzo Finale, which is an example of the composer’s characteristic playful compound time dances, lightly textured to begin with, tuneful and full of energy and drive.

Commenting on the work, the composer said: “I’ve tried to keep the emphasis on ‘traditional’ brass band values, both in the writing and scoring.”

The Challenge Section set work is Baltic Legends by Lithuanian composer Vaida Beinariene. It takes inspiration from two well-known Lithuanian folk legends.

Witches Hill evokes the mysterious nocturnal atmosphere of the Hill of Witches near the village of Juodkrante. The hill is covered with almost 100 wooden sculptures carved by local folk artists to illustrate Lithuanian folk legends, one of which concerns the nocturnal escapades of witches, goblins, fairies and fortune tellers, who roam the hill all night, frightening, confusing, luring and tor-menting any human who crosses their path.

Amber Castle is based on the legend of Jurate, goddess of the sea, and the source of the amber that still keeps arriving to the shores of the Baltic Sea - the remnants of Jurate’s undersea palace after its destruction by the God of Thunder.