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British Open 2002 - The Adjudicators Remarks

Well you've read our opinion of the winning bands performances - now's the chance to read what the adjudicators had to say.


We thought we'd bring you their thoughts (they couldn't quite bring themselves to tell us off the stage could they now) and to tell you the truth, they reveal exactly what they were looking for. Why they couldn't tell the public then is just beyond us.

Many thanks to Mr Martin Mortimer and the organisers for allowing us the opportunity to bring you these details. Once more they seem to be talking a step in the right direction.

We are unable to produce all the details from Michael Ball's comments as the photocopies of his very good handwriting didn't show through too well (He used a blue fountain pen which meant that the copies were very poor) - We could only make out some bare details - Sorry! (We'll try and get them later in the week)


1. Buy As You View Cory

Well-balanced handling of the opening with convincing sense of growth & decay to each gesture.

Fine shaping and assured rhythmic ensemble in the Maestoso leading naturally into the Allegro molto with alert clarity of definition to the exposed athletic detail, yet retaining a relaxed poise to allow flexible rhythmic shaping where appropriate in the more lyrical & thoughtful ideas. The section was built to a formidable & authoritative climax.

Commendable building of overall shape at P and lead in to the Passacaglia. There was plenty to admire in the playing here also - a taut sense of the long-term architecture of the work yet with the stretch necessary to provide detailed identity and characterisation of each and every gesture - outstanding playing. The section grew to its climax with natural authority and assurance. You coped ably with the exposed sustained writing of the extended final section, maintaining the tension throughout and ensuring integrity of each line within the texture along with some admirable focus to sonority in the tutti.

Utterly compelling - a memorable performance.

Michael Ball

Opening well controlled, just the right balance, light touch on the vibes. B - a touch loud in cornets sweet horns at 27. 37 - Cornets a seamless robe, great Maestoso, so well balanced and the DETAIL!!

80 - Stylish S. Drum. No fussiness in the quick interpolations. K - excellent quality both tonally and technique. 227 - again such splendid detail. 260 - Great music making. 312 - all the phrases finish off meaningfully. 346 - Trombonists (both Bass and 2nd) artistic. 393 - Great ensemble - timp first rate match with Bb bass (sorry! Same octaves). Tempo 1 magnificent chording and such a fine blend of the 2 tenor troms and B.T (baritone). 458 - expressive soprano. DD - the chorale phrasing is impeccable. 487 - onwards is pure magic. What a delight - a great musical treat.

William Relton


Fine opening. Menacing at A - just what is needed, so well balanced. Superb sounds up to

Maestoso. Perfect coordination between perc and band

Allegro - so musical, nothing missed in dynamics!

K - descending figures in horns a feature and clarity. 238 - crisp but powerful too! I sit back and enjoy your music making!

V - fine Bass trom and 2nd trom but everything is so well shaped and graded. Y - Timp spot on!

AA - Aggressive but not out of control - good pause before Temp Primo. Contrary motion so well portrayed. Let the 2nd cornet through! At 453. All parts are heard from BB. DD Superb playing from all. Well controlled through to final bars.

A fine performance - so well directed.

David Read.


2. Fodens

Opening tam - tam a touch early. Nice horns and great cornet entries with well placed vibes. 23 - Great entry lower cornets (so well balanced) Great scale to end.

Maestoso - well balanced. 88 - Fine detail. 116 - Neat soprano. 156 - colourful timp line. K - beautiful sound. 244 - Full of character well balanced. 260 - Great cresc and dim the texture of sound and the tonal quality are great. 356 - the rhythm rocks slightly, (lyrical 2nd trom and energetic cornets). Z - Most exciting. 438 after a great start at Temp Primo a disappointing attack both in Trombones and cornets. BB - such a good sound, soprano espressivo comes through well. DD - Exquisite colours. 493 - what a great touch the vibraphone player has! Ensemble terrific - the ending was pure poetry.

Great musicianship all round - a very fine interpreter leads.

William Relton

Excellent opening bars, but Euph just a little strong. However, lovely sounds pervade and so soft! Bass line is so sonorous.

E - Neat and all in its proper place
L - Well done with clarity

Ritornello Fanfare fine at 224. The sea swells are effective. A lovely light texture and colours at R.

Fine Troms and the main tune is always heard

Timp fine and does not swamp the band. Pause lovely at 436

Tentative at 437 for a moment or two! Again at BB you are a little uncomfortable. 458 - well done sop.

Theme heard and good effect at 474 DD onwards you take risks and they nearly come off - Atmosphere created with such breadth and space.

Fine performance - so musical

David Read

Michael Ball's comments included "a thoughtful and sensitive conclusion containing the magic and mystery very conclusively".

3. Black Dyke

Opening very atmospheric - elegant percussion. A - Horns a bit loud, excellent timp. B - why so loud cornets? 26 - 2nd Cornet flags 37 - untidy chording in cornets, great octaves in trom, euph and bass! 45 - Nice detail careful playing perc 73 - Nice clear runs

F - Lovely cornet tone.
K - Well balanced lots extensive detail here.
244 - Stylish
P - Great cresc and dim also S
346 - Stylish Bass trom and others in section
Y - Neat timpani
Z - Well held rhythm

436 - Nice ensemble. 453 - the fives are practically triplet 3's
CC - Sparkling soprano. 477 - Nice ensemble, lovely toned Bb bass. 486 - last beat out of tune. 495 - Great 3rd cornet - troms a touch loud - a magical ending from very quiet horns.

William Relton


Opening bar lacks clarity and Euph starts instead of joining in! Vib effective.

B - heard but rather loud. All goes well with well rounded sounds - fine Bass line bar 39.

I enjoy your playing to E and then the new descending motif is clearly heard!

A lack of clarity at L. Good contrast and dynamic at P. Troms play a good part, particularly bass trom from V.

Y - Timp effective and spot on!

Good balance on pause (436)

Well done 2nd cornet (453) - Euph dominates bar! (463)

DD - good ensemble. Heavy but perhaps in proportion. Fine closing bars.

A good performance but with minor lapses.

Well shaped with good colour.

David Read

Michael Ball's comments included "Committed playing." "Impressive", "A good sense of direction", "Some dynamics perhaps overstated - a well controlled and effective ending"


4. Brighouse and Rastrick

Effective opening. A- Good balance, lovely sound into B - all well balanced and in tune. Light texture when required. Maestoso - fine playing - neat!

F - Excellent well phrased and the musicalpicture emerges - fine percussion team.

P - Canonic figures good
Q - Balance - just right

I admire the lovely clean and clear lines of your interpretation, the menace is always just under the surface as it should be.

Fine pause at 436

Slight mistake at Temp Primo however theme in trom is well judged. 2nd cornet at 453 fine. A careful build as required to CC.

B drum rather heavy! Chorale is measured is effective.

A well controlled musical performance - nothing overdone

David Read


Opening nicely atmospheric, horns a touch loud. Cornet entries colourful 12 - better - nice vibes. Euph, Hrn and Bar blend well bar 20. 35 - Sweet tones band.

Maestoso - Nice character tubular bells and steady rhythms. 87 - Neat horns, also sop at 116. 183 - A lovely rich blend of tones. 260 - Effective. 336 - Good ensemble Troms and Side Drum. However Side Drum overdoes the cresc to forte (only the first time though) 393 - a good climax and some neat timp playing later. 437 - a good start, and an excellently balanced bottom edge of the band, troms particularly sonorous. 458 - Don't drown the soprano please, a well shaped crescendo to a carefully prepared climax. 473 - the Bass Drum is only ff not tutti forza. The ending most musical.


William Relton


5. Cwmaman Institute Silver

Excellent opening bars!

The music flows forward as it should. Bar 26 - Very good 2/3cornets! Fine pause before Maestoso.

A lovely light touch evident from E.

All parts are heard to great effect from K

The majesty always evident from bar 244 - just the right amount of mystery and menace! Just at times I feel I would like a little more clarity of you could give it eg. 307

AA - Well graded in dynamics. Bar 437 just a little untidy. What a pity. Troms fine. I feel you are tiring in upper cornets 448 onwards. BB - contrary motion effective. Theme appears well at 474. Good texture and colours from DD. Perc tasteful! Bar 501 loose!

Not without slight lapses but enjoyable and great care taken.

David Read.


Opening sensitive, fine cornet entries after A. B - delicate cornets, effective basses. 39 - also euph and trom. Maestoso clear. Nice perc. 68 - Clear bass line. H - Tam tam a bit too discreet. 260 - a slightly muffled start. R - lovely cornet sound. S - rather better in clarity. 336 - Fine trombones and later B. Trom solo great! Also Trom 2

Y - Fine climax and enhanced by artistic timp playing. 421 - Fine dim. 437 - Ensemble flags here. BB - much better. CC - Dominant soprano, well thought out and balanced well. 482 - after etc coma there is a hitch in the ensemble. 487 - a little poor in the tuning. EE - uncomfortable start in the basses. This final section is not so good as the open, the band is tiring. Lovely interpretation.

William Relton.


6. Williams Fairey

Good start. A - Not together to start! Good tuning bars 20/1/2

B - Uncomfortable, you recover and atmosphere created with sonorous bass sounds. Maestoso - well-controlled and balanced chords. There are some minor lapses but also some very neat playing as at K. Don't overdo L. Don't get too aggressive so the sound becomes hard from N

P - Sea churns well! In the canonic figures. Side drum heavy from bar 336 - all goes well. Positive playing through to AA. Good pause at 436.

Tempo Primo. A little discomfort in upper register cornets. Theme in trom secure. 453 - Well done 2nd cornet.

Sonorous sounds through to CC and I fell you capture the spirit of the music. Trom tuning needs care 495/496.

A good performance spoiled a little by some looseness and minor lapses.

David Read.


Opening delicate - almost fragile well balanced horns and cornets safe attack. 12 - Ensemble poor, nice vibes. 23 - again the attack was not together. 35 - Nice build up. Lovely cornet chording. MAESTOSO - Good start. C - good basses. 88 - Nice figurings in horns. 116 - Sop scratches the surface. 149 - Neat cornets. 183 - Nicely toned here. L - a bit ferocious - there's nothing more than "ff". 260 - Effective and catching the spirit. 302 - likewise. V - the cornets are almost inaudible. 337 - Side drum only "f" here. 393 - Timp and bass drum blend well, a great ending before Tempo 1. Starts well, but cracks at end of bar 2 - upper cornets. 458 - the soprano should get through more here. CC - Just like this!! DD - Nicely toned. 495 - Trombone intonation faulty. Nice horns at ending. - Just a shade over the top in dynamics.

William Relton (although this was not signed)

 


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