2013 European Brass Band Championships — As it happened

All the action from the 2013 European Brass Band Championships in Olso — as it happened.

Championship Section • Sunday 5, 01:11:11

EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg talks to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox about the success of Oslo 2013 and the good news for EBBA about the future of the event and the financial support it receives from sponsors.

Championship Section • Sunday 5, 00:52:04

John Hamilton, Scottish Brass Band Association Project Manager for Perth 2014, tells 4BR about what attractions are on offer at the European Championships in 2014.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 23:03:08

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Philp Harper savours the moment of triumph

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 22:56:19

The Cory Band is crowned 2013 Champion Band of Europe, with MD Philip Harper leading his band to a fingertip victory at Oslo's Konserthus.

As the players enjoy their celebrations on stage, the MD and Band Manager Austin Davies tell 4BR just what it means to the band to be crowned European champions once more.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 22:51:21

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Cory triumph in Oslo

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 22:22:43

Set Work/Own Choice = Total

1. Cory (5/2) 95/96 = 191 pts
Philip Harper

2. Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (8/4) 94/97 = 191pts
Professor David King

3. Black Dyke (10/5) 92/94 = 186pts
Dr Nicholas Childs

4.Brassband Buizingen (3/10) 89/95 = 184pts
Luc Vertomenn

5. Brass Band Schoonhoven (2/6) 91/91 = 182pts
Erik Jansen

6. Brass Band Friborg (9/7) 90/92 = 182pts
Frederic Theodoloz

7. Leyland (6/9) 88/93 = 181pts
Michael Bach

8. Paris Brass Band (1/1) = 87/90 = 177pts
Florent Didier

9. Windcorp Brass Band (11/3) = 85/88 = 173pts
Alexander Hanson

10. Brass Band Oberosterreich (4/11) = 83/89 = 172pts
Hans Gansch

11. Lyngby-Taarbaek (7/8) = 84/87 = 171pts
Selmer Simonsen

Solo Prize - Richard Marshall, (Cornet), Black Dyke

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 21:03:24

Back stage and about one third of the way through the Gala concert.

The European Youth Band has played their first contribution to the delight of the packed hall, and now we enjoying the fine trumpet playing of Ole Edvard Antonsen. Then comes Black Dyke and then the result.

About another hour before we know the destination of the title.

General • Saturday 4, 19:58:03

Check out our Own Choice gallery:

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Championship Section • Saturday 4, 19:55:40

Just a few minutes to go before the start of the Gala Concert.

The pre-concert entertainment was provided by a wonderful South African exchange student quintet made up of tuba, euphonium, drums, trumpet and steel drum player - in a mix that would wow the audience at Brass in Concert for certain.

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The result of the European Championships should be announced in about 90 mins.

General • Saturday 4, 18:59:52

There is now an hour's break before the Gala Concert takes place here at the Oslo Konserthus.

We are enjoying a small brass and percussion group playing relaxing music - and waiting for the bar to open!

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 18:17:09

4BRs Chris Thomas was providing the written comments on both the set work and own choice selections this weekend.

He gives his opinions and views on the 11 own choice performances to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox, and his predictions for the day and for the overall title.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 17:40:34

Thomas Begianz of Brass Band Oberosterreich talks to 4BR about his band's performance of 'Extreme Makeover', and the decision of MD Hans Gansch to both play at the opening and then conduct the piece.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 17:27:05

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Extreme - Bottles-R-Us

11. Brass Band Oberosterreich (Hans Gansch)

Extreme Makeover - Johan de Meij

Hans Gansch lays down his baton to lead the opening quartet with consummate artistry. What a fine introduction.

There' s so much delicacy in the music that follows although there are also fleeting intonation issues that occasionally disturb the musical picture. The pacing is expertly handled though and as the cornet section raise their bottles this is developing into a compelling performance.

Ensemble is not always 100% rock solid as the the textures build but quote from Stravinsky's Le Sacre lends a not a menace.

The approach to the conclusion is finely done and it's a majestic ending but overall not quite enough to make a serious mark today we feel.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 17:10:36

4BR finally catches up with Brass Band Buizingen's conductor Luc Vertommen and his principal player, Glenn Van Looy and Harmon Vanhoorne.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 17:00:32

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Percussive effects with Brassband Buizingen

10. Brassband Buizingen (Luc Vertommen)

When Worlds Collide - Nigel Clarke

The subtitle of Nigel Clarke's piece might bring a smile to the face but make no mistake, this is music that calls for extreme virtuosity.

Percussion effects galore to open and Harmen Vanhoorne rises to his feet to deliver a solo of supreme technical brilliance and clarity. The playing is not only executed with technical security but there is a feeling that the players are totally engaging with the music.

Terrific individual contributions all round including solo trombone and the slow music at the centre of the piece suddenly plunges us into an atmosphere of mysterious intrigue. It's zany, quirky and eccentric. The musical equivalent of Marmite?

It's a display of virtuosity that extends to Luc Vertommen too as he directs the rhythmic complexities of the score with clarity.

Something totally different delivered with total conviction and technical command by the Belgians but surely a piece that has the potential to divide opinion like few others.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 16:38:25

An exhausted Michael Bach and an elated composer Peter Meechan talks of their delight following Leyland Band's performance of Fragile Oasis'

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 16:33:16

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Leyland execute a series of fanfares played into a tam-tam

9. Leyland (Michael Bach)

Fragile Oasis - Peter Meechan

A shimmering vision of the Aurora Australis to open over which John Doyle sings the soprano part with graceful majesty. The electrical storms of the second section are depicted in music of rapidly fluctuating rhythmic figuration and the band responds with playing that crackles with restless energy.

A series of instrumental cadenzas are stylishly executed against a backdrop of bowed vibraphone and cornet fanfares played into a tam-tam leading into a deeply felt slow movement Freya, in which the composer depicts the fragility of life itself.

Michael Bach draws playing of heartfelt passion from the band with an excellent contribution from Iain Culross on solo cornet before a fiendish trombone solo takes us back to the electrical storms of the second section.

The conclusion reveals earth in all its majesty as we hear a blazing final peroration.

The audience loves it although its going to be interesting to hear what the judges make of it.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 16:04:58

Lyngby Taarbaek soprano star Lars Haedersal talk to 4BR about the Danish band's performance of 'The Promised Land' as soon as they come off stage.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 15:57:06

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Lyngby drive towards 'The Promised Land'

8. Lyngby-Taarbaek Brass Band (Selmer Simonsen)

The Promised Land - Kenneth Downie

The opening has promise although one or two cracks appear as we reach the extended solo passages and the atmosphere becomes a tad unsettled as a result.

It recovers its composure but progress is inconsistent and there is a tendency to aggressive, sometimes harsh sounds. As calm descends once again the band sounds more comfortable but still there are uneasy moments along the way. Minor problems are magnified when the competition is this tough.

A brave attempt but this was a performance that lags a good way behind the field for us today.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 15:48:12

Regis Gobet of Brass Band Fribourg tells 4BR about his immediate impressions on his band's performance of 'Spiriti' at Oslo's Konserthus

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 15:39:19

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Fribourg on stage in Oslo

7. Brass Band Fribourg (Frederic Theodoloz)

Spiriti - Thomas Doss

The opening bars have presence and the music opens out well. It's a big band sound although comparisons with Eikanger are inevitable and we don't quite hear the inner detail that we heard earlier from the Norwegians. Yet this is still a more confident, dramatic performance than we heard from the Swiss yesterday.

There's a delicate texture created as the soprano sings over the top although we just need a touch more subtlety as it progresses towards the rock break. Plenty to admire though and the band's soprano player continues to turn on the style.

As the pace quickens it momentarily loses its composure but quickly recovers and now it garners a real head of steam as the final peroration is one of majestic grandeur.

What a fine performance. Momentary lapses maybe but directed with understated composure by the MD and such a magnificent close.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 15:14:08

Brass Band Schoonhoven MD Erik Janssen talks to 4BR about his band's performance of 'From Ancient Times' straight after coming off the Konserthus stage in Oslo.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 15:05:46

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Schoonhoven euph's and bari's deliver a full sound

6. Brass Band Schoonhoven (Erik Janssen)

From Ancient Times - Jan van der Roost

A quality opening has a fine blend of mystery, gravitas and pathos. Erik Janssen directs with such clarity and authority. He really is the kind of conductor that a player can put complete faith in.

The band demonstrates such a huge dynamic range and there are fabulous sounds from a very fine trombone section indeed allied with clarity of ensemble and detail throughout the band.

A mysterious and uneasy calm descends and a beautifully mellow flugel solo hands over seamlessly to a florid and stylish principal cornet. There's such a lovely atmosphere here as the euphonium and flugel lines entwine and the mood melts into one of serenity. The transparency of the detail is admirable and the interpretation is one of authority culminating in a fine ending.

Magnificent solo contributions all round and another exceptional show from the Dutch following on from yesterday.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 14:45:42

Check out Set Work Conductors gallery:

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Championship Section • Saturday 4, 14:32:33

Black Dyke Director of Music Dr Nicholas Childs is joined backstage at the Konserthus in Oslo by Associate MD Dr Robert Childs and composer Edward Gregson in giving their immediate reactions on their own choice performance of 'Symphony in Two Movements'.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 14:23:15

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Black Dyke in symphonic mood in Oslo

5. Black Dyke (Dr. Nicholas Childs)

Symphony in Two Movements - Edward Gregson

Wow! The opening really grabs the attention and we hear tantalising little harmonic and melodic glimpses of the Gregson we know and love. This is playing that has such drama and internal energy. It's edgy, visceral and utterly compelling.

And now we move into a chorale underpinned by a glorious sounding bass section and executed with such style. The band is finding the changing moods of the music with such character and suddenly it's Dances and Arias.....this is a work that is a summation of Edward Gregson's entire creative output for band.

The mood changes to one of serenity and Richard Marshall excels. The melodic strands blend so well and the climax that ensues is wrought with intensity and passion.

And suddenly we are back in a world of nervy martial like tension that drags us along with the ceaseless flow of the music. We can feel the tension being cranked up and the band sound is electrifying as it drives towards the final stabbing chords.

What a piece and what a performance. Dyke in magnificent form.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 14:00:28

A Norwegian flag waving Professor David King emerges from the back of the Oslo Konserthus stage to give his immediate thoughts on Eikanger's own choice performance of 'Spiriti' by Thomas Doss.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 13:50:42

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An Eikanger Slam Dunk !

4. Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (David King)

Spiriti - Thomas Doss

The opening is imbued with an other worldly atmosphere as the spirit of Bach is revealed through the mists of time. The way David King engages with his players visually is always fascinating as his gaze darts around the band.

The music builds with both purpose and a quite magnificent sense of pacing built partly by fabulous dynamic control and as with yesterday there is a feeling that the band and MD knows exactly how to handle the tricky acoustic of the hall. It's exciting but always so controlled and the balance is exemplary.

There are so many ghosts that hover in the background of this music and as we reach the central slow section the eerie sound world is so painstakingly created. Just the tiniest of clips on soprano before we head into the rock metamorphosis and the performance progresses toward the home straight.

The inexorable approach to the climax is again handled and executed with masterful control and as anticipated the audience lift the roof in appreciation.

A performance of immense musical stature but one that will also have strong competition today.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 13:28:40

Windcorp MD Alexander Hanson and principal cornet and composer of their own choice work, 'Sequences', David Glaneskog talk to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox following their performance at Oslo Konserthus.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 13:22:10

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Windcorp cornet section playing one of the 'Sequences' in David Glanneskog's work

3. Windcorp Brass Band (Alexander Hanson)

Sequences - David Glanneskog

A nice opening with solo cornet prominent......it's perhaps no coincidence that the composer is a trumpet player!

The music moves 'sequentially' through a variety of changing moods from the funky to a laid back blues until we suddenly hit a wall of sound underpinned by grinding trombones with a hint of Prokofiev. Neat work in the cornet section and the band sounds very much at home with this music. As with Paris Brass Band it's shaping up to be a considerably better performance than the band delivered on the set work.

Alexander Hanson is a dynamic MD and directs with vigour and energy in a piece that although not unattractive doesn't really say anything new we feel.

Great meaty sounds from bass trombone and the jazz/funk element returns as we sense the music heading towards its conclusion. So the MD can dance as well as conduct!

An exciting ending to a convincing performance driven with physical conviction by Alexander Hanson.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 13:08:46

A breathless Cory MD talks to 4BR about his band's own choice performance of Philip Sparke's, 'Perihelion - Closer to the Sun' just moments after coming off stage at the Oslo Konserthus

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 12:54:31

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Phlip Harper encourages the band to fly 'Closer to the Sun'

2. Cory Band (Philip Harper)

Perihelion - Closer to the Sun (Philip Sparke)

A shimmering opening through which the band comes radiantly to life. My word this is exciting stuff. We hear terrific solo euphonium playing from Matthew White in music that is both hugely difficult and quintessential Philip Sparke as it flies along in stunning fashion.

There is so much detail on display; no easy feat in the acoustic of the Oslo Concert Hall. Every section of the band is being challenged technically and musically as each instrumental section is put into the spotlight in turn and the energy and momentum of the playing is breathlessly exciting. Stunning contributions from trombones and cornets.

And now we enter the dark heart of the piece with shimmering textures and ghostly percussion. The baritones sing in haunting fashion and what a wonderful atmosphere is created as the opening music returns.

We fall headlong into a fugue that seems to have its own jet propelled engine behind it......and is that a little quote from Holst's The Planets that we hear? Again, the detail is stunning and we hear all voices in the fugue with clarity.

What an ending! Little wonder that Phil Harper looks like he's just run a marathon.

Playing of technical brilliance that we could only sit back and marvel at.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 12:44:03

Paris Band Band MD Florent Didier and tuba player Benoit Meurin talk to 4BR following their own choice performance of 'Audivi Media Nocte'

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 12:24:35

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Paris Brass Band trombone section in action on the set work

1. Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier)

Audivi Media Nocte - Oliver Waespi

Opening has drive but detail is not always heard in the hall's difficult acoustic. The jazzy passages have just the right style about them and as we enter the ghostly sound world of Tudor's the solo horn is just a little too prominent in the musical picture for us. It loses its ghostly atmosphere as a result.

As solo trombone and Eb bass take centre stage the band's principal trombone player shines with a sound that belies her petite physical stature.

And now it starts to gather real physical momentum as the band seems to get into its stride. A nice atmosphere is created as the cornet and euphonium players rise for their solos. It gets a little scrappy at times but as the band reaches towards the conclusion the excitement builds well and Florent Didier directs with admirable purpose and clarity as the band delivers a corking ending.

A performance the band can be justly proud of and streets ahead of the band's set test performance.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 11:57:50

Chris Thomas talks about the treats in store today with the own choice selections in the Championships Section.

General • Saturday 4, 11:45:43

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Eikanger Bjorsvik Band Manager Viggo Borge about the band's involvement in the recent Norwegian television series about the band, and how it has provided a benefit effect for both his band and banding in general in Norway.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 11:22:02

Own Choice:
Adjudicators: Garry Cutt, Arsene Duc, Cathrine Winnes Trevino

4BR Live comments by Chris Thomas

Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier), 1
Cory (Philip Harper), 2
Windcorp Brass Band (Alexander Hanson), 3
Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Professor David King), 4
Black Dyke (Dr Nicholas Childs), 5
Brass Band Schoonhoven (Erik Jansen), 6
Brass Band Friborg (Frederic Theodoloz), 7
Lyngby-Taarbaek (Selmer Simonsen), 8
Leyland (Michael Bach), 9
Brassband Buizingen (Luc Vertomenn), 10
Brass Band Oberosterreich (Hans Gansch), 11

General • Saturday 4, 11:07:12

Geir Ulseth of the Norwegian Band Federation NMF talks to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox about the organisations aims to increase and retain youth participation in brass banding throughout the country.

General • Saturday 4, 10:42:02

Another eye opener about the way the Norwegian Music Federation is trying to increase participation, but also trying to make a stronger connection between youth players and adult bands.

They are about to present the Government Culture Minister with a three year study report into their own findings and with their aims and objectives to see if they can obtain even more support and financial backing for what they wish to achieve over the next four years.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 10:29:54

The Konserthus is starting to fill up slowly both with people and the sound of music.

The draw for the Championship Section has been made but will not be posted until 11.30am when the judges are safely in the box.

General • Saturday 4, 10:09:08

An excellent presentation by the Eikanger Band and the television broadcasters has been an eye opener on how the image of brass bands can be delivered in such a positive manner to the general public.

Lots to ponder for the Brits from this - and also from the presentation from the National body NMF about their aim of building bands in number and increasing the participation of youth over the next four years.

Not a single mention of a band in every postcode - just a number of realistic objectives built on a professional approach.

Championship Section • Saturday 4, 09:30:26

There were a lot of late night opinions aired in local bars of Oslo after Friday's contest.

Eikanger's performance certainly captured the imagination of the majority of the audience and most people we spoke to think they are the band to beat.

However, not everyone fell under the David King spell, and there was a great deal of support backed by informed opinion for Cory and Leyland with Black Dyke, Schoonhoven and Buizingen not far behind.

A very unscientific straw poll would come up with a top six of:

1. Eikanger
2. Cory
3. Leyland
4. Black Dyke
5. Schoonhoven
6. Buizingen

General • Saturday 4, 09:23:00

We are currently at the Konserthus listening to a presentation by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation talking about the recent Eikanger television series.

The producer tells us that it gained up to 25% audience reach and has been hailed as a great success. Viggo Bjorge of Eikanger tells us about the bands input and how it has changed the perception of brass bands in Norway.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:49:02

Chris Thomas gives his opinions and half way point predictions after a wonderful day of action at Oslo's Konserthus.

Stig Nordhagen's 'Myth Forest' proved to be a great test of some very good bands and Chris (who wrote all the live comments on 4BR) talks about the piece and gives us his top six.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:44:17

Alex Hanson MD of Windcorp Band talks to 4BR about his band's performance and the way in which he approached Stig Nordhagen's set work, 'Myth Forest'

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:38:27

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Windcorp Brass Band play the final performance of the evening

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:36:46

11. Windcorp Brass Band (Alexander Hanson)

The opening sunrise is one of slowly enveloping warmth as the band progresses from a mist shrouded opening and the atmosphere is carefully created.

Beelzebub clearly resides at the bottom of Wincorp's black abyss as the band's MD whips his players into a frenzy of demonic malevolence. It's big, bold and grippingly powerful but just pushes the boundaries a little too far perhaps.

Water Lilies is finely done but little slips threaten to undermine the fine dynamics and delicate presence that is shaped with care by the MD.

We would like to hear a touch more subtlety in the solos of Echo from the other side but the MD cranks up the tension with masterful intensity in the closing paragraphs.

Slips will surely cost though in a performance of decidedly mixed fortunes.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:16:45

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Dr. Nicholas Childs with the Black Dyke Band on stage

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:12:19

10. Black Dyke (Dr. Nicholas Childs)

There's a dark sense of foreboding about the opening bars and the atmosphere is palpable. We hear the birdsong as the creatures come slowly to life and the descent into the black and unknown depths is marked by powerful trombone sounds (bolstered to four) yet at a dynamic that sits well in the acoustic of the hall.

Zoe Hancock and Brett Baker stand for Water Lilies with the flugel played from the front of the stage. The baritone and euphonium lines are florid and the sound of flugel and trombone meld beautifully. The climax is one of burning intensity.

Richard Marshall delivers his solo in Echo from the other side with style and poise albeit not quite matched by euphonium. The transition into the wild final dance is deftly handled and the whoops and cries of the creatures permeate the dense textures leading to a fine ending.

A powerful performance but one that didn't quite succeed in finding the moments of magic in the slow music that we have heard elsewhere today.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 22:05:41

Black Dyke head straight for another rehearsal so nobody was available to comment on their performance.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 21:47:14

Brass Band Fribourg's star baritone player Regis Gobet talks to 4BR about the Swiss band's performance of 'Myth Forest'

Championship Section • Friday 3, 21:32:54

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Brass Band Fribourg cornet section in action

9. Brass Band Fribourg (Frederic Theodoloz)

A carefully shaped opening that builds to a climax of burning intensity. It's bold and in your face as we head into the demonic depths of the abyss and judging by this it's not a place we would want to be......this is a performance that is going for jugular.

We hear luminous colours in the early bars of Water Lilies and as the baritone and euphonium reach for the light the band's flugel and trombone players rise to their feet. There is certainly intensity in the playing but we miss the beauty of sound that has marked out the very finest so far today.

The solo cornet sounds tends to the strident in Echo from the other side and there are passing issues of intonation that can't be ignored. It's a shame as there is also quality playing on display but inconsistencies continue to cause problems.

The ending is certainly exciting but gets a tad carried away in its enthusiasm.

A performance that had its moments but is well down the pack for us.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 21:14:50

Professor David King talks to 4BR directly after leading Eikanger Bjorsvik Musikklag on stage at the Oslo Konserthus on 'Myth Forest'.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 21:13:25

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"David King conjures with the colours and textures of the opening Sunburst"

Championship Section • Friday 3, 21:05:27

8. Eikanger- Bjorsvik Musikklag (David King)

You can her a pin drop in the hall as David King conjures with the colours and textures of the opening Sunburst. There is so much care with the balance; a crucial factor so far today and the forest's bugs and birds come to life with a feeling that they are emerging from the core of Mother Earth itself.

The doom laden depths of the abyss are a technical tour de force in the hands of David King and his team. The dynamic range is extraordinary as we hear so much detail at low dynamic levels. The band also has the measure of the tricky acoustic; no mean feat in itself although they should know it pretty well!

Eikanger's Water Lilies are mysterious, beautiful and fragile in equal measure. The band is finding a subtle, elusive beauty in the music that is both moving and finds you holding your breath without realising it.

Echo from the other side is spellbinding and the cornet and euphonium solos are shaped with such pristine musicianship and poise. This is playing that casts a potent spell.

The creatures dance with relentless and increasing energy into a night that is cast with terrifying shadows. It's a brilliant end to a performance that touched on genius.

David King and the home team in invincible form.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:50:04

Soprano player Lars Haedersal of Lyngby Taarbaek talks about the Danish band's performance of 'Myth Forest'

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:45:29

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Selmer Simonsen encourages Lyngby-Taarbaek

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:36:11

7. Lyngby-Taarbaek Brass Band (Selmer Simonsen)

The opening bars are not the most subtle we have heard but the atmosphere slowly builds as the bugs and birds stir into life.

The Black Water Abyss needs to pin us to our seats in terror a little more than it does and we don't always hear the detail of the inner rhythmic parts. There is drama there but it seems to ebb and flow as the piece progresses.

There are moments that don't quite gel in Water Lilies but we feel a sense of gathering warmth as the delicate flora finds the sun it craves. Once again there are uncomfortable moments to close and surely the composer didn't intend such a long break into Echo from the other side. It damages the flow of the music.

Cornet and euphonium solos don't quite find the poise and style that we have heard from the best bands today and the final dance of malevolence needs more bite and inner energy.

A brave effort but a performance that won't make a mark today we feel.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:20:52

Leyland Band MD Michael Bach and soprano cornet John Doyle reveal their thoughts and opinions about their performance as soon as they come off the Oslo Konserthus stage

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:16:26

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Leyland Band continue the contest forward

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:12:48

6 Leyland (Michael Bach)

An elusive, hauntingly coloured opening that immediately tantalises the ear and we hear detail as well as a carefully created balance.

Michael Bach is a master at building intensity in his performances and he brings the bugs and birds of the forest to life with an all enveloping sense of nature waking.

The band's flugel player rises to her feet to float her solo ethereally over the band as the water lilies search for the distant light and the MD draws every ounce of drama and mystery from the score. It's a passionate vision of the music for certain but one that might divide opinion.

The opening of Echo from the other side is so delicate but there's a darkness underneath that gives the playing a sense of musical claustrophobia. Powerful stuff.

The introduction into the final dance is brilliantly done and the performance garners a terrifying, edgy feeling of orgiastic intensity as it powers its way to a thumping ending.

Powerful, intense and brimming over with mystery and energy. Leyland at its best.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 20:03:52

Half way point analysis and opinion:

Chris Thomas has been in the Oslo Konserthus auditorium listening to all the performances of 'Myth Forest' and has found that it is a piece that has brought out some very contrasting interpretations from the MDs.

Its close at the top though with a more lyrical Brass Band Schoonhoven just a short neck ahead of a visceral Cory with Oberosterreich and Buizingen just behind.

More to come now after the break.

4BR prediction:
1. Brass Band Schoonhoven
2. Cory
3. Brass Band Oberosterreich
4. Brass Band Buizingen

Championship Section • Friday 3, 19:33:40

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Cory Band playing 'Myth Forest'

Championship Section • Friday 3, 19:33:06

Cory MD Philip Harper talks to 4BR about his thoughts on how he felt his band performed on 'Myth Forest'

Championship Section • Friday 3, 19:30:03

5. Cory (Philip Harper)

There is an almost unearthly quality about the opening bars as the first rays of the sun penetrate the morning mists and build to a blazing final peroration before the Bugs and Birds emerge from their forest slumber.

There's menace a plenty as we are immersed in the depths of the abyss. Big, big band sounds certainly give the performance edge and presence although it feels as if it's on the very edge of what the acoustic of the hall can take. It's certainly gripping stuff though.

The Water Lilies' delicate tendrils reach for the light with beautifully subtle playing on euphonium and baritone and the balance here is carefully sought out by Philip Harper as the atmosphere is created with such attention to detail and texture.

Tom Hutchinson and Matthew White play with exemplary style in Echo from the other side and as the menace takes hold in the wild dance of the forest the playing really takes the score by the scruff of its neck......but that's exactly what it needs.

A performance of gripping intensity from Cory that succeeded in finding the darkest recesses of the score.

• Friday 3, 19:23:32

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On stage at the European Championships in Oslo with Brass Band Oberosterreich

Championship Section • Friday 3, 19:06:19

Thomas Beiganz and Hans Gansch talk to 4BR immediately following Brass Band Oberosterreich's performance of 'Myth Forest' at the European Championships in Oslo.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:58:50

4. Brass Band Oberosterreich (Hans Gansch)

The opening has a subtle, elusive and wonderfully fluid sense of mystery as the band play with the colours of the score in compelling fashion and as we head into Bugs and Birds there is a sense of nature gradually coming to life.

The Austrian's Abyss is menacing but Hans Gansch keeps the lid on the volume without compromising the dark, enveloping feeling of malevolence that permeates the playing.

The smallest of slips are heard in Water Lilies but the atmosphere is so carefully created and the gentle blend and balance of the sounds is brought off with aplomb.

Solo cornet and euphonium despatch their solos with style in Echo from the other side and the opening of the final dance is so deftly handled. We hear sounds and subtleties that tantalise the ear leading into a conclusion that builds inexorably.

A reading of authority from the Austrians. Not with minor slips but so musically compelling.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:56:43

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Brass Band Buizingen on stage at the European Championships in Oslo.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:39:21

Brass Band Buizingen principal cornet Harmon Vanhoone talks to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox about his band's performance of 'Myth Forest', just minutes after coming off the Oslo Konserthus stage.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:31:53

3. Brassband Buizingen (Luc Vertommen)

An uncomfortable opening on euphoniums (solo euph only in the score) threatens to disturb the early atmosphere and it seems to take time for the band to settle. Gradually the playing gathers its composure but we don't sense the feeling of elusive mystery that the music needs.

Bugs and Birds is so much more impressive and now we get to hear what the band can really do as we descend into the unchartered depths of the abyss.

Water Lilies is beautifully shaped and played with a malleable freedom of line. Euphonium and baritone reach inexorably upwards and every note is heard.

Contributions of real quality from Harmen Vanhoorne and Glenn van Looy are heard in Echo from the over side but there is a nagging sense that the reading as a whole isn't playing with our senses in the way that Schoonhoven did.

The creatures dance through the forest with orgiastic ferocity and the drama is loaded with malicious intent but will those uncomfortable moments prove crucial? We think they might.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:22:01

Buz Van Dyke of Brass Band Schoonhoven gives his immediate opinion about the Dutch band's performance of 'Myth Forest' backstage at Oslo's Koncerthus

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:07:02

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A cornet 'huddle' before taking to the stage

2. Brassband Schoonhoven (Erik Janssen)

The atmosphere in the opening bars is imbued with a palpable sense of mystery and the sounds are so finely balanced and nuanced.

The MD builds the tension with measured control and as we head into the abyss we are plunged into a terrifying place. This is playing of unbridled power and so well prepared.

Schoonhoven's Water Lilies are things of delicate, fragile beauty and we hear the parts so well balanced as euphonium and baritone reach upwards towards the watery light.

Bravo solo cornet in Echoes from the other side. This was so well done.

As the creatures dance into the night the performance takes on a sense of cumulative energy that is so involving. The ending is edge of the seat stuff and there is a feeling that nothing has been left to chance.

A performance of real energy, drama and mystery and playing of a very high standard indeed that brought the core vividly to life.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 18:04:08

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Paris Brass Band open the set-work contest

1. Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier)

Conductor seats the euphoniums behind the trombones as the sun's rays mysteriously permeate the opening textures. The band builds powerfully through Bugs and Birds before plunging into the dark abyss although we don't always hear the detail as the band wrestles with what is already proving to be a tricky acoustic.

The Water Lilies reach through the inky blackness in sinuous fashion although balance doesn't always sit comfortably.

Cornet and euphonium solos are safely negotiated as we hear the Echo from the other side. Just a little more poise needed perhaps.

And now the band moves up a gear as the wild orgiastic dance of the forest creatures drives its way to a conclusion of menacing power.

A well honed first performance of a piece that is going to give us some interesting interpretations we fancy. We just needed to hear a touch more subtlety in the mysterious moments of the score.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 17:01:25

4BR Editor Iwan Fox sets the scene for the set work just as the debutantes from Paris Brass Band prepare to take to the stage at Oslo's Konserthus.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 16:57:26

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Stig Nordhagen, the composer of 'Myth Forest', just a few minutes before his work was performed at the European Championships in Oslo.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 16:44:51

Draw: Set-Work

Test piece: 'Myth Forest' (Stig Nordhagen)
Adjudicators: Phillip McCann, Ivan Meylemans, Preben Norgoord

Live comments on 4BR by Chris Thomas

Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier), 1
Brass Band Schoonhoven (Erik Jansen), 2
Brassband Buizingen (Luc Vertomenn), 3
Brass Band Oberosterreich (Hans Gansch), 4
Cory (Philip Harper), 5
Leyland (Michael Bach), 6
Lyngby-Taarbaek (Selmer Simonsen), 7
Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Professor David King), 8
Brass Band Friborg (Frederic Theodoloz), 9
Black Dyke (Dr Nicholas Childs), 10
Windcorp Brass Band (Alexander Hanson), 11

Championship Section • Friday 3, 16:19:46

The composer Stig Nordhagen is giving a very interesting talk about his work, 'Myth Forest' at the moment to over 100 people who are listening very intently.

It's a dark, menacing, pensive work that is very different and could cause quite a few problems today we think.

It all starts at 5.00pm local time

General • Friday 3, 14:13:14

Professor Edward Gregson talks frankly to 4BR Editor Iwan Fox about his latest composition 'Symphony in Two Movements', which is to be performed at the Championships this weekend, and his disappointment that it may not be used as originally intended.

Championship Section • Friday 3, 12:56:13

The official draw for the set work is to be posted at 4.30pm to ensure nothing is leaked out before hand to the judges!

Will postings on social media let the cat out of the bag we wonder? Eyes right...

General • Friday 3, 12:16:40

The EBBA Press Conference covered quite a few nuggets of contention with the main news being that the B Section will survive and should take place once again in Perth in 2014.

EBBA will also be financing the event in Fribourg in Germany in 2015, although they will not be taking any proactive stance on a European wide registration scheme.

We are now at the official opening ceremony at Oslo City Hall, where we having the usual speeches amid the magnificent surroundings - complete with the odd Edward Munch painting.

No Scream - but plenty of free flowing wine and Euro bonhomie.

General • Friday 3, 09:11:24

The opening ceremony takes place at 12.00 non today at Oslo City Hall, followed by the composer Stig Hordhagen giving his talk about his set work, 'Myth Forest' at 4.00pm.

The contest kicks off at 5.00pm with the first of the 11 bands.

4BR will be providing our live comments and plenty of reaction and opinion with our snap shot interviews.

General • Friday 3, 08:40:22

There is a pretty full day of action to enjoy in Oslo starting this morning with Philip Harper taking a masterclass and followed by the EBBA press conference.

Plenty of opportunity to ask a few questions there about the demise of the B Section, registration anomalies all over Europe, the future for the event, etc.

Rumours heard is that the contest could be heading to Fribourg in Germany in 2015. They are ruling the world at football and now they could well be leading the way with brass bands too....

General • Friday 3, 02:42:41

4BR Editor Iwan Fox introduces live coverage from the 2013 EBBC in Oslo.

General • Friday 3, 02:41:49

Check out our European Youth Band gallery:

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General • Friday 3, 02:38:50

Check out our Around Oslo gallery:

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Conductors Comp • Friday 3, 02:15:28

Check out our Conductors Conpetition gallery:

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Conductors Comp • Friday 3, 01:30:53

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to the newly crowned 2013 European Conductors Championship winner Kalle Kuusava of Finland.

Conductors Comp • Friday 3, 01:11:35

After a lovely night back at the Rica Victoria Hotel in Oslo its good night from 4BR after what has been a very enjoyable day in the Norwegian capital city.

Congratulations to Kalle Kuusava of Finland for winning the 6th European Conductors title. We now have an early morning call to ensure we do not miss any of the action on Friday, when the top bands tackle Stig Nordhagen's wonderfully dark and sinister 'Myth Forest'.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 23:24:28

Conductor and adjudicator Ivan Meylemans talks with Iwan Fox at EBBC 2013 in Oslo.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 23:17:59

4BR talks with Runner-Up Adam Cooke of the United Kingdom

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 23:16:10

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks with third placed Conductors Competition winner Dominik Koch of Germany.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 23:14:20

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to two of the adjudicators of the Conductors Competition, Dr Robert Childs and Peter Szilvay.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 22:28:17

1. Kalle Kuusava [Finland] ('Energy')
2. Adam Cook [England] ('Dances & Arias')
3. Dominik Koch [Germany] ('Contest Music')

Kalle Kuusava also won the Audience Prize, whilst Adam Cook won the Band Prize.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 21:58:07

The evening is going on a bit now, but the quality of the playing and the choice of repertoire from the European Youth Band makes it well worth while.

A clue of pieces to go and then we are down to the nitty gritty and the results.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 21:38:08

The European Youth Brass Band is currently delivering a fine interlude performance before the announcement of the results.

Irene Ande is giving a little bit of a masterclass in conducting precision and clarity herself.

Frank Renton looks on with a glint in his eye. The results should be announced in about 30 mins.

Bravo too to Oslo Brass Band, who played with real brio and determination tonight. It was a hard gig, but they showed a great deal of professionalism.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 21:00:38

Kalle Kuusava (Finland) - Energy

The only one of the trio not to use a baton - and that could be a bit of a risky strategy on such a difficult work.

Lots of expressive gestures, but the hands are doing the work and the ending section has a measured flow. He has managed to capture the trick of engaging the right sense of flow whilst keeping the general meter the same.

He brings in the main solo lines with precision and clarity - and you can see the players appreciate the nod of confidence.

An impressive display of control, pacing and interpretative persuasion. Looks a very competent man in front of a very decent quality brass band.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 20:50:54

Dominik Koch (Germany) - Contest Music

An untidy start to the piece sees the conductor just taking a little too much time to stamp his authority on proceedings with his direction. He looks a little nervous as the beat patterns are not all too clearly picked up by the band.

The central section is so much better though - the conductor shaping the music without losing the austere flow. Now he seems to have found his feet and the baton has certainly latched onto his baton. There is a fluidity about his style - a touch grandiose in places as he gains in confidence.

More bold gestures and a little touch of flamboyance too in a third movement that loses its precision as the players find difficulty in following the beat. Gains momentum and pace and the young German gives it his all right at the close.

A conductor that built up his confidence on a very difficult work the longer it went on - although a little less showy stuff would have given more musical substance at times.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 20:41:02

Adam Cook (United Kingdom) - Dances & Arias

The Irishman representing the UK sets out an exciting opening which has excellent pulse and tempo, and immediately you can appreciate a very clear conducting style and precise baton technique.

The experience of conducting at a decent level ensures that he knows just when to employ the odd theatrical gesture and when not. No histrionics here - just good, solid direction of a tricky test piece.

He is certainly a conductor who understands this score and the musical shapes required to make it come to life and there was a nice combination of atmosphere and excitement about this all the way to the end.

An impressive, confident conductor in control of the band from start to finish.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 20:18:38

The first of the three young conductors to take to the stage is Adam Cook of England who is conducting Oslo Brass Band in Edward Gregson's 'Dances & Arias'.

He will be followed by Dominik Koch of Germany who will conduct 'Contest Music' and Kalle Kuusava of Finland who will direct 'Energy'.

First prize tonight is a hefty 3000 Euros with the runner up getting 2000 Euros and the third placed finisher 1000 Euros.

Conductors Comp • Thursday 2, 19:44:55

We are currently waiting for the start of the 6th European Conductors Competition here at the Oslo Konserthus.

Three talented young baton twirlers are ready in the wings waiting to impress the adjudication panel on a trio of classic brass band test pieces.

• Thursday 2, 17:56:43

4barsrest speaks with EYBB Conductor Irene Anda in between rehearsals at the Oslo Concert Hall.

General • Thursday 2, 17:53:39

4br Editor Iwan Fox meets with the British members of the European Youth Brass Band

General • Thursday 2, 17:36:57

4br Editor Iwan Fox introduces live coverage from the 2013 EBBC in Oslo

General • Thursday 2, 13:47:08

Here's the schedule:

Thursday May 2nd:
20.00: Gala Concert and Final of the European Conductor’s Competition featuring Oslo Brass Band and the European Youth Band, followed by the award ceremony (Oslo Concert Hall)

Friday May 3rd:
09.00: Masterclass with conductor Philip Harper. Free entry (Ridehuset)
10.30: Press Conference (Rica Victoria Hotel)

12.00: Opening Ceremony and Official Reception for EBBC 2013, including the official draw for the Set Work. By invitation only (Oslo City Hall)

16.00: Composers talk about the Championship Section test piece (Oslo Concert Hall)
17.00: Championship Section EBBC test piece (Oslo Concert Hall)

Saturday May 4th:
08.00: Official draw for Own Choice (Oslo Concert Hall)
09.00: EBBA Conference (Oslo Concert Hall)

11.00: Concert with European Youth Band and Aura Brass Band (Oslo Concert Hall)
12.00: Championship Section Own Choice selections (Oslo Concert Hall)

20.00: Grand Gala Concert followed by awards ceremony (Oslo Concert Hall)
22.00: European Brass Party (Oslo Concert Hall)

Sunday May 5th:
09.30: Annual meeting EBBA (Rica Victoria Hotel)
12.00: Free outdoor concert with Cory Band and Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag in the bandstand by the National Theatre

General • Thursday 2, 13:23:40

So we've made it.

We've done a bit of filming - keep tuned for our first offering - and we're now at the concert hall checking out the facilities.

Lots of familiar faces around - all looking forward to a great weekend of fantastic music making.

Conductors Comp • Tuesday 30, 16:42:41

So the finalists are...

Adam Cooke (UK)
Dominik Koch (D)
Kalle Kuusava (SF)

Championship Section • Tuesday 30, 16:29:31

It kicks off at 1700hrs on Friday with all bands playing the set work.

The 11 bands return to the stage on Saturday at Midday to play their own choice selections.

The results will be announced at the end of the Gala Concert that takes place on Saturday evening at 2000hrs.

All times are local.

General • Tuesday 30, 16:07:28

We make our way out to Olso early on Thursday. There'll be plenty of videos updates from us together with our usual live comments on every performance.

Don't forget, there's also live video coverage on the internet at:


Conductors Comp • Tuesday 30, 16:03:23

The five semi-finalists in the ECC are:

Mr Adam Cooke (UK)
Mr Dominik Koch (D)
Mr Kalle Kuusava (SF)
Mr Benjamin Markl (D)
Mrs Susanne Vibæk (DK)

The semi-final takes place today.

The Final takes place on Thursday at 20.00hrs. We'll be there to cover it with our live comments and interviews.

General • Tuesday 30, 15:57:49

Unfortunately, the B Section is cancelled this year as there was only confirmed entry.

Championship Section • Tuesday 30, 15:54:23

Test piece: 'Myth Forest' (Stig Nordhagen)

Adjudicators: Set work (Friday)
Phillip McCann, Ivan Meylemans, Preben Norgoord

Adjudicators: Own choice (Saturday)
Garry Cutt, Arsene Duc, Cathrine Winnes Trevino

Championship Section • Tuesday 30, 15:53:18

11 Bands compete in the Championship Section.

Black Dyke (Dr Nicholas Childs)
Brassband Buizingen (Luc Vertomenn)
Brass Band Fribourg (Frederic Theodoloz)
Brass Band Oberosterreich (Hans Gansch)
Brass Band Schoonhoven (Erik Jansen)
Cory (Philip Harper)
Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag (Professor David King)
Leyland (Michael Bach)
Lyngby-Taarbaek (Selmer Simonsen)
Paris Brass Band (Florent Didier)
Windcorp Brass Band (Alexander Hanson)

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Dobcross Silver Band - Milnrow Band

Sunday 28 July • Dobcross Band Club. Platt Lane. Dobcross. Saddleworth. Oldham OL3 8AD

Regent Brass - 'Brass on the Grass' at Westminster Abbey

Wednesday 14 August • Great Peter House, Abbey Gardens, 2 Great College St, London SW1P 3SE


Sunday 1 September • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Contest: 170th British Open

Saturday 7 September • Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Ratby Cooperative

July 23 • . To complete our line-up, Ratby Senior Band are looking to fill our 2nd Euphonium chair. This is a rare opportunity to join our Championship Band. . . Under the Direction of Musical Director Chris Jeans. Rehearsals Weds 8-10pm & Sun 7:15 - 9:15pm

Chinnor Silver

July 23 • Require a Bass player (Bb or Eb), Bass trombone, Soprano cornet and Percussionist. We are a friendly, ambitious 2nd section band that will start 2025 at the top of their Regional league table. We are located in South Oxfordshire and have our own bandroom in Chinnor

Linthwaite Band

July 23 • We are a 4th section contesting Band, based on the outskirts of Huddersfield, and we currently have a vacancy for a tenor trombone, to complete our friendly team.

Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)


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