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2018 Swiss Nationals
As it happened

All the action from the 2018 Swiss National Championships — As it happened.

Sunday 25, 23:49:13

Goodnight from Montreux...

That's it for another memorable Swiss National Championship, where Valaisia Brass Band won the Excellence Division National title for a fourth time in a row — equally the record of four successive wins of Brass Band Berner Oberland between 1990 and 1993.

As they are the defending European Champion, they will be joined back here in Montreux in May next year by Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern — and what a formidable duo they will be in representing their country.

Our thanks as always go to the outstanding team from the Swiss Brass Band Association led by President, Ariane Brun. The welcome is so warm and supportive — and the meal provided for us at the hotel on Sunday night was superb.

We can't wait to come back again.

Now for some kip and a relaxing trip back home by train...


Sunday 25, 19:38:29

Results:

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Excellence Division:

Adjudicators: Ian Porthouse, Glyn Williams, Mark Wilkinson (Set Work)
Adjudicators: Philip Harper, Tom Davoren, Stephen Roberts (Own Choice)

Set Work + Own Choice = Total

1. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc): 1/3 = 4*
2. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern (Michael Bach): 3/1 = 4
3. Brass Band Treize Etoiles (James Gourlay): 2/4 = 6*
4. Brass Band Fribourg A (Maurice Donnet-Monay): 4/2 = 6
5. Brass Band Berner Oberland (Corsin Tuor): 6/6 = 12
6. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan (Francois Roh): 5/8 = 13
7. Liberty Brass Band Ostschweiz (Stefan Roth): 8/7 = 15*
8. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien A (Blaise Heritier): 10/5 = 15
9. Oberaargauer Brass Band (Christoph Luchsinger): 7/12 = 19
10. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia A (Vincent Baroni): 9/11 = 20
11. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz (Luca Frischknecht): 11/10 = 21*
12. Constellation Brass Band A (Yvan Lagger): 12/9 = 21

* Set Work placing takes precedent

As 2018 European Champion, Valaisia Brass Band will be joined at the 2019 European Championship by Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern

Best Soloist (Set Work): Flugel — Brass Band Treize Etoiles
Best Soloist (Own Choice): Trombone — Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern

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First Division:

Adjudicators: Ian Porthouse, Glyn Williams, Mark Wilkinson
Set Work: Excalibur (Jan van der Roost)

1. Brass Band Fribourg B (Maurice Donnet-Monay) -94
2. Brass Band Harmonie Neuenkirch (Manuel Imhof) — 92
3. Brass Band RosAlp (David Bonvin) — 91
4. BML Talents (Patrick Ottiger) — 90
5. Ensemble de Cuivres Ambitus (Francois Roh) — 89
6. Brass Band Kirchenmusik Fluhli (Armin Renggli) — 88
7. Oberwalliser Brass Band A (David Lochmatter) — 86
8. Brass Band Konkordia Busserach (Christoph Bangerter) — 85
9. Regional Brass Band Bern (Manuel Renggli) — 84
10. Brass Band Schotz (Urs Bucher) — 82
11. Feldmusik Knutwil (Gian Walker) — 81

Best Euphonium: Brass Band Konkordia Busserach


Sunday 25, 17:56:13

Own choice round up and overall prediction

You have to hand it to the 12 bands here — they provided wonderful competitive entertainment with their own choice selections.

Quick and to the point though.

Valaisia were a class apart — quite stunning and should top the table, followed by a fine Treize Etoile on top form under Jim Gourlay and another high quality account from Fribourg. Brass Band Berner Oberland in fourth for us followed by the exotic Luzern and a solid Valaisan.

4BR Own Choice prediction:

1. Valaisia
2. Treize Etoile
3. Fribourg
4. Berner Oberland
5. Luzern
6. Valaisan

Overall prediction

Over the two days we have enjoyed we have linked up our placings to bring you our overall possible results...

1. Brass Band Valaisia
2. Brass Band Fribourg
3. Brass Band Berner Oberland
4. Brass Band Treize Etoiles
5. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern
6. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan


Sunday 25, 17:23:36

Excellence Division:

12. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia (Vincent Baroni)

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Perihelion — Closer to the Sun (Philip Sparke)

'Perihelion' is in essence a concerto for brass band (although played in one continuous movement).

It is abstract in inspiration and entitled as such due to the date on which the composer began writing it: January 2nd 2013.

This was the day of Earth's perihelion — the point in its orbit when it is closest to the sun.

Sparke describes the work as weaving between 'moments of brilliant optimism and dark shadow, both of which can be the result of bright sunshine'.

It opens with nervous energy before developing with the trademark hallmarks of Sparke's craftsmanship — florid lines of pulsating energy with echoes of Wagner, Dukas and Ravel as the music either dips into darkness or emerges into sparkling light.

Passion and drama, robust positivity and subdued introspection play off each other as the work moves towards its finale — a bustling, bristling virtuosic fugue (with a neat nod of appreciation to Holst) that gathers unstoppable momentum to a shattering close.

Iwan Fox

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A long but engrossing day is rounded off with a splendid account of the less famous of Philip Sparke's celestial body inspired works.

It's a crafty choice, as the band show vibrant relish for the music — playing with a joyfulness in the quicker sections and rich passion in the lyrical elements. Some super solo playing (bravo baritone) and the other lines pick up on the inspiration. The usual Sparkian tropes are all brushed off with a touch of nonchalance.

MD has got this one by the scruff of the neck and is wringing the juices out of it with a great deal of musical nous. The tinkling of the stars is a delight before the race to the end — one which builds with its higgledy-piggledy rhythmic patterns to a glorious close. A tasty one that to end.


Sunday 25, 17:02:22

Excellence Division:

11. Oberaargauer Brass Band (Christoph Luchsinger)

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Harrison's Dream (Peter Graham)

Peter Graham's work takes its inspiration from a naval disaster of 1707 and the ceaseless 40 year endeavour of the clockmaker John Harrison to produce a timepiece that could be used to measure Longitude, and thus enable ships to navigate safely.

The increasing loss of naval lives pushed the longitude question to the forefront of the national consciousness and precipitated the Longitude Act. Parliament funded a prize of '20,000 to anyone whose method or device would solve the dilemma.

For carpenter and self taught clockmaker John Harrison, this was the begging of his life's ambition.

Graham's work reflects on aspects of the epic tale. Much of the music is mechanistic in tone and constructed along precise mathematical and metrical lines.

However, the central core is very human — and reflects on lives already lost and would be lost before Harrison could find the answer to the problem. The sound of different bells toll for the countless souls lost to the abyss of the ocean deep.

The work ends in triumph — the answer found at last.

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Iwan Fox

So good to hear this fine test piece being given an airing — and to hear it played by a band and an MD who, like the story, built up the tension and expectation before the final glorious release of triumph.

Not everything quite had the razor sharp precision of the very best Swiss watches in these parts in the opening, but it was still good. Lots of mechanical drive and a sense of collective propose to the music making brought things back on track, and the central section was played with tactile tenderness.

The bells didn't quite evoke the souls of those lost at sea and the top lines just got a little strained in places, but the reprise was excellent — building incessantly to its climax.

The final sense of repose and then the long chord to the end as Harrison reflected on his life's work was played with elongated, dynamic control.


Sunday 25, 16:26:34

Excellence Division:

10. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc)

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Glass (Simon Dobson)

'The Glass Bead Game' is a novel written in 1943 by Swiss born author Herman Hesse.

It surrounds the lives of Joseph Knecht, the Magister Ludi (master of the game), and his monk-like colleagues who live, research and play the game as members of a utopian society in the far future.

Initially driven to write a work about Knecht, Dobson developed the idea to encompass his own thoughts of playing the game — inspired by texts on sacred geometry, sonnets by Shakespeare, Bach chorales, manifestos by Nietzsche and Goethe and works of Pythagorus and Plato.

One continuous piece split into five 'Moves' — each related in form of what subject 1 is to subject 2, as subject 3 is to subject 4' etc.

For instance: What human observation of the natural principals of structure and growth are to the observations of space and the design of buildings in architecture.

The work therefore contains themes, motifs and rhythmic/ harmonic structures that traverse throughout but are often meant to be hidden.

Move 1: The Monochord as a Model of the World.
Move 2: Variations in the formation of snowflakes.
Move 3: Architecture is like frozen music (Goethe c.1802-3)
Move 4: Kepler 22-b
Move 5: The Kalachakra Mandala

Iwan Fox

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We have been treated to a masterclass in brass band balance and cohesion here in a very reflective, absorbing work from the pen of Simon Dobson. The opening appeared from nowhere from the standing horn — it was simply sublime — and that was just one note.

There is such detail on show, but it is the balance of the ensemble that stuns you — layer upon layer, each easily identifiable yet never standing out by an atom. Even when they have to sing in harmony it never changes.

It's gives the band such an incredible sound. Hats off to the soloists — from the horn to flugel, cornet and euph. The artistry on display was a joy and the writing of the score was so immersive — and all at middle level dynamics.

We were hearing such defined levels of mf, mp, piu forte. When the ovens were stoked it hit you like sledgehammer. My word this was exceptional playing — no other word for it. What a build to the close — all to a point of singularity.

We have enjoyed plenty of high class playing here today, but that was in a different sphere.

The musicianship on show from the MD and his band was quite something. You cannot imagine the title will be heading anywhere else but back to their bandroom. It will be richly deserved.


Sunday 25, 15:58:42

Excellence Division:

9. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan (Francois Roh)

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Myth Forest (Hestefallstjonn) (Stig Nordhagen)

When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you — Friedrich Nietzsche

Nordhagen's evocative work is inspired by the unworldly mystery of a Stygian-like frozen lake near to his home, called Hestefallstjenn.

It is a reflection on the feelings that permeate the conscious and subconscious mind when standing on its edge, peering into the dark, tar like waters that seem to have no end.

It is a crepuscular journey to the margins of a gloomy, malodorous body of water bubbling with a menacing miasma of sulphurous intent — and with the corpse of a frozen, putrified dead horse floating in it too.

And that is what the music portrays — with hooves on.

Individual lines of thoughtfulness and icy expression laced with impending fears of personal terminus — as if you are being drawn, like that poor beast, inexorably towards your own frozen death — your last breath freezing before your eyes as you slowly sink below the surface.

Iwan Fox

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For the second time in two days Valaisan and Francois Roh display a finely wrought sense of musicality on immensely challenging, but diverse repertoire.

The Nordic emotion bubbled under the surface here — dark and rich, but also icy cold too. The band sound was so well balanced and the solo lines were played with an artistic reserve. Solo cornet and euph especially shone, but they were able to do so as MD allowed the music the time to find its lanquid, natural sense of flow.

The creation of such a melancholic atmosphere takes some doing, but here it was created so well — you could almost feel yourself being drawn inexorably towards the edges of that blackened, dead pool of no return. Nothing over played either — MD let the music create its own very peculiar evocation.

What a tremendous performance. Won't be going skinny dipping in Mr Nordhagen's back garden pond any time soon that's for certain.


Sunday 25, 15:29:48

Excellence Division:

8. Brass Band Treize Etoiles (James Gourlay)

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HorrorShow for Brass Band and Percussion (Simon Dobson)

In November 2015 Paris came under terrorist attack. However, within days France displayed a defiant outlook and its people became unified in hope.

With further intolerant attitudes seeping through the world, Simon Dobson explores the themes of senseless violence that he describes as a 'HorrorShow' — a term he first read in the book, 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess.

The three movement work uses distorted quotes from both Beethoven and Bach which feature heavily in the book and Stanley Kubrick film.

'La Vie — We start from nothing', describes the difficulties of living in a changing world, and attempts to portray a celebration of different peoples living together in an often scary, alien environment.

'La Mort — We return to nothing' is a chorale lament that evokes the memories of the Bataclan nightclub tragedy, whilst ''Mais nous avons des fleurs'' is inspired by the kindness and sense of togetherness that was shown in its aftermath.

It brings to a close the composer's own tribute to those who died, and to the unbreakable spirit of both France and its people that serves as a testament of the good of humanity and its ability to embrace rather than repel change.

Iwan Fox

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There is dark and disturbing undercurrent to this score that needs to controlled to retain its sense of ever present menace — and the MD and his band did just that from the very first, emerging note — as if from nothing.

The busy cosmopolitan melting pot of Parisian humanity is drawn by the MD as exotic and exciting — but also inhibiting and insular. The sectional aspects of the music reinforce this — played like mini-portraits of dystopian urbanisation.

A cold chill of melancholy seeps through the air in the aftermath of tragedy — led by cultured euph. MD shaped this with tender respect — like an outsider looking in from afar. It was high quality playing.

The rebuilding of communal trust is just that — throughout the band too. There is so much detail on show in the ensemble that you almost forget that it is driven by a gritty pulse. The acts of kindness emerge in tiny fragments, but build in collective strength — again so well laid out. Simple gifts meaning so much.

The dynamic control on show here has been admirable — and so in keeping with the subject matter — the horror doesn't need to be bludgeoned into the soul. Only with the sense of a triumphant defeat of evil is exuberance shown in full to round off a mature, thoughtful and immensely emotive performance.


Sunday 25, 15:07:34

Excellence Division:

7. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien (Blaise Heritier)

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The Untold Story (Louis Kroni)

Young Swiss composer Louis Kroni's work is inspired — if that is the right way to describe it — by one of the most tragic and mysterious aviation disasters in history — the loss of Malaysian flight MH370.

It's disappearance somewhere on its flight path between Kuala Lumpar and Beijing in March 2014 has never been resolved, or the wreckage found. It remains as the composer states; 'La Grande enigma'.

The work traces the effect on the families left to ponder the fate of the 239 passengers; from the optimism of the 'Night Flight' to the 'Loss of Contact' through, 'Fear', 'Pain' and 'Misunderstanding' to 'Anger' and 'Mystery'.

It is a piece that asks whether the mystery will ever be resolved — or the pain of those left behind ever healed.

Iwan Fox

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With such a tragic and still rather immediate tragedy to try and explain in musical terms, it was understandably hard to broach such a subject without demeaning the sense of loss.

However a young and obviously talented composer succeeded without obvious recourse to over-sentimentality or sensationalism of effect. You experienced the opening feelings of growing anxiety to the first stabbing pains of realisation.

The playing was bold but never raucous as the tale unfolded — growing in despair and fear, with the ensemble playing maintaining a cohesive momentum. There was also a chill to the quieter sections that fed on that anxiety, before emotion, raw emotion exploded in anger and final incomprehensible misunderstanding of what had really happened.

The boldness of the playing brought that the fore in a performance rich in texture, control and distinctive character.


Sunday 25, 14:33:51

Excellence Division:

6. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern (Michael Bach)

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King Kong on Rue Igor Stravinsky (Paul McGhee)

As ever with Paul McGhee not everything may be as it first seems.

This is no homage to the famous 1933 RKO film staring the frenetically screaming Fay Wray, but a work of febrile imagination inspired by the real life events that took place on December 4th, 1971, at the Montreux Casino in the middle of a performance by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

During the synthesizer solo on the song 'King Kong' the roof of the venue caught fire (reportedly by the firing of an errant flare gun) — resulting in over 2500 concert goers being rather manically evacuated.

Nobody was killed, but the entire building burned to the ground, and the band lost all of their equipment — the result of which saw another rock group 'Deep Purple' go on to pen their own homage to the night with their iconic song, 'Smoke on the Water'.

McGhee's work explores the multitude of textures available to the modern day brass band — from muted timbres to various approaches to 'open' sonorities — requiring aggressive effects, non vibrato playing and sonorous tonality — all with interpretive expression and intent freely in the hands of the performers.

The piece juxtaposes these elements to create momentum in the music — shifting from calm to madness in the blink of an eye — much like the fateful night itself.

Iwan Fox

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Oh Lordy, Lordy would you go to the foot of my stairs. That was Zappatastic. We were in a mother of all invention universe here for a brass band.

This was brilliantly surreal and utterly and bonkersly immersive — like going back to the headiest of heady days in a darkened night club with a few poppers in the blood stream and a haze of mama's best pig bag snoff ready in a spliff. We were away with the chemical pixies.

What a brilliant sound and colour palette though — there was even what sounded like an old rusty bicycle wheel turning in forlorn hope. Superb playing by the band — led by the immense solo trom, but backed by awesome tubas and crackling cornets who provide forensic aftermath detail.

The inflagration was frightening in its raw power and immediacy — leaving scorch marks in the hall. Bravo MD.

I wanted to start calling myself Moon Unit or Dweezil Fox after that. Old Frank Zappa would have been as proud as punch — on whatever planet he now resides on in infinity.


Sunday 25, 14:04:48

Excellence Division:

5. mgrr Brass Band (Luca Frischknecht)

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Hypercube (Oliver Waespi)

Oliver Waespi's compositions reflect both the majesty of nature and its connection to man, and that of human interaction to the urban landscape — notably through his orchestral pieces, 'Viaduct' and 'Pulse' — as well as with this 2015 work.

It is inspired by the iconic modern architecture of Paris, and in particular, of the La Grande Arche de la Defense, which features a hypercube construction — a cube of space found within a cube of concrete and glass surround.

It is this, and the interpretation of the architect's vision of a monument to humanity and humanitarian ideals that inspires the bold opening statements and pulsating symphonic sweep of its contemporary language.

At its core however lies a chorale inspired by the amazing hanging 'cloud' or 'nuages' that can been seen at the centre of the structure itself — a beautiful, peaceful dialogue for trombone, cornet, euphonium and baritone.

The calm serenity does not last however, and the work closes in imposing fashion and a return to the urban constructs of complexity which builds to a triumphant close.

Iwan Fox

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From the majesty of nature to the architectural magnificence of urban Paris. It's as if Oliver Waespi has a spilt musical personality — but each equally and schizophrenically brilliant.

This is all funk and groove, grubby and spray paint graffiti walled to open — before your eyes open to the stark beauty of the cube within a cube and its multiple meanings. The playing has such a rich texture — foundations pile-driven into the floor by the tubas. There was a grit to this that had a feral intensity.

Not so secure though as we move the gaze towards those hanging nuage clouds — with evident struggles in a some lines robbing the landscape of its serenity. This should have reminded you of a choir signing in Notre Dame, but it sounded more like Jonny Halliday at times.

The return to funky fiestyness is great though — throbbing like a vein on the side of a stressed head — building and building before exploding to the vampish close and that elongated final chord.


Sunday 25, 13:43:06

Excellence Division:

4. Brass Band Berner Oberland (Corsin Tuor)

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La Passuin (Oliver Waespi)

Oliver Waespi's 'La Passiun' — meaning 'The Passion' in the Swiss Romansch language, represents an imaginary drama based on two old folk songs.

The work can be seen as the third part of his major works inspired by the relationship of man to nature — leading on from 'As if a voice were in them...'

The folk songs on this occasion however appear only later in the piece. Before that, an agitated musical conflict takes places with a section entitled, 'TheTempest' which is particularly conflicted — albeit symphonic in structure — and which pays tribute to earlier musical treatments of 'storm' scenes by composers such as Beethoven.

This contrasts with the second section — 'The Vision', where a slow lyrical transformation sets in.

The first folk tune 'Eu v'gl bain a mia bella' finally reveals itself and prompts the harmonic structure to take a more peaceful turn.

Gradually this is further developed and transcends into a even more peaceful section entitled, 'The Dance' before the second folk song, 'Avaunt pudaiv'ir' appears.

The dark colours of the first part find themselves transformed into a luminous, ecstatic orchestral dance which brings the work to a close.

Iwan Fox

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Oliver Waespi's mature musical outlook draws on immense vistas and horizons — and Fribourg do it justice with a performance that combined elemental power to very human insular emotion.

The storms were almost Shakespearian in their drama — tempests that would have blown Edmund Hilary off the face of the Eiger in his crampons let alone the judges here. They made Eric Ball's efforts in 'High Peak' sound like a light drizzle. Cold, drenching rhythmic playing that pulsated with throbbing intensity.

The Vision complements this perfectly — staid, tempered and measured — the lyricism emerging from behind crags and rock faces. The folk inspiration is there but it never controls those elemental forces as we peacefully subsided into a relaxed dance.

Neat touches from the ensemble and some bravura solo playing led into the typical Waespi finale — rocking back and forth in glorious sounding triumph — troms standing to add to the feel of a celebratory chorale. Wonderful rich sounds emenated from the stage to round off a superb performance of mature musicality.


Sunday 25, 13:07:45

Excellence Division:

3. Brass Band Fribourg (Maurice Donnet-Monay)

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Midnight's Butterflies (Lars Nygard)

Composed in 2017, Nygard's work paints an elegant picture of the somewhat mystical and much misunderstood figure of the moth.

It is musical Lepidopterology — a case study of its various strengths, colours, elegance, fragility and mystery (the work is also written under a pseudonym)

The harmony throughout is built on a personal modal structure and open, tonal aesthetics, allowing for a combination of 271 various harmonic colours to emerge from the score — like the different patterns found on a moth's dusty wings.

This technique is inspired by the work of Olivier Maessiaen on his investigation of the various sounds and colours of nature.

The five linked movements present the characteristics of the moth and it's behaviour that has long fascinated the composer.

Iwan Fox

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What a bold and at times ferocious performance. On occassions Mr Nygard's moths had the wing span of a jumbo jet and the power of a Saturn V rocket.

It certainly made an impact with its inventive percussion colours and effects (including the best use for steel sheeting since putting a new roof on the garden shed). It's a strange old mix of styles and contrasts (even a touch of dry wit) different swatches of colour interspersed with the busy filigree work.

There is a bit that sounds like moths bashing their heads on a night time lightbulb too. The solo trom displays artistry of the highest class before a mysterious chorale as if the moth settles in an old Scotsman's wallet for untroubled rest.

A brilliant last section has pulsating drive and energy, building in intensity — vicious sounds to the fore and a last frenzied attack before being swatted down in pyrrhic triumph — with Mr Nygard's identity revealed in true Paul Raphael fashion. Bravo MD on your lepidopterist skills. Bravo indeed.


Sunday 25, 12:38:34

Excellence Division:

2. Liberty Brass Band (Stefan Roth)

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Revelation (Philip Wilby)

'Revelation — A Symphony for Double Brass on a theme of Purcell' celebrates the tri-centenary of the great English composers death in 1995.

It's inspiration comes from the poem by John Donne, who describes the biblical Revelation as; "At the Earth's imagined corners, blow your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise from death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go.

All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow. All whom war, death, age, agues, tryannies, Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you whose eyes Shall Behold God, and never taste death's woe."

Many of the solo lines must be played standing to the front of the band, which is split into two brass ensembles with percussion at its centre.

The climax of the music is declared with a section of abandonment before the Revelation of God's creation is reaffirmed in all its glory.

Iwan Fox

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A performance of high-church fire and brimstone this — dramatic and evangelical in its musical zeal.

The gurgling depths of the opening soon gave way to impassioned playing which contrasted with the touch of Purcellian baroque. Those spotlight solos were well handled too — from tasty flugel and throaty euphs to neatly blocked/unblocked cornet. The euph duet was as tender as a child's bed time prayer.

The final chapter towards Revelation built with anxiety — with great tuba and bass trom sounds intertwined with the detailed Wilby filigree features — busy as demonic bees. Then the fall from grace and the Horses of the Apocalypse — or the sound of two trumping elephant calls from the euphs heralding the end of days.

Superbly triumphant return to glory though — so well drawn out and delivered. Bravo — even the Pope will be sending his congratulations on that from Rome.


Sunday 25, 12:12:37

Excellence Division:

1. Constellation Brass Band (Yvan Lagger)

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Trance (Thomas Doss)

The work is based on JS Bach's hymn 'Wie schon leuchtet der Abendstern' (How beautifully the morning star shines).

It starts hesitantly — reminiscent of a music box that is repeatedly interrupted, although in this case, it is by the doubts and fears of a reluctant mother — one whose unborn baby screams silently to her from within the womb.

Only she can hear its voice and is terrified by the prospect of its birth. In return, the unborn child feels these doubts and its mother's trepidation, but continues to try and bond with her.

Gradually, with every single psychosomatic scream, a relationship starts to build; as she instinctively perceives another human life inextricably linked to her own — one with an increasing heartbeat and sense of reality.

While dancing faster and faster into a trance, she imagines how her child might grow from infant to an adult human being...or not... depending on the decision she has to make that will or will not result in its birth...

Iwan Fox

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Well that was all a bit weird — especially at the opening when despite the obvious Doss mixing desk of miasmic sounds, it was all over the shop.

It recovered its poise eventually, but it seemed to be taking the relationship between expectant mother and child literally — or in this case if she was wondering if she wanted to give birth to the monster from the Alien film.

When it finally found the right human pulse it drew an increasing sense of drama and troubled, fevered apprehension. Great sounds came from the tonking tubas and the funky back beat perc. It took some time coming though.

The frenzy became ever more pronounced, manic and febrile as the band and mother twisted turned and spun towards their dual redemption or oblivion. More the latter today, unfortunately.

This was a troubled child borne of a troubling performance...


Sunday 25, 12:09:17

Swiss reflections with Philip McCann...

Coming up soon — some reflections on what we have heard, about to hear and all about Swiss banding with Philip McCann.


Sunday 25, 12:04:57

Draw:

Excellence Division:

Stravinski Auditorium:
Own Choice:
Adjudicators: Philip Harper, Tom Davoren, Stephen Roberts

1. Constellation Brass Band A (Yvan Lagger)
2. Liberty Brass Band Ostschweiz (Stefan Roth)
3. Brass Band Fribourg A (Maurice Donnet-Monay)
4. Brass Band Berner Oberland (Corsin Tuor)
5. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz (Luca Frischknecht)
6. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern (Michael Bach)
7. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien A (Blaise Heritier)
8. Brass Band Treize Etoiles (James Gourlay)
9. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan (Francois Roh)
10. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc)
11. Oberaargauer Brass Band (Christoph Luchsinger)
12. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia A (Vincent Baroni)


Sunday 25, 11:12:38

Five world premieres...

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There will be no less than five world premieres of be heard today as well as seven other huge works.

Simon Dobson, Paul McGhee, Oliver Waespi, Louis Koris and Lars Nygard have come up the new compositions — and an enticing lot they look too if the scores are anything to go by.

What's not to be intrigued about with a philosophical board game of utopian monks, the life cycle of the moth, the mysterious loss of an airline flight, Swiss folk passion and even King Kong. We kid you not.

All this and there are the usual blockbusters from Sparke, Graham, Nordhagen, Doss, Wilby amongst more Dobson and Waespi.

Not all is what it may first seem though with some of these works....

Not long now...


Sunday 25, 11:03:43

Enjoying Excalibur...

Before we sit back and savour the delights of the Championship Section (Excellence Division) own-choice battle, there has been a great morning's entertainment in the First Division with 11 bands giving colourful performances of Jan Van der Roost's 'Excalibur'.

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Don't quite know where the composer found his inspiration from about the famous mythical tale, but it seems Arthur's sword had various trips to the wild west frontier of America, via the film studios of Back to the Future and Bonanza before an oriental sojourn with some Chinese acrobats and a finale with Ben Hur in Rome. Bonkers — but oh so enjoyable on a Sunday morning.

After this there is a short break before the Championship action starts at 12.15pm local time.

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Sunday 25, 09:06:09

Lots to look forward to today...


Sunday 25, 08:08:17

Draw:

First Division:

Stravinski Auditorium
Set Work: Excalibur (Jan van der Roost)

1. Brass Band Fribourg B (Maurice Donnet-Monay)
2. Brass Band Kirchenmusik Fluhli (Armin Renggli)
3. Brass Band Schotz (Urs Bucher)
4. Brass Band RosAlp (David Bonvin)
5. Oberwalliser Brass Band A (David Lochmatter)
6. Ensemble de Cuivres Ambitus (Francois Roh)
7. Brass Band Konkordia Busserach (Christoph Bangerter)
8. Brass Band Harmonie Neuenkirch (Manuel Imhof)
9. Regional Brass Band Bern (Manuel Renggli)
10. BML Talents (Patrick Ottiger)
11. Feldmusik Knutwil (Gian Walker)


Sunday 25, 06:53:16

Good morning from Montreux...

Such is the way in which they brilliantly organise things here at the Swiss Championships that the timetable of events rang exactly to the minute last night — allowing us exactly 15 minutes to grab a pint before the bar closed in the hotel. And unfortunately it closed not a minute over its prescribed time too.

The action starts again this morning with the First Division, before all eyes and ears will be on the climax of the Championship or Excellence Division as they call it here.

We will bring you all the action as it unfolds once more, so why not join us...


Sunday 25, 00:38:05

Goodnight from Montreux...

That's it from Montreux for today (or should that be tonight). Back in the morning for more action and the battle for the Championship title.


Sunday 25, 00:28:34

Result:

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Elite Division:

Stravinski Auditorium
Set Work: Destination Moon (Paul Raphael)
Adjudicators: Philip Harper, Tom Davoren, Stephen Roberts

1. Brass Band Emmental (Jan Muller) — 95
2. Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia (Michael Bach) — 94
3. Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg A (Rafael Camartin) — 92
4. Brass Band Rickenbach (Enrico Calzaferri) — 91
5. AEW Concert Brass Fricktal (Adrian Schneider) — 89
6= Brass Band Eglisau (Andreas Buri) — 87*
6= Brass Band Sursilvana (Roman Caprez) — 87
8. Brass Band Cazis (Herve Grelat) — 86
9. Brass Band MG Reiden (Roland Froscher) — 84
10. Brass Band Treize Etoiles B (Eric Fournier) -83

Best Baritone: Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia

* 1 point deduction for percussion infringement


Sunday 25, 00:14:42

Result:

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Second Division:

Set Work: Masquerade for Brass (James Curnow)
Adjudicators: Simon Dobson, Jan de Haan, Oliver Waespi

1. Brass Band Lotschental (Aldo Werlen) — 94
2. Brass Band Berner Oberland Junior (Jan Muller) — 93
3. Brass Band 43 (Oliver Neuhas) — 92
4. Brass Band Harmonie Rickenbach (Lukas Scherrer) — 91
5. Brass Band Feldmusik Escholzmatt (Roger Muller) — 90
6. Liberty Brass Band Junior (Christoph Luschsinger) — 89
7. Constellation Brass Band B (Ivan Denis) — 88
8. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien B (Rainier Chetelat) — 87
9. Brass Band Abinchova (Gian Walker) — 86
10. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia B (Sebastien Pasche) — 85
11= Brass Band Posaunenchor Flaach (Thomas Fischer) — 84
11= Brass Band Rapperswil-Wierezwil (Dominik Ziorjen) — 84
13= Brass Band Zurich (Werner Kubil) — 83
13= Brass Band Junior Valaisan (Aurelien Darbellay) — 83

Best Solo Horn: Brass Band Lotschental


Sunday 25, 00:07:56

Result:

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Third Division:

Miles Davis Hall
Set Work: Antruras (Gion Andrea Casanova)
Adjudicators: Simon Dobson, Jan de Haan, Oliver Waespi

1. Burgermusik Untereggen (Stefan Roth) — 93
2. Musik Frohsinn Oberburg (Jan Muller) — 92
3. Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg B (Stefan Aegerter) — 90
4. Jugend Brass Band Michelsamt (Peter Staddelman) — 89
5. Brass Band Gurbetal (Urs Stahli) — 87
6. Musikverein Bucket (Cedric Fuhrer) — 86
7. Thunerseebrass (Christoph Hertig) — 85
8= Brass Band Munsingen (Nicholas Jaquet) — 84
8= Hinterlander Jugend Brass Band (Luca Frischknecht) — 84

Best Percussion: Musikkla Frohsinn Oberburg


Sunday 25, 00:02:52

Result:

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Fourth Division:

Stravinski Auditorium
Set Work: Purcellian Fantasia (Jan de Haan)
Adjudicators: Ian Porthouse, Glyn Williams, Mark Wilkinson

1. Jugend Brass Band Oberer Sempachersee (Manuel Imhof) — 92
2. Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band (Patrick Notter) — 91
3. JBB Regionale Musiktschule Liestal (Ivan Estermann) — 89
4. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz Junior Band (Mattias Kieffer) — 87

Best Principal Cornet: Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band


Saturday 24, 21:18:35

Excellence Division: Round up and first day prediction...

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No doubt about it: 'Concerto Grosso' remains a fearsome, feral test of the very best bands — one that few today managed to completely tame.

There were so many contrasting interpretations — although nearly all felt it was necessary to try and subdue the opening to the score by dynamic ferocity. It didn't really work.

The solo playing was very good — at times startlingly so, but too often the volume led to stridency and harshness in the ensemble. The best performance had an extra level of class — the best once again by Valaisia for us — although they were far from their brilliant best.

Behind them — but still within close touching distance ahead of tomorrow we go for Brass Band Fribourg, Brass Band Berneroberland and Burgermusik Luzern — but it is a toss of coin in which order. An exciting but occasionally wayward Treize Etoile and Valaisian make up our top six with a dark horse of Oberaargauer.

First day Excllence Division prediction:

1. Valaisia Brass Band
2. Brass Band Fribourg
3. Brass Band Berneroberland
4. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern
5. Brass Band Treize Etoile
6. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisian

Dark Horse: Oberaargauer Brass Band


Saturday 24, 21:00:23

Excellence Division:

12. Oberaargauer Brass Band (Christoph Luchsinger)

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We close with another throughly engaging but variable takes on the fearsome Bourgeois 'Concerto' that never quite managed to subdue its feral musical inclinations.

Bold and bravura at the opening it was driven with spiteful venom that promised so much. Great ensemble sounds, but it was as scratchy as an old junk yard dog in places even if it did retain its bite.

The Blues section was so well handled — led by a flugel who almost emerged with their sound through a haze of cigar smoke like a femme fatale in a film noir. That was super playing — and there was a wit and absurdness to the Tico Tico to follow — rum babas all round. Enthusiam just got the better in places in the final furlong for home, but it retained that initial bold drive that was shown to fine effect to open. One to ponder for the judges.

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Saturday 24, 20:35:44

Excellence Division:

11. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc)

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The undoubted class act of a high class field, but not Valaisia at their brilliant best it has to be said.

We are talking small margins here, but they were noticeable ones — little rough edges of execution and delivery that first raised an eyebrow and then an occasional grimace. There was menace to the playing though in the opening sections — but an iron fist in a velvet glove.

There were also times when you simply purred at what you were hearing (the end of the euph cadenza, and a quite sublime flugel in the Blues Section who was as sultry and feline as Kylie Minogue in a Vaseline coated cat suit.)

The ensemble was so balanced — layers of sound, each perfectly weighted with the little chorale before the Tico Tico as quiet as an usher in an undertaker's parlour. That was then a delight — as light and fruity as a Pineapple Sunday on top of Liberace's head.

The close was a simple statement of restored intent — huge, fearsome and total.

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Saturday 24, 20:05:10

Excellence Division:

10. Liberty Brass Band Ostschweiz (Stefan Roth)

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A cleverly set out and effective performance — a sum of integrated parts — none stars but all worker bees focussed on the MDs musical endeavours.

Moments that raised the eyebrows for both the best and worst reasons — the former outweiging the latter by a fair margin though. There was a waspish viciousness to the opening and the Blues were just the right side of smokey in their sultriness.

The best playing came with the Tico Tico section — fat bottomed girls stuff with a pineapple on their bonce. It really was good. Lots on reserve too for a close that had drama and power — although the mini pause before the last five notes was a Liberty all right...

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Saturday 24, 19:33:12

Excellence Division:

9. Fribourg (Maurice Donnet-Money)

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If Quentin Tarantino ever took up brass banding this would surely be his inspiration for the sequel to 'Reservior Dogs'. There was so much blood and guts playing on show here it was a miracle the band's white jackets weren't splattered by pints of jugular vein claret.

By heck it was visceral — Bourgeois with an Uzi firing from the hip. Take your hat off though — it was flippin exciting: viscous and razor edged in the opening section, driven by steam engine tubas and troms and aided by a huge euph. It sent an electric shock right up your jacksy.

It never let go — even the Blues were red tinted — but again, so well played — led by a flugel who had a whiff of edgy mayhem about them before the touching chorale. Carmen Miranda on steroids followed, but what a girl — buxom exotica. What a finish too — led by those Beserker troms.

A question of taste if this features highly — but bleeding Nora — it made one heck of a dynamic and effective mark.

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Saturday 24, 19:02:27

Excellence Division:

8. Constellation Brass Band (Yvan Lagger)

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A bit of an eventful romp through the pages of the Derek Bourgeois score — from high jinks and high class endeavour to moments of unease and misfortune — and a couple of odd segues to boot.

The MD had the focus on keeping things moving and the music never lost its pulse, but sometimes the accuracy went amiss — sometimes a bit too often. Some great solo spots — from classy euph and flugel and the bass trom was a hoot.

The Blues had a nice sultry feel and Tico Tico was the right side of the Amazonian Basin. It hung on like a fruit bat on a Guatemalan cave roof to close too. Variable but enjoyable that.

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Saturday 24, 18:38:53

Excellence Division:

7. Brass Band Berner Oberland (Corsin Tuor)

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An enjoyable wrestle with an oily badger of a test piece that — and one they eventually came out on top of thanks to some super solo contributions and a wise old noggin at the helm.

Occasionally it got a bit scrappy, but so much of the detail was so well played — led by an excellent tuba team. There was a caustic viciousness to the opening sections — pulsating with viperish venom and steely tonality.

Contrast was shown in the Blues section — led by a suave, lazy flugel, and when it came to the Tico Tico it was the full fruit and fibre diet. Just the odd occasion when it lost its precision, but the MD made sure it was snapped back into line for a substantive close. Bravo.

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Saturday 24, 18:01:32

Excellence Division:

6. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan (Francois Roh)

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A frustrating performance that almost but never quite managed to turn its obvious potential into full blown mastery of such an imposing score.

A fabulous start — with a banzai euph who popped your eyes out on stalks and tuba that rattled the fillings in your teeth, but then it meandered into health and safety territory. You could almost see the band doning their hi-vis yellow jackets. Every now and again it ventured into exotic waters (super cornet — Miss Gaspoz via Grimethorpe?) and sounded superb, only to lose its nerve.

A fine Blues section was smokey and immersive, but the Tico Tico was Carmen Miranda on a mobility scooter. The finale was great though — stonking and honking with viscous bite like a mangey dog with a fresh bone to gnaw all the way to a punchy close. Oh so close to being a top class one that — but tantalisingly just out of reach.

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Saturday 24, 17:36:44

Excellence Division:

5. Brass Band Burgermusik Luzern (Michael Bach)

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A high quality rendition that occasionally felt that it was going to lose its focus and control, but thanks to the MD was kept biting on the bridle bit.

There were moments when it came close to becoming frantic and edgy though (and was there a neat bit of camouflage work at the beginning?), but there was an overriding arch of understanding of the score by the MD that played itself out so well.

The blues section maybe needed a little more suave, oily lubricant, but was delivered with honest assuredness, whilst the Tico Tico was bob on the money. It was delicious fruit salad playing — with a swagger of low swung hips and a come hither smile.

The momentum was not lost in the final section either to such a bomper of a close. Not perfect, but the best so far and classy without a doubt.

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Saturday 24, 17:04:22

Excellence Division:

4. mgrr Brass Band (Luca Frischknecht)

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The second artisan performance in a row — although this one occasionally showed its fragilities rather too obviously after such a bold and encouraging start.

It was a pity, as there were some super moments to savour — starting with a tremendous Barry White tuba and a voluptuous flugel who has obviously enjoyed the blues coming into town a few times.

The lack of clarity and precision in the ensemble hurt though — and the Tico Tico had a bit of an arthritic Carmen Miranda swagger. It sounded as if she needed a urgent hip replacement. All hands to the pumps for a honker of a finish to close a brave but challenged performance from a band making a marked step up in class.

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Saturday 24, 16:33:32

Excellence Division:

3. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien (Blaise Heritier)

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A thoroughly solid, workmanlike account this — a bit of a matt polish in terms of style, but very effective nonetheless.

All the soloists played well and the ensemble binded together as the MD carefully trod a neat path in the middle ground of dynamics and tempi.

Only occasionally did they lose their discipline when the focus was lost and it became scrappy. The Blues section yearned for more sensuality though — it was all a little too straight and sensible, whilst the Tico Tico also needed a bit more rum baba in the veins.

The lactic acid got into the veins to close, but they pulled out all the stops for a bravura close.

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Saturday 24, 16:05:06

Excellence Division:

2. Brass Band Treize Etoiles (James Gourlay)

Well you can always rely on Jim Gourlay to come up with something to put a pep in the collective step, and he certainly did that with this interpretation.

It times it sounded like a frenetic steam hammer reigning blows at you such was the pace and ferocity of the playing. Hugely exciting, but occasionally it was scrappy too and lacked the razor sharp precision that gives the piece its caustic bite. Mind you — there were little gems thrown in like visceral rubies — especially with the honktastic bass trom.

The Tico Tico sashayed as if Jim had dislocated both hips — brilliantly so, but some terrible little moments of poor concentration broke the spell. Huge ending brought the crowd out in raptures, but this maybe had too many moments of unease to hit the highest peaks today.


Saturday 24, 15:36:49

Excellence Division:

1. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia (Vincent Baroni)

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A rather variable account to open the contest — and one that never quite mastered the imposing technical challenges despite plenty of endeavour from all the main soloists (super memory man flugel who stood with a bluesy swagger in the middle section) and an ensemble sound that was hewn out of black granite.

The lack of precision and the occasionally obvious inaccuracies tarnished the well structured picture, whilst stamina waned and made for a rather laboured fruity Carmen Miranda Tico Tico section before a second wind close.

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Saturday 24, 15:05:48

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Draw:

Excellence Division:

Stravinski Auditorium:
Set Work: Concerto Grosso (Derek Bourgeois)

1. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia A (Vincent Baroni)
2. Brass Band Treize Etoiles (James Gourlay)
3. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien A (Blaise Heritier)
4. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz (Luca Frischknecht)
5. Brass Band BUrgermusik Luzern (Michael Bach)
6. Ensemble de Cuivres Valaisan (Francois Roh)
7. Brass Band Berner Oberland (Corsin Tuor)
8. Constellation Brass Band A (Yvan Lagger)
9. Brass Band Fribourg A (Maurice Donnet-Monay)
10. Liberty Brass Band Ostschweiz (Stefan Roth)
11. Valaisia Brass Band (Arsene Duc)
12. Oberaargauer Brass Band (Christoph Luchsinger)


Saturday 24, 14:36:25

Fourth and Elite Section round ups and predictions...

Plenty to enjoy so far today with the action in the main Stravinski Auditorium in the Fourth and Elite Sections.

Jan de Haan's super test piece was a delight in the Fourth Dicision, and despite there only being four bands it was a contest to savour.

Jugend Brass Band Oberer Sempachersee and Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band may wrestle it out for the title with Jugend just getting the nod for us.

4BR Fourth Division prediction:

1. Jugend Brass Band Oberer Sempachersee
2. Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band

In the Elite contest, Philip Harper's (or should that be Paul Raphael?) neatly contrived comic book caper test-piece brought plenty of exciting, primary colour playing and dynamics from the bands, with the contrasting accounts from Brass Band Emmental and Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia standing out for us.

It was a good overall standard though, with Eglisau and MG Reiden just behind.

4BR Elite Division prediction:

1. Brass Band Emmental
2. Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia
3. Brass Band Eglisau
4. Brass Band MG Reiden


Saturday 24, 14:26:19

Elite Division:

We have heard interpretations that brought the youthful enthusiasm of Tintin to the fore with zip and energy today, but this was a bit different from Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia and Michael Bach.

This was the young Belgian using his noggin before rushing into things in outer space — controlled and considered. It gave a sense of maturity to the music making — and although not flawless it was a reading of the comic book capers that still retained its teenage spirit.

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The contest was rounded off with a slightly variable account from Brass Band Rickenbach — that had its moments that had excitement by the bagful, but also a fair share or seat of your pants moments too.

Lots of primary colour amd momentum (super trom) to the final blast off into infinity and that 'can you hear me' close.

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Saturday 24, 13:31:58

Elite Division:

After the fizz and sparks of Emmental came another account from Brass Band Eglisau that bristled with intent, energy and precision — especially in the super opening. Just lost its bearings in the weightlessness of the lyrical moments at times, but it recovered with a huge thrust towards infinity and a neat close.

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A nearly one from Brass Band Susilvana — played with energy and passion, but just the odd moment when Tintin missed his mark. Great trom soloist who certainly knew his lines by memory and there was an evocative feel to the final section despite the odd little glitch as they speed into the heavens and beyond.

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Saturday 24, 12:43:12

Elite Division:

The first band to really explode into the potential prize winning stratosphere today was Brass Band Emmental with a super performance full of colour, detail, power and a touch of mystery.

It really was high quality playing, very well led by their MD, and benefitting from their ability to fire up the Saturn V turbos as well as nestle back to earth with the delicacy of a baby's head touching the pillow.

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Lots to enjoy from AEW Concert Brass too — if a little bit fragile and scrappy in their pursuit of lunar orbit. Got better as it went along and also came back to earth with a well controlled splash down rather than a belly flop dive.

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Saturday 24, 12:28:58

All enjoying their trip to the Montreux side of the moon...

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The audience is certainly enjoying the performances of 'Destination Moon' here in Montreux. How many Swiss astronauts have there been we wonder....?


Saturday 24, 12:00:01

Masquerade proving a hit...

The bands are making the most of their opportunity to show off in the Second Division on James Curnow's crafted 'Masquerade', which makes refined demands on solo and ensemble alike.

The MDs so far have given the music time to flow and breath which has been a great thing to hear and the percussion hasn't overpowered. If it stays like this it could be a cracking contest...


Saturday 24, 11:40:23

Elite Division:

The bands are really enjoying getting to grips with Paul Raphael's colourful picture book test-piece. We wonder what he will make of it all?

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He will surely be impressed by what he has heard so for — with another exciting brace from Treize Etoiles B and Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg A.

Lots to commend with both — and some cracking solo work in both bands to complement the confident ensemble playing. Both had their Apollo 13 'We have a problem' moments, but lots to enjoy. Great euph with Treize Etoiles and super flugel with Lenzburg — plus the best ending we have heard so far — right out into another galaxy.

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Saturday 24, 11:22:32

Draw:

Second Division:

Miles Davis Hall
Set Work: Masquerade for Brass (James Curnow)
Adjudicators: Simon Dobson, Jan de Haan, Oliver Waespi

1. Constellation Brass Band B (Ivan Denis)
2. Brass Band Zurich (Werner Kubil)
3. Brass Band Lotschental (Aldo Werlen)
4. Brass Band Harmonie Rickenbach (Lukas Scherrer)
5. Brass Band Feldmusik Escholzmatt (Roger Muller)
6. Brass Band Rapperswil-Wierezwil (Dominik Ziorjen)
7. Brass Band Junior Valaisan (Aurelien Darbellay)
8. Brass Band Abinchova (Gian Walker)
9. Brass Band 43 (Oliver Neuhas)
10. Ensemble de Cuivres Jurassien B (Rainier Chetelat)
11. Brass Band Berner Oberland Junior (Jan Muller)
12. Ensemble de Cuivres Melodia B (Sebastien Pasche)
13. Brass Band Posaunenchor Flaach (Thomas Fischer)
14. Liberty Brass Band Junior (Christoph Luschsinger)


Saturday 24, 10:58:18

Elite Division:

A brace of highly confident and engaging performances to start the Elite Division (First Section) contest here in the Stravinski Auditorium.

Brass Band MG Reiden gave it the full plateful of beanz — with super trom and sop a feature throughout. Just lost a touch of focus when Tintin went into thoughtful mode, but it ended with a touch of mystery.

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There was no shortage of fuel injected confidence from Brass Band Cazis to follow as well — bold and bravura with superb solo lines and formidable tubas on Saturn V mode. The end didn't quite work with cornets remaining in their seats, but a good one nonetheless.

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Saturday 24, 10:38:12

Snowy. Go and find Paul Raphael....

Elite Division

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Saturday 24, 10:22:41

Down in the Miles Davis Hall

The Second Division has been providing excellent music making down in the atmospheric Miles Davis Hall.

There have been some super performances too — right from the start for the judges Simon Dobson, Jan de Haan and Oliver Waespi to enjoy.

Interesting piece as well — engaging and tuneful, with something for everyone to do. The overall quality has been very good and it could be a hard one to sort out.


Saturday 24, 09:55:27

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Draw:

Elite Division:

Stravinski Auditorium
Set Work: Destination Moon (Paul Raphael)
Adjudicators: Philip Harper, Tom Davoren, Stephen Roberts

1. Brass Band MG Reiden (Roland Froscher)
2. Brass Band Cazis (Herve Grelat)
3. Brass Band Treize Etoiles B (Eric Fournier)
4. Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg A (Rafael Camartin)
5. Brass Band Emmental (Jan Muller)
6. AEW Concert Brass Fricktal (Adrian Schneider)
7. Brass Band Eglisau (Andreas Buri)
8. Brass Band Sursilvana (Roman Caprez)
9. Ensemble de Cuivres Euphonia (Michael Bach)
10. Brass Band Rickenbach (Enrico Calzaferri)


Saturday 24, 09:35:49

Short, sweet and super...

Just the four bands in the Fourth Section, but what a tasty aperitif that was.

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Two super performances from Jugend Brass Band Oberer Sempachersee (Manuel Imhof) and Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band (Patrick Notter) round things off and should battle it out for the title.

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These were performances of high quality from two young bands who played with so much musical confidence and style. Bravo both!


Saturday 24, 09:15:07

Purcell delights...

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What a great little work 'Purcellian Fantasia' is — familiar music given a neat twist by Jan de Haan to ensure everyone has a bit to do — from timps to sop without ever losing its connection to its source material.

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Two decent performances too to open from Jugend Brass Band RML under Ivan Eastermann which was bold and confident, and mgrr Junior Band (Matthias Kieffer) who recovered from a bit of a wonky start to provide a vibrant account.


Saturday 24, 09:05:30

Up and running in Switzerland...

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As you would expect the Swiss are very punctual when it comes to getting things started — and we have just got underway in both the Third and Fourth Sections.

Two very interesting works as well with Jan de Haan's cracking 'Purcellian Fantasia' in the Fourth Section — all based on his famous funeral music for Queen Mary written in 1694. It's really is a fine piece of writing.

The Third Section bands are getting to grips with 'Antruras' by the wonderfully named Gion Andrea Casanova — inspired by a faireytale forest and the castle of Sogn Gieri. It's all about the reflection of an outer perception of an inner mental state.

How about that then for a bit of test piece inspiration...


Saturday 24, 08:57:17

Welcome to Montreux


Saturday 24, 08:13:38

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Draw:

Third Division:

Miles Davis Hall
Set Work: Antruras (Gion Andrea Casanova)
Adjudicators: Simon Dobson, Jan de Haan, Oliver Waespi

1. Musik Frohsinn Oberburg (Jan Muller)
2. Brass Band Munsingen (Nicholas Jaquet)
3. Brass Band Gurbetal (Urs Stahli)
4. Brass Band Imperial Lenzburg B (Stefan Aegerter)
5. Burgermusik Untereggen (Stefan Roth)
6. Jugend Brast Bandt Michelsamt (Peter Staddelman)
7. Thunerseebrass (Christoph Hertig)
8. Musikverein Bucket (Cedric Fuhrer)
9. Hinterlander Jugend Brass Band (Luca Frischknecht)

Fourth Division:

Stravinski Auditorium
Set Work: Purcellian Fantasia (Jan de Haan)
Adjudicators: Ian Porthouse, Glyn Williams, Mark Wilkinson

1. JBB Regionale Musiktschule Liestal (Ivan Estermann)
2. Musikgesellschaft Risch-Rotkreuz Junior Band (Mattias Kieffer)
3. Jugend Brass Band Oberer Sempachersee (Manuel Imhof)
4. Entlebucher Jugend Brass Band (Patrick Notter)


Friday 23, 22:35:20

Swiss bands ready for National challenges

60 bands will take to the stage at the Montreux Convention Centre this weekend to see if they can be crowned National Champion with added spice and prestige on offer in the top section battle for glory.



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December 18 • We have a vacancy for a Soprano and BBb Bass to complete the line up for the areas. Nice Schilke Sop sat waiting for the right person! The band currently competes in the 2nd Section and has a full program of concerts and contests.


The Corsham Band

December 18 • The band are currently looking for an experienced Back Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team. Second or Third Cornet position available.


Stephen Tighe

ARCM, LDBBA, (Dip)PFS.
Adjudicator / Music Director / Arranger