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More on the Open results
--------------- Begin message from CARDPC 10-Sep-96 -------------------
I went to the British open and sat for over 7 hours listening to every
bands performance. I didn't know the piece before the day so I found it
difficult to judge Dyke's performance, but they certainly didn't make any
great impression on me. I'm not an adjudicator and I probably wasn't
listening for the same things that an adjudicator would listen for but I
picked Britania Building Society, Tredegar and Grimethorpe as the three
bands which I felt made the music interesting to listen to. Faireys played
very precisely and were very controlled - they were probably the best band
on the day but to me their performance was lifeless and un-interesting.
I must say that I'm still puzzled by the results - Marple and Faireys both
played in a similar style (although there were twelve bands between them so
I could be mistaken) and Faireys made a much better job of it. Marple were
one of very few bands where mistakes were made; the sop missed a few notes
and there were several entries that weren't together. So, if that was the
style the adjudicators wanted why didn't Faireys win? BUT, I did hear
several, well-respected people saying that they thought Marple would win.
I'm not taking anything away from Marple. It's an incredible achievement
and they've worked very hard for it. All credit to Garry Cutt, their
conductor, who's interpretation of Elgar's music won the contest for them.
Who are we to judge when Bram Gay, the "editor" of the version of the Severn
Suite used for the competition was in the box together with two other
excellent musicians. That brings me to the one thing that was desperately
lacking from the contest (maybe I missed it when I nipped out to the toilet
between the last band and the resuts) - feedback from the adjudicators.
Maybe we could understand the results better if we knew what they had been
Two final thoughts:
The hall is far from perfect for Brass Band music and the sound is different
in different parts of the hall. At the back of the stalls, none of the
bands sounded "loud" to us, and in fact some seemed underpower particularly
in the bottom end. We didn't hear any of the "booming" reported by other
listeners. Maybe if we'd sat next to the adjudicators we would all have come
up with the same result?
Many top players were disputing the result at the Abbercrombie (many others
actually gritted their teeth and shook hands with the Marple team) - but
throughout the day there was a distinct lack of players listening to their
opponents. They are in no position to judge who won and lost.
As always, these are just my personal thoughts on the matter.
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