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RE: Masters Test Pieces - Wilfred Heaton
> The treatment dished out to Wilfred Heaton both in the contesting movement
> and the SA is a disgrace - his piece Toccatta Oh the Blessed Lord
> was dumped
> on the shelves of the SA for years. His Partita is the most
> magnificent work
> for band that I have ever heard and it started life in the 1940's as an
> orchestral piece.
> Maybe, on this basis, I will grow to like Songs for BL and Salamander in
> another 40 years - or perhaps not.
Contest Music has been one of my favourite pieces of music since I was
lucky enough to play it with Whitburn in the 1982 National. (NB NINE years
after it had been rejected for the same contest as being too modern). It
was to Boosey & Hawkes credit that they went for it in 1982 (and again for
the 1985 Area contests) but for which I'm pretty sure it would still be on
the publishers shelves such is the musical myopia of too many bandsmen.
I cannot object to Contest Music as a choice for Cambridge but it really is
sad to note that Songs for BL failed to get a single 1st or 2nd vote. I
wonder how many of those responsible for voting have actually taken the time
to get to know the piece? Yes, it's a tad unapproachable on a first or even
second hearing but eventually I've grown to consider it a real gem (in many
ways similar to Howarth's earlier In Memoriam RK, another fine and neglected
work). I urge anyone who hasn't really heard 'Songs' to get a hold of
Eikanger's recent CD - fantastic!
PS I wholeheartedly agree with Jeremy re Heaton's Partita (another CD
recommendation - Britannia on BBC Festival of Brass 1992). Now, that really
would be a brilliant choice for one of our major contests. The Open or
National some year perhaps? Oops I forgot, it's 25 minutes long and
anything that's longer than about 12 minutes can't possibly be any good, can