Concert band music

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IcedNote
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Concert band music

Post by IcedNote » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:54 pm

Why does no one ever talk about it around here?

I know why I don't; I've never listened to a single piece outside of seeing various friends play in them during college. :mrgreen:

It really seems like a concept all to its own. Maybe because the concept hasn't been around all that long...? :?

Anyone know much about it?

-G
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Corlyss_D
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:24 pm

IcedNote wrote:Why does no one ever talk about it around here?

I know why I don't; I've never listened to a single piece outside of seeing various friends play in them during college. :mrgreen:

It really seems like a concept all to its own. Maybe because the concept hasn't been around all that long...? :?

Anyone know much about it?

-G
Outside of Holst and Souza, I don't know any. Jbuck's dad was a musician with various service bands (I apologize for forgetting the details), and he usually has something to say about the subject, that's why he's our band specialist. But he's a tad indisposed right now (See notice above).
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Lance
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:49 pm

Yes, I'm most famliar with concert band music. I played the trumpet in one in high school and loved it. My father was a virtuoso trumpet player who studied with now legendary Ernest S. Williams (who played under Stokowski in Philadelphia). While he was a classical trumpeter/cornetist, my father often played in band concerts and I heard many wonderful solos performed by him. One of my instruments was the trumpet, which I studied with my father. The family was great friends with band people such as the left-handed trumpeter James Burke, and I have collected the recordings and personally knew Leonard B. Smith of Detroit Concert Band fame.

Why nobody talks about concert band music is a mystery to me. I have many recordings of this material. I rarely hear about band concerts in the locale these days. I guess there are a few around and many with the armed forces.

Are you involved in concert band music?
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some guy
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Re: Concert band music

Post by some guy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:24 pm

I think maybe you get more hits with "wind ensemble." You know, the snob factor. At Music Millenium, where I work part-time, there are several sections for band music, many of them from the U.K. Simpson wrote a bunch of stuff for band, I know, played on a CD by the Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band.

More well-known things (in the wind ensemble category) would be the perennially delightful serenade by Dvořák and of course Hyperprism and Intégrales by Varèse.

When I was still playing trumpet in band, we did some Persichetti that was as difficult as anything I've ever played.

One of Myaskovsky's symphonies is for band, no. 19. And Barney Childs, the American experimental composer whom I knew in Redlands, wrote several pieces for band. A high school band played one of them (either September or 6 Events for 58 Players--or maybe they played both) for a memorial concert weekend in 2002, as I recall, on what would have been his 76th birthday. That was some very interesting music.
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
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GK
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Re: Concert band music

Post by GK » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:35 pm

Perhaps the greatest symphonic work ever composed for band is John Corigliano's Symphony #3, "Circus Maximus". I heard it done by the Marine Band under Leonard Slatkin who also did it with the Detroit Symphony. It is currently on the schedule of the Baltimore Symphony with Marin Alsop.

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Re: Concert band music

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:58 pm

One of the finest recordings I have ever heard of truly refind band concert music was with trumpeter Maurice André. It was called "La Belle Epoque," and was issue on an Erato CD [88081]. I found a copy whilst browsing one day and have never seen another since. It was some of André's finest work on record - and the music - was to die for!
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Lance » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:00 am

Speaking of bandmasters and composers, did you ever hear of ACTON OSTLING? He was the band director in my schoo school. His son, Acton E. Ostling, Jr. is heavily involved in band music. Just wondering.
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Heck148
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:23 am

IcedNote wrote:Why does no one ever talk about it around here? Anyone know much about it?
Most American wind players have considerable experience with concert band, wind ensemble performance, esp since the post-war period, going into the 60s. 70s etc - because the public school music programs were so centered around it. incessant school budget cuts have taken a toll however, and many programs have been severely curtailed.
the band tradition is very prominent in Great Britain. many of the finest British brass players are all alumni of famous concert bands.

I love wind ensemble music. as a former member of the Eastman Wind ensemble, I have a great interest in it this area of performance...

I've been toying with the idea of producing some first class wind ensemble concerts on my own...these would be occasional events, maybe one or two a year - raising $$ is always the issue.

THEHORN
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Re: Concert band music

Post by THEHORN » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:58 am

I grew up laying in bands from elementary school until recently before I had to give up performing.
In addition to the many works for concert band, there are many transcriptions of orchestral works, such as overtures, movements of famous symphonies and other things. These can be very effective. I've done things like the Shostakovich fifth transcribed for band, and Verdi and Suppe overtures and even Wagner excerpts.

Heck148
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:03 am

THEHORN wrote:I grew up laying in bands from elementary school until recently before I had to give up performing...... I've done things like the Shostakovich fifth transcribed for band, and Verdi and Suppe overtures and even Wagner excerpts.
yes, definitely - the Cailliet and Leidzen transcriptions are justly famous...
one of my faovites is the Wagner-Cailliet 'Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin'.
this is a real sound spectacular... :D

IcedNote
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Re: Concert band music

Post by IcedNote » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:14 pm

Lance wrote:Are you involved in concert band music?
Nope. I have no ties to it whatsoever. I was just studying Holst's "The Planets" yesterday and remembered that I once had to conduct a short excerpt from his "Song of the Blacksmith" for a conducting class. That got me thinking about concert band music...which made me notice that it's rarely discussed here. :)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Heck148
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:19 pm

IcedNote wrote: I once had to conduct a short excerpt from his "Song of the Blacksmith" for a conducting class.
7/4 time, IIRC. :) :roll:

IcedNote
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Re: Concert band music

Post by IcedNote » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:34 pm

Heck148 wrote:
IcedNote wrote: I once had to conduct a short excerpt from his "Song of the Blacksmith" for a conducting class.
7/4 time, IIRC. :) :roll:
Haha, you got it! 4+3...but then the melody enters on an upbeat that sounds like a downbeat and all hell breaks loose. Well, that's what happens when you have amateurs like me conducting it! :mrgreen:

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

absinthe
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Re: Concert band music

Post by absinthe » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:39 pm

"The Wallace Collection" played an excellent arrangement (Elgar Howarth) of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition for brass. It showed this work up in a different (and IMO thrilling) light. It was available on CD but seems to be out of print. I happened on it from a recording I made from Radio 3, "Classic Collection" (basically a broadcast of exerpts and complete works on CD).

Does anyone else know this arrangement? Certainly gives the players a bit of work.

some guy
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Re: Concert band music

Post by some guy » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:37 pm

I'd just finished perusing this thread and went to my email for more perusin' to find this webcast announcement from UMKC:

http://www.music.utexas.edu/calendar/de ... x?id=15587

So you all can listen to some fine band playing with all original compositions, nice though transcriptions are (or ARE they?), including one by my friend Paul Rudy, who doesn't usually write for instruments, but they twisted his arm, so....*

*the bruises are hideous! :)
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
--Viennese critic (1843)

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
--Henry Miller

Heck148
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Heck148 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:50 pm

absinthe wrote:"The Wallace Collection" played an excellent arrangement (Elgar Howarth) of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition for brass. It showed this work up in a different (and IMO thrilling) light.
I've not heard this transcription, I played one by Cailliet [Leidzen, maybe :?:] a long time ago.

Howarth did some great transcriptions of "Bach for Band" - real sound spectaculars.

IcedNote
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Re: Concert band music

Post by IcedNote » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:12 pm

THREAD RESURRECTION! :mrgreen:

So yeah, I've just been commissioned to write my first band piece. Should be fun! Anyone want to throw out some recommended listening?

So far I've been told:

Persichetti: Symphony No. 6
Persichetti: Parable IX
Schwantner: And the Mountains Rising Nowhere
Mennin: Canzona
Danielpour: Vox Populi

Percy Granger
Frank Ticheli
Sam Hazo
Mark Camphouse
Darius Milhaud
Johan de Meij

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

diegobueno
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Re: Concert band music

Post by diegobueno » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:51 pm

Don't neglect Karel Husa, whose Music for Prague 1968 is super-powerful. For all its screeching dissonance, it never fails to bring an audience to its feet.

He has written extensively for band, including

Apotheosis of this Earth,
Al fresco,
Divertimento,
Concerto for Wind Ensemble,
Les Coleurs fauve,
Cheetah,
Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Concert Band,
Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble,
Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestra

diegobueno
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Re: Concert band music

Post by diegobueno » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:58 pm

Husa's Cheetah was written in 2006.



The Sax Concerto is from 1967


david johnson
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Re: Concert band music

Post by david johnson » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:42 am

my recommendatios:n

the band symphonies -
giannini
gould
hindemith

the holst and vaughn-williams suites

percy grainger music

the bach transcriptions

the countless marches -

jbuck919
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Re: Concert band music

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:43 am

If you're wondering why I'm not weighing in on this, it is because even excellent military bands, and even in a concert setting, rely on a combination of military music and a more pops repertory than is being discussed here. If they do play anything classical, it is likely to be a band arrangement of a better-known orchestral work such as the William Tell Overture. Hence I have little knowledge of the primary repertory and regret that I can't help Garrett.

(Some time ago I posted about Morton Gould conducting the West Point band in his own music, which falls in the category being considered here, but that was exceptional.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Heck148
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Re: Concert band music

Post by Heck148 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:20 am

Great Band music is a real treasure.

One could easily purchase the entire Fennell/Eastman Wind Ens discs and have a superb collection of many great band standards...many of which have already been mentioned -

Here's an excellent disc of some more contemporary band music- by John Corigliano on Naxos:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/alb ... _id=209942

The Circus Maximus is pretty wild, a sound spectacular of sorts - and the Gazebo Dances[earlier] are immediately accessible - Corigliano used some of these tunes in his Sym #1. This is an excellent disc, well-recorded, generally well-performed by U. of Texas WE, Jerry Junkin cond.

THEHORN
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Re: Concert band music

Post by THEHORN » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:20 am

I literally grew up playing bands from elementary school through college and beyond. It's particularly enjoyable playing band transcriptions of orchestral works , which can be highly effective .

John F
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Re: Concert band music

Post by John F » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:53 am

Berlioz's Grande Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale is scored for band, or wind orchestra if you like, plus chorus in the last movement.
John Francis

moreno
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Re: Concert band music

Post by moreno » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:55 am

Some sugestions:
- Le Chant du 14 Juillet and Te Deum (François-Joseph Gossec)
- Suites for Band (Holst)
- Dionysiaques (Florent Schmitt)
- Symphonie pour Orchestre d'Harmonie (Ida Gotkovsky)
- A lot of works by Serge Lancen
- Chant du Départ (Méhul)
- Several works by Germaine Tailleferre
- A lot of works by Henk Badings
- Ouverture 16 (André-Frédéric Eler)
- Es xopà 'hasta' la Moma and L'entrà de la Murta (Salvador Giner)
- Notturno, Op. 34 (Spohr)

IcedNote
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Re: Concert band music

Post by IcedNote » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:02 pm

Thanks, folks! [As always...]

'Twas gone for the past couple of weeks, but now I'm back with a vengeance! So yeah...much, much listening to do. And sketching. Can't wait!

And if any of you are interested, the current "it" composer for band is John Mackey.

http://ostimusic.com/

Check out his piece "Asphalt Cocktail." So cool!

http://ostimusic.com/audio/Mackey-Asphalt-Norway.mp3

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

ChrisX
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Re: Concert band music

Post by ChrisX » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:39 am

I have an avid wind ensemble / symphonic wind orchestra interest which is almost cyclical. Since 1997 I have been a visitor of the World Music Contest in Kerkrade which happens every 4 years over a period of 4 weekends in June / July. It is by far the biggest gathering of brassbands, fanfare orchestras and symphonic wind bands (plus there is also a contest involving marching bands and concert percussion ensembles). It is the place to hear new repertoire as in a lot of cases the top orchestras commission composers to write new pieces.

Sadly I have to report that Johan De Meij has had his day IMHO. He wrote the abomination that is called Extreme Beethoven for the WMC 2013. Look it up on Youtube, must be there but after having it heard over the course of three weekends numerous times I came to severely dislike the piece. The test piece for the top symphonic windbands (playing in the Concert Division at a standard that is up there with the best symphony orchestras) was Vaclav Nelhybel's Sinfonia Resurecctionis. The first few performances were quite horrible but by the time the Dutch orchestra St. Cecile from Eijsden was on the podium we had a few eye opening performances behind us. But what they let us hear under the baton of Jan Cober shone a whole diffferent light on that piece. Just lat week I finally received the 4 double disc sets of recordings from this years WMC and of course that performance was included and it was quite interesting to hear it again after a few months. Fascinating piece.

I also heard several new pieces by Dutch composers Alexander Comitas and Harrie Janssen. A few years ago Comitas was commissioned to write a memorial piece for a young euphonium player who had suddenly passed away. His parents wanted a piece that celebrated his young life and his love of music. Comitas wrote the moving Vita Aeterna (and subsequently also wrote a new piece for brassband called Vita Aeterna Variations) and that piece was chosen as a testpiece as well for this years WMC. The most moving performance during the festival was delivered by the orchestra for which it was originally written, the Fanfare Orchestra St. Caecilia from Puth (the Netherlands), which was the orchestra in which this young man was a key player. Comitas (which is an alias for Ed De Boer) writes music that is clearly influenced by folk music but in a lot of cases the melodies are his own. But they have this timeless quality that makes them almost seem ancient. His Armenian Rhapsodies are some of the best pieces I have come to know in this field.

Also, every WMC a new composer (at least for me) steps forward and this year it was American David Maslanka. I came to know and adore his piece Traveler and this symphony is also really great

Last edited by ChrisX on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Chris
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karlhenning
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Re: Concert band music

Post by karlhenning » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:12 am

Some of the Hovhaness symphonies are just winds and percussion, and are lovely.

Cheers,
~Karl
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jbuck919
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Re: Concert band music

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:38 am

This is a terrible thing for me to say about any US military band, for the major ones including this one are a marvel, but that piece sounds like a high school competition piece and they sound as though they're trying to win an adjudicated competition. (The percussion still deserves a bravo.)
Last edited by jbuck919 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

ChrisX
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Re: Concert band music

Post by ChrisX » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:42 am

There is a huge tradition here in the Low Countries (the Netherlands and Belgium) of a very high standard in playing in symphonic wind orchestras. But also other countries have a rich tradition albeit with sometimes a bit of a different 'sound culture'. One of the highlights of the Word Music Contest 2009 for me personally was this performance of the German Landesblasorchester Baden-Wurtenberg conducted by Isabella Ruf-Weber (in all my years of visiting this festival she was actually the only female conductor I have seen on that stage) and especially this very moving piece composed by Dutch composer Hardy Mertens called Variazioni Sinfoniche su „Non Potho Reposare". Non Potho Reposare is a very famous song from the Sardinian region of Italy, which was a region from which quite a lot of Italians emigrated towards the coal mining industry of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The World Music Contest is actually something that has sprung forth in the early 50s from a meeting between colliery bands from Britain and the Netherlands, as the city where the WMC is held is pretty much in the middle of Holland's former coal mining industry.

Chris
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jbuck919
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Re: Concert band music

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:58 am

ChrisX wrote:There is a huge tradition here in the Low Countries (the Netherlands and Belgium) of a very high standard in playing in symphonic wind orchestras.
Yes, well, Adolphe Sax and all that. :)

I enjoyed that second piece you posted more than the first. Also probably better playing, much as I hate to admit it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

ChrisX
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Re: Concert band music

Post by ChrisX » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:06 pm

karlhenning wrote:Some of the Hovhaness symphonies are just winds and percussion, and are lovely.

Cheers,
~Karl
Could you point me towards some good recordings of these? Much appreciated.
Chris
"Remember what's been given, not taken away" (Brett Kull)

ChrisX
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Re: Concert band music

Post by ChrisX » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:50 am



I intend to keep this thread alive the coming few weeks as I am listening to the recordings from WMC 2013, Kerkrade (the Netherlands). Above recordings wasn't made there but it is a marvellous piece by one of my favourite composers in this field, Alexander Comitas. This is his Armenian Rhapsody nr. 3 and this is what Comitas had to say himself about this recording and the piece in particular:

"Published on 28 apr 2012:
It is with sadness that I post this. The 'Fanfarekorps Koninklijke Landmacht Bereden Wapens', the excellent orchestra that performs this piece, has just now ceased to exist, as a result of harsh cuts in government spending. It was the only professional fanfare orchestra in the world, and it had a level, where a country could / should be very proud of.

A short description of the composition: it makes use of two folksong melodies, a dance tune and a song by an in Armenia famous wandering minstrel. It opens with a medieval lamenting melody, originally played on a duduk, a native woodwind instrument with a melancholy character. A few times the litany is interrupted by shreds of the themes that are to come. This is followed (at 2.55) by a dance melody that I know nothing about, to be honest. The last melody introduced (at 8.15) is a song called Insh konim ekimi (I don't need a doctor) by Sayat-Nova, an Armenian ashug or bard who lived in the 18th century. I combined the theme of this song with the main motive of a folk song called Unabi. Towards the end, the previous themes reoccur, culminating in a grand return (at 14.35) of the medieval melody.

Although this composition has been modelled after my first Armenian Rhapsody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97keyr...), the overall atmosphere is very different: much more melancholic. But perhaps the fact that this superb orchestra no longer exists, reinforces this feeling.... Anyway, I wish conductor Tijmen Botma and all ex-members of the orchestra all the best in all walks of their lives."

In case some of you would like to know what exactly a Fanfare Orchestra is here is a description of it taken from Wikipedia:

"A Fanfare Orchestra (also Fanfare Band or Dutch Fanfare Orkest) is a musical ensemble consisting of the entire saxhorn family, trumpets, trombones, and saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), as well as percussion. They are seldom seen outside of Europe, with a high concentration of these bands in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Instrumentation:
The instrumentation of a fanfare orchestra is fairly similar to that of a British brass band, as pretty much all of the instruments in a fanfare band (with the exception of trumpets and trombones) are conical bore instruments. This combination of instruments gives the fanfare orchestra a sound that can be viewed as a halfway between that of a concert band and a brass band. In a fanfare orchestra, the most numerous brass instrument is the flugelhorn. In these ensembles, flugelhorns act as cornets would in a British-style brass band. Flugelhorn parts in a fanfare orchestra are often far more demanding than flugelhorn parts in brass band, and due to the absence of cornets flugelhorns have to play in the higher register than they would in a brass band. For this reason, flugelhorns in fanfare bands use shallower, cornet-like mouthpieces as opposed to the deeper, conical ones used in brass bands. The saxophone parts are often doubled on flugelhorn parts, which is what gives the fanfare orchestra its characteristic dark sound, as opposed to the brighter sound of wind bands. Trumpets are the other instruments that provide the higher range in fanfare bands. Trumpets generally do not play as much of a role in the sound of the band as they would in other ensembles, such as wind bands. Cornets are also occasionally used, but this is rare. At the very top of the range there is usually a soprano cornet or a piccolo trumpet. In the middle and lower ranges of the fanfare orchestra are French horns. Tenor horns can also be used, but this is rare. Lower than the French horns are baritone horns and euphoniums, trombones, occasionally a bass trombone, and B flat and E flat tubas. The lower instrumentation of a fanfare band is virtually identical to that of a brass band, aside from the fact that there are baritone saxophones in the fanfare band. There is often an abundance of percussion players (from 4-6)."
Chris
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karlhenning
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Re: Concert band music

Post by karlhenning » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:58 pm

ChrisX wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Some of the Hovhaness symphonies are just winds and percussion, and are lovely.
Could you point me towards some good recordings of these? Much appreciated.
I've not heard others for any comparison, but there are two Naxos discs conducted by Keith Brion, one played by the Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra, the other, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Re: Concert band music

Post by ChrisX » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:21 pm

Mr. Henning, thanks for the provided information :D
Chris
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Re: Concert band music

Post by karlhenning » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:50 am

ChrisX wrote:Mr. Henning, thanks for the provided information :D
karlhenning wrote:. . . conducted by Keith Brion, one played by the Trinity College of Music Wind Orchestra . . . .
Last night I revisited the Symphony No. 23, Op. 249 « Ani » from this disc, and I do find it lovely writing, and sweetly executed.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

some guy
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Re: Concert band music

Post by some guy » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:38 am

Kurka's opera, The Good Soldier Schweik, as well.
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
--Viennese critic (1843)

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
--Henry Miller

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