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THE BAND CONTEST., Issue 10462, 4 November 1897
THE BAND CONTEST.
[By OorOwn-Repohteb.] OAMARU, Wednesday' Evening; The solo playing to-day varied greatly. Tho trombone contest was distinctly disappointing. The judge said so, adding that according to what he hid heard the players had been neglecting tone in order to get execution, which was a pity, inasmuch as the trombone lent itself to the production of tone more than any other instrument of its class; and the remarks of Mr Schwar's found an «cho in the general opinion of the audience, many of -whom, however, remembered that last year the trombone solos were the weak J point of the meeting, and were rather maimed to consider this year's playing an improvement on that of a twelvemonth ago. TWb nayTery likely be true enough; still, the trombonists did not do well. On the other hand, the solos for E flat bass were distinctly -good. Bee, the winner, made no mistake of any' sort worth mentioning ; Ahlett, helped considerably by the capital accompaniment contributed by Mr R; T. Searrell, showed only one point of weakness—namely, a difficulty in producing the top notes; and Ooughlan, of tbe North-east Valley, gave a performance which, if lacking in style, was at any rate safe and steady. Millar, of the Dunedin Navals, ako played very wqll in places, but got rough occasionally. Young Graham, of Oamaru, was looked upon by his comrades s a " a good thing " for this event, and he Baaned well, producing a beautifully mellow and 1 ure tone; but he got this effect at the expense of the spirit necessary for a perfect rendering of "The Hardy Norseman,'and that, no doubt, explains how it came about that he had to play Beoond fiddle to his band mate. The euphonium contest, taken last thing this afternoon, was another very satisfactory competition. O'Brien, of the Dunedin Naval?, had. to lead, the way. Ho chose a pretty arrangement of 'The gipsy's warning,' and, opening with a rich full tone and perfectly in tune, he kept this up throughout, and disp'ayed very clean execution in the variations, so that as he walked off the audience realised that he had fairly set the others a task to beat him. Sinclair, of Oamaru, followed, playing an operatic navatina which abounds in scale passages to the extremes of tho range. These gave him very little trouble nntil he came to the lowest notes, and Mb playing generally was that of a musician. Donaldson, the Wellington man, occasionally got » little off the rails, his failure now and again to get a note disconcerting bim; but he is evidently a studious player, and in those parts where he waß at his best he did as well as any man in the contest. Boyd, the hope of the Dunedin Engineers, chose :* Ma Senna,*- by Beer, a soft and charming melody beautifully arranged and suited very well for » player like Boyd, who can command a pure tone and produce light and shade in sustained effects, and he got on so well, not only in the slower parts but also in the rapid execution of the finale, that many in the hall thought he would be declared the winner. Flint, of Kaikorai, did not. fulfil expectations, but Smith, of the North - ea3t Valley Band, gave' a performance of Hartmann's 'Mia' which at once challenged all those who had preceded him, the playing being charactered by a splendid tone and marked cleanness of execution, though he was handicapped by having a water-blister on his lip. The judge delivered his decision thus: "This is about the most difficult task I havo had, for the playing has been really good right through. There are two of tho competitors in whose playing there is simply not a single error—l could not pick out one at all. One is O'Brien (applause) and the other i& Smith (renewed applause). They both get the maximum of 40. Boyd has 39, and his is also a very fine performance of a most difficult work, but while there are two men who e playing I cannot pick a hold in, there is just a wee bit in his that was perhaps not so> good as the rest." The other figures being also given out, the full result waß aa follows : .T. O'Brien, Dunedin Navals ... 40 points E. Smith, North-east Valley ... 40 „ D. Boyd, Dunedin Engineers ... 39 „ J. Sinclair, Oamaru ... ... 38 „ A. Donaldson, Wellington ... 38 „ , J. Flint, Kaikorai ... ... 37 ~ The ' Oberon' contest selection waß played in the evening and provided a most enjoyable entertainment, lasting just a couple of hours, the piece taking on an average about fourteen minutes to go through. The parts taken from Weber'a opera make up a first-rate selection. It opens with a marcia maestoso for full band with rolling passages for basses. Then there is a cornet bolo (andante, 6-8), with sustained piano accompaniment ami running passages for tenor horns. A recitative for trombone leads to a trombone solo (allegretto maestoso), a lively melody, winding up with a cadenza. Then comes an allegretto, 6-8, opening for full band, with a short solo for comet, and full accompaniment right through. A. euphonium solo follows, this bringing in tho B flit cornet in a pretty second part. A few bars for two second cornets introduce a lovely duet for soprano and B flat cornets, allegretto vivace. To this succeeds a march in unison, fortes and pianos alternative; then a soprano solo, difficult becauso of its length and also because in it crops up a rock on which tho player is very likely to be wrecked—namely, ft full-tone trill on top F; that is, F and O. Ilia Boprano ends with a cadenza. The theme ia then taken up in unison by-, corneta and horns, with running passages . for baritones, tromboneß, and basses. The next movement, is a 12-8 melody, which commences down with tho euphoniums: and
rises to the range of the oornete; and thin Intro, duces a m&jestio but shoit. finale. . As;the j>Jay. ing of the * Obcron' selection counts in with the ' Mcyerbeor,' which comes on to-morrow .night, no deofsion on the playing has been announced, and all that it is fair to say: in the meantime is that the performance was creditable all reund, strikingly creditable in the case of at least three or four of the competing bands. Northeast Valley played .first; then,lav/the order named, Timaru,. Oamaru, Kaikorai, Waimate, and Wellington. It may. be anticipated that tho judge will note in hiß comments the fact that the Wellington soprano got over the diffionlty above referred to with less trouble than the otherß. Further, it would not be wise nor Bafe to speculate as to what the decision will be. i The solo competitions arc expected to finish early to-morrow afternoon, and the meeting closes in the evening with the 'Meyerbeer* selection. November 4. The b-.ritono solos were taken at ten o'clock this morning. Four were entered, and all played. The result was: I'ts. J. Doig, North-east Valley ... ... ... 38 G. Forrest, Wellington ... ... ... 37 0. Bee, Oamaru ... ... ... .;.• 35 G. Leslie, Oamaru ... ... ... .... 33 Forrest, playing first, chose an arrangement of ' She wore a wreath of roses,' and, though'he got a trifle confused at the beginning of tho variations, he soon recovered, and generally avoided glaring mistakes, while producing a fair tone. Bee selected *ln cellar cool,' whioh was last year's euphonium folo piece. He failed on the top note in the plain form of the air, and the performance wai destitute of life. Leslie, who chose the 'Trovatore' piece, was nearly perfect as to -note production, but critics questioned his reading. Doig, though exceedingly nervous, got through Hartmann's transcription of 'My pretty Jane* creditably, opening rather indifferently as to tone, but improving as he went on, and winding up with a really clever interpretation on tho last variation. His wia was well received and generally allowed Madame Von Look's accompanying helped him considerably. The soprano cornet solo followed, the result being:— G.Buckley, Wiillinytou ... ... ... 39 A. Schnack, Oamaru ... ... ... 38 C. M'Glashan, Kaikorai ... ..." ... 3S J. Scott, Timaru ... ;:. ... ... 32 Schnack, who played first, selected Hartmann's 'Aim's,' giving a workminlikc reading, which was satisfactory a,t to tune, aud displaying marked freedom in execution, though the top note was not quite clear. Scott played 'The pilgrim of love' in a rather stiff style. M'Glashan chose the Welsh air with variations that was the B flat solo last year. He beat all the others for tone, but probably loßt a point or two owing to occasional-slight lapses from the pitch. Everyone, admits that it was an exceedingly creditable performance, and many expected that the Kaikorai man would be placed first, but others thought that his playing was characterised by brilliancy rather than consistency, and this probably was pretty near the truth. Buckley played '.* Anne Boleyn' by Peyloff, and started wofully below the pitch of the piano, but tuned up before the variations, and p'ayed them with such facility and accuracy that, though the tone was a trifle thin, it waß expected that he would be very close, up. As the event proved he won. The judge, in announcing hhi decisi< n, •said: "Ladies and g<ntlemen,—l believeyoupxked the winner properly yourselves. If you did not yon ought to have. Buckley would have got full points but he began s little flat; otherwise his performance was perfect." Buckler-origi-nally belonged to Port Chalmers. ' ■■ ■'■' Latest, tenor horss. . Pts M'Kersey (Navals) .'. ... 39 Davje (Kaikorai) ... :.. u ..; 38 Jones (N.E. Valley) ...■ - •-•■ .„ ;> ... 38 Boyd (Engineers) lost all hii' marks for tune, being a quarter of a tone sharp throughout ; otherwise he might have won. ..: - >
THE BAND CONTEST., Issue 10462, 4 November 1897
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