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THE BANDS CONTEST.

NOTES ON THE PLAYING OF THE SELECTION.

[By Oor Own Reporter..]

Dealing first with the selection from Weber's ' Oberon,' it may bo convenient to begin by giving a letter title to the several movements, thus:

A. Marcia maestoso for full band. 13. Cornet solo, known as the mermaid's song. 0. Trombone recitative and solo. D. Allegretto, (j-S, for full band, including short cornet solo.

E. Euphonium solo, with running solo for second cornet. F. Duet for two cornets. G. March, full band, in unison. H. Soprano solo. J. Theme taken up by cornets and horns in unison.

K. 12-S movement, melody commencing with euphoniums and running through the baritones to the cornets.

L. Finale, fast, choppy, and ff for all instru inputs.

North-east Valley opened satisfactorily. One or two slips were heard from the middle instruments, but generally the band was in tune and the tone noticeably bright. The cornet solo was creditably performed, and the accompaniments made a nice balance. The trombone man was less fortunate ; commencing shakily, he got a bad tone and went to pieces on the cadenza, probably because he did not take it leisurely enough. The allegretto, though not exhaustive as to styl», wa3 fairly done, and by comparison the cuphrmium solo was not "at all bid in itself, though marred by harshness in the accompaniment. In F the band was at its best, the solo cornets being evenly balanced and well together, while the accompaniment wa3 decidedly pretty. The march went moderately well; in tune and together, but taking a rather rapid tempo. The soprano solo cornet failed badly on top F trill, thus taking the shine cut of an otherwise smart performance. As for the concluding movements, a lot of creditable work appeared, but the band seemed to want a little more solidarity. On the whole a creditable display, considering it was the bard's first appearance in public. Timarn began the march brilliantly, and the movement as a whole wa3 distinctly creditable ; but the corneb solo wa3 a trifle on the sleepy side, and in the middle of it the accompaniments got rough and out of tune. Trombone got the usual poor tone, and he did not mind all the marks of expression; also there was not consistent intonation, and he suffered by rushing the cadenza. The allegretto went smartly and with nice accent. Save that the "rail" mark before the ad lib. did not receive due attention, the euphonium solo was carefully played, but some of the accompanying iustruments wee overblown. Horns and baritones sounded too prominently in the cornet duet, but the solo parts were gracefully played until towards the end the B flit met with a mishap. A good balance and iffective staccato marked the unison march. The soprano solo gave satisfaction until reaching the trill and cadenza, where it came to utter wreck. The J and K movements went capitally, tho band being perfectly in accord a3 to time and tune.

Oamaiu came next with a very fine performance, the featuro of which was that in forte passages the band got plenty of weight without violence. In the opening march thev produced fine swelling effects, marred only by "the harshness of the trombone. The cornet solo mhht have been a little weak for the accompaniments in the opening, but it improved as it went on. The trombone solo btat those that had preceded it, but it was by no means up to Oamaru's usual, being poor in tone and taken with conspicuous ciution. The allegretto was a lovelv example of educated instrumentation, adorned with beautiful cadenc.a. The euphonium in ita solo got a sweet if rather muffled tone, but the second comet here was at times a bit sharp. The accompaniments to the cornet duct were somewhat heavy. In the G movement the pi) and / marks were read ao as to make a nice effect. The soprano solo was cipitally in tune, and the player managed the trill in a very short form, just getting hold and then dropping it like a hot potato, after which he broke on the cvdenza. The bases were rather heavy in the accompaniment to this solo, but produced a smooth velvety tone. The closing movements were full of spirit without a trace of confusion, and, bar the allegretto, the 12 8 was perhaps the pick of all the passages for the full band. Kaikorai began in fine breadth and power, the only fault beine: that tho cornets in their eagerness got a triilo squeaky, the soprano noticeably so. In the andante song the solo cornet opened rather nervously, and in one part got quito shaky and inclined to drop in pitch, but a recovery was made at once, and the solo wa3 sympathetically played up to the last bar, where it went a little out of tuue. The accompaniments to this solo deserve special praise. The trombone produced a rounder tone thin had been heard in the previous performances of the solo, but the playing was not so firm as in ll.e case of Oamaro, and the cornets were a little heavy lnaccompanying. The allegretto was somewhat disappointing; it lacked finish. Theeuphonium might have had a b Htcr tone in the solo, and in opening this instrument and the second cornet were not exactly hitting It together, but this objection soon disappeared, and one good thing about the solo was the smoothness of the basses. The cornet duet was undoubtedly the pick of the solo work, being very tastefully done. The unison march was carefully read. The soprano got a little flat in the solo for that instrument and mixed up the trill; on the other hand a oharming accompaniment was produced. The J movemsat found the band beautifully together, and some fine effects were produced in the finale, which was broad and strong without anything like noisiness. The Waimite Band's rendering of tho selection was more or les3 disappointing all round. The upper instruments ran wild in the march, and the best of the full band movements, the allegretto, was only fair, whilst as to tho solo work the best, and the only one that passed muster oreditably, was that allotted to the euphonium.

Wellington played last. The selection began promisingly, the march being taken with power ond confidence, and all instruments well in hand, with the result that light and shade were at command. The cornet solo was a great treat, owing as much to the delivery of the accompaniments as to the accuracy of the soloist. Ihe trombone man steered through his 1 roubles with a fair show of success. The allegretto showed a most thorough study on the part of all hands. Some present thought it was rather" dancy " a3 to tempo, but the judge has not said that this idea was wrong ; and In one respect, the value given to the crescendo which occurs eight bars from the end, Wellington certainly beat all its rivals. The euphonium solo was creditably done, tbe accompanyiD" parts being kept in proportion. There was nothing striking about the cornet duet; but the G movement went admirably. As before remarked, the soprano very nearly got the muchdreaded trill-failing only in the very last touch ; and the solo was decidedly the best of the evening. Movements J and K were done ample justice to, but the finale was taken at such a furious rate that the cornets could not possibly get in all the work required of them.

THE MEYERBEER SELECTION. 1 his selection, by H. Round, consists of the following movements : A. Moderato: A majestic opening, the theme being the grand German hymn 'Ein' feste Burg' (Les Huguenots'), fortissimo alternating with pianissimo sections.

B. A cadenza for euphonium leads to an allegro moderato from the same opera, piano, for full band, with a gradual crescendo ending abruptly fortissimo. A cadenza for trombone leads to C. A beautiful solo for that instrument, andante quasi allegretto, 12-8 time, this being an arrangement of the 'Huguenots' duetto 'Kelta divina.' On being repeated the solo is played by the cornet.

• o n . a^e Sro con spirito opens with a melody in 3-S time, played fir3t in unison by half the band and then repeated with full band harmonised in different ways. •?i. Audl } nt . e Pastorale, 9.8, is a solo for cornet with pianissimo accompaniment, concluding with duet and cadenza for cornet and euphonium. F. A recitative solo for euphonium leads through an allegro to allegro agitato, and this, the euphonium solo, is ' Ah da te,' from ' Roberto il Diavolo.

G. Allegro con spirito brings in the full strength of the band

_ H. Cornet solo with soft accompaniment. This is II trombe suonavo' (' Roberto'). J. Andante con gravita for.full band introduces some effective unison passages for baritones trombones, euphoniums, and basses. ' K. Cadenza for soprano introduces solo for same, andantino, this being the 'Roberto' aria ' Invano il fato.'

L. Allegro con spirito for full band, fortissimo precedes

M. Allegro moderato, first a cornet solo, the melody then taken up by cornets and euphonium in unison, this being taken from ' II destin,' the finale to the third act of ' Les Huguenots.' N. Con spirito (finale) is worked out of a fragment from the ' Huguenots theme which opens the selection.

"Waimate led the way on to tho stage and opened fairly, all going well until the soprano cracked on top A and wrought confusion. Tho euphonium cadenza went off a 1! right, and the allegro was passably dons; but the trombone solo was not kept in tune and the cornet repetition was only a partial success. The D movement sounded rather rough, and the cornet got flat in the succeeding solo, but the duet went fairly well, the euphonium recitative brought about improvement, and the solo for euphonium was distinctly creditable, havin" some style about it and being well in tune. The G allegro was moderately good, the cornet sol > middling, and the andante for full band made a favorable impression, while the soprano solo wis on the whole nicely given, with tasteful accompaniment, the chief blemish being a break on the last note of th» cadenza. The M movement

might have gone very well if att ntion had been paid to the instruction pp, and-as to the finale it can be Baid that the corneta*p\it in some sound and solid work.

Second place was drawn by Oamaru, who commenced mo3t impressively, playing the hymn movement with splendid breadth and making the most of the much-talked-of "organ tone " which the local folk regard as this band's speciality. The soprano stumbled over the slurred notes in the 35th bar, but the mishap did not affect his mates. The euphonium cadenza was only fairly d-ne, there being no style about it. The band was in perfect tune in the allegro, and the piano was rendered with exquisite tenderness, but no particular use seemedto.be made of the crescendo ending. Trombone cadenza was taken very deliberately, and the solo seemed to be a trifle s'owor tbau the other bands made it. The best part of this movement was that in which the cornet repeats the melody. This was very tastefully done, a lovely effect being produced in the a tempo where the solo strikes top A flat )p In the D movement the cornets and horns made the most of the dolce passage. The cornet solo was read correctly, and that is all that can be said about it—in regard to stylo, it was neither better nor worse than the average ; but the cornet and euphonium took the cadenza gracefully and well together until reaching the very last notes, where a slight difference was" observed on the trill. The euphonium recital ; tive might have been given a little more liberty. The solo was nicely done so far as the euphonium was concerned, but the cornet joined in rather out of tune. The allegro was very effective, and the cornet solo was gracefully and neatly played. In the andante (-7) there seemed to be a tendency to try to get too much force out of the basses, otherwise the movement wont very well. 'I he soprano solo opened in .glorious style, and was played throughout in faultless taste and with almost perfect accuracy, the band supplying a charming accompaniment. The concluding movements were all well played, the best performance being in the allegro moderato, concerning which special praise is due to the solo I cornet and to ike basses.

Wellington came on third. In the opening movement the listener who had not the score with him might have suspected that the alternating heavy and soft passages were slightly exaggerated, but tho band had the authority of Mr Round for what they did, the instructions being faithfully followed, though, if it be not heresy to say so, it might be remarked that the bandß which were not so conscientious seemed to get nearer to the spirit of the original music. Another feature of the opening was that with this band the wee solo for baritone in the 15"h bar was plainly heard for the first time. It was also observed that the Eoprano was a shade flat in the last part of the solo in this movement. Euphonium cadenza was got through safely, and the allegro was nicely don?, the band putting in some beautiful light and shade work from the fourth to the seventh bar. The trombone solo lacked expression, but a fair tone was icaintaincd, and the cornet repetition was fairly done. The allegro was neither better nor worse than the average, and the same remark applies to the cornet solo and the cadecz i for euphonium and cornet. 'lhe euphonium recitative, on the other hand, arrested special attention—it partook of the true recitative style, a3 though the player had a message of the "Thus saith the Lord" description to de'iver—and this little bit of work wa3 altogether quite artistic. The solo also was given very cieditably in regard to style, though a broken note in the middle could iv>t escape observation. The placing of the allegro (G) does not call for comment, aud there was nothing striking about the cornet solo, but fine effects were produced intheandante, and the neatness with which the final quaver was cut off showed the thorough control of the conductor. The soprano solo was given in a lovely liquid tone and nicely read throughout, the only misfortune being a slight crack about the ninth bar. The allegro con syirito went capitally so far as the full band was concerned, but the solo cornet momentarily forgot the p'ano mark 3. In the moderato good effects w- re got all round, the rolliog parages for bas;cs beii g beautifully done ; and as for the finale, though taken so fast that the theme got smothered, it may be said that the metronome mark made tlii3 almost unavoidable.

_ The Timaru men did not get down to pianissimo in the moderato, or anywhere near it, otherwise the band played the movement well. The soprano got out of tune towards the finish, thus marring what in other respects was a good solo. The allegro was noticeable for prompt attack, and the band was well in tune. The trombone solo did not prove a success, there being a break in the fir.it bar of the cadenza and the solo having a poor style. The carnet repetition wa3 better. The al:c,ro con spirito went nicely; cornet solo only moderate ; and the best part of the performance in its early 'stages was the cadenza for euphonium ani cornet. Trie euphonium solo was correct, though dull. The band was heard to advantage in the thort allegro, but the cornet solo would not stand strict judging, some of the runs being faulty. In the andante con gravita the upper instruments were not in accord. The soprano solo was stiff, and in the eighth bar badly out of tune. Po.ao respectable playing followed, but the///> in tho opening of the last allegro was quite ne.ileeted, and the finale found the band somewhat flurried.

North east Valley escaped serious mistakes in the opening movement, and any fault that could be found was mostly owing to a lack of weight. The euphooium cadenza was very capa'ily played. The ensuing allegro went fairly wtli, The trombone broke in the cadenza and lost points over the solo by beiug in a hurry. The cornet repffi ion went better. 'J he allegro con spirito would have gone very well indaeJ had there been a little more feeling in the playing. The cornet solo openod poorly, but improved. Euphonium and comet were beautifully in the"r cidenzx. Musiciauly ttvle clnraoterised the euphonium recitative, and the solo was played with confidence, a nice tone being produced. Tho next full band movement went fairly well. The cornet solo was fair. la the andante coa gravita the {only real fault was tbe preponderance of biases over the upper instruments. The soprano co:net wa3 rather shrill in the solo, and a breakdown on the pirt of the accompanying band, due to some mistake, wa3 narrowly averted. This occurred early in the solo. The full band work in the closing movements, if somewhat uneven, wa3 on the whole creditable.

Kaikorai began not so well together us 13 usual with this band, and the soprano did not quite catch top A the second time. The euphonium cadenz.i had one bubbly note in it ; otherwise excellent. The allegro moderato went in slashing style, good work beiug put in by all sections of the band. The trombone managed the cadenza better than most of those who had preceded him, and the was decidedly creditable. The solo cornet was flat in commencing the &010 the second time, but soon recovered. In the allegro con spirito the band generally played admirably, the_ cornets being particularly deserving "of praise. The cornet solo went fairly well; it wa3 in tune and gracefully played, though the tone was rather thin. Euphonium. and cornet took the cadenza very sweetly. The euphonium recitative was wanting in of character, and one of the cornets broke badly in the allegro which connects the solo. This eolo followed suit with the recitative; correctly read, but destitute of feeling. The allegro for full band kept up tho reputation of the players as a bodv ; but tone and sympathy were wanting in the cornet solo, ifn the subsequent soprano solo the player must have got.the possible for tone, but tho execution was not of the best, and all through it was a struggle to keep the intonation. The full band passages towards the close were very finely played, helping largely, no doubt, to bring up the hill men to their respectable position in the award.

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Bibliographic details

THE BANDS CONTEST., Evening Star, Issue 10464, 6 November 1897, Supplement

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3,122

THE BANDS CONTEST. Evening Star, Issue 10464, 6 November 1897, Supplement

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