Posted by Rick Denney on February 26, 2003 at 12:13:42:
In Reply to: Re: What are your favorite band pieces? posted by GD on February 26, 2003 at 01:07:45:
I'll agree with you about transcriptions when band composers start consistently turning out work of the caliber of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsakov (just to name a few Russians) plus dozens of other great composers.
Some great composers have composed for band, and you see their names on the same lists with the transcriptions. But most new band music sounds to me either like a composing class exercise or a contest piece designed to test an ensemble rather than create a sublime musical experience for the performers and the audience. I suspect some of those pieces end up on these lists just because the players want the world to know that they survived them. I confess that was in my mind when I included the Giannini Variations and Fugue on MY list.
Last season, our band did an all-Tchaikovsky concert. It was one of our best performances. Why? Because the music was so good that it inspired we second-rate amateurs to work our butts off. This season, we performed a concert of all French music, which was a similar experience and a similar result.
Rick "who will take a bad transcription of great music over works like Nilesdance any day" Denney