Music Composers Unite!
What do you mean by test pieces? I don't recall ever hearing the expression before.
In British Brass Banding they compet at various levels. Part of that competition is the playing of a test piece. The test piece is written for these competitions and contains elements written to "test" principle players and sections of the band. Here is one by Paul Lovett Cooper played by the Black Dyke Band of England
Thank you for the education and the link.
Obviously, I'm not that familiar with the British Brass Bands (I did see Brassed Off about ten times!). The talent displayed by the groups I have seen and heard is nothing short of amazing. If I'm not mistaken, most are volunteers aren't they?
My opinion as to the original question it's a great piece in and of itself, but I do think some of the "gymnastics" do get in the way. That being said, it would have been great to have been in that audience for that performance. (Do you really think they only "ran through it once"?)
They are an amazing band with some very high caliber players, some are professionals outside of brass bands. I understand that they are not paid in the band, but some get stipends for their expenses. Breath of Souls is a great piece and I would love to have been there for that day. Other pieces I've heard seem more gymnastics and not interesting to hear. Just an interesting thought I had when I heard that for some events the audience counts where going down. Thought maybe the test was to technical for an audience to listen to.