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Sparke is King!

26 Apr 2011

Philip Sparke's 'The Land of the Long, White Cloud' was commissioned for the Centennial New Zealand Brass Band Championships of 1979 but it was its selection as the set piece for the following year's European Championship that kick-started a 30-year 'love-in' between the leading European bands and Philip Sparke's music.


Since that first hearing of Philip's music at the European, three more of his compositions have been selected as the set test:


1986 - The Year of the Dragon
1991 - A London Overture
2000 - Tallis Variations

Including this year, a further 10 of his major works have been chosen by bands for the 'own choice' section of the contest.


This year's list of European 'own choice' selections includes one of his two most popular works - a 14th own-choice outing for 'Music of the Spheres' (equalling the number of 'Harmony Music' performances) - plus a second performance for his most recent top section test - A Tale as Yet Untold.


The full list of pieces and performances is a follows:


The Land of the Long, White Cloud (composed in 1979)
set piece -
1980
own choice - 1983(x2), 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1998

The Year of the Dragon (1984)
set piece - 1986
own choice - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2008

Variations on an Enigma (1986)
own choice - 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995(x2), 1999(x2)

Harmony Music (1987)
own choice -
1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994(x2), 1996(x2), 1999, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010

Partita (1989)
own choice - 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994(x2)

A London Overture (1984)
set piece -
1991
own choice - 2001

Cambridge Variations (1990)
own choice - 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001

Sea Pictures (1994)
own choice - 1995

Between the Moon and Mexico (1998)
own choice - 1999, 2000

Tallis Variations (1999)
set piece - 2000

Music of the Spheres (2004)
own choice - 2004, 2005(x3), 2006(x2), 2007(x4), 2008(x2), 2010, 2011

Music for Battle Creek (2007)
own choice -
2008(x3), 2009

A Tale as Yet Untold (2010)
own choice - 2010, 2011