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Masquerade [Wilby] (1993), Philip Wilby

Contest Test Pieces (7)

Date Contest Winner
24th Nov 2013 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Section) Brass Band Bürgermusik Luzern
23rd Jun 2012 English Nationals Black Dyke Band
31st Mar 2012 North American Championships (Championship Section) Atlantic Brass Band
27th Nov 2011 Belgian Nationals (Championship Division) Noord-Limburgse Brass Band
7th May 2005 Grand Shield Hepworth (Persimmon Homes)
19th Oct 2002 National Championship of Great Britain (Championship Section Final) Williams Fairey
4th Sep 1993 British Open Williams Fairey


Own Choice Test Pieces (33)

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Date Contest Band Position
8th Feb 2019 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Division) Molde Brass Band 9
9th Jul 2017 World Music Contest (WMC) (Concert Division) Brass Band Heist 7
9th Feb 2013 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Division) Oslo Brass Band 3
10th Nov 2012 International Brass Band Contest (Championship Division) Oslo Brass Band 7
5th May 2012 European Championships Co-operative Funeralcare Band 6
11th Feb 2012 Dover Open Brass Band Contest Brass Band Heist 1
27th Nov 2011 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Section) Valaisia Brass Band 2
1st Oct 2011 Dutch Open Brass Band Championship Brass Band Treize Etoiles 1
1st Oct 2011 Dutch Open Brass Band Championship Brass Band Willebroek 3
7th Feb 2010 Brass At The Guild (Preston) Contest (Championship Section) Bactiguard Wire Brass 3
6th Feb 2010 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Stavanger Brass Band 6
28th Nov 2009 Scottish Open Bactiguard Wire Brass 6
2nd May 2009 European Championships Grimethorpe Colliery Band 5
29th Nov 2008 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Section) Brass Band Bürgermusik Luzern 3
9th Nov 2007 Swedish National Championship (A Class) Windcorp Brass Band 1
1st Apr 2006 North American Championships (Championship Section) Chicago Brass Band 6
27th Nov 2005 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Section) Brass Band Treize Etoiles 2
27th Nov 2005 Scottish Open Carlton Main Frickley Colliery 4
28th Nov 2004 Swiss National Championships (Excellence Section) Oberaargauer Brass Band 6
14th Feb 2004 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Stavanger Brass Band 1
3rd May 2003 European Championships Brighouse & Rastrick 4
8th Feb 2003 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Krohnengen Brass Band 6
14th Apr 2001 Australian Championships (A Grade) Willoughby City (NSW) 11
10th Feb 2001 Norwegian National Championships (Division 1) Ila Brass Band 1
11th Feb 2000 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Manger Musikklag 4
24th Apr 1999 European Championships CWS (Glasgow) 6
4th May 1996 European Championships Brass Band Midden Brabant 4
7th Apr 1996 Australian Championships (A Grade) Footscray Yarraville City (Vic) 11
13th May 1995 Swiss Open Brass Band Berner Oberland 2
15th Apr 1995 Australian Championships (A Grade) Willoughby City (NSW) 3
12th Feb 1995 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Ila Brass Band 4
7th May 1994 European Championships Williams Fairey 1
12th Feb 1994 Norwegian National Championships (Elite Section) Krohnengen Brass Band 2


The first performance took place on the 4th. September 1993 at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester during the British Open Brass Band Championships.
Note by Philip Wilby: Masquerade is a centenary tribute to Verdi’s last opera Falstaff and takes its final scene as the basis for my own piece. Thus I have used some of Verdi’s music, and some of Shalespeare’s plot, and woven them into a fabric with highly demanding music of my own to produce a work in the great tradition of operatically-based brass band pieces. Such scores date from the very beginnings of band repertory and are often not direct arrangements in the established sense but new compositions produced in homage to a past master. They may still offer performers and audience alike something familiar interwoven with something new.

My own piece reuses some elements from the original story:

• . .Falstaff has been caught in a web of his own lies by the ladies of the town, who propose to teach him a lesson. The story opens at night in Windsor Great Park. The plotters, variously disguised in Hallowe’en fashion (as fairies,elves hobgoblins etc!) assemble in the park to await Falstaff’s arrival (musicologists will, perhaps, note a rare use of ‘large bottle in F’ being used during this scene of suppressed alcoholic revelry!). Falstaff’s companions, Bardolph,Piston and Robin, enter (represented here by the three trombones!), and are variously abused by the masqueraders.

At the height of the Tout an alarm sounds and Falstaff (euphonium cadenza) enters as Midnight strikes. From a safe hiding place he watches as the disguised Nanetta (principal comet) sings a serene solo as the moon appcars above the trees.

With sudden force the others seize him and drag him from his hiding place. As in the traditional game ‘Blind Man’s Buff’, he is roughly turned seven times (a sequence of solo accelerandi) until, at last, he recognizes his assailants as his sometime friends. Far from complaining, Verdi’s character concludes the opera with a good-humoured fugue on the words....
‘All the World’s a Joke... Every mortal laughs at the others,
But he laughs best who has the final laugh.

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