Second To None
The Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides
The Story of a Legendary Wind band
Second to none is an extensive and richly illustrated book of 616 pages, written by Francis Pieters (1947), internationally recognized wind music historian, author of fourteen books and more than a thousand specialized articles on wind music and countless reviews and CD booklets. He worked for the radio in Belgium and the Netherlands, gave dozens of lectures and masterclasses in numerous countries. In 1989 he was a founding member of the non-profit Association “Friends of the Belgian Guides Band”.
In fact, this book is a fully revised and completed version of the book The Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides – A legendary wind band published in 2018. The author not only discovered a lot of additional information, unpublished historical data and photographs, but he also completed the rich history of this exceptional military band to date.
In addition to the in-depth historical study of all facets of this unique military band and its outstanding conductors and soloists since 1832 the author also pays much attention to the thorough study of its specific repertoire. Because of its exemplary role, this internationally renowned military band has profoundly influenced wind music in Belgium for nearly two hundred years. Throughout history, the exceptional quality of the Band of the Belgian Guides has been praised by many great composers, ranging from Hector Berlioz to Igor Stravinsky, as well as by many contemporary composers in Belgium and far beyond the borders.
You will find in this book the origin and justification of the unrivalled worldwide reputation of “The Guides” also confirmed by the unique and surprisingly rich discography.
The book in A4 format with hard cardboard cover is sewn and boasts 616 pages.
At the Price of € 62 plus packing costs (2 €).
The Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides
A legendary wind band
The Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides – A legendary wind band is a comprehensive book of 532 pages, lavishly illustrated with over 600 pictures, written by Francis Pieters, an internationally acknowledged historian of wind band music, author of nine more books and over one thousand specialized articles dealing with the matter.
The book does not only relate the complete history of Belgium’s oldest professional orchestra but also describes its impact on the musical history of Belgium. The role of this military wind band appears to be, to have been and still is of vital importance as to inciting numerous Belgian composers to write for wind band, setting an example for the countless amateur wind bands of the country (and even abroad), being a most precious link between the Army and the civilian population, offering a fine career to numerous professional wind players and much more.
Also included is a detailed and complete survey of the Band’s quite exceptional discography not equaled by any other wind band worldwide.
Throughout its history the exquisite quality of the Belgian Guides Band (as it has commonly been called) has been praised by numerous great composers ranging from Hector Berlioz to Igor Stravinsky and the Band is still considered as one of the very best wind bands in the world. The author has thoroughly analyzed and described all facets of this wind orchestra since 1832 and aims to make known this part of Belgium’s cultural patrimony on an international scale to all people interested in Belgium’s history and those interested in wind band history in particular.
At the Price of € 35 plus packing costs (2 €).
The history of the Wind Band in Belgium
Part I – Up to 1900
Knowing Francis Pieters for quite some time now, I was honored when he asked me to write a preface to this book. Because of his interest and passion for the wind band and its music, from ever since he was Young, I might say that he became throughout the years the best documented individual with an enormous knowledge about all the aspects of the wind band.
Thanks to his “non-stop” interest and his international research since years about anything regarding and related to the wind band, his library and discography are enormous and don’t have an end. The way he informs all, of us with his books and articles about history, biographies, orchestras, recordings, repertoire, composers and their lives and compositions, I could s ay that he is a living encyclopedia of the wind band. This book is once more the proof, like all of his works already written, of his thorough and detailed research and huge knowledge. For the reader of this book, I am sure that it will reveal new unknown elements in the history of the wind band. Enjoy reading it and get triggered by Francis’s passion for the wind band.
Chief-conductor of the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides
A4 format – 501 pages
Muziekkapel van het 2de regiment Gidsen (1875-1913)
A4 format – 14 pages – Only available in Dutch
The Belgian Grenadiers Band
The Band of the Belgian Grenadiers (1838-1989) was not only the last infantry band, but also a military band with a prestigious history. Four conductors of the Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides (René De Ceuninck, Simon Poulain, Yvon Ducène and Norbert Nozy) also conducted this band.
A4 format – 105 pages
De Geboorte van de Militaire Muziek in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
Focus op de Zuidelijke Provincies (het latere België)
Tekst van de masterclass gegeven tijdens de Nacht van de Militaire Muziek in het Nationaal Militair Museum te Soesterberg op 16 maart 2019
A4 format – 46 pages – Only available in Dutch
Eux aussi ont écrit pour orchestre à vent
(Francis Pieters, translation by Edgard Vergucht)
They too wrote for wind band
Belgian classical composers and music for wind orchestras
From Ook zij schreven voor blaasorkest by Francis Pieters
Translation by Edgard Vergucht
Updated and revised by the author (2023)
A4 format – 253 pages – Only available in French
La Musique Royale des Guides
Un siècle d’enregistrements
De Koninklijke Muziekkapel van de Gidsen
Honderd jaar geluidsdragers
A4 format – 300 pages – 180 pictures