Author Topic: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music  (Read 1639 times)

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Online aleazk

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 03:37:00 AM »
Chamber chamber chamber *takes a lot of air* chaaaaaaaambeeeeeeeer  0:)

Offline jessop

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2017, 02:47:55 PM »
Chamber chamber chamber *takes a lot of air* chaaaaaaaambeeeeeeeer  0:)

Well it is certainly more satisfying to watch. I love the way the performers interact. One simply doesn't see that level of communication in orchestral cocnerts..............

Offline jessop

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2017, 02:56:39 PM »
Interesting thing to think about.

I do tend to feel that earlier centuries underused the facets of the orchestra (compared to the recent and current century), musically speaking.

Compared to today, as a composer I find ensembles to be more rewarding detail-wise. Compared to orchestras which tend to be a GIANT blend of colors. The ensemble gives more of an intimate chance to explore things and things that would need to be amplified in a orchestra context (more subtle sounds and quiter instruments), so yes to the comment about that.

Also, as someone who is not yet an internationally acclaimed composer  :laugh: Thinking about ensemble writing is a more productive use of my time  :D



UH what? I think your viewpoint is only the product of hearing past music from the perspective of contemporary instruments and performers when really the kind of orchestration and instrumental techniques going on in music by Monteverdi, Biber, Rameau, Mozart, Haydn Beethoven, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler etc. were all groundbreaking and experimental in their approach. Valve horn, percussion, contrabassoon, trombones and piccolo in Beethoven symphonies? Expanded orchestral sections in Berlioz? The extremely theatrical nature of Rameau's music for his operas often mimicking the drama on the stage through orchestral colour? Not to mention all the crazy new string techniques in music by Monteverdi and Biber? It's all standard stuff now, for sure, but they had to start somewhere, and the start all this stuff was crazily new and often very difficult on the relatively primitive instruments they had at the time.

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2017, 01:47:17 PM »
UH what? I think your viewpoint is only the product of hearing past music from the perspective of contemporary instruments and performers when really the kind of orchestration and instrumental techniques going on in music by Monteverdi, Biber, Rameau, Mozart, Haydn Beethoven, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler etc. were all groundbreaking and experimental in their approach. Valve horn, percussion, contrabassoon, trombones and piccolo in Beethoven symphonies? Expanded orchestral sections in Berlioz? The extremely theatrical nature of Rameau's music for his operas often mimicking the drama on the stage through orchestral colour? Not to mention all the crazy new string techniques in music by Monteverdi and Biber? It's all standard stuff now, for sure, but they had to start somewhere, and the start all this stuff was crazily new and often very difficult on the relatively primitive instruments they had at the time.

Yes. Yes, and YES.

+1
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Offline Le Moderniste

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2017, 01:57:34 PM »
UH what? I think your viewpoint is only the product of hearing past music from the perspective of contemporary instruments and performers when really the kind of orchestration and instrumental techniques going on in music by Monteverdi, Biber, Rameau, Mozart, Haydn Beethoven, Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler etc. were all groundbreaking and experimental in their approach. Valve horn, percussion, contrabassoon, trombones and piccolo in Beethoven symphonies? Expanded orchestral sections in Berlioz? The extremely theatrical nature of Rameau's music for his operas often mimicking the drama on the stage through orchestral colour? Not to mention all the crazy new string techniques in music by Monteverdi and Biber? It's all standard stuff now, for sure, but they had to start somewhere, and the start all this stuff was crazily new and often very difficult on the relatively primitive instruments they had at the time.


I think you misinterpreted the two separate things I said there as a single statement.........................

Offline Le Moderniste

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2017, 01:47:52 AM »
I'll try and make it more clearer, via re-quoting:

Interesting thing to think about.

I do tend to feel that earlier centuries underused the facets of the orchestra (compared to the recent and current century), musically speaking.


A general thing I have about soooo much orchestral music and the doubling vs varying individuality before the mid-1800's, is that to put it bluntly, I find myself asking this constantly, consciously or subconsciously: "Why is the scored for an orchestra when it is so basic on the orchestration, that it may as well be a piano piece or a string quartet" 
I don't mean to be callous about it but I can't be the only one that feels this way, and I'm not talking on the stylistic or period-based level (with the content of the music, which is a different topic).

On a side note, it seems that choral works (from motets to masses) has always been more rich in this way compared to symphonies, overtures or even concertos.

Just thoughts anyway  :)

Compared to today, as a composer I find ensembles to be more rewarding detail-wise. Compared to orchestras which tend to be a GIANT blend of colors. The ensemble gives more of an intimate chance to explore things and things that would need to be amplified in a orchestra context (more subtle sounds and quiter instruments), so yes to the comment about that.

Also, as someone who is not yet an internationally acclaimed composer  :laugh: Thinking about ensemble writing is a more productive use of my time
  :D

This here is just my personal feelings as a composer, towards my own importance of orchestral vs chamber music in my own work.

Offline jessop

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2017, 02:23:00 PM »
I'll try and make it more clearer, via re-quoting:

A general thing I have about soooo much orchestral music and the doubling vs varying individuality before the mid-1800's, is that to put it bluntly, I find myself asking this constantly, consciously or subconsciously: "Why is the scored for an orchestra when it is so basic on the orchestration, that it may as well be a piano piece or a string quartet" 
I don't mean to be callous about it but I can't be the only one that feels this way, and I'm not talking on the stylistic or period-based level (with the content of the music, which is a different topic).

On a side note, it seems that choral works (from motets to masses) has always been more rich in this way compared to symphonies, overtures or even concertos.

Just thoughts anyway  :)

This here is just my personal feelings as a composer, towards my own importance of orchestral vs chamber music in my own work.

Orchestration back then was totally different and they did really interesting things back then anyway. Splitting a large ensemble into different groups of varying or equal size for timbral contrast or stereophonic effect, employing unusual instruments and techniques with purpose when available etc.

But you have to remember the contexts a lot of the orchestral music was written in. Orchestras employed by aristocrats might only have specific instrumentalists available. Haydn wrote a symphony showing off the virtuosic horn players, Mozart knew that the orchestra for whom he wrote his Prague symphony has excellent wind players so he composed with that in mind. Heaps of examples like that. You can't view this music from the orchestration standards of today when the world of music was so different back then. Also, a lot of 'orchestral' music (JC Bach piano concertos, for example) would often be played one player per part and were composed knowingly that this would be a likely performance situation. Even in the 19th century the reality of orchestral music was that they were often published in piano transcriptions (2 or 4 hands) for people to enjoy at home. The notes had to stand on their own regardless of the orchestration.

Going back even to the very beginning of orchestral music, the parts simply were not assigned to any really specific instrument, as composers KNEW they had to work with whatever was available at the time. Have you looked at manuscripts of 17th century 'orchestral' scores? Have you read letters where Mozart talks about orchestration, for example? There are some interesting insights into the world of 'orchestral' music back then which are so different to how both the orchestra and the context of performance changed up until today.

Offline Uhor

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2017, 08:39:28 PM »
The orchestra is a lie.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2017, 07:28:35 AM »
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2017, 11:33:31 AM »
The orchestra is a lie.

All music, including its very nuts and bolts, modes, scales, intervals, "leading tones," harmony and its 'rules,' is a collective bunch of conceits that, just like paper and coin money being thought of as 'worth something', a whole bunch of people have agreed upon.
~ I'm all for personal expression; it just has to express something to me. ~

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2017, 06:35:24 AM »
I agree.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2017, 01:47:40 PM »
I listen mainly to orchestral music but have learned to appreciate chamber music more as I have got older.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline nodogen

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2017, 05:03:44 AM »
Case by case overall. But in terms of relative quantities of my listenng time, I definitely listen to more chamber music. I find the intimacy and personal character of small groups to be more enjoyable.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2017, 05:21:14 AM »
I think the preference is perhaps related to differences in personality. I've always been a rather reclusive and private person; even as a child I prefered the company of books to that of people. To this day, large crowds make me feel uncomfortable, unless it's in the concert hall, at the opera or at anti-government protests.  :laugh:
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Offline nodogen

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2017, 05:47:10 AM »
I think the preference is perhaps related to differences in personality. I've always been a rather reclusive and private person; even as a child I prefered the company of books to that of people. To this day, large crowds make me feel uncomfortable, unless it's in the concert hall, at the opera or at anti-government protests.  :laugh:

You know, I think you may be on to something there. I myself am a fully paid up, card carrying Introvert, practically falling off the edge of the Myers Briggs map. 😶
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Offline Cato

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2017, 05:51:23 AM »

I listen to all music in terms of polyphony, so when I'm listening to an orchestral work, just like a chamber work, I will hear it as having multiple lines, several interacting voices.


Mahler supposedly said: "There should be no harmony as such, only counterpoint."  8)

I listen mainly to orchestral music but have learned to appreciate chamber music more as I have gotten older.

That has been my experience as well: probably under 10 string quartets or quintets ever attracted me:  Bartok's Sixth, Ravel's, both of Borodin's, Bruckner's Quintet, Schoenberg's Second, Third, the Brahms Piano Quartet (although I prefer Schoenberg's orchestration  :D  ), and the Shostakovich 8th Quartet.

But in recent years things like the quartets of Ernst Toch and Sergei Taneyev and the chamber music of Alexander Tcherepnin have been gracing my player.  I really should give Beethoven's another run-through!

Now if you are including solo piano works as chamber music, then the list grows much longer: Scriabin's and Beethoven's sonatas, Rachmaninov's solo works, etc.

"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2017, 05:58:29 AM »
You know, I think you may be on to something there. I myself am a fully paid up, card carrying Introvert, practically falling off the edge of the Myers Briggs map. 😶

Oh, I am much less introverted and shy today than I used to be 20 years ago, when even talking casually to strangers usually resulted in my cheeks blushing and my voice faltering. Now I am normally functional, socially speaking, but I'm still far from being a genuine extravert, and much less a socialite. As usual with this type of people, though, the situation changes / improves dramatically after a few drinks more.  :laugh:
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2017, 06:02:48 AM »
Mahler supposedly said: "There should be no harmony as such, only counterpoint."  8)

That has been my experience as well: probably under 10 string quartets or quintets ever attracted me:  Bartok's Sixth, Ravel's, both of Borodin's, Bruckner's Quintet, Schoenberg's Second, Third, the Brahms Piano Quartet (although I prefer Schoenberg's orchestration  :D  ), and the Shostakovich 8th Quartet.

But in recent years things like the quartets of Ernst Toch and Sergei Taneyev and the chamber music of Alexander Tcherepnin have been gracing my player.  I really should give Beethoven's another run-through!

Now if you are including solo piano works as chamber music, then the list grows much longer: Scriabin's and Beethoven's sonatas, Rachmaninov's solo works, etc.

The one who drove me into chamber music was Brahms. Many years ago (20, I think) I bought the Brilliant complete chamber music box and upon listening to a few discs I concluded: this is the most beautiful music in the world. I had the same reaction to Schubert's piano sonatas (also a Brilliant box) --- and that was it.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2017, 06:05:02 AM »
Oh, I am much less introverted and shy today than I used to be 20 years ago, when even talking casually to strangers usually resulted in my cheeks blushing and my voice faltering. Now I am normally functional, socially speaking, but I'm still far from being a genuine extravert, and much less a socialite. As usual with this type of people, though, the situation changes / improves dramatically after a few drinks more.  :laugh:

. . . if the tiered shedding of inhibition cannot be achieved internally . . . .

0:)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Florestan

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Re: Chamber Music vs. Orchestral Music
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2017, 06:11:31 AM »
. . . if the tiered shedding of inhibition cannot be achieved internally . . . .

That's too idiomatically English for my understanding. I have a vague idea but I'm not sure it's right. Could you make it more explicit, please?  :)
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