Author Topic: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement  (Read 546 times)

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Offline MarkMcD

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Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« on: September 25, 2018, 05:53:53 AM »
I first wrote the piano part for this piece nearly 20 years ago, for that reason it has a less developed style than my more recent work.  I always wanted to do something with it and this last month, I have been working on orchestrating it.  I also took the opportunity to rewrite the piano part a bit.  It's currently in it's "pre-finished" state, so I would really appreciate any input on how it might be improved.

Thanks in advance to anyone who may feel like commenting.

Regards Mark

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bimvfe3eu7xb8ne/Piano%20Concerto%20No.1%20In%20G%20minor%201st%20Movement.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zgq7btn40io460h/Piano%20Concerto%20No.1%20in%20G%20minor%201st%20Movement.pdf?dl=0


So... I've been working on a cadenza for the piece and polishing the rest of it.  For anyone who may be interested, here are the new links for the now finished movement.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qt639kvqu3yx152/Piano%20Concerto%20No.1%20in%20G%20minor%20Movement%20I%20%28with%20Cadenza%29.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/35896vdyi93aimw/Piano%20Concerto%20No%20in%20G%20minor%20Movement%20I%20%28With%20Cadenza%29%20-%20Full%20Score.pdf?dl=0

« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 10:05:45 AM by MarkMcD »

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 10:06:56 AM »
bump…………...

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 01:15:19 AM »
There's only one thing worse than having your work disliked by people, at least to be disliked is to provoke some reaction, but when your work is not even worth a comment, either good or bad, then I think it's time to stop posting it.

Offline relm1

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 06:18:29 AM »
I will set some time aside to listen today.

Offline relm1

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
Overall, I found it economical in instrumentation and execution.  The structure and scoring for wind quintet, piano, and strings gives it a Haydn feel.  Uncharacteristically, there isn’t much counterpoint which a classical work by Haydn, Mozart, etc., would be full of.  There is a lot of triplet writing in the piano without much variation of the piano doing scales in triplets.  The voice leading could be improved to make the orchestral writing more imaginative.  For example, in bars 25 to 27 the orchestra is in parallel motion (actually it is way frequently used here), and it is the least interesting voice leading.  Ideally, the outer voices are in contrary motion.  Try handing off the rhythm between instruments groups.  Think of it sort of as a call and response.  For example, on page 11, nearly every note is a quarter note (sure, I see a few half notes but where is the rhythmic variation?   You do this more on page 83 but overall it could be done much more.  “pm” dynamic in the piano at bar 43?  I liked that in bar 45 you pull out all the low instruments which gives some welcome relief in the overly thick texture.  There is too much tutti where everyone plays together.  That is actually one of the things where a little goes a long way.  I play low brass in orchestras and Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Picture’s at an Exhibition is a piece I would consider “brassy” and full of tutti’s while listening.  Surprisingly, I actually tacet through have the work.  Half of what remains I am quiet.  So only around 25% of the work that is a pretty thick orchestral work is everyone playing.   I think you would get a lot out of this very fine and brief video “What is Good Orchestration” by Alan Belkin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHd7Gxwjyo8 where in this five minute video he transforms a short orchestral excerpt going from not very good to very polished.  I also think you might want to seek out a local composition teacher because you have good ideas and understanding of what you want it to do musically and can benefit from further study.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 07:01:53 AM by relm1 »

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 09:15:43 AM »
Thank you Relm1 I really appreciate your comments.

I'm basically self taught with very little formal musical training, only having taken piano lessons as a child and only then to grade 3 so I really have little theory to fall back on.  I would really love to have composition lessons but I can't really afford that.

I've also never played any instrument other than the piano, and so I know that my orchestral writing is all guess work really.  Having said all that, I really do take my writing seriously and so I really appreciate your suggestions and I will keep it all in mind.  I think also I'll watch that you tube video quite a few times, thanks for that.


Best regards
Mark



Offline relm1

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 04:15:18 PM »
Thank you Relm1 I really appreciate your comments.

I'm basically self taught with very little formal musical training, only having taken piano lessons as a child and only then to grade 3 so I really have little theory to fall back on.  I would really love to have composition lessons but I can't really afford that.

I've also never played any instrument other than the piano, and so I know that my orchestral writing is all guess work really.  Having said all that, I really do take my writing seriously and so I really appreciate your suggestions and I will keep it all in mind.  I think also I'll watch that you tube video quite a few times, thanks for that.

Best regards
Mark

There is a lot you can learn on your own but there is only so far that will take you.  But it all depends on what your goals are.  If it is to have fun, then you can probably satisfy that urge with good texts and youtube instructional videos (though one could counter you would better achieve your goal if you had a greater command of the skills necessary to compose a large scale orchestral work such as a piano concerto).  We are lucky to live in a time where so much good content is available for free.  Cost really shouldn't be a factor and here is why.  Any training is better than no training.  I started composing before I ever had a single music lesson when I was a teen...and it showed.  In college, I needed to take an elective so took piano performance.  The desire to write didn't go away so I eventually said I would take one more elective in music theory and felt at that point I would know what I needed to compose large scale works.  I had no idea how little I knew.  Every class I took made me realize I needed more study to understand the topic.  I eventually completed my masters degree in composition.  Now I feel like I am starting to learn music (and there is so much more to learn).  I have also come to learn many of the composers I most admire are life long students.  They just want to get better than they were last year even when they are in their mid 80's.  So learning eventually becomes part of your life goal.  Even getting a tutor to help you on some areas you need most dire help with (fundamentals of orchestration, harmony, counterpoint, form) is beneficial.  These topics take years to get a solid understanding of.  Even five private lessons is better than one but one is better than none.  There are also many schools that have evening adult classes and in large arts centric cities, you can take some pretty comprehensive evening classes for low cost.  Alternatively hire a composition student to mentor you.  All of this is better than nothing.  I hope this doesn't sound in any way condescending, I am just giving you honest feedback and encouraging your interest.  Best of luck.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:34:01 PM by relm1 »

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor 1st movement
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2018, 03:20:54 AM »
Thanks Relm1,

No I didn't find it condescending at all, and I agree with you 100%.  My knowledge of music theory is very basic and any tuition would be better than none at all.  I do watch lots of you tube videos on the various parts of music theory and I suppose that I do learn a little from that.  Unfortunately I don't live in a big city, but a rather sleepy Spanish village, albeit larger than average, the arts are not really very well represented here.  I have looked for night classes but there are none anywhere near.

Still, I write because I love it, not because I want to be a famous composer.  I'm sure that everyone who composes music would give anything to have it performed by a real orchestra and I am no different, but I really hold no illusions that that will ever happen.  For one thing, my music is not really relevant in todays values, being that it harks back to music of the past.  I do feel that I have my own voice, I never try to write like anyone, but inevitably the music that I produce is often called (rather shallowly I have to say) pastiche.  I don't mind, I write it for me, if someone else likes it too along the way, then that is a happy bonus.

Until now I have mostly written piano music, sometimes accompanied by another instrument or two, but these last couple of pieces are really my first foray into writing for a bigger ensemble.  My aim in posting my music is not really to garner praise (although that is always nice), but rather to garner advice on how to improve them.  I would also consider myself a life long student.  I'm now 52.  Like most people I had a very busy work schedule and so music was very secondary, but recently I was able to leave work and so dedicate more time to music.  I joined a few forums a couple of years ago, and mostly I have had a positive experience, but I do feel largely ignored on a couple of them even though I do participate and give comments to others, such as I can give which is not much.  I'm sure the cause is as I mentioned before, that my music is not of interest to most of the more active members of the forum.  That's not to criticise them, they have their interests the same as anyone else, and if my work doesn't fall within those interests, I can hardly blame them.  However, it's not really meeting my hopes in posting my work, and is also quite disheartening.  I doesn't put me off writing though, just puts me off wanting to post work anymore.

I would however like to thank you for taking time to talk with me and give me some valuable advice, I really do appreciate it.

Kind regards
Mark

 

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