Author Topic: Henning's Headquarters  (Read 432238 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6440 on: January 25, 2017, 05:45:02 PM »
Present state of the 2nd mvt:

Edit :: old version deleted
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 12:56:21 PM by k a rl h e nn i ng »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6441 on: January 26, 2017, 08:08:00 AM »
Present state of the 2nd mvt:

Now here’s a bit of a conundrum . . . and on the lines of being ready to throw out The Outline when musically appropriate.  When I sketched the Grand Plan for the Clarinet Sonata, I “allocated” 12 minutes for the second movement.  (I had likewise “allocated” 12 minutes for the first, which in the event runs about 9 minutes and a half.)  But as I review the present state of the second movement, at the seven-minute mark, I am more than half-wondering whether the movement as is, may not be done (done, provided I make a few adjustments/additions earlier on).  I feel that the cadence I’ve just written in mm.58-61 is a most appropriate final cadence;  that the movement has already enjoyed convincing ‘half-cadential’ pauses at mm.20-21, and m.49 (which means I’ll probably nudge that double-bar to the end of m.49)

Musically, I have written the second movement just as I intended:  When the clarinet plays, all the material is “found material,” recontextualized, as a nod to Ives.  (We might say, Boulez has gone to where this cannot vex him . . . for this movement could only bring him pain . . . .)

– When Ives quotes Beethoven, or a turn-of-the century hymn or popular song, one hears it;  and my experience of listening to Ives use this method is, as if he and I were winking at one another.  Not to say anything against Ives for this (it is part of his style, and of his charm, I think), but I have felt that I should not write my second movement quite like that.  For only one thing, it would likely invite the criticism, “This is what Ives did, only he did it better.”  Ives could do what he did, when he did it;  here in the 21st century, I cannot pretend that all this time has not passed, and I can somehow do “just as Ives did.”  I even doubt that I should yield a list of the sources for the clarinet line, lest the shared knowledge invite the wink.  So I rather believe this must remain . . . an enigma

Well, I have reached a point in the second movement where I do not feel I can just go on in the same vein for the remaining five minutes of the allotment (–although, maybe tomorrow I shall feel that there is five minutes more to be written–) but neither do I want to write an internal contrast within this movement, waiting for the contrast of the third movement (which will be clarinet unaccompanied, as a kind of answer to the extended piano solo beginning of the second).  Or, maybe it is better to say that, as I review the second movement as is, I feel it is more or less complete.

So, this is the puzzle I am presently turning in my mind.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6442 on: January 26, 2017, 08:27:29 AM »
Two observations

Did you intend for the first and second movements to be equal length? If no, then it does not matter, but if yes, wouldn't you want to extend the length of the second movement from its current length?

Re mm. 38 and 48
IANAPianist, but are they truly playable by a person with a normal hand span?  I see you spotted this with m. 37, but those measures also seem to require some digital stretching.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6443 on: January 26, 2017, 08:32:22 AM »
Two observations

Did you intend for the first and second movements to be equal length? If no, then it does not matter, but if yes, wouldn't you want to extend the length of the second movement from its current length?

Re mm. 38 and 48
IANAPianist, but are they truly playable by a person with a normal hand span?  I see you spotted this with m. 37, but those measures also seem to require some digital stretching.

Maybe it's a winking homage to those unplayable chords in Boulez's Second Sonata.   ;)
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6444 on: January 26, 2017, 08:47:30 AM »
Alternatively, go full Darmstadt and use an elbow to play an outer voice or use a nose to play the inner voice.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6445 on: January 26, 2017, 09:15:14 AM »
Alternatively, go full Darmstadt and use an elbow to play an outer voice or use a nose to play the inner voice.

No, no, I believe in all these notes  8)

Two observations

Did you intend for the first and second movements to be equal length? If no, then it does not matter, but if yes, wouldn't you want to extend the length of the second movement from its current length?

I’m not inflexibly committed to the idea of the first two movements running the same duration by the clock;  it’s not a bad idea, and I thought it a good idea when I was drawing up the first scheme.  Your question does remind me—the first movement isn’t twelve minutes “any more,” either:  should (or “should”) the second movement be 9-½ minutes long, to “match” the first?  Will the second movement take on another 150 seconds, artfully?

Re mm. 38 and 48
IANAPianist, but are they truly playable by a person with a normal hand span?  I see you spotted this with m. 37, but those measures also seem to require some digital stretching.

Thank you for looking so closely!  This is, of course, exactly the sort of benefit I’ve enjoyed from GMG in the past:  another pair of eyes, and the question, “Does what you’ve notated here actually work?”  In m. 38, the tempo is slow enough that I don't think anything demands the impossible from either hand . . . but it does require a nimble touch, and the pianist will probably memorize the measure, because he just has to know where each hand goes and when.  And I think m.48 much easier, really.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 Cato

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6446 on: January 26, 2017, 10:35:32 AM »


Musically, I have written the second movement just as I intended:  When the clarinet plays, all the material is “found material,” recontextualized, as a nod to Ives.  (We might say, Boulez has gone to where this cannot vex him . . . for this movement could only bring him pain . . . .)

– When Ives quotes Beethoven, or a turn-of-the century hymn or popular song, one hears it;  and my experience of listening to Ives use this method is, as if he and I were winking at one another.  Not to say anything against Ives for this (it is part of his style, and of his charm, I think), but I have felt that I should not write my second movement quite like that.  For only one thing, it would likely invite the criticism, “This is what Ives did, only he did it better.”  Ives could do what he did, when he did it;  here in the 21st century, I cannot pretend that all this time has not passed, and I can somehow do “just as Ives did.” 
So, this is the puzzle I am presently turning in my mind.

Not having seen this at all, I had sent Karl the following comment, after reading through the First Movement:

Quote
The spirit of Charles Ives hovers above your sonata!  This idea struck me after bar 38!  You have the Boulez bells in multi-dimensional time and the birdcalls a la Messiaen with an Ivesian hymn-tune floating above them in the clarinet!  The effect is brilliant, but brilliance is just typical Henning!

 ;D  What a coincidence!
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6447 on: January 26, 2017, 10:41:01 AM »
I guess it worked, and in an aptly subtle manner . . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6448 on: January 26, 2017, 11:31:12 AM »
This exchange has been very helpful, thanks, Jeffrey, Ben & Leo.  Resolved:

  • First, that the present mm. 58-61 may in fact be the close of the movement (or, in very nearly the form of the cl. of the m.)
  • Second, that an attempt, in good faith, to add two-and-a-half-minutes’ ’orth of music to the second movement, is an endeavor both worthwhile and (probably) artistic.
  • Third, that THEREFORE, the musical expansion must be From Within.
  • Fourth, must it be, though?
I can see what my musical work will be, this weekend.

Thanks, again!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 Cato

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6449 on: January 26, 2017, 12:59:19 PM »

Thank you for looking so closely!  This is, of course, exactly the sort of benefit I’ve enjoyed from GMG in the past:  another pair of eyes, and the question, “Does what you’ve notated here actually work?” In m. 38, the tempo is slow enough that I don't think anything demands the impossible from either hand . . . but it does require a nimble touch, and the pianist will probably memorize the measure, because he just has to know where each hand goes and when.  And I think m.48 much easier, really.

No, I see no problem, with the caveat that those top treble whole notes will certainly fade away before the end of the bar, especially when the 5 ad libitum notes are played.

And for those 5 notes, you might want to indicate with an additional { on the staves as to which hand would be better for them.  Or just let the pianist decide! 0:)
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6450 on: January 27, 2017, 02:17:22 AM »
Content to let the pianist decide.  I think of the conversation I had with Mary Jane Rupert over the Lost Waters pieces, and (while everything was playable) she pointed some things which might have been notated otherwise.  I asked, "Should I make these changes to the score?" "No," she assured me, "each player will distribute the hands as he or she wishes, so leave it notated as is."

And the brittle high notes:  that is one of the things I enjoy about "leave the pedal down" passages: the higher the note, the sooner it drops out.

. . . you know, my musical mind has been so agreeably engaged with the "problem," I almost think the second movement will expand out to 12 minutes.  I am not at all certain that it will;  but, it just might.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6451 on: January 30, 2017, 09:59:06 AM »
Well, very little of this weekend’s musical work went toward the Op.136 . . . I marked two pieces for my handbell choir so that we should have material to rehearse after church yesterday.  And since I am conducting Triad in a piece by our own Thomas Stumpf, it was time I rolled up my sleeves and learnt the piece.  There was other busy-ness over the weekend, and I got in good doses of rest.

All I really did in the way of work for Boulez est mort, was that I penciled the titles of more tunes to work in.

Triad rehearsal is tonight, so that will pretty much be my evening.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6452 on: January 30, 2017, 12:59:23 PM »
Well, and a very nice message, the first of the conductors to return to me:

Quote
Enjoyed looking over/listening to your new symphony. It's a fascinating work, and you've obviously been working hard and developing your talents. Congratulations.

RE the possibility of a performance, we conductors working today are very much limited in what we can program by various institutional "rules".....  Anything beyond 7-9 minutes in length - especially a new work (gasp!) - is simply not possible except under an extremely unlikely set of circumstances. Sigh....

Please feel free to forward future works - I'd be happy to review them. Congratulations on your new symphony, and thank you very much.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 Cato

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6453 on: January 30, 2017, 01:26:12 PM »

...RE the possibility of a performance, we conductors working today are very much limited in what we can program by various institutional "rules".....  Anything beyond 7-9 minutes in length is simply not possible... -


An epitaph for the Short-Attention Span Kulcher!
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6454 on: January 30, 2017, 09:12:08 PM »
Well, and a very nice message, the first of the conductors to return to me:

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Presumably the time limit reflects a practice of using new music ,(when used at all,) as an opener or a filler in a concert made up of tried and trues. 

So your next challenge might be an orchestral piece of 8 minutes duration.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6455 on: January 31, 2017, 03:22:20 AM »
Presumably the time limit reflects a practice of using new music ,(when used at all,) as an opener or a filler in a concert made up of tried and trues. 

So your next challenge might be an orchestral piece of 8 minutes duration.

Sound analysis  8) Aye, a little down the road, I'll devise a short opener within the orchestra's reach. (Discreet Erasures would be way out of their reach.)  The victory here is in getting this conductor's attention and musical respect anew.)

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6456 on: January 31, 2017, 07:26:19 AM »
Excellent Triad rehearsal last night.  It would not be seemly for me to speak too well of my part of the rehearsal;  the conductor himself felt we made "a good start."  The piece is in many passages a challenge for the singers, and many of them were probably sight-reading last night.  (Fair disclosure: apart from the piece which I prepared myself to conduct last night, I was largely sight-reading, myself.  Mind you, I'm a dashed good sight-reader.)

Since we are a collective, and no reasonable opinion is disdained, in the past the practice was to welcome notes with responses/questions from the singers on any of the conductors' work.  For this go, Julian had the capital idea of encouraging the conductors to tag a "buddy" (who may or may not be one of the other conductors for that program).  On one hand, I feel that I am a reasonably effective conductor;  on t'other, there is no denying I can improve . . . so I did select a "buddy," from whom I've not yet heard.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6457 on: January 31, 2017, 11:08:47 AM »
Listening to this—that I do so today is an accident of observing the passing of John Wetton—I remember how this was quite possibly The recording with electric guitar which has had the greatest impact upon my musical life when I listened to it, not quite by chance, at the tender age of 19. Or 20.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/CVb2tnFN5AA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/CVb2tnFN5AA</a>
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6458 on: February 03, 2017, 02:56:51 AM »
No, this typo will not stand, man!

It is at last official that Out From the Unattended Baggage (flute, clarinet & bassoon) was not selected by the trio who placed the call.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[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

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Re: Henning's Headquarters
« Reply #6459 on: February 09, 2017, 12:47:58 PM »
Any Henningmusick for the clavichord?
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