Author Topic: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra  (Read 8785 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« on: June 23, 2021, 06:14:30 PM »
Over the winter I revised the work for chamber strings that I shared here as "Fugal Variations"... I also retitled it, since it is neither a set of variations nor an actual fugue, though it contains fugal writing, three incomplete fugues actually. The main change I made was to interpolate some new material into the middle, "development" section for reasons of balance. For those who heard it on the Ning Composers Forum, there have been no major changes since then, just a few tweaks to vary the texture in a couple of places, and this rendering is more faithful to what I originally intended: mainly, the last fugue is taken at a very slightly slower pace (crotchet = 60 --> 58), which seems to give the music a little added expressive weight.

As the title implies, it's a solemn work (VERY solemn) and will probably only appeal to people who like that sort of thing. I tried to express both grief and healing in it, and overall I think it mostly expresses stoic perseverance (its subtitle is Like Light, Unbroken, a reference to a poem by Amanda Gorman). The idiom is traditional, retro even - it tries to be pure polyphonic music of the kind people wrote in the late Renaissance, and there are only a few fleeting hints of harmony that might shock Beethoven's audiences. At fully 25 minutes playing length, it might be a bit much to listen to in one sitting, so I've included a broken-into-sections version, as well as the full demo (for the intrepid).

Full demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing

In sections:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing

The score is attached.

Offline relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1558
  • Location: California
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2021, 05:26:22 AM »
I enjoyed it!  :)  Nice and gloomy.  Was that the DSCH motif I heard at the start?  As for constructive feedback, by letter J, I felt the harmony could use a little more variety like borrowed chords or something from neighboring keys to keep it from getting predictable.  Sort of like, think of making a statement, you can repeat it, but the third time, it needs a variation.  Something unexpected otherwise the ear starts to tune out.  If you listen to something like Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, the music is incredibly inventive and every few seconds it's gone into a direction that is logical but unexpected.  That's a good model to emulate in places in your work.  I don't think you need much of that just enough to keep the listener on board because 25 minutes is a substantial duration.  Sure, you can repeat expositions and phrases to make something fit 25 minutes but a work that long needs 25 minutes of material if you know what I mean.  With Schoenberg, it is almost like he has an hours worth of material in a 25 minute piece.  If anything, he could have stretched that material out more because it is so adventurous structurally, melodically, and harmonically while still being tonal.  If Shostakovich is more your cup of tea, take a listen to his elegy from Lady MacBeth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd_-sjlhOm8

Do you find the chord change at 0:20 surprising?  Your ear is used to a tonality because of the pedal so you would expect a diatonic harmony.  That would fit perfectly.  However, we get a chromatic shift or borrowed chord from a foreign key that is quite unexpected.  This is spicier and makes the work more memorable because it is unexpected.  If all you did was shift harmonically out of key, that would be predictable, so then that becomes gimmicky and boring.  Ideally these elements are balanced and surprise and anticipation are working together to keep the listener engaged.  I'd also suggest you do this approach with other elements of music like rhythm - I notice even though the tempo is slow throughout, you don't go lower than quaver, right?  It would be very unexpected several minutes in if the melody persisted but the accompaniment becomes more animated with triplets or semi-quavers or something, especially if you dramatically expand the register range so something like a low G on violin up three octaves near the end, that would be very dramatic.  Of course that could make the work more of a Sinfonia Dramatica but dipping in from time to time to these techniques can still keep it solemn and hymnal but adds momentum and engagement. 

I really liked the ending of X, thought that was very beautiful.  Good luck and happy composing on future works!
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 05:29:45 AM by relm1 »

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 09:35:21 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, at letter J, you put your finger on something that's been bothering me since last fall when the piece was still "Fugal Variations"... I also had the impression that starting in with the inverted subject (it's a modified inversion of the original fugue subject) at that point felt a little "old hat", since I'd just a couple minutes ago given it an extended fugal treatment where it was heard MANY times. I kept telling myself that it was a minor blemish because I quickly start combining it with the original subject and other motives, and press onward into a real development... but since it bothered you too, it probably is a true weakness in the piece. Of course I could have done something surprising and more modern harmonically with it, but one of the rules I set for myself was to stick with traditional functional tonality - the piece is intentionally "atavistic" and retro. Other than some fleeting bitonality from V to W, there is very little in it harmonically that could not have been written 200 years ago.

Yes, the original fugue subject begins with D-S-C-H, and those 4 notes are heard in various guises throughout the work, right up to the final cadence, often with the intervals modified considerably.

No note values shorter than quavers... YES. That was intentional, another of the rules I set for myself from the outset. Not only that, but never more than 4 voices at a time. It was originally to be a "Ricercar a 4" on D-S-C-H, though THAT idea got dropped as the piece started to take shape.

The wind-down starting at X is also one of my favorite spots... thanks for mentioning it.

Offline relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1558
  • Location: California
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2021, 03:29:36 PM »
Congratulations, it seems you've achieved in your music much of what you strove to accomplish! 

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2021, 05:06:56 PM »
Over the winter I revised the work for chamber strings that I shared here as "Fugal Variations"... I also retitled it, since it is neither a set of variations nor an actual fugue, though it contains fugal writing, three incomplete fugues actually. The main change I made was to interpolate some new material into the middle, "development" section for reasons of balance. For those who heard it on the Ning Composers Forum, there have been no major changes since then, just a few tweaks to vary the texture in a couple of places, and this rendering is more faithful to what I originally intended: mainly, the last fugue is taken at a very slightly slower pace (crotchet = 60 --> 58), which seems to give the music a little added expressive weight.

As the title implies, it's a solemn work (VERY solemn) and will probably only appeal to people who like that sort of thing. I tried to express both grief and healing in it, and overall I think it mostly expresses stoic perseverance (its subtitle is Like Light, Unbroken, a reference to a poem by Amanda Gorman). The idiom is traditional, retro even - it tries to be pure polyphonic music of the kind people wrote in the late Renaissance, and there are only a few fleeting hints of harmony that might shock Beethoven's audiences. At fully 25 minutes playing length, it might be a bit much to listen to in one sitting, so I've included a broken-into-sections version, as well as the full demo (for the intrepid).

Full demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing

In sections:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing

The score is attached.

Nice work! I want to listen again before commenting much, but right away I like your use of the DSCH motif as the subject, and you steer clear of any imitation of the Op. 110 quartet, which on its own is quite a considerable success. Will remark more soon.
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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2021, 05:53:38 PM »
Thanks Karl, but it wasn't at all difficult to avoid imitating Op. 110. D-S-C-H in this piece is just a motive; I could have just as easily used B-A-C-H. Hopefully I wasn't naive in thinking that here, 45 years after Shosty's death, a composer might use his signature just as composers have been using B-A-C-H for centuries, without necessarily referring to the composer whose initials it spells.

Does that make sense?

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2021, 01:45:58 AM »
Thanks Karl, but it wasn't at all difficult to avoid imitating Op. 110. D-S-C-H in this piece is just a motive; I could have just as easily used B-A-C-H. Hopefully I wasn't naive in thinking that here, 45 years after Shosty's death, a composer might use his signature just as composers have been using B-A-C-H for centuries, without necessarily referring to the composer whose initials it spells.

Does that make sense?

Indeed.
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

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2021, 10:58:20 AM »
Vn 2's leap to an octave with the va in m. 25 seems a bit jarring.

In m. 83 vn 1 leaps down a Major sixth, crowding vn 2, so that the latter's Db "passing note" thus becomes a unison

In m.164, the violins swap tones which has something of a static effect.

In mm.10-13 modify the slurs in vn 2 (e.g.) for the strings, the slurs coincide with bowings, so you shouldn't have a bow change mid-slur (as in m.12)

I love the "crunch" between the violins in m. 155 for instance

What do you think about having some passages played by a a quartet of soloists (rehearsal mark N for example) for textural variety?

I wonder if from m.423 to 439, the dynamic markings may be rather numerous and fussy?

Somehow, the "direct octave" between vn 2 and the vc at the cadence into m. 595 jumped at me. What do you think?

mm. 613-16, cast the vc in tenor clef. Also mm. 701-06.

m. 711 another harmonic/textural "crowding" moment between vn 1 & 2. Also the parallel unison from mm. 768-69.

Overall, very well done and richly rewarding. Congratulations!


My immediate thought after my first listen yesterday was that it feels too much the same texture for a great deal of the piece. My first thought was to suggest an occasional break ... but then I saw your designation unbroken in the score. Having solo quartet for some passages, and more use of pizzicato would be my suggestion.
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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2021, 12:26:15 PM »
Thanks for your comments, Karl!

Vn 2's leap to an octave with the va in m. 25 seems a bit jarring.

Yes, and that sudden starkness is the effect I want.

Quote
In m. 83 vn 1 leaps down a Major sixth, crowding vn 2, so that the latter's Db "passing note" thus becomes a unison

Yes, it's a suspension resolving to a direct unison. There are a number of such cases, but they don't really bother me. I was not trying to follow the rules of counterpoint strictly.

Quote
In m.164, the violins swap tones which has something of a static effect.

Indeed they do, and that's also intentional there.

Quote
In mm.10-13 modify the slurs in vn 2 (e.g.) for the strings, the slurs coincide with bowings, so you shouldn't have a bow change mid-slur (as in m.12)

This is a hack for NotePerformer. The slur will NOT extend across the bow change in any score I submit for performance, but if the slur is broken there in the Sibelius score, NP plays the vln 2's E-flat as if accented - VERY wrong.

Quote
I love the "crunch" between the violins in m. 155 for instance

Thanks - I like that suspension too.

Quote
What do you think about having some passages played by a a quartet of soloists (rehearsal mark N for example) for textural variety?

I've actually been thinking about that, or even rescoring the piece so that it includes some wind soloists. Will probably never happen, but I agree it's a good idea.

Quote
I wonder if from m.423 to 439, the dynamic markings may be rather numerous and fussy?

Again, these are hacks to make Sibelius/NP render the passage with the expression I want. I agree, they're not needed in the finished score as human players will supply the expression naturally.

Quote
Somehow, the "direct octave" between vn 2 and the vc at the cadence into m. 595 jumped at me. What do you think?

Your ears must be better than mine, Karl. I don't hear a problem there.

Quote
mm. 613-16, cast the vc in tenor clef. Also mm. 701-06.

Done, thanks!

Quote
m. 711 another harmonic/textural "crowding" moment between vn 1 & 2. Also the parallel unison from mm. 768-69.

Agreed on m. 711 - I'll have to find another solution there, thanks. The parallel unison is intentional, to emphasize the last 2 notes of vln 2's phrase - also helps introduce a bit of confusion to the texture there, which is what I want in that buildup.

Quote
Overall, very well done and richly rewarding. Congratulations!

Thanks! :)

Quote
My immediate thought after my first listen yesterday was that it feels too much the same texture for a great deal of the piece. My first thought was to suggest an occasional break ... but then I saw your designation unbroken in the score. Having solo quartet for some passages, and more use of pizzicato would be my suggestion.

Yes, I have had the same thoughts and will give those points some more consideration. Again, many thanks for listening and for the VERY detailed comments!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 12:28:55 PM by krummholz »

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2021, 12:43:28 PM »
My immediate thought after my first listen yesterday was that it feels too much the same texture for a great deal of the piece. My first thought was to suggest an occasional break ... but then I saw your designation unbroken in the score. Having solo quartet for some passages, and more use of pizzicato would be my suggestion.

Just noticed this... Like Light, Unbroken is a subtitle, not a designation. It's a reference to a couplet in Amanda Gorman's poem "The Miracle of Morning":

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.


There are indeed a few breaks... where would you suggest placing any others?

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2021, 12:54:41 PM »
Just noticed this... Like Light, Unbroken is a subtitle, not a designation. It's a reference to a couplet in Amanda Gorman's poem "The Miracle of Morning":

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.

Very nice.

Quote from: krummholz
There are indeed a few breaks... where would you suggest placing any others?

I shall mull.

No, I wouldn't add winds, I think the piece works beautifully as a string choir symphony.

I follow that the piece isn't about adherence to Gradus ad Parnassus, and if those bars do what you wish, that's what matters.
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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2021, 03:18:21 PM »
No, I wouldn't add winds, I think the piece works beautifully as a string choir symphony.

You're probably right about that... it's just something I was thinking about, making a true chamber symphony out of it.

Originally I began the work for string quartet, and I sometimes wonder if it could still be performed that way. I switched to chamber string orchestra because of timing issues in NP (at least when running under Sibelius) and then decided I liked the sound of massed strings better in the work and started conceiving most passages that way. But if I tried to render a string quartet version, the timing problems would make the rendering impossible to listen to - it would sound like amateur string players sight-reading the piece.

One more comment, sorry for all the detail: I always intended Interludio II to be played a little faster, crotchet = 78 or so, and likewise the main part of the development starting at letter O (crotchet =~ 86). But this doesn't render correctly - the last note of some phrases is held for less than its full value. One thing I intend to put in the composer's notes is that the metronome markings aren't written in stone. I want the performers to feel free to deviate from them if they feel the result works better.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 03:22:06 PM by krummholz »

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2021, 03:42:24 PM »
You're probably right about that... it's just something I was thinking about, making a true chamber symphony out of it.

Originally I began the work for string quartet, and I sometimes wonder if it could still be performed that way. I switched to chamber string orchestra because of timing issues in NP (at least when running under Sibelius) and then decided I liked the sound of massed strings better in the work and started conceiving most passages that way. But if I tried to render a string quartet version, the timing problems would make the rendering impossible to listen to - it would sound like amateur string players sight-reading the piece.

One more comment, sorry for all the detail: I always intended Interludio II to be played a little faster, crotchet = 78 or so, and likewise the main part of the development starting at letter O (crotchet =~ 86). But this doesn't render correctly - the last note of some phrases is held for less than its full value. One thing I intend to put in the composer's notes is that the metronome markings aren't written in stone. I want the performers to feel free to deviate from them if they feel the result works better.

Players/conductors will indeed do that, so do notate the metronome markings you want.
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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2021, 08:51:02 AM »
For anyone who's interested, here's the middle part of the piece at my preferred tempo. I had to introduce numerous hacks into Interludio II to prevent Sibelius/NP from "clipping" the last note of certain phrases, so no score this time. (The only permanent changes were to the metronome markings anyway.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2021, 09:51:10 AM »
For anyone who's interested, here's the middle part of the piece at my preferred tempo. I had to introduce numerous hacks into Interludio II to prevent Sibelius/NP from "clipping" the last note of certain phrases, so no score this time. (The only permanent changes were to the metronome markings anyway.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing

Nice, I think this helps the overall shaping, too.
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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2021, 11:28:46 AM »
Nice, I think this helps the overall shaping, too.

Thanks. I'm trying to decide if Fuga III can be taken this slowly now...

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2021, 11:37:28 AM »
This is the full rendering at the new tempi... only Interludio II and the Evoluzione from N to W are faster... and Interludio III starts out slightly faster but ends exactly as before.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2021, 01:41:30 PM »
This is the full rendering at the new tempi... only Interludio II and the Evoluzione from N to W are faster... and Interludio III starts out slightly faster but ends exactly as before.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing

Very nice, just listened through.  Again, really a magnificent piece!

These are in the light of suggested possibilities only, of course.

This would address the only counterpoint quibble of mine which I consider worth the addressing (YMMV, of course) what if the vn 1 from m.24 to 25,  goes from Bb up an augmented fifth to F# (a major sixth above the viola) rather than the leap of a major seventh to the octave? See if that sounds as preferable to your ear as it does to mine. If not, no harm, no foul, and I've said my piece 8)

What do you think about adding a bar's rest before F and retreating to a solo quartet through to G?

Similarly, add a bar's rest before P (or, alternatively, make m. 335 a bar of 3/4) and have solo quartet O through P

Having everyone play pizzicato from I to J?

Some typographic details that need tidying are e.g. m. 88 in the viola the bar is two quarter rests, this should simply be a whole rest.  Occurs quite a bit through  the score (I know it's sometimes an artifact from pasting.)  I also wonder if, when you have a double-dotted eighth-note and a 32nd-rest, a dotted-eighth and sixteenth-rest will serve?


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 krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 401
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2021, 04:22:21 PM »
Very nice, just listened through.  Again, really a magnificent piece!

Thank you! :)

Quote
These are in the light of suggested possibilities only, of course.

Taken in that spirit...

Quote
This would address the only counterpoint quibble of mine which I consider worth the addressing (YMMV, of course) what if the vn 1 from m.24 to 25,  goes from Bb up an augmented fifth to F# (a major sixth above the viola) rather than the leap of a major seventh to the octave? See if that sounds as preferable to your ear as it does to mine. If not, no harm, no foul, and I've said my piece 8)

That would be very different from what I intended there, and would also break the vln 2's descending line. I've debated whether to make the vln 2 go down only to D and have the viola play the Bb. Then the octave would be approached by contrary motion... but expressively, I prefer the wider interval in vln 1 as written, even though it makes the octave a direct one.

Quote
What do you think about adding a bar's rest before F and retreating to a solo quartet through to G?

Solo quartet starting at F would blunt the searing climax there... but I would consider solo quartet for Interludio I, G to H. Maybe even for all or parts of all three Interludios...

Quote
Similarly, add a bar's rest before P (or, alternatively, make m. 335 a bar of 3/4) and have solo quartet O through P

That would break the momentum and defuse the tension there... I don't think I would like that.

Quote
Having everyone play pizzicato from I to J?

No way! (Sorry.) The vc and viola must fairly nearly growl starting at I, and they can't growl pizzicato!

Quote
Some typographic details that need tidying are e.g. m. 88 in the viola the bar is two quarter rests, this should simply be a whole rest.  Occurs quite a bit through  the score (I know it's sometimes an artifact from pasting.)  I also wonder if, when you have a double-dotted eighth-note and a 32nd-rest, a dotted-eighth and sixteenth-rest will serve?

Yep, and I'll bet there are lots of little details like that in need of cleaning up. That stuff happens when I do a hurried edit in Sibelius - the app often breaks rests into smaller values unnecessarily. A violist I was working with a few months back found a whole slew of those, but I'm sure there are more. I'll go through the score with a fine-toothed comb before asking you to look it over again.

Thanks again Karl, and sorry I couldn't take any of your suggestions straightaway... but you gave me the idea of making the Interludios, or parts of them, quartet-only, something I must mull on. Preparing a score of this piece with an additional quartet is something I'll have to figure out how to do... then would come the problem of preparing a rendering, which is non-trivial with solo strings because of the NP timing problem. More to think about...

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 60953
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2021, 04:50:30 PM »
Thank you! :)

Taken in that spirit...

That would be very different from what I intended there, and would also break the vln 2's descending line. I've debated whether to make the vln 2 go down only to D and have the viola play the Bb. Then the octave would be approached by contrary motion... but expressively, I prefer the wider interval in vln 1 as written, even though it makes the octave a direct one.

Solo quartet starting at F would blunt the searing climax there... but I would consider solo quartet for Interludio I, G to H. Maybe even for all or parts of all three Interludios...

That would break the momentum and defuse the tension there... I don't think I would like that.

No way! (Sorry.) The vc and viola must fairly nearly growl starting at I, and they can't growl pizzicato!

Yep, and I'll bet there are lots of little details like that in need of cleaning up. That stuff happens when I do a hurried edit in Sibelius - the app often breaks rests into smaller values unnecessarily. A violist I was working with a few months back found a whole slew of those, but I'm sure there are more. I'll go through the score with a fine-toothed comb before asking you to look it over again.

Thanks again Karl, and sorry I couldn't take any of your suggestions straightaway... but you gave me the idea of making the Interludios, or parts of them, quartet-only, something I must mull on. Preparing a score of this piece with an additional quartet is something I'll have to figure out how to do... then would come the problem of preparing a rendering, which is non-trivial with solo strings because of the NP timing problem. More to think about...


No worries, you need your own solutions, for your own reasons :)


To be clear, I didn't mean an additional quartet, but having each line switch from tutti to one player,  or even one desk, as they say.
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