Author Topic: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra  (Read 19271 times)

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Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #100 on: December 30, 2021, 02:11:59 PM »
I'm glad that you heard back from him!  Has he seen a version of your score?

Fingers crossed for you here....

PD

Yes, I sent it to him three months ago, at the end of September. I assume he has looked at it...

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #101 on: December 30, 2021, 02:13:21 PM »
I really hope this opportunity works out, even if you have to wait.  :(  Your piece deserves a performance - we're all pulling for you!

Thanks CG!  :)

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #102 on: December 30, 2021, 02:20:20 PM »
Yes, I sent it to him three months ago, at the end of September. I assume he has looked at it...

I should also say, the version I sent to him 3 months ago was chamber strings + soloists only. The full string orchestra version came later, and the current version that has frequent changes of ensemble between full tutti and chamber strings he has not seen. Part of why I posted asking for feedback about it is because I'm not sure how well it will work. In the computer rendering the effect is mostly subtle, but I have to imagine it will be less so in actual performance.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #103 on: December 30, 2021, 02:55:29 PM »
Glad you two have connected! Similarly, a message he sent me on a time, vanished into e-mail twilight 8)
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

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #104 on: April 09, 2022, 06:16:46 AM »
I've had the feeling for some time that there wasn't enough contrast between slow tempos and fast(er) ones in this piece... so recently during a few hours of spare time I slowed the tempos slightly in the slower parts (especially Fuga I and Fuga III), leaving the faster ones (and Fuga II) essentially unchanged. I like the result, but some might feel the slow passages are TOO slow now... feedback would be appreciated.

Also, there is now a consistent use of the chamber sub-ensemble as a distinct voice through most of Fuga III. I'm not sure how audible the contrast is in the computer rendering; the chamber strings sound thinner and brighter to my ears, but the effect is subtle.

No changes to the notes, it's the same piece, just a slightly different "reading".

Sibelius/NotePerformer rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16dcqYeWqz_klm7VkimcfAeIvNhJc7cF-/view?usp=sharing

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lep6mnLAkcLxWfTsol8Cq0bmppkNj8rB/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 06:27:06 PM by krummholz »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #105 on: April 11, 2022, 04:28:46 PM »
After posting in Mark's thread about hiding fussy metronome markings, I realized that there were a few places in my own score where I hadn't done that, so I went back and cleaned them up. Link to "cleaner" score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fD60NcbWGre5-H3aXvyBRkEjV7vbXbrj/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 06:27:52 PM by krummholz »

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #106 on: April 13, 2022, 05:44:55 AM »
Hello Krummholz,

There's nothing I could say that has not already been said and besides, I'm hardly qualified to give any meaningful critiquie, just to let you know that I listened and I liked it.

The only thing I would say is that there is a "Chorus" button in NotePerformer which can "widen" the sound a little and a little more reverb might add to the rendering of the piece.

I do like NotePerformer a lot, and for the price I think it's probably the best virtual orchestra available at the moment.

Kind regards
Mark

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #107 on: April 13, 2022, 07:07:14 AM »
Hello Krummholz,

There's nothing I could say that has not already been said and besides, I'm hardly qualified to give any meaningful critiquie, just to let you know that I listened and I liked it.

The only thing I would say is that there is a "Chorus" button in NotePerformer which can "widen" the sound a little and a little more reverb might add to the rendering of the piece.

I do like NotePerformer a lot, and for the price I think it's probably the best virtual orchestra available at the moment.

Kind regards
Mark

Hi Mark,

Thank you for listening, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I wasn't aware of the "chorus" button in NP, thanks for the heads-up. However, I chose "Medium Room" in Sibelius rather than something larger because more reverb would tend to muddy the textures (I want all the voices to be clear and distinct as much as possible) - and for another reason. Every playback in NP is slightly different and some have real flaws... intonation errors, inexplicable pauses, legato phrases broken up, a weird "swishing" effect, even timing issues with solo strings. As a result, every sound file that I post has been spliced together from multiple renderings. The only places where it is possible (at least in Audacity) to splice in a passage from a different rendering is where there is complete silence, otherwise there will be an audible click or pop that Audacity doesn't seem to have the tools to erase. So, bottom line, increasing the reverb would make splicing even harder to do.

Actually, I meant to ask you whether you've noticed this with NP? I've discussed the timing issues by email with Arne Wallander and he is aware of the problem, and promises it will be fixed in the next major release - or at least, made less noticeable, since individual string "players" entering at slightly different times is an intentional feature in NP. I really like NP too, but these little issues can be awfully frustrating sometimes.

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #108 on: April 13, 2022, 07:57:26 AM »
I have noticed some of those issues you mention and yes it is annoying.  I don't know if this will be the case in your experience but I tend to edit a lot and in the course of all the edits, sometimes i find a slur or tie or some other performance mark that didn't get deleted when you blow up the score and these too can make odd noises from time to time.  I don't think it deals particularly well with consecutive fermata which I sometimes use as "hack" to humanise the perfomance.

On the "M" key mixer page, you'll find the chorus slider under the reverb slider.  You can adjust it to your liking.  I don't use it much for most instruments, but for strings it does a decent job.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #109 on: April 14, 2022, 07:28:34 AM »
I have noticed some of those issues you mention and yes it is annoying.  I don't know if this will be the case in your experience but I tend to edit a lot and in the course of all the edits, sometimes i find a slur or tie or some other performance mark that didn't get deleted when you blow up the score and these too can make odd noises from time to time.  I don't think it deals particularly well with consecutive fermata which I sometimes use as "hack" to humanise the perfomance.

Yes, I have had that happen too, especially with ties mysteriously getting deleted... had that happen recently in fact. But the odd effects I'm talking about happen on some playbacks and not others, even if I haven't done any edits at all. Arne said that the "swishing" effect was "psychoacoustic", which I assume means partly in the listener's brain, but they are either there in a particular rendering or not, and other listeners have reported hearing them as well. The variation in the time between notes amounts to a variable tempo (even with Meccanico) - Arne thinks it is inside Sibelius, but it does not happen when using Sibelius Sounds, only with NP.

Quote
On the "M" key mixer page, you'll find the chorus slider under the reverb slider.  You can adjust it to your liking.  I don't use it much for most instruments, but for strings it does a decent job.

Yes, I found both sliders, and Reverb was obvious, but I couldn't figure out what the Chorus slider does. I could not hear any effect at all from moving the Chorus slider.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #110 on: April 20, 2022, 04:12:44 AM »
I rescored the piece over the last few days - not to change the instrumentation, but to break out the various choirs so that they could be separated spatially. This is really the way the piece should have been written to begin with, instead of just marking "solo" and "camera" in mid-line. In this rendering, the solo quartet is stage right, the chamber ensemble is stage left, and the large string orchestra extends across the stage. The separate choirs are much easier to distinguish now. No need to listen all the way through again, but the first 6 minutes or so of Fuga III really show off the result I think (starts around 14:30). The solo viola and cello open the exposition, then the full string orchestra enters, then after the exposition there ensues a sort of mysterious dialog between the chamber ensemble and the orchestra before everything collapses in despair. Then a pause and the solo quartet enters again, followed by the other choirs, as the music rises from the ashes to a rapt climax, and persists in a more urgent, yet hopeful, mood straight through to the Coda.

Though I didn't change the reverb or room size settings, reverb is much more apparent in this rendering, which of course made splicing more difficult... but it all worked out.

Sound file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing

« Last Edit: April 20, 2022, 07:01:26 AM by krummholz »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #111 on: April 20, 2022, 12:22:43 PM »
I rescored the piece over the last few days - not to change the instrumentation, but to break out the various choirs so that they could be separated spatially. This is really the way the piece should have been written to begin with, instead of just marking "solo" and "camera" in mid-line. In this rendering, the solo quartet is stage right, the chamber ensemble is stage left, and the large string orchestra extends across the stage. The separate choirs are much easier to distinguish now. No need to listen all the way through again, but the first 6 minutes or so of Fuga III really show off the result I think (starts around 14:30). The solo viola and cello open the exposition, then the full string orchestra enters, then after the exposition there ensues a sort of mysterious dialog between the chamber ensemble and the orchestra before everything collapses in despair. Then a pause and the solo quartet enters again, followed by the other choirs, as the music rises from the ashes to a rapt climax, and persists in a more urgent, yet hopeful, mood straight through to the Coda.

Though I didn't change the reverb or room size settings, reverb is much more apparent in this rendering, which of course made splicing more difficult... but it all worked out.

Sound file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing



Will revisit soon-ish!
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

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #112 on: April 20, 2022, 08:15:55 PM »
Will revisit soon-ish!

Thanks Karl, I look forward to "hearing" your thoughts.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #113 on: April 22, 2022, 07:42:14 AM »
I'm not entirely satisfied with the dynamic balance between the choirs in the rendering I posted the other day. Sibelius seems to do weird adjustments of the volume levels of instruments in the different choirs. If all instruments are given the same volume in the Mixer, the soloists are much too loud, and even the chamber strings ensemble is at least equally as loud as the full orchestra at the same volume level. It's very different from reducing the number of players using MIDI messages, as I had done earlier. I adjusted the volume levels and the dynamics to compensate but there are places where the soloists are too quiet now, and the chamber strings are in some places too loud and in others too quiet. I think I was wrong to adjust the dynamics and am now restoring my original dynamics and trying to find a happy medium in the Mixer that gives the result I want. I'll post an updated sound file and score in a couple of days.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #114 on: April 24, 2022, 04:45:15 AM »
So this is the best I can do for now... there are still a couple of problems with balance, notably at letter X where the entrance of the orchestra seems a bit too loud to me... but it's pp, and if I make it ppp, then I'm mucking with the dynamics in the score to hack the rendering, and anyway I lose the die away to niente just before Fuga III, since there is no dynamic level softer than ppp in Sibelius. Also, I don't know how to bring out the chamber violas now at the very end of the Coda; they are almost inaudible even at f. I think human performers would know how to realize this, but in this rendering, it doesn't quite come off.

I'm undecided whether the chamber violas and cellos should enter mf or f at letter GG. f sounds better in Sibelius/NP, but I think mf is correct, and that's what is used for this rendering.

Edit: tiny tweak to dynamics to bring out a submerged pizzicato in Interludio II, and another to give a little more expression to the start of the Evoluzione.

Edit: solved the chamber violas problem at the end of the Coda (left the chamber violins' suspended F hanging, resolves after silence). Otherwise no changes to the score, just reformatted to eliminate (I hope) text spilling over the right-hand margin. I think I'm finally satisfied with this.

Audio:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tny10Dwmv6YKBVABOpqScz30ntHT4x5V/view?usp=sharing

Draft score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/108-BNF_z-_rFv48JSyUF5MSx8-0vPy7X/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: April 30, 2022, 10:12:48 AM by krummholz »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #115 on: April 24, 2022, 06:44:53 AM »
Thanks!
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

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #116 on: May 16, 2022, 07:00:00 AM »
I keep coming back to this piece because there are still things that bother me about it. One issue that has vexed me (and someone on a different board even voiced a strenuous objection over it) is the C major ending, which tends to sound like the dominant because F minor has played such a prominent role in the last third of the piece. Here is an experimental solution to the problem. No changes up to letter FF (21:20). Feedback would be welcome.

Edit: slight modification to the beginning of the Coda, and a brief transition for solo violin is treated more freely.

Audio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cCPoV1G-Qzl46o7D0H_t5URFHn8zYpyY/view?usp=sharing

Score (rather rough):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p-HLsSEYS9uIOtD4I63iqCE7EhlXLCNg/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: May 17, 2022, 05:12:45 AM by krummholz »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #117 on: May 16, 2022, 08:09:42 AM »
I keep coming back to this piece because there are still things that bother me about it. One issue that has vexed me (and someone on a different board even voiced a strenuous objection over it) is the C major ending, which tends to sound like the dominant because F minor has played such a prominent role in the last third of the piece. Here is an experimental solution to the problem. No changes up to letter FF (21:20). Feedback would be welcome.

Audio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/13v8_ymf8fGiB6sIDMG2o9ObpvUVzTuSS/view?usp=sharing

Score (rather rough):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q_9kh_uZGHJJx1EUJ40nGklgX4UA1vsq/view?usp=sharing

Will listen again, this week!
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

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #118 on: May 16, 2022, 11:37:09 AM »
Will listen again, this week!

Thanks Karl! (see above, also)

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #119 on: May 19, 2022, 11:50:23 AM »
This version is identical to the one above except for the Coda, which transposes the first 2/3 or so of the original Coda from F minor into C minor. I can't decide which version I like better. The C major ending is more convincing in this one, but some of the gravity is lost (and some clarity gained) due to the higher register.

Audio:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CJd3IY0H96IBCf1ndvxr1yXkrrgNJLtU/view?usp=sharing

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fG3ERyo1sjEX89kMVBBPOw5cEQezucmQ/view?usp=sharing