Author Topic: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra  (Read 9084 times)

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Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2021, 08:43:53 AM »
Impressive job!  Wish that I could read music/sing/play anything:(  May I ask what instrument(s) you play and how you first became interested in music?

PD

Thank you!

Gosh, I can't really think back to what got me interested in music... probably the fact that my Dad loved classical music, so I heard a lot of Tchaikovsky and other Romantic era stuff as a child. As for instruments, today I don't play any... :(  though I played recorder some in high school, and studied piano as a requirement of the music program I went through as an undergraduate. Enjoyed it too. But that was decades ago. At times while composing I wish I had something, even an electronic keyboard, to sound things out, but I make do the hard way, composing in my head and trying ideas out in Sibelius.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2021, 09:32:25 AM »
Thank you!

Gosh, I can't really think back to what got me interested in music... probably the fact that my Dad loved classical music, so I heard a lot of Tchaikovsky and other Romantic era stuff as a child. As for instruments, today I don't play any... :(  though I played recorder some in high school, and studied piano as a requirement of the music program I went through as an undergraduate. Enjoyed it too. But that was decades ago. At times while composing I wish I had something, even an electronic keyboard, to sound things out, but I make do the hard way, composing in my head and trying ideas out in Sibelius.
Any chance that you might be able to get ahold of a keyboard or a piano?  Or to begin with, use a piano at a local college or university?  I believe, please correct me if I am wrong, that you teach at a college...or am I misremembering your background information?

PD

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2021, 10:00:07 AM »
Any chance that you might be able to get ahold of a keyboard or a piano?  Or to begin with, use a piano at a local college or university?  I believe, please correct me if I am wrong, that you teach at a college...or am I misremembering your background information?

PD

You recall correctly! But a piano in the basement of some hall would be pretty inconvenient to walk to every time I wanted to sound something out - MUCH easier to just write it and have Sibelius play it back. As for getting a keyboard, maybe I could, but the apartment where I live is too small for anything full-sized. If I get frustrated enough I might spring for something miniature, but so far that hasn't happened.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2021, 11:00:34 AM »
You recall correctly! But a piano in the basement of some hall would be pretty inconvenient to walk to every time I wanted to sound something out - MUCH easier to just write it and have Sibelius play it back. As for getting a keyboard, maybe I could, but the apartment where I live is too small for anything full-sized. If I get frustrated enough I might spring for something miniature, but so far that hasn't happened.
O.k., but perhaps checking out something (electronic) that you could collapse the stand and store the keyboard under a bed?  Just a thought.   :)  And do not give up!

PD

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2021, 02:54:47 PM »
O.k., but perhaps checking out something (electronic) that you could collapse the stand and store the keyboard under a bed?  Just a thought.   :)  And do not give up!

PD

And someday I may indeed do just that... but not just yet.

Thanks for listening!

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2021, 06:35:57 AM »
I haven't abandoned the piece... have just been making a few minor adjustments to things like dynamics and tempo, and in a couple cases, the distribution of lines across the sections (there are supposed to be a couple of back-and-forth exchanges between sections on opposite sides of the stage that were ruined when I changed the "seating arrangement" earlier this year - a.k.a. "pan settings" - fixed now). I think I'm satisfied with it now and will go back to finishing up my "press-ready" score with all the NotePerformer hacks taken out. Also, I'm thinking that only a few of the metronome markings will be left in as a general indication of tempo - I think of many of the metronome markings in the posted score as hacks basically, for computer rendering.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #46 on: July 15, 2021, 06:52:30 AM »
I haven't abandoned the piece... have just been making a few minor adjustments to things like dynamics and tempo, and in a couple cases, the distribution of lines across the sections (there are supposed to be a couple of back-and-forth exchanges between sections on opposite sides of the stage that were ruined when I changed the "seating arrangement" earlier this year - a.k.a. "pan settings" - fixed now). I think I'm satisfied with it now and will go back to finishing up my "press-ready" score with all the NotePerformer hacks taken out. Also, I'm thinking that only a few of the metronome markings will be left in as a general indication of tempo - I think of many of the metronome markings in the posted score as hacks basically, for computer rendering.

Sounds good.
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 Rons_talking

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2021, 02:39:51 AM »
Nice work! I like the gain in intensity near the middle. In terms of style, what I'd like to hear would be more ties and rests on the downbeat, so the "one" is more ambiguous. If you don't agree that's fine. It's an easy fix, however. When I compose, after the draft I go over the rhythms and alter them so they're less predictable on the strong beats. But you've got a strong composition there. Congratulations!

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2021, 03:04:35 AM »
Thanks Ron!

Well I'm pretty much satisfied with the way the piece is written, but it's funny you mention ties into the downbeat, as there are actually quite a few, and I just came across a place where the software did not play one correctly in my newest rendering. This is NOT a rare event, in fact every single rendering I've made has places where ties and even slurs are not respected by Sibelius/NP. It rarely happens twice in the same place, and you'd think I could splice together a perfect rendering (in Audacity) from sections of imperfect ones, but that's very hard because there aren't enough long pauses in the piece to get each spliceable section perfect in at least one rendering, and splicing at random points results in unwanted clicks and pops that (usually) can't be removed very well.

I'm attaching the last rendering I'm going to try to make (lots of splicing but it's still not perfect) and the score that was used. The changes from previous versions are minor - the most obvious is the writing-out of the cadence and the rests at the end of Interludio III. But if anyone's curious, fast forward to 23:20 to hear the tied F in the 1st vlns between mm. 812-3 played detached. I give up!!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TUoyMhvsnBiYPBJD-pJLN0SEI7SDzI20/view?usp=sharing


Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2021, 08:21:29 AM »
And I think it's done...

Draft score for performance:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing

Computer rendering (Sibelius + NotePerformer):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing

Because of semantic weirdness in Sibelius and/or NP (and also because I removed some of the metronome markings), the linked score will not render correctly in Sibelius - I have a separate score, full of "hacks", that generated the rendering.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2021, 08:51:20 AM »
And I think it's done...

Draft score for performance:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing

Computer rendering (Sibelius + NotePerformer):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing

Because of semantic weirdness in Sibelius and/or NP (and also because I removed some of the metronome markings), the linked score will not render correctly in Sibelius - I have a separate score, full of "hacks", that generated the rendering.

Will have a look and listen 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

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2021, 04:15:49 AM »
Will have a look and listen soon!

If you haven't looked at yesterday's materials, I did make a couple of very small changes late last night: deleting the breath marks at C, and the forte markings just after FF. I kept the hairpins there, since I do want an expressive climax, but not quite to forte; Sibelius/NP does what I want anyway without them. Sorry for the last minute changes!

Score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2021, 10:35:58 AM »
If you haven't looked at yesterday's materials, I did make a couple of very small changes late last night: deleting the breath marks at C, and the forte markings just after FF. I kept the hairpins there, since I do want an expressive climax, but not quite to forte; Sibelius/NP does what I want anyway without them. Sorry for the last minute changes!

Score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing


Thanks! I'll nab the fresh files!
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 #53 on: September 21, 2021, 05:00:27 AM »
A few days ago I felt the urge to tweak this again... added some pizzicato counterpoint in mm. 380-388 (roughly 10:30 to 10:45 in the rendering). It seems necessary to me, yet part of me wonders if there isn't too much activity now in this passage. Other changes include speeding up the central development section a little, and slowing down the transition passage leading up to it, to emphasize the contrast in tempo.

Score: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing

Rendering: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2021, 11:54:36 PM »
A few days ago I felt the urge to tweak this again... added some pizzicato counterpoint in mm. 380-388 (roughly 10:30 to 10:45 in the rendering). It seems necessary to me, yet part of me wonders if there isn't too much activity now in this passage. Other changes include speeding up the central development section a little, and slowing down the transition passage leading up to it, to emphasize the contrast in tempo.

Score: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing

Rendering: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing

I like it! I only listened once, but the middle passage does not require much of a tempo change. Building density and amplitude are sufficient. Think of Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste (which your work vaguely resembles) . The opening of I. has a huge crescendo based primarily on register and density; no big speed-up (as I recall).

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #55 on: September 26, 2021, 08:53:07 AM »
Thanks for listening and for your comment! The comparison with the Bartok is interesting, but one HUGE difference between the two pieces is the length. In the Bartok, as I recall, the fugal opening movement plays for well under 10 minutes, so the constant tempo is not a problem. Played at a constant tempo, my piece would last nearly a half hour and I feel pretty strongly that it would come across as sheer monotony. Anyway, the middle development section is intended to contrast with both that first 6 minutes and the much slower fugue that takes up most of the last 10 minutes, and I think it would drag at anything like the crotchet = 60 tempo of that last fugue. The stringendo leading up to the climax may be unnecessary; I will likely say in a composer's note that it is optional.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2021, 08:15:48 AM »
Forgot to upload my final thoughts on the extended pizzicato... and a new spliced rendering. The score is the "publication" version, i.e. the one intended for humans, not NotePerformer.

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_PZZm8MxeEBmpSbXWKLJeaeyjipe9ooZ/view?usp=sharing

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BWEtJFTKZ7nKX5zNwAbnu152pYSWXHEV/view?usp=sharing

Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2021, 05:41:53 PM »
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 05:45:36 PM by classicalgeek »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2021, 03:31:54 AM »
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!

Thank you! Adding a double bass part is a great idea, not as a fifth voice but to double the cellos an octave below... I might consider that. One of the rules I set for myself was no more than four voices , so there won't be any divisi passages... but it's a nice thought, thanks.

As far as getting it played by humans, it's being looked at as I write this by a conductor in Australia... I don't have really high hopes though, as the piece has so far gotten a very mixed reception from other composers. Some have really gushed over it, others just don't like it at all. I wouldn't have dared to write anything like this as a student back in the '70s... and even today, a 25-minute piece, solidly rooted in Common Practice era harmony, with limited instrumental and rhythmic resources (all intentional restrictions I set for myself), will probably never be very popular.

But many thanks for listening and for your kind remarks.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2021, 05:04:42 AM »
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!

Very pleased, and not at all surprised that this piece has found another enthusiast.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 12:11:31 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