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Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra

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krummholz:
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?

k a rl h e nn i ng:

--- Quote from: krummholz 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?

--- End quote ---

Indeed.

k a rl h e nn i ng:
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.

krummholz:
Thanks for your comments, Karl!


--- Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.

--- End quote ---

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
--- End quote ---

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.
--- End quote ---

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)
--- End quote ---

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
--- End quote ---

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?
--- End quote ---

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?
--- End quote ---

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?
--- End quote ---

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.
--- End quote ---

Done, thanks!


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

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!
--- End quote ---

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.

--- End quote ---

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!

krummholz:

--- Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 27, 2021, 10:58:20 AM ---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.

--- End quote ---

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?

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