Author Topic: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra  (Read 14801 times)

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Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #80 on: October 01, 2021, 05:56:41 AM »
Sounds like you have already lived quite an interesting and varied life!  Good for you!

PD

Thank you! I like the "already" part, as if I was still at least kind of young... at this point I look to composers like Havergal Brian for inspiration, or maybe even Holmboe... composers who wrote some of their most important works after the age of 70 or even 80!

Of course, both were accomplished composers by the time they reached their Indian summer years, while I'm just a novice starting out. I have a lot of "catching up" to do!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 06:02:26 AM by krummholz »

Offline amw

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #81 on: October 01, 2021, 06:06:01 AM »
Minna Keal had a similar career trajectory, writing no or very little music between her student years and retirement age. There are now at least two CDs devoted to her music although a comprehensive evaluation of it is needed.

There are others who were able to continue writing music in complete obscurity or with no chances of performance, which we generally only find out about when an occasional recording does emerge (e.g. Erika Fox, Derek Bourgeois), but not very many, and it would take a very specific kind of person to be able to do that. Music-making is a social act, not something that can usually be done in solitude.

Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #82 on: October 01, 2021, 09:18:16 AM »
Go for it CG!  You never know unless you try.   :)

I really need to! Writing music is one of the things that brought me the most joy in life. And life is too short not to do the things that bring you joy!

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p.s.  I'm trying very hard not to address you as Cookie Monster--very hard not to considering your current avatar!  :D

Fact: Cookie Monster and I have never been seen in the same place at the same time. Make of that what you will...  ;D

Offline classicalgeek

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #83 on: October 01, 2021, 09:23:00 AM »
Minna Keal had a similar career trajectory, writing no or very little music between her student years and retirement age. There are now at least two CDs devoted to her music although a comprehensive evaluation of it is needed.

There are others who were able to continue writing music in complete obscurity or with no chances of performance, which we generally only find out about when an occasional recording does emerge (e.g. Erika Fox, Derek Bourgeois), but not very many, and it would take a very specific kind of person to be able to do that. Music-making is a social act, not something that can usually be done in solitude.

Just read up on Minna Keal - what a life she led! Listening to her Cello Concerto now, and it's very impressive, a very moving work. I'm so glad she found her way back to music late in life.

I know of Derek Bourgeois, too - he wrote over 100 symphonies after age 60, an amazing feat all its own!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 09:25:05 AM by classicalgeek »

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #84 on: October 01, 2021, 01:07:37 PM »
I really need to! Writing music is one of the things that brought me the most joy in life. And life is too short not to do the things that bring you joy!

Fact: Cookie Monster and I have never been seen in the same place at the same time. Make of that what you will...  ;D
And, yes, do do the things that bring you joy!  :)

So, you work for Sesame Street?!  Cool!   ;) ;D

PD

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #85 on: October 03, 2021, 04:01:51 AM »
My final thoughts (I think) on adding the double basses. Few changes of any note, mostly to have the basses play, in unison with the cellos, for slightly longer at several appearances, to cushion the effect of going suddenly into the lower octave.

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nWze-vKsqT0f79mkEr5TBqBXlB8j3Ubr/view?usp=sharing

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xrBF1w5bINjhUbwiT3gEeXJuDl2J6A8j/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 07:19:06 AM by krummholz »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #86 on: October 22, 2021, 09:29:06 AM »
Just a brief update... thus far I've heard nothing from the Australian conductor and think it's probably safe to assume that he's not interested (although Karl would be a better judge of that than I)... but in the meantime I got curious to hear how the piece might sound as played by a full string orchestra, especially now that I've added the double basses in certain passages. I quickly realized that full strings works well in some places, but in other places chamber strings is really the better size of ensemble for the material. So I hit on the idea of using a reduced ensemble (3-3-2-2-2) in those places where it felt appropriate, with full tutti (or soloists,as before) elsewhere. I'm not certain what the default string orchestra size is in NotePerformer, and I suspect the contrast would be easier to hear in actual performance, but despite the limitations of a MIDI rendering, I think in most places it is possible to hear the difference. If anyone is still interested in this, that is...

(In the score the notation I used for chamber strings was "corde da camera" on the first occurrence, at letter C, and thenceforth simply "camera". Not sure if that's correct Italian; it's straight from an online translator.)

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/13FUWv6_73cndnh9I--dOqH553Q9ndWbP/view?usp=sharing

Score (the version used for the rendering, NOT intended for performers):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HZe56Xl7L9p5BrBzkuUBt_t1wzJJXOJS/view?usp=sharing

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #87 on: October 22, 2021, 09:52:45 AM »
For the firsts and seconds, I'd mark it three players. for the va & vc one desk, for the cb, two players
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 #88 on: October 22, 2021, 10:10:15 AM »
For the firsts and seconds, I'd mark it three players. for the va & vc one desk, for the cb, two players

In other words, 3-3-1-1-2 instead of 3-3-2-2-2? Why, exactly?

To be sure, I intended to leave the exact size of the chamber ensemble to the performers... 3-3-2-2-2 is just what I used (via MIDI messages to NP) for this rendering.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #89 on: October 22, 2021, 10:41:52 AM »
In other words, 3-3-1-1-2 instead of 3-3-2-2-2? Why, exactly?

To be sure, I intended to leave the exact size of the chamber ensemble to the performers... 3-3-2-2-2 is just what I used (via MIDI messages to NP) for this rendering.

No, string players other than double-basses (because of the instrument's size, play two to a stand. one desk will therefore mean two violinists, violists or cellists.
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 #90 on: October 22, 2021, 01:02:47 PM »
No, string players other than double-basses (because of the instrument's size, play two to a stand. one desk will therefore mean two violinists, violists or cellists.

Ah, gotcha.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #91 on: December 26, 2021, 04:52:25 PM »
We only have 2 weeks between semesters here this year, not enough time to write anything new, so I returned to this work and patched up a few things. Since I last posted, I've made a handful of revisions:

1. The work is now for full string orchestra, with reductions to a 3-3-2-2 chamber ensemble in many places, and of course the solo quartet from earlier in the summer.

2. Full string orchestra includes double basses, used *very* sparingly (but, I hope, effectively), and usually doubling the cellos either at pitch or an octave below.

3. A couple of the cadences, including the final cadence, have been extended by a few bars.

4. There are numerous tweaks to dynamics for reasons of balance.

Links to an audio file (Sibelius / NotePerformer) and a draft of the publication score are below. I'm not sure the contrast between tutti and chamber ensemble comes across in the audio file. I'd be interested to know if people who are familiar with the piece from earlier think the new instrumentation scheme would work in actual performance. (I think for that, the score might be more helpful than the audio file.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mfu7C8k7wruxHS1zSjhVV35BPi_akgAi/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fM1qOWzlFrHP7SWY-2VpdiWZqWi35IJX/view?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: December 27, 2021, 05:15:49 PM by krummholz »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #92 on: December 27, 2021, 10:52:01 AM »
Reading back in the thread it seems I had already posted a version for full string orchestra here with a few passages for chamber strings. Somehow I thought that idea came after I paused my posting here. But there are certainly many more such passages in the current version, with (in places) a sort of antiphonal exchange between the tutti and chamber ensemble.

Anyway, comments on whether this arrangement is likely to work in performance would be welcome. I think I will not make any further changes until I'm able to hear the work actually played by humans (if that ever happens...)

Offline krummholz

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2021, 03:52:20 AM »
I heard from the conductor in Australia last night... everything is on hold down there because of the pandemic. :(  He said he would be in touch "when the way forward is clear"... not surprising given the back-to-back surges of Delta and now Omicron. I fear we'll be emerging into a changed world once this is over.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2021, 09:52:01 AM »
I heard from the conductor in Australia last night... everything is on hold down there because of the pandemic. :(  He said he would be in touch "when the way forward is clear"... not surprising given the back-to-back surges of Delta and now Omicron. I fear we'll be emerging into a changed world once this is over.

I'm not surprised, either that the pandemic has forced putting things off, nor that you have heard from him. Yours is a fine piece!
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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #95 on: December 30, 2021, 10:58:56 AM »
I heard from the conductor in Australia last night... everything is on hold down there because of the pandemic. :(  He said he would be in touch "when the way forward is clear"... not surprising given the back-to-back surges of Delta and now Omicron. I fear we'll be emerging into a changed world once this is over.
I'm glad that you heard back from him!  Has he seen a version of your score?

Fingers crossed for you here....

PD

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #96 on: December 30, 2021, 11:20:45 AM »
I'm glad that you heard back from him!  Has he seen a version of your score?

Fingers crossed for you here....

PD

+ 1
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 classicalgeek

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #97 on: December 30, 2021, 11:27:07 AM »
I heard from the conductor in Australia last night... everything is on hold down there because of the pandemic. :(  He said he would be in touch "when the way forward is clear"... not surprising given the back-to-back surges of Delta and now Omicron. I fear we'll be emerging into a changed world once this is over.

I really hope this opportunity works out, even if you have to wait.  :(  Your piece deserves a performance - we're all pulling for you!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
« Reply #98 on: December 30, 2021, 11:54:43 AM »
I really hope this opportunity works out, even if you have to wait.  :(  Your piece deserves a performance - we're all pulling for you!

It's no fun waiting, of course. And it is no consolation, to point out that it is our lot to wait ... but we are all waiting with you!
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 #99 on: December 30, 2021, 02:10:14 PM »
I'm not surprised, either that the pandemic has forced putting things off, nor that you have heard from him. Yours is a fine piece!
Thanks Karl!

But to be clearer, the reason I heard from him is that I emailed him... asking him if he had received the score (yes, I should have done that long ago). He said yes, and he thought he had acknowledged receipt, but apparently that email disappeared into the aether. In any case, he has said nothing either positive or negative about the piece. I assume, though, that if he had any negative impressions he would have said something other than that he would be in touch when the situation changed. Reading between the lines, it sounds as if the orchestra might be in dire straits due to the pandemic, and that situation is first and foremost in his mind at this point.