Author Topic: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?  (Read 3751 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3935
Many composers define your tastes, but, what would define you like a proper composer? What kind of works would you have created? Symphonies? Concertante music? Tone poems? Chamber music? Solo piano music? Choral music? Vocal music? Other combinations?

And, if you went farther, what would be the titles of your own works?

It's always that kind of has intrigued me since we are such a community of connoisseurs of the most wide range of music in terms of classical music, above all, and I've learnt a lot from everybody here, which makes me grateful with this place.

I'm puting my own explanation later.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22657
    • Brian's blog
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2021, 02:39:34 PM »
Most of the better things I compose in my head fall into three categories: string quartets, chamber music for larger groups (6-10), and short concertos where I can just play with the sonorities of the soloist vs. accompanists, knowing I'll probably forget most of the material in a few days anyway.

Some pieces I think about quite frequently are a fantasy on a Turkish folk song, modeled after RVW's Tallis fantasia but for string quartet; a jokey divertimento for string quintet + wind quintet; and chamber concertos for instruments like oboe or trombone.

This has changed quite a lot over time. In middle school I couldn't remember a single made-up melody from one minute to the next, so while waiting for the school bus I'd mentally "play" improvised Mozarty piano concertos with absolutely no structure whatsoever.  ;D Like, it would go, "here's a happy intro melody, here's another happy melody, piano enters after a few minutes and...plays a new melody, and then they all play yet another new melody, cadenza, and maybe the first movement ends with some sort of half-remembered, vaguely similar callback to one of the previous ideas." Total disaster, but hey, the point was just to kill time!

And then in college, there were a lot of moody romantic tone poems, which is a form that can sometimes have a total lack of structure in real life. Sometimes now I'll hear a moody romantic tone poem on CPO or some other label where it's 20 minutes of gloomy melody-free dithering around, and think, "ugh, this sounds like something I made up," and turn it off.  ;D

Offline musicrom

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2021, 05:32:26 PM »
I'm typically more interested in symphonies & concertos, but it's very difficult to write such large works. So most of the music I write tends to be chamber or piano music.

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2021, 02:52:23 AM »
Organ music.  Just because I sometimes spontaneously hear it in my head.  Probably a sign of dementia but oh well! :laugh:

Offline Uhor

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 232
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2021, 05:14:51 AM »
Lately I've been striving towards a clearer sound within a chromatic idiom.

I tend to compose with a certain pallete in mind so the instrumentation comes with it. I generally treat all ensembles as modern chamber ensembles (individual parts, no octave doubling of lines).

I often write in what amounts to a series of episodes but I'd like to write with better form considerations (without necessarily meaning the old ones) one day yet there is a long way ahead of me.

As examples of the music I aspire to, I'd like to write works in the lines of Debussy's late sonatas for small chamber ensembles or Boulez's Notations for large orchestra.

Offline MusicTurner

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2866
  • Location: Cph
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2021, 05:26:36 AM »
Am sadly not even a musician, but for ambition and some PR, I'd probably strive for some cyclical/'series' work, with a sort of underlying, unifying idea or concept, yet plenty of space for variation too ...

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58089
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 05:44:36 AM »
I would definitely compose a lot of works for chamber ensembles, solo piano/guitar and some choral works with various types of ensembles. I’d also compose an ambitious symphony cycle where each symphony represents either a season of the year or a holiday of some personal significance, especially Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would also compose many works for a solo instrument and strings (sometimes including percussion) like a Vibraphone Concerto, Horn Concerto, Trumpet Concerto and Harp Concerto. I’d also write several ballets based on tales my grandmother used to tell us when we were kids.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Online hvbias

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 774
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2021, 06:14:42 AM »
Inspiration drawn from Boulez and Webern and they'd be cantatas in 12 tone style. I'd also improve my Italian considerably as to me there is nothing worse than singing in the English language. I'm loosely religious but I would try and make them based around things I grew up with like reincarnation.

 Some solo piano music as well but that goes without saying  ;D

edit: added more detail
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 06:31:49 AM by hvbias »

Offline Roasted Swan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1790
  • Location: UK
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2021, 06:18:11 AM »
Sadly it would be deeply derivative and utterly unoriginal.  An absolute field-day for the "sounds like" brigade.  Any brief flickers of originality soon snuffed out by empty rhetoric and hollow bombast..... sigh..........

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2021, 07:44:29 AM »
Sadly it would be deeply derivative and utterly unoriginal.  An absolute field-day for the "sounds like" brigade. 

Same.  But probably "oh that sounds like watered down Myaskovsky if he had tin ears and was drunk..."

Offline krummholz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 429
  • Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996)
  • Location: Central Vermont, US
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2021, 07:47:35 AM »
When I was a student back in the '70s I wrote entirely for chamber ensembles since there was no hope otherwise of getting anything performed. Since I restarted composing a couple of years ago I've finished one string quartet that I started as a student, started another work for string quartet, and written a large-scale piece for chamber strings. I have ideas for a sonata for flute, viola, and piano and an interest in writing something for a large orchestra, but no ideas so far... :( Idiom-wise, I always thought my music would explore the outer reaches of tonality (a la Schoenberg's 2nd SQ), but my chamber strings piece is positively retro and doesn't even stretch tonality beyond the 19th century. So I don't really know where my interests will lead me, except that I'm not terribly interested in 12-tone music (let alone "total serialism") nor in electronic music. Of course, that could change...

Offline Roasted Swan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1790
  • Location: UK
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2021, 08:32:25 AM »
Same.  But probably "oh that sounds like watered down Myaskovsky if he had tin ears and was drunk..."

Now that I'd like to hear!!!  ;)

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2446
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2021, 09:53:41 AM »
Orchestral works, without question. I've had this idea for a while of a work where instead of one set of timpani with one person playing it, the percussionists would have a kettledrum each as part of their battery, lined along the back of the orchestra.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 10:07:25 AM by Maestro267 »

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22657
    • Brian's blog
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2021, 10:42:11 AM »
Orchestral works, without question. I've had this idea for a while of a work where instead of one set of timpani with one person playing it, the percussionists would have a kettledrum each as part of their battery, lined along the back of the orchestra.
A single drum each?

Offline vers la flamme

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3192
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2021, 12:18:44 PM »
Inspiration drawn from Boulez and Webern and they'd be cantatas in 12 tone style. I'd also improve my Italian considerably as to me there is nothing worse than singing in the English language. I'm loosely religious but I would try and make them based around things I grew up with like reincarnation.

 Some solo piano music as well but that goes without saying  ;D

edit: added more detail

You need to start composing, that sounds awesome—music and medicine, like a serialist Borodin ;D

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3935
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2021, 07:17:37 PM »
I've read your contributions so far with much interest. In my personal case, I would compose symphonies, not too many, based on some of these topics: humanity, universe, nature, historical moments, or about my own experiences. One symphony would probably be in E flat minor (my favorite key) and it would be for a kind of huge orchestra, including bells, organ, tam-tam and two sets of timpani. Moreover, some chamber pieces, one or two concerti and a bunch of tone poems. My style would be something like late-Romantic with some modern and Neoclassical touches.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22571
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2021, 11:39:37 PM »
I think that I would write symphonies as these are what I listen to most.
They would probably sound like a cross between pale imitations of Vaughan Williams mixed in with rejected scores for Hollywood biblical epics.
 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online hvbias

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 774
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2021, 05:22:57 AM »
You need to start composing, that sounds awesome—music and medicine, like a serialist Borodin ;D

I'm young, but not that young to start all over ;D

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2446
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2021, 06:27:43 AM »
A single drum each?

A single drum each, alongside their other percussion instruments. I'm imagining four percussionists taking up the widest arc at the back of the orchestra, so the drums will be spatially separated as well, so antiphonal play can happen. I'm also imagining a passage where all four percussionists play the kettledrums and "battle" each other or something like that.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58089
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: If you were (or are) a composer, what kind of works would you write?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2021, 06:55:57 AM »
I think that I would write symphonies as these are what I listen to most.
They would probably sound like a cross between pale imitations of Vaughan Williams mixed in with rejected scores for Hollywood biblical epics.
 8)

You wouldn’t do anything more experimental? My style would be more chameleon-like. Almost like at a crossroads between Debussy, Stravinsky, Lutosławski, K. A. Hartmann and not far removed from the lyricism found in Barber’s slow movements.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."