Author Topic: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor  (Read 658 times)

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Offline MarkMcD

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Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« on: April 09, 2022, 09:14:48 AM »
Hello all, hope you're all well.  I haven't posted anything for quite some time but I kept working on my 2nd Piano Concerto and I'm happy to say that it's finally ready!
It's dedicated to Ruben, the most wonderful cat who died this week from cancer but who gave us 10 great years, I love you Ruben.
The Concerto is in 3 movements, I hope you'll find time to listen to them all, it's just over 21 minutes in all.
I don't really like to impose my views or thoughts about I feel about it or what it might represent, I prefer to leave that up the individual but needless to say I'm very pleased with it.
I hope you like it, and please feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to know what you think.
The links are to my sound cloud page, hope they work ok.
Love to you all
Mark.
https://soundcloud.com/user-729021187/piano-concerto-no2-in-bb-minor-1st-movt?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

https://soundcloud.com/user-729021187/piano-concerto-no2-in-bb-minor-2nd-movt?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

https://soundcloud.com/user-729021187/piano-concerto-no2-in-bb-minor-3rd-movt?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing


Hello again,

Just a quick addition. I know some of you like to see the score so I have uploaded them here.

My process is quite messy, there are lots of mistakes, improperly divided notes and badly tied notes, wrongly spelled enharmonics etc., etc., plus there are various artifacts that are necessary for NotePerfomer to play it correctly. I just hope that anyone wishing to see the score can follow my intentions rather than what is sometimes actually written.

If I thought there was ever any chance that someone might actually want to perform it, then I would take the time to produce a performance score, but I hope you will forgive my not taking the time to do it right now.

Thanks again and I hope you enjoy it.

Mark

The links that were once here to the scores have been removed.  I made a mistake before exporting them and they were nearly unreadable.  I have now made much clearer copies for anyone who might wish to read them, and here are the links.  Sorry for the mix up.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vm7nud7lcyys8ym/Piano%20Concerto%20No.2%20in%20Bb%20minor%201st%20Movt%20adjusted%20score.%20-%20Full%20Score.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r6o298nfgb2cl3p/Piano%20Concerto%20No.2%20in%20Bb%20minor%202nd%20Movt.%20adjusted%20score%20-%20Full%20Score.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ahoabrlurrhlpfg/Piano%20Concerto%20No.2%20in%20Bb%20minor%203rd%20Movt.%20adjusted%20score%20-%20Full%20Score.pdf?dl=0

« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 04:10:01 AM by MarkMcD »

Offline krummholz

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2022, 05:44:24 AM »
I'll listen to it soon, Mark. I just wanted to comment that your remark about "artifacts" needed to get NotePerformer to play your score correctly struck a "chord" (no pun intended) with me, as there are plenty of such "artifacts" (I call them "hacks") in my Sinfonia Solenne score. It is peppered with bowings added under slurs (among other nonsensical notations), as a reminder to myself of the correct articulation. In many cases my slurs are to prevent NP from accenting a note where a reversal of bow direction is intended. As wonderful as NP is in many ways, getting a realistic rendering out of it can be challenging to say the least.

And, condolences on the loss of your cat. :(

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2022, 06:57:39 AM »
Thank you Krummholz,

Yes, I do like NP very much, but as you say, it needs certain "hacks" to get what you want that really make very little sense.  In my case, it is also due to my lack of knowledge in music theory.  I only have piano grade 3 and no other official training.  I could read many books on the subject but my god, they are all very dry reading LOL!

Thanks again and I hope that you will listen when you have time.

Kind regards
Mark

Offline krummholz

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2022, 05:02:39 PM »
Just finished listening and I found it very enjoyable! My first thought while listening to the first movement was that it needs a contrasting lyrical theme - it's basically a large-scale toccata with no let-up. But as the movement progressed I was less and less bothered by that. The harmonic language seems like early 20th century... Martinu comes to mind. Then comes the slow movement with its fluid lyricism - here there is no hint of the last century, it could easily be mistaken for a movement by Haydn. The last movement is again more "modern" in its harmonic context, and quite exciting, especially toward the end.

I won't say much about the score, except that, well it is a mess as you say. What notation software are you using? I don't think I ever saw Sibelius try to cram so many staves on a page that it takes a real effort to separate them, so I'm guessing it's likely Dorico or Finale, but I'm not familiar enough with either of them to be sure. Cleaning it up is going to be a major chore, but I hope you have to one day as it would definitely be worth trying to get it performed.

Overall, very nice work! Thanks for posting it.

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2022, 03:10:27 AM »
Thank you very much Krummholz, I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and to give my your thoughts.

I do agree with your suggestion that the 1st movt., could really do with a bit of a breather at some point.  A lyrical seccion would certainly not go amiss here just to contrast with the rather hurried feeling of the rest of the movement.  I tend to think of my work as never truely finished.  At some point you have to say, "well, that's enough for now" and move on, but that is not to say that it is untouchable after that point, so it is not impossible that I will add a little something later on.

The 2nd movt., I tend to view as the breather for the piece as a whole.  It is of a completely contrasting mood although I did use some of the motifs from the 1st movt, altered and rearranged ofcourse, but I wanted there to at least be something to tie them together.  I hope you don't feel that it is completely seperate and unbelonging to the rest of the piece.

The 3rd is probably my favourite movt.  It was actually the first movt. I wrote, but it was always planned to be the closing of the piece.

I do actually use sibelius along with note performer to write and render the music.  I always keep it in panaramic mode for the writing and I think what happened is that it has not properly spaced the score since I didn't take it out of panaramic view before rendering the score.  I might well go back and see if using normal page view and optimizing the score before rendering it will help with the cramped look to the present score.

Thank you once again for taking the time to listen and to comment, it really is appreciated.

Kind regards
Mark


Offline relm1

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2022, 04:56:50 AM »
Great job!  I enjoyed it!  It reminded me a bit of Dmitri Kabalevsky piano concerto no. 3 in its vigor.  It took quite a bit of time for the piano to come in so I first thought I was listening to the wrong work.  This is common in classical era concertos like Mozart and Beethoven.  Your orchestration is nice and economic but you can reduce the tutti’s…save them.  Overall, you can take out the orchestral accompaniment more to make the piano more of the star and save the full orchestra for big moments.

Like krummholz, I agree it could use more contrast.  The overall mood is pleasant which is fine but becomes a bit repetitious or predictable.  It’s kind of nice to throw the listener off every now and then by adding some spice to the pleasantries.  You don’t have to do a lot of it, just a touch to help balance it out a bit more.  Sort of like when cooking – if a meal was desert and sweets only, it might be enjoyable but wouldn’t be very balanced.  It’s nice to have savory to counter the sweet, for example, and this balance helps the pleasantry feel more memorable rather than background tone.  You can add more contrast in other elements too, the orchestration, the tempo, rhythms, dynamics, etc. One example, the tempo of 3rd movement starts at quarter = 109 and by bar 130, we’re at quarter = 111 which is an imperceptible change in tempo.  You do alter the tempo more but there isn’t really a strongly contrasting section, feel, or rhythm that I think would help the work be more memorable otherwise it feels somewhat static.  I liked the cadenza and the absence of the orchestra was welcome as was the return of it at the cadenza’s conclusion.  One funny thing, after the second movement ended, soundcloud automatically started playing “Crystals and Shadows” by Edward Cortes.  Which I thought, “oh wow, now we’re talking” because the harmonic language offered a nice contrast.

Of course, feel free to ignore my comments because maybe that is exactly what you were after.  I’m just telling you based on my reactions as a listener.   Overall, very nice job and I’m nitpicking but my overall feedback is give it more contrasts on all musical elements. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 04:58:30 AM by relm1 »

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2022, 05:48:54 AM »
Hi Relm1,

Thanks a lot for your thoughts and let me tell you that I never ignor what people say, especially when someone takes the time to listen and say something constructive.

I do agree with a lot of your points, there is a lack of contrasts in many instances, and as I think I said to krummholz, I will more than likely revisit this piece in a while, after i've had a bit of space from it and time to appreciate all that people have said.

I tend to think of the thing as a whole, with the 1st movt. being the introduction and development, the 2nd being the contrast and the 3rd being the reprise.  But as you say, each seccion has to capture the listener and if the listener might begin to drift a little while listening, then it's not doing it's job.

Thanks again for you comments, I do appreciate it.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2022, 06:38:12 AM »
I suspect that Mark's minute changes in metronome indications are in the way of a "hack" to get a subtle tempo change out of an otherwise mechanical Sibelius/NotePerformer rendition. In other words, something to help "humanize" the rendering rather than a direction to a performer. I do it too - and one thing I recently learned is that you can *hide* those fussy metronome markings in Sibelius. They will still affect playback, but there is no need for the listener/score reader to be aware of them.

Offline relm1

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2022, 08:56:04 AM »
I suspect that Mark's minute changes in metronome indications are in the way of a "hack" to get a subtle tempo change out of an otherwise mechanical Sibelius/NotePerformer rendition. In other words, something to help "humanize" the rendering rather than a direction to a performer. I do it too - and one thing I recently learned is that you can *hide* those fussy metronome markings in Sibelius. They will still affect playback, but there is no need for the listener/score reader to be aware of them.

ah!  My bad.

Offline MarkMcD

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Re: Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb minor
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2022, 10:59:13 AM »
Hello krummholz and relm1,

Yes you're right, it's not really an attempt to noticabley alter the tempo, but rather to balance the performance as some passages sounded wrong without it.