Large scale cantata for soloists, chorus, and orchestra

Started by relm1, August 23, 2023, 06:09:38 AM

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relm1

For the rest of the year, I plan on finishing up an hour-long cantata for soloists, chorus, and orchestra.  I've been working on this off and on (ok, mostly off) since I was a student but hearing some of the original ideas recently, I decided it's finally time to rework this into a finished piece.  It would be in five movements and most of it is sketched but only the first movement is finished so far in full score and the second movement is underway.  The libretto is complete (based on an existing text but curtailed and arrange for the forces) and the short score is mostly done.

Here is an excerpt from the opening of the second movement to give a taste of it. 

https://clyp.it/kybuvb0m

relm1

Still plugging away at this, here is an excerpt from the storm sequence from the fourth and next to last movement.

https://clyp.it/o4t2n1q4

Screenshot 2023-09-05 065312.jpg

Florestan

Quote from: relm1 on September 08, 2023, 05:31:20 AMStill plugging away at this, here is an excerpt from the storm sequence from the fourth and next to last movement.

https://clyp.it/o4t2n1q4

Screenshot 2023-09-05 065312.jpg


What is it about?
I love Italian opera – it's so reckless. Damn Wagner, and his bellowings at Fate and Death. Damn Debussy, and his averted face. I like the Italians who run all on impulse, and don't care about their immortal souls, and don't worry about the ultimate — D. H. Lawrence

relm1

Quote from: Florestan on September 08, 2023, 05:54:00 AMWhat is it about?

It is a setting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for four soloists, two semi-choirs (SA and TB), full choir, and large orchestra.

Synopsis:
A weary, old mariner interrupts a guest at a wedding he stumbles past telling of his harrowing tale of a voyage to the Antarctic.  Despite an initial storm, the ship reaches the icy realm, guided out by an albatross, hailed by the crew as a good omen. The mariner's shooting of the bird with a crossbow triggers a series of calamities, including plagues, starvation, thirst, and the appearance of ghostly figures.  The crew forces the mariner to wear the dead albatross around his neck as a reminder of his misdeed.  Visiting spirits torment the crew and gamble for their souls, leaving the mariner with eternal life and guilt, but the crew dead.

In his solitude, the mariner grows to appreciate nature's harmony and beauty, and his blessing of sea creatures symbolizes his absolution as the albatross falls from his neck.  Saved but cursed to wander the earth, the mariner shares his story, emphasizing a moral lesson to love all of God's creatures and live with all creatures in harmony.

Florestan

Quote from: relm1 on September 09, 2023, 05:46:03 AMIt is a setting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for four soloists, two semi-choirs (SA and TB), full choir, and large orchestra.

Synopsis:
A weary, old mariner interrupts a guest at a wedding he stumbles past telling of his harrowing tale of a voyage to the Antarctic.  Despite an initial storm, the ship reaches the icy realm, guided out by an albatross, hailed by the crew as a good omen. The mariner's shooting of the bird with a crossbow triggers a series of calamities, including plagues, starvation, thirst, and the appearance of ghostly figures.  The crew forces the mariner to wear the dead albatross around his neck as a reminder of his misdeed.  Visiting spirits torment the crew and gamble for their souls, leaving the mariner with eternal life and guilt, but the crew dead.

In his solitude, the mariner grows to appreciate nature's harmony and beauty, and his blessing of sea creatures symbolizes his absolution as the albatross falls from his neck.  Saved but cursed to wander the earth, the mariner shares his story, emphasizing a moral lesson to love all of God's creatures and live with all creatures in harmony.


Finally! Finally! I've been looking / waiting for a musical setting of this poem ever since I've read it many, many, many moons ago. I will be greatly interested in hearing to the whole thing.
I love Italian opera – it's so reckless. Damn Wagner, and his bellowings at Fate and Death. Damn Debussy, and his averted face. I like the Italians who run all on impulse, and don't care about their immortal souls, and don't worry about the ultimate — D. H. Lawrence

relm1

Quote from: Florestan on September 09, 2023, 10:23:04 AMFinally! Finally! I've been looking / waiting for a musical setting of this poem ever since I've read it many, many, many moons ago. I will be greatly interested in hearing to the whole thing.

I know, right??  It's a very musical poem with vivid imagery, a great subtext, lots of drama and mysticism.  I'm very surprised it's not been set before. 

Florestan

Quote from: relm1 on September 10, 2023, 05:55:47 AMI know, right??  It's a very musical poem with vivid imagery, a great subtext, lots of drama and mysticism. I'm very surprised it's not been set before. 

My thoughts exactly.
I love Italian opera – it's so reckless. Damn Wagner, and his bellowings at Fate and Death. Damn Debussy, and his averted face. I like the Italians who run all on impulse, and don't care about their immortal souls, and don't worry about the ultimate — D. H. Lawrence

relm1

It's finished!  I barely achieved my goal of completing it in September as I finished it yesterday night.  My big challenge is choir is really poor in samples.  Listening to a big hour long work full of "ahh's" the whole time gets irritating.  I've been thinking of having some of it recorded by soloists just to present it and talking to an amateur chorus to see if they at least have interest in playing some of the choral sections. 

This is an excerpt from the second movement, with soloist and choir entering near the end but you can hear how the ahh's gets in the way.
https://clyp.it/sr1n1fej

Uhor

Bit like Wagner's Flying Dutchman meets Ravel's La valse. Well achieved though, I congratulate you. I like it.

relm1

Quote from: Uhor on December 21, 2023, 02:03:21 PMBit like Wagner's Flying Dutchman meets Ravel's La valse. Well achieved though, I congratulate you. I like it.

Much thanks!  I was torn between making it end with uplifting resolution or grim warning to others who make the same mistake as the Mariner.  I decided to do both having it end with resolution since his curse is lifted but as a warning as well.  Sadly, the mockup isn't great because it is very voice heavy but maybe I'll get some of it performed or at least read.  Thanks again for listening.  :)