GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composing and Performing => Topic started by: krummholz on June 23, 2021, 06:14:30 PM

Title: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 23, 2021, 06:14:30 PM
Over the winter I revised the work for chamber strings that I shared here as "Fugal Variations"... I also retitled it, since it is neither a set of variations nor an actual fugue, though it contains fugal writing, three incomplete fugues actually. The main change I made was to interpolate some new material into the middle, "development" section for reasons of balance. For those who heard it on the Ning Composers Forum, there have been no major changes since then, just a few tweaks to vary the texture in a couple of places, and this rendering is more faithful to what I originally intended: mainly, the last fugue is taken at a very slightly slower pace (crotchet = 60 --> 58), which seems to give the music a little added expressive weight.

As the title implies, it's a solemn work (VERY solemn) and will probably only appeal to people who like that sort of thing. I tried to express both grief and healing in it, and overall I think it mostly expresses stoic perseverance (its subtitle is Like Light, Unbroken, a reference to a poem by Amanda Gorman). The idiom is traditional, retro even - it tries to be pure polyphonic music of the kind people wrote in the late Renaissance, and there are only a few fleeting hints of harmony that might shock Beethoven's audiences. At fully 25 minutes playing length, it might be a bit much to listen to in one sitting, so I've included a broken-into-sections version, as well as the full demo (for the intrepid).

Full demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing)

In sections:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing)

The score is attached.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: relm1 on June 24, 2021, 05:26:22 AM
I enjoyed it!  :)  Nice and gloomy.  Was that the DSCH motif I heard at the start?  As for constructive feedback, by letter J, I felt the harmony could use a little more variety like borrowed chords or something from neighboring keys to keep it from getting predictable.  Sort of like, think of making a statement, you can repeat it, but the third time, it needs a variation.  Something unexpected otherwise the ear starts to tune out.  If you listen to something like Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, the music is incredibly inventive and every few seconds it's gone into a direction that is logical but unexpected.  That's a good model to emulate in places in your work.  I don't think you need much of that just enough to keep the listener on board because 25 minutes is a substantial duration.  Sure, you can repeat expositions and phrases to make something fit 25 minutes but a work that long needs 25 minutes of material if you know what I mean.  With Schoenberg, it is almost like he has an hours worth of material in a 25 minute piece.  If anything, he could have stretched that material out more because it is so adventurous structurally, melodically, and harmonically while still being tonal.  If Shostakovich is more your cup of tea, take a listen to his elegy from Lady MacBeth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd_-sjlhOm8

Do you find the chord change at 0:20 surprising?  Your ear is used to a tonality because of the pedal so you would expect a diatonic harmony.  That would fit perfectly.  However, we get a chromatic shift or borrowed chord from a foreign key that is quite unexpected.  This is spicier and makes the work more memorable because it is unexpected.  If all you did was shift harmonically out of key, that would be predictable, so then that becomes gimmicky and boring.  Ideally these elements are balanced and surprise and anticipation are working together to keep the listener engaged.  I'd also suggest you do this approach with other elements of music like rhythm - I notice even though the tempo is slow throughout, you don't go lower than quaver, right?  It would be very unexpected several minutes in if the melody persisted but the accompaniment becomes more animated with triplets or semi-quavers or something, especially if you dramatically expand the register range so something like a low G on violin up three octaves near the end, that would be very dramatic.  Of course that could make the work more of a Sinfonia Dramatica but dipping in from time to time to these techniques can still keep it solemn and hymnal but adds momentum and engagement. 

I really liked the ending of X, thought that was very beautiful.  Good luck and happy composing on future works!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 24, 2021, 09:35:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, at letter J, you put your finger on something that's been bothering me since last fall when the piece was still "Fugal Variations"... I also had the impression that starting in with the inverted subject (it's a modified inversion of the original fugue subject) at that point felt a little "old hat", since I'd just a couple minutes ago given it an extended fugal treatment where it was heard MANY times. I kept telling myself that it was a minor blemish because I quickly start combining it with the original subject and other motives, and press onward into a real development... but since it bothered you too, it probably is a true weakness in the piece. Of course I could have done something surprising and more modern harmonically with it, but one of the rules I set for myself was to stick with traditional functional tonality - the piece is intentionally "atavistic" and retro. Other than some fleeting bitonality from V to W, there is very little in it harmonically that could not have been written 200 years ago.

Yes, the original fugue subject begins with D-S-C-H, and those 4 notes are heard in various guises throughout the work, right up to the final cadence, often with the intervals modified considerably.

No note values shorter than quavers... YES. That was intentional, another of the rules I set for myself from the outset. Not only that, but never more than 4 voices at a time. It was originally to be a "Ricercar a 4" on D-S-C-H, though THAT idea got dropped as the piece started to take shape.

The wind-down starting at X is also one of my favorite spots... thanks for mentioning it.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: relm1 on June 26, 2021, 03:29:36 PM
Congratulations, it seems you've achieved in your music much of what you strove to accomplish! 
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 26, 2021, 05:06:56 PM
Over the winter I revised the work for chamber strings that I shared here as "Fugal Variations"... I also retitled it, since it is neither a set of variations nor an actual fugue, though it contains fugal writing, three incomplete fugues actually. The main change I made was to interpolate some new material into the middle, "development" section for reasons of balance. For those who heard it on the Ning Composers Forum, there have been no major changes since then, just a few tweaks to vary the texture in a couple of places, and this rendering is more faithful to what I originally intended: mainly, the last fugue is taken at a very slightly slower pace (crotchet = 60 --> 58), which seems to give the music a little added expressive weight.

As the title implies, it's a solemn work (VERY solemn) and will probably only appeal to people who like that sort of thing. I tried to express both grief and healing in it, and overall I think it mostly expresses stoic perseverance (its subtitle is Like Light, Unbroken, a reference to a poem by Amanda Gorman). The idiom is traditional, retro even - it tries to be pure polyphonic music of the kind people wrote in the late Renaissance, and there are only a few fleeting hints of harmony that might shock Beethoven's audiences. At fully 25 minutes playing length, it might be a bit much to listen to in one sitting, so I've included a broken-into-sections version, as well as the full demo (for the intrepid).

Full demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vUc_K38_TQixVy5ItDQVRwnYepTu3S-V/view?usp=sharing)

In sections:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q9YjUuPsN2JB6BVZdx1o0xrnwhNruO8t/view?usp=sharing)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zJ3uNaZ6W_5MOck1KjJdgvuK4WJWeSGP/view?usp=sharing)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w4zu3Nr9a91puf6A7D0Oj9zbO0F-rstw/view?usp=sharing)

The score is attached.

Nice work! I want to listen again before commenting much, but right away I like your use of the DSCH motif as the subject, and you steer clear of any imitation of the Op. 110 quartet, which on its own is quite a considerable success. Will remark more soon.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: 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?
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 27, 2021, 01:45:58 AM
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?

Indeed.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: 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.

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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 27, 2021, 12:26:15 PM
Thanks for your comments, Karl!

Vn 2's leap to an octave with the va in m. 25 seems a bit jarring.

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

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.

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)

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.

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I love the "crunch" between the violins in m. 155 for instance

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?

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?

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.

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Somehow, the "direct octave" between vn 2 and the vc at the cadence into m. 595 jumped at me. What do you think?

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.

Done, thanks!

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

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!

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.

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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 27, 2021, 12:43:28 PM
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.

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?
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 27, 2021, 12:54:41 PM
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.

Very nice.

Quote from: krummholz
There are indeed a few breaks... where would you suggest placing any others?

I shall mull.

No, I wouldn't add winds, I think the piece works beautifully as a string choir symphony.

I follow that the piece isn't about adherence to Gradus ad Parnassus, and if those bars do what you wish, that's what matters.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 27, 2021, 03:18:21 PM
No, I wouldn't add winds, I think the piece works beautifully as a string choir symphony.

You're probably right about that... it's just something I was thinking about, making a true chamber symphony out of it.

Originally I began the work for string quartet, and I sometimes wonder if it could still be performed that way. I switched to chamber string orchestra because of timing issues in NP (at least when running under Sibelius) and then decided I liked the sound of massed strings better in the work and started conceiving most passages that way. But if I tried to render a string quartet version, the timing problems would make the rendering impossible to listen to - it would sound like amateur string players sight-reading the piece.

One more comment, sorry for all the detail: I always intended Interludio II to be played a little faster, crotchet = 78 or so, and likewise the main part of the development starting at letter O (crotchet =~ 86). But this doesn't render correctly - the last note of some phrases is held for less than its full value. One thing I intend to put in the composer's notes is that the metronome markings aren't written in stone. I want the performers to feel free to deviate from them if they feel the result works better.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 27, 2021, 03:42:24 PM
You're probably right about that... it's just something I was thinking about, making a true chamber symphony out of it.

Originally I began the work for string quartet, and I sometimes wonder if it could still be performed that way. I switched to chamber string orchestra because of timing issues in NP (at least when running under Sibelius) and then decided I liked the sound of massed strings better in the work and started conceiving most passages that way. But if I tried to render a string quartet version, the timing problems would make the rendering impossible to listen to - it would sound like amateur string players sight-reading the piece.

One more comment, sorry for all the detail: I always intended Interludio II to be played a little faster, crotchet = 78 or so, and likewise the main part of the development starting at letter O (crotchet =~ 86). But this doesn't render correctly - the last note of some phrases is held for less than its full value. One thing I intend to put in the composer's notes is that the metronome markings aren't written in stone. I want the performers to feel free to deviate from them if they feel the result works better.

Players/conductors will indeed do that, so do notate the metronome markings you want.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 08:51:02 AM
For anyone who's interested, here's the middle part of the piece at my preferred tempo. I had to introduce numerous hacks into Interludio II to prevent Sibelius/NP from "clipping" the last note of certain phrases, so no score this time. (The only permanent changes were to the metronome markings anyway.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2021, 09:51:10 AM
For anyone who's interested, here's the middle part of the piece at my preferred tempo. I had to introduce numerous hacks into Interludio II to prevent Sibelius/NP from "clipping" the last note of certain phrases, so no score this time. (The only permanent changes were to the metronome markings anyway.)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YKSUoFlBA4mARQVN9xz0hfvW5COpTEMO/view?usp=sharing)

Nice, I think this helps the overall shaping, too.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 11:28:46 AM
Nice, I think this helps the overall shaping, too.

Thanks. I'm trying to decide if Fuga III can be taken this slowly now...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 11:37:28 AM
This is the full rendering at the new tempi... only Interludio II and the Evoluzione from N to W are faster... and Interludio III starts out slightly faster but ends exactly as before.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2021, 01:41:30 PM
This is the full rendering at the new tempi... only Interludio II and the Evoluzione from N to W are faster... and Interludio III starts out slightly faster but ends exactly as before.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzTKte4ofNmGk3el6AlMHUXNwVqniFOi/view?usp=sharing)

Very nice, just listened through.  Again, really a magnificent piece!

These are in the light of suggested possibilities only, of course.

This would address the only counterpoint quibble of mine which I consider worth the addressing (YMMV, of course) what if the vn 1 from m.24 to 25,  goes from Bb up an augmented fifth to F# (a major sixth above the viola) rather than the leap of a major seventh to the octave? See if that sounds as preferable to your ear as it does to mine. If not, no harm, no foul, and I've said my piece 8)

What do you think about adding a bar's rest before F and retreating to a solo quartet through to G?

Similarly, add a bar's rest before P (or, alternatively, make m. 335 a bar of 3/4) and have solo quartet O through P

Having everyone play pizzicato from I to J?

Some typographic details that need tidying are e.g. m. 88 in the viola the bar is two quarter rests, this should simply be a whole rest.  Occurs quite a bit through  the score (I know it's sometimes an artifact from pasting.)  I also wonder if, when you have a double-dotted eighth-note and a 32nd-rest, a dotted-eighth and sixteenth-rest will serve?


Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 04:22:21 PM
Very nice, just listened through.  Again, really a magnificent piece!

Thank you! :)

Quote
These are in the light of suggested possibilities only, of course.

Taken in that spirit...

Quote
This would address the only counterpoint quibble of mine which I consider worth the addressing (YMMV, of course) what if the vn 1 from m.24 to 25,  goes from Bb up an augmented fifth to F# (a major sixth above the viola) rather than the leap of a major seventh to the octave? See if that sounds as preferable to your ear as it does to mine. If not, no harm, no foul, and I've said my piece 8)

That would be very different from what I intended there, and would also break the vln 2's descending line. I've debated whether to make the vln 2 go down only to D and have the viola play the Bb. Then the octave would be approached by contrary motion... but expressively, I prefer the wider interval in vln 1 as written, even though it makes the octave a direct one.

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What do you think about adding a bar's rest before F and retreating to a solo quartet through to G?

Solo quartet starting at F would blunt the searing climax there... but I would consider solo quartet for Interludio I, G to H. Maybe even for all or parts of all three Interludios...

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Similarly, add a bar's rest before P (or, alternatively, make m. 335 a bar of 3/4) and have solo quartet O through P

That would break the momentum and defuse the tension there... I don't think I would like that.

Quote
Having everyone play pizzicato from I to J?

No way! (Sorry.) The vc and viola must fairly nearly growl starting at I, and they can't growl pizzicato!

Quote
Some typographic details that need tidying are e.g. m. 88 in the viola the bar is two quarter rests, this should simply be a whole rest.  Occurs quite a bit through  the score (I know it's sometimes an artifact from pasting.)  I also wonder if, when you have a double-dotted eighth-note and a 32nd-rest, a dotted-eighth and sixteenth-rest will serve?

Yep, and I'll bet there are lots of little details like that in need of cleaning up. That stuff happens when I do a hurried edit in Sibelius - the app often breaks rests into smaller values unnecessarily. A violist I was working with a few months back found a whole slew of those, but I'm sure there are more. I'll go through the score with a fine-toothed comb before asking you to look it over again.

Thanks again Karl, and sorry I couldn't take any of your suggestions straightaway... but you gave me the idea of making the Interludios, or parts of them, quartet-only, something I must mull on. Preparing a score of this piece with an additional quartet is something I'll have to figure out how to do... then would come the problem of preparing a rendering, which is non-trivial with solo strings because of the NP timing problem. More to think about...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2021, 04:50:30 PM
Thank you! :)

Taken in that spirit...

That would be very different from what I intended there, and would also break the vln 2's descending line. I've debated whether to make the vln 2 go down only to D and have the viola play the Bb. Then the octave would be approached by contrary motion... but expressively, I prefer the wider interval in vln 1 as written, even though it makes the octave a direct one.

Solo quartet starting at F would blunt the searing climax there... but I would consider solo quartet for Interludio I, G to H. Maybe even for all or parts of all three Interludios...

That would break the momentum and defuse the tension there... I don't think I would like that.

No way! (Sorry.) The vc and viola must fairly nearly growl starting at I, and they can't growl pizzicato!

Yep, and I'll bet there are lots of little details like that in need of cleaning up. That stuff happens when I do a hurried edit in Sibelius - the app often breaks rests into smaller values unnecessarily. A violist I was working with a few months back found a whole slew of those, but I'm sure there are more. I'll go through the score with a fine-toothed comb before asking you to look it over again.

Thanks again Karl, and sorry I couldn't take any of your suggestions straightaway... but you gave me the idea of making the Interludios, or parts of them, quartet-only, something I must mull on. Preparing a score of this piece with an additional quartet is something I'll have to figure out how to do... then would come the problem of preparing a rendering, which is non-trivial with solo strings because of the NP timing problem. More to think about...


No worries, you need your own solutions, for your own reasons :)


To be clear, I didn't mean an additional quartet, but having each line switch from tutti to one player,  or even one desk, as they say.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 05:00:29 PM
To be clear, I didn't mean an additional quartet, but having each line switch from tutti to one player,  or even one desk, as they say.

No, I understood what you meant, and I was being stupid... with NP MIDI messages it's actually easy to change the number of players in each string section on the fly, as it were. So no need to create a new score with an extra quartet section. The only difficulty will be preparing a rendering, because of NP's timing problems. I do my splicing in Audacity, and it's really only possible to join two passages if they're separated by a silence, otherwise you get a click (or worse) that's hard or impossible to remove.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2021, 05:03:02 PM
No, I understood what you meant, and I was being stupid... with NP MIDI messages it's actually easy to change the number of players in each string section on the fly, as it were. So no need to create a new score with an extra quartet section. The only difficulty will be preparing a rendering, because of NP's timing problems. I do my splicing in Audacity, and it's really only possible to join two passages if they're separated by a silence, otherwise you get a click (or worse) that's hard or impossible to remove.

You use Sibelius?
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 05:06:58 PM
You use Sibelius?

Yes, Sibelius plus the amazing (even with its flaws) NotePerformer.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2021, 05:22:29 PM
I'm not familiar with NotePerformer at all ....
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 28, 2021, 06:02:09 PM
I'm not familiar with NotePerformer at all ....

https://www.noteperformer.com/ (https://www.noteperformer.com/)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 29, 2021, 04:32:41 AM
https://www.noteperformer.com/ (https://www.noteperformer.com/)


Thanks, will investigate.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 29, 2021, 03:27:22 PM
I've tried reducing the ensemble to soloists for all three Interludios, and for the reprise of Interludio I in Fuga III. It doesn't work for Interludio II or III (and really not even for any part of Interludio III). I'm still mulling about Interludio I and its reprise (it's both, or neither). Feels a bit gimmicky to me, but extending the solo quartet past the reprise to the A major phrase, with the tutti very quietly coming in with the modulation to E major, is admittedly kind of nice. Hmmm. Still mulling...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 29, 2021, 06:27:43 PM
And here's a demo of that idea, for the curious - also with the quartet and tutti alternating a couple of times in the passage after the Interludio I reprise. I'm not sure it does much for the work as a whole, since the solo quartet is only used in two places, widely separated in time, but it's a nice touch that might grow on me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PZofmQlDlrZGOUyHwtOWz8ybLQVVZpBU/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PZofmQlDlrZGOUyHwtOWz8ybLQVVZpBU/view?usp=sharing)

Interludio I starts at 3:43, the reprise at 18:38.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 30, 2021, 08:34:52 AM
Better, because it makes the soloistic "thread" integral to the music: the above, PLUS start both Fuga I and Fuga III with the soloists, and then continue with tutti. The soloists are heard only at the most intimate moments, 4 times in all.

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eFVP92q_1fWhvpE3simDZt_vvYkaBDAF/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eFVP92q_1fWhvpE3simDZt_vvYkaBDAF/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 30, 2021, 10:44:55 AM
Better, because it makes the soloistic "thread" integral to the music: the above, PLUS start both Fuga I and Fuga III with the soloists, and then continue with tutti. The soloists are heard only at the most intimate moments, 4 times in all.

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eFVP92q_1fWhvpE3simDZt_vvYkaBDAF/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eFVP92q_1fWhvpE3simDZt_vvYkaBDAF/view?usp=sharing)


Will listen this evening, thanks!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 30, 2021, 12:37:29 PM
Will listen this evening, thanks!

Thanks. Having listened straight through 3 times now, I don't think it quite works - but I'll be interested to hear what you think. My feeling is, at best it's an optional way to perform the piece, but it was originally conceived without soloists and they'll probably strike some listeners as a gimmick - 2 out of 3 times, that was my impression.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on June 30, 2021, 03:52:36 PM
I keep going back and forth on this. Listened again and my only objection was that the soloists are abandoned after the 4th appearance. Bringing them back, fleetingly, in mm. 723-9 seems to supply needed "closure". Listen to this instead of the above, please.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 30, 2021, 04:05:49 PM
I keep going back and forth on this. Listened again and my only objection was that the soloists are abandoned after the 4th appearance. Bringing them back, fleetingly, in mm. 723-9 seems to supply needed "closure". Listen to this instead of the above, please.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing)


My brain is done in for the day, but I shall listen when 'tis again fresh in the morning!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 01, 2021, 07:29:37 AM
I keep going back and forth on this. Listened again and my only objection was that the soloists are abandoned after the 4th appearance. Bringing them back, fleetingly, in mm. 723-9 seems to supply needed "closure". Listen to this instead of the above, please.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AKPjncsRybu-mz3FbapNLhGxAzlBEJcZ/view?usp=sharing)


I think you've done a great job.  The piece really breathes now! My feeling after my initial listen some days past was, very nice but it's a long 25 minutes. You have completely remedied this! It wears its duration excellently. Bravissima!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 01, 2021, 07:38:34 AM
I think you've done a great job.  The piece really breathes now! My feeling after my initial listen some days past was, very nice but it's a long 25 minutes. You have completely remedied this! It wears its duration excellently. Bravissima!

Thank you sir! To be honest, I still have mixed feelings about it... though I think the new version is growing on me. Will continue listening, and mulling...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 01, 2021, 07:43:39 AM
And then of course, comes the problem of how to notate solo / tutti in Sibelius. There are no predefined keywords for that, and though I could add them to the dictionary, I'd have to make sure they have no effect on playback. I'm using "MIDI messages", essentially coded directives, to control the number of "players" in each section, which would be unintelligible to humans even if they were visible in the printed score (they're not).
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 01, 2021, 07:48:48 AM
And then of course, comes the problem of how to notate solo / tutti in Sibelius. There are no predefined keywords for that, and though I could add them to the dictionary, I'd have to make sure they have no effect on playback. I'm using "MIDI messages", essentially coded directives, to control the number of "players" in each section, which would be unintelligible to humans even if they were visible in the printed score (they're not).

No, I don't think it can impact playback, though adding the notation is easy enough.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 01, 2021, 04:09:43 PM
Ok I think I'm convinced... now to figure out how to notate it properly, then on to fixing up the score...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 01, 2021, 04:51:40 PM
Ok I think I'm convinced... now to figure out how to notate it properly, then on to fixing up the score...

Very good.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 02, 2021, 06:56:26 AM
Thank you sir! To be honest, I still have mixed feelings about it... though I think the new version is growing on me. Will continue listening, and mulling...
Impressive job!  Wish that I could read music/sing/play anything.  :(  May I ask what instrument(s) you play and how you first became interested in music?

PD
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 02, 2021, 08:43:53 AM
Impressive job!  Wish that I could read music/sing/play anything.  :(  May I ask what instrument(s) you play and how you first became interested in music?

PD

Thank you!

Gosh, I can't really think back to what got me interested in music... probably the fact that my Dad loved classical music, so I heard a lot of Tchaikovsky and other Romantic era stuff as a child. As for instruments, today I don't play any... :(  though I played recorder some in high school, and studied piano as a requirement of the music program I went through as an undergraduate. Enjoyed it too. But that was decades ago. At times while composing I wish I had something, even an electronic keyboard, to sound things out, but I make do the hard way, composing in my head and trying ideas out in Sibelius.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 02, 2021, 09:32:25 AM
Thank you!

Gosh, I can't really think back to what got me interested in music... probably the fact that my Dad loved classical music, so I heard a lot of Tchaikovsky and other Romantic era stuff as a child. As for instruments, today I don't play any... :(  though I played recorder some in high school, and studied piano as a requirement of the music program I went through as an undergraduate. Enjoyed it too. But that was decades ago. At times while composing I wish I had something, even an electronic keyboard, to sound things out, but I make do the hard way, composing in my head and trying ideas out in Sibelius.
Any chance that you might be able to get ahold of a keyboard or a piano?  Or to begin with, use a piano at a local college or university?  I believe, please correct me if I am wrong, that you teach at a college...or am I misremembering your background information?

PD
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 02, 2021, 10:00:07 AM
Any chance that you might be able to get ahold of a keyboard or a piano?  Or to begin with, use a piano at a local college or university?  I believe, please correct me if I am wrong, that you teach at a college...or am I misremembering your background information?

PD

You recall correctly! But a piano in the basement of some hall would be pretty inconvenient to walk to every time I wanted to sound something out - MUCH easier to just write it and have Sibelius play it back. As for getting a keyboard, maybe I could, but the apartment where I live is too small for anything full-sized. If I get frustrated enough I might spring for something miniature, but so far that hasn't happened.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on July 02, 2021, 11:00:34 AM
You recall correctly! But a piano in the basement of some hall would be pretty inconvenient to walk to every time I wanted to sound something out - MUCH easier to just write it and have Sibelius play it back. As for getting a keyboard, maybe I could, but the apartment where I live is too small for anything full-sized. If I get frustrated enough I might spring for something miniature, but so far that hasn't happened.
O.k., but perhaps checking out something (electronic) that you could collapse the stand and store the keyboard under a bed?  Just a thought.   :)  And do not give up!

PD
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 02, 2021, 02:54:47 PM
O.k., but perhaps checking out something (electronic) that you could collapse the stand and store the keyboard under a bed?  Just a thought.   :)  And do not give up!

PD

And someday I may indeed do just that... but not just yet.

Thanks for listening!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 15, 2021, 06:35:57 AM
I haven't abandoned the piece... have just been making a few minor adjustments to things like dynamics and tempo, and in a couple cases, the distribution of lines across the sections (there are supposed to be a couple of back-and-forth exchanges between sections on opposite sides of the stage that were ruined when I changed the "seating arrangement" earlier this year - a.k.a. "pan settings" - fixed now). I think I'm satisfied with it now and will go back to finishing up my "press-ready" score with all the NotePerformer hacks taken out. Also, I'm thinking that only a few of the metronome markings will be left in as a general indication of tempo - I think of many of the metronome markings in the posted score as hacks basically, for computer rendering.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 15, 2021, 06:52:30 AM
I haven't abandoned the piece... have just been making a few minor adjustments to things like dynamics and tempo, and in a couple cases, the distribution of lines across the sections (there are supposed to be a couple of back-and-forth exchanges between sections on opposite sides of the stage that were ruined when I changed the "seating arrangement" earlier this year - a.k.a. "pan settings" - fixed now). I think I'm satisfied with it now and will go back to finishing up my "press-ready" score with all the NotePerformer hacks taken out. Also, I'm thinking that only a few of the metronome markings will be left in as a general indication of tempo - I think of many of the metronome markings in the posted score as hacks basically, for computer rendering.

Sounds good.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Rons_talking on July 16, 2021, 02:39:51 AM
Nice work! I like the gain in intensity near the middle. In terms of style, what I'd like to hear would be more ties and rests on the downbeat, so the "one" is more ambiguous. If you don't agree that's fine. It's an easy fix, however. When I compose, after the draft I go over the rhythms and alter them so they're less predictable on the strong beats. But you've got a strong composition there. Congratulations!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 16, 2021, 03:04:35 AM
Thanks Ron!

Well I'm pretty much satisfied with the way the piece is written, but it's funny you mention ties into the downbeat, as there are actually quite a few, and I just came across a place where the software did not play one correctly in my newest rendering. This is NOT a rare event, in fact every single rendering I've made has places where ties and even slurs are not respected by Sibelius/NP. It rarely happens twice in the same place, and you'd think I could splice together a perfect rendering (in Audacity) from sections of imperfect ones, but that's very hard because there aren't enough long pauses in the piece to get each spliceable section perfect in at least one rendering, and splicing at random points results in unwanted clicks and pops that (usually) can't be removed very well.

I'm attaching the last rendering I'm going to try to make (lots of splicing but it's still not perfect) and the score that was used. The changes from previous versions are minor - the most obvious is the writing-out of the cadence and the rests at the end of Interludio III. But if anyone's curious, fast forward to 23:20 to hear the tied F in the 1st vlns between mm. 812-3 played detached. I give up!!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TUoyMhvsnBiYPBJD-pJLN0SEI7SDzI20/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TUoyMhvsnBiYPBJD-pJLN0SEI7SDzI20/view?usp=sharing)

Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 26, 2021, 08:21:29 AM
And I think it's done...

Draft score for performance:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing)

Computer rendering (Sibelius + NotePerformer):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing)

Because of semantic weirdness in Sibelius and/or NP (and also because I removed some of the metronome markings), the linked score will not render correctly in Sibelius - I have a separate score, full of "hacks", that generated the rendering.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 26, 2021, 08:51:20 AM
And I think it's done...

Draft score for performance:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ia6jAcsLi0aYLAyrPyaXc6eBsUNdhnsB/view?usp=sharing)

Computer rendering (Sibelius + NotePerformer):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEaCw6kah7dOgkN1Y5W-1AEJG9jfRGnd/view?usp=sharing)

Because of semantic weirdness in Sibelius and/or NP (and also because I removed some of the metronome markings), the linked score will not render correctly in Sibelius - I have a separate score, full of "hacks", that generated the rendering.

Will have a look and listen soon!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on July 27, 2021, 04:15:49 AM
Will have a look and listen soon!

If you haven't looked at yesterday's materials, I did make a couple of very small changes late last night: deleting the breath marks at C, and the forte markings just after FF. I kept the hairpins there, since I do want an expressive climax, but not quite to forte; Sibelius/NP does what I want anyway without them. Sorry for the last minute changes!

Score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing)

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 27, 2021, 10:35:58 AM
If you haven't looked at yesterday's materials, I did make a couple of very small changes late last night: deleting the breath marks at C, and the forte markings just after FF. I kept the hairpins there, since I do want an expressive climax, but not quite to forte; Sibelius/NP does what I want anyway without them. Sorry for the last minute changes!

Score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qeWWQ97-8vduWDpyMXNvR8ycZKN4Iw7q/view?usp=sharing)

Demo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VjsvxHKpZTxspk1BM2VQuq3arW05tEi/view?usp=sharing)


Thanks! I'll nab the fresh files!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 21, 2021, 05:00:27 AM
A few days ago I felt the urge to tweak this again... added some pizzicato counterpoint in mm. 380-388 (roughly 10:30 to 10:45 in the rendering). It seems necessary to me, yet part of me wonders if there isn't too much activity now in this passage. Other changes include speeding up the central development section a little, and slowing down the transition passage leading up to it, to emphasize the contrast in tempo.

Score: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing)

Rendering: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Rons_talking on September 24, 2021, 11:54:36 PM
A few days ago I felt the urge to tweak this again... added some pizzicato counterpoint in mm. 380-388 (roughly 10:30 to 10:45 in the rendering). It seems necessary to me, yet part of me wonders if there isn't too much activity now in this passage. Other changes include speeding up the central development section a little, and slowing down the transition passage leading up to it, to emphasize the contrast in tempo.

Score: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R69Ocrrys3PNdqOgXllv35vSjY9SS8_6/view?usp=sharing)

Rendering: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/10beoP6PLmfm1_yibROX42ep3EhXAjVxx/view?usp=sharing)

I like it! I only listened once, but the middle passage does not require much of a tempo change. Building density and amplitude are sufficient. Think of Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste (which your work vaguely resembles) . The opening of I. has a huge crescendo based primarily on register and density; no big speed-up (as I recall).
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 26, 2021, 08:53:07 AM
Thanks for listening and for your comment! The comparison with the Bartok is interesting, but one HUGE difference between the two pieces is the length. In the Bartok, as I recall, the fugal opening movement plays for well under 10 minutes, so the constant tempo is not a problem. Played at a constant tempo, my piece would last nearly a half hour and I feel pretty strongly that it would come across as sheer monotony. Anyway, the middle development section is intended to contrast with both that first 6 minutes and the much slower fugue that takes up most of the last 10 minutes, and I think it would drag at anything like the crotchet = 60 tempo of that last fugue. The stringendo leading up to the climax may be unnecessary; I will likely say in a composer's note that it is optional.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 28, 2021, 08:15:48 AM
Forgot to upload my final thoughts on the extended pizzicato... and a new spliced rendering. The score is the "publication" version, i.e. the one intended for humans, not NotePerformer.

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_PZZm8MxeEBmpSbXWKLJeaeyjipe9ooZ/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_PZZm8MxeEBmpSbXWKLJeaeyjipe9ooZ/view?usp=sharing)

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BWEtJFTKZ7nKX5zNwAbnu152pYSWXHEV/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BWEtJFTKZ7nKX5zNwAbnu152pYSWXHEV/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 28, 2021, 05:41:53 PM
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 29, 2021, 03:31:54 AM
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!

Thank you! Adding a double bass part is a great idea, not as a fifth voice but to double the cellos an octave below... I might consider that. One of the rules I set for myself was no more than four voices , so there won't be any divisi passages... but it's a nice thought, thanks.

As far as getting it played by humans, it's being looked at as I write this by a conductor in Australia... I don't have really high hopes though, as the piece has so far gotten a very mixed reception from other composers. Some have really gushed over it, others just don't like it at all. I wouldn't have dared to write anything like this as a student back in the '70s... and even today, a 25-minute piece, solidly rooted in Common Practice era harmony, with limited instrumental and rhythmic resources (all intentional restrictions I set for myself), will probably never be very popular.

But many thanks for listening and for your kind remarks.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 29, 2021, 05:04:42 AM
I haven't followed your whole compositional process (though I did go back and read the thread), but this is one very impressive work! Your handling of counterpoint is excellent, and I like how the themes to your different fugues were related. I like the way you build to climaxes (especially the one at FF.) Initially I was wanting more variations in texture (like more pizzicato, sul ponticello, use of mutes, etc.), but now that I've sat with it for a while, I think it works as you've written it.

I think if you were to revise it later (not saying you should), maybe you'd consider adding a double bass part - I think it would be very effective! I think that final C major chord would sound especially powerful with the contra C (C1). Maybe consider adding some divisi passages as well. But again, not saying you should change a note - it's a really formidable piece as it is! Congratulations - I hope you're able to organize a performance!

Very pleased, and not at all surprised that this piece has found another enthusiast.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 29, 2021, 05:06:32 AM
Thank you! Adding a double bass part is a great idea, not as a fifth voice but to double the cellos an octave below... I might consider that.

Yes, a good thought!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 29, 2021, 06:25:56 AM
Very pleased, and not at all surprised that this piece vs found another enthusiast.

Aww... sweet! Thanks Karl.  :)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 29, 2021, 08:14:21 AM
Thank you! Adding a double bass part is a great idea, not as a fifth voice but to double the cellos an octave below... I might consider that. One of the rules I set for myself was no more than four voices , so there won't be any divisi passages... but it's a nice thought, thanks.

Ahh, that makes sense if you were trying to use four voices maximum. Yes, I think double basses would sound great doubling the cellos at the octave in passages where you want more weight and power. It's up to you, of course!

Quote
As far as getting it played by humans, it's being looked at as I write this by a conductor in Australia... I don't have really high hopes though, as the piece has so far gotten a very mixed reception from other composers. Some have really gushed over it, others just don't like it at all. I wouldn't have dared to write anything like this as a student back in the '70s... and even today, a 25-minute piece, solidly rooted in Common Practice era harmony, with limited instrumental and rhythmic resources (all intentional restrictions I set for myself), will probably never be very popular.

But many thanks for listening and for your kind remarks.

I hope it works out! I think it deserves to be heard - it's obvious that you put a lot of work, your "blood, sweat, and tears", so to speak, into it.

Do you have any other compositions in the works? I look forward to your next offering! Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: amw on September 29, 2021, 08:49:12 AM
the piece has so far gotten a very mixed reception from other composers. Some have really gushed over it, others just don't like it at all. I wouldn't have dared to write anything like this as a student back in the '70s... and even today, a 25-minute piece, solidly rooted in Common Practice era harmony, with limited instrumental and rhythmic resources (all intentional restrictions I set for myself), will probably never be very popular.
I've written a number of pieces like this, not usually as a result of intentional restrictions but mostly because it comes naturally to me whereas the "original" music I'm [more] interested in writing takes much more effort, and can confirm this. Composers are invariably skeptical, unless you're under 18 or at least a music student, at which point it's considered understandable; performers and listeners are also usually uninterested, except—for whatever reason—for conductors, and presenters think any contemporary music (regardless of style) is too much of a financial risk. One's best bet at having such music performed appears to be one of the following: a) amateur and youth orchestras/ensembles; b) being friends with the owner of Toccata Classics. It's also usually possible to get music students at any conservatory to play through and record a common practice-style chamber piece, since they're always in need of money, but they're not usually very enthusiastic.

(I have looked through the score in several iterations, although not listened to the MIDI, but have to say I'm not very good at commenting on the work of other composers in general, so apologies for that; you seem to know what you're doing, keep it up.)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 29, 2021, 09:42:53 AM
Ahh, that makes sense if you were trying to use four voices maximum. Yes, I think double basses would sound great doubling the cellos at the octave in passages where you want more weight and power. It's up to you, of course!

I think this is a wonderful idea and I plan to implement it, at least as an optional arrangement. The other chamber strings group I have had in mind does not have double basses though, so it will have to be optional.

Quote
I hope it works out! I think it deserves to be heard - it's obvious that you put a lot of work, your "blood, sweat, and tears", so to speak, into it.

Thank you so much! Yes it was a lot of work, though a labour of love too... after a certain point in the writing, it became clear that the piece needed to be written.

Quote
Do you have any other compositions in the works? I look forward to your next offering! Thank you for sharing.

Well I want to write something for the violist who helped me over last winter with notational issues and have a few ideas for a viola sonata, but it will likely be at least next summer before I have the time to write anything new - I have a full teaching schedule both fall and spring terms. If you want to hear something completely different, check out my String Quartet in A Minor, I think on page 3 or so of this forum. It was originally a student work that I started in summer 1975 while studying with Albright at Michigan, but didn't know how to end it at the time, finally took it up again 45 years later! It's in a more expressionistic idiom, in fact it's frankly atonal for much of its length, though it doesn't use any tone rows. One didn't dare write anything traditionally tonal for a composition class back then!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 29, 2021, 09:58:50 AM
I've written a number of pieces like this, not usually as a result of intentional restrictions but mostly because it comes naturally to me whereas the "original" music I'm [more] interested in writing takes much more effort, and can confirm this. Composers are invariably skeptical, unless you're under 18 or at least a music student, at which point it's considered understandable; performers and listeners are also usually uninterested, except—for whatever reason—for conductors, and presenters think any contemporary music (regardless of style) is too much of a financial risk. One's best bet at having such music performed appears to be one of the following: a) amateur and youth orchestras/ensembles; b) being friends with the owner of Toccata Classics. It's also usually possible to get music students at any conservatory to play through and record a common practice-style chamber piece, since they're always in need of money, but they're not usually very enthusiastic.

Thanks for those suggestions. Unfortunately, I'm pretty far from any conservatory, being out in the boonies of Vermont. My only options seem really to be professional ensembles. My main problem, I think, is that I'm totally unknown and thus dependent on introductions by sympathetic friends - it was Karl who got me at least a look-see by the Australian conductor I mentioned. My only "in" with a local, highly renowned chamber orchestra would have been a composer acquaintance who lives a few kms down the road, but unfortunately he's one of the folks who really don't like this piece. He even went through the score and proudly declared that there were some 530 occurrences of the sequence 8th-8th-quarter-quarter in the piece, which he called a "pattern" even though most of them are part of longer phrases - and in any case I was mainly concerned with coherence and relating everything to a few basic motives, and rhythmic variety was never one of my goals in writing this piece. Sigh... still waiting to hear from Australia.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 29, 2021, 11:54:29 AM
Well I want to write something for the violist who helped me over last winter with notational issues and have a few ideas for a viola sonata, but it will likely be at least next summer before I have the time to write anything new - I have a full teaching schedule both fall and spring terms. If you want to hear something completely different, check out my String Quartet in A Minor, I think on page 3 or so of this forum. It was originally a student work that I started in summer 1975 while studying with Albright at Michigan, but didn't know how to end it at the time, finally took it up again 45 years later! It's in a more expressionistic idiom, in fact it's frankly atonal for much of its length, though it doesn't use any tone rows. One didn't dare write anything traditionally tonal for a composition class back then!

I'll definitely check out your String Quartet - I've persued the score (and indeed much of it is atonal, even though it begins [D-flat in the cello notwithstanding!] and ends in A minor. I wrote a String Quartet myself, back when I was (I think) 17... but it's highly derivative. I actually entered it into Sibelius and recorded it with NotePerformer; it kind of sounds like faux-Mendelssohn - it probably could have been written in 1840! Definitely anachronistic for 1992 - but I can share it as a curiosity!

I actually applied to U of Michigan for my Master's - I was interested in studying with William Bolcom. But it was a tumultuous time in my life; I ended up skipping my GRE's and my interview, and I ultimately didn't get accepted. I often look back on this period and wonder what might have been!

And I definitely hear you on not writing tonal music for composition classes! Even in the '90s at Oberlin, composing anything remotely suggesting a tonal center was sacrilege! Of course, I wrote tonal and tonal-adjacent music anyway; the rest of the composition department kind of looked down on it. Not with scorn or derision; I just think they saw me as naive and inexperienced. I know back in the '60s and '70s, twelve-tone music was all the rage in academia; at Oberlin, while I was there, it wasn't so much dodecaphonism, but everyone else was writing 'edgier' music: tone clusters, microtones, aleatoric music, multimedia presentations with tape and computers. I just wanted to write melodies, and to develop my own basically tonal style! And even though I've written almost nothing since 1998, that's still my number one goal.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 29, 2021, 12:00:45 PM
Hi, perhaps I missed it...or maybe you didn't say who the conductor in Australia was, but I wish you all the best!

PD
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 29, 2021, 12:17:03 PM
My only "in" with a local, highly renowned chamber orchestra would have been a composer acquaintance who lives a few kms down the road, but unfortunately he's one of the folks who really don't like this piece. He even went through the score and proudly declared that there were some 530 occurrences of the sequence 8th-8th-quarter-quarter in the piece, which he called a "pattern"

This, frankly, baffles me. It did not get anywhere near registering with my ear as a possible "fault," — though even more baffling is that he should expend the effort to make such a tally. No knowing, no knowing.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 29, 2021, 07:24:41 PM
This, frankly, baffles me. It did not get anywhere near registering with my ear as a possible "fault," — though even more baffling is that he should expend the effort to make such a tally. No knowing, no knowing.

Frankly, I think his real problem with the piece was the common practice harmony. He did say at one point on Facebook that he had always been impatient with that sort of thing and didn't listen much to anything written before 1950. When I read that I decided I wouldn't ask him again for his comments on the piece, but when I posted an update later he asked for the score, so when I revised it again I asked him if he was interested in the new version. My mistake, won't happen again...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 30, 2021, 02:52:43 AM
Hi, perhaps I missed it...or maybe you didn't say who the conductor in Australia was, but I wish you all the best!

PD

You didn't miss it - I haven't said, and I think I'll keep that under wraps until and unless he accepts my piece. And thanks!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 30, 2021, 11:47:31 AM
I actually applied to U of Michigan for my Master's - I was interested in studying with William Bolcom. But it was a tumultuous time in my life; I ended up skipping my GRE's and my interview, and I ultimately didn't get accepted. I often look back on this period and wonder what might have been!

Ah, but have you enjoyed your life even so? And it's not too late, of course, to write the works that you would otherwise have written back then... maybe they'll even be better works than they would have been, with the benefit of your years of experience... not necessarily musical experience, but even just LIFE experience!

I have to say, though, that Bolcom was a pretty cool guy, and I enjoyed studying with him for the most part, even though most of the time I was his student I was going through a fallow period where I found it extremely difficult to put ideas down on paper. I think in some ways I enjoyed Albright a little more. He was very encouraging, gave me some sharp criticism when I deserved it, and overall let me shape my piece as I saw fit. My other teachers at Michigan I had very little use for - especially George Wilson who once told me that "the pitches don't matter" when I asked him for some help with ear training. (Well, that's not entirely true, my first theory professor, Wallace Berry, was a real sweetheart! And sharp as a tack...)

And of course, I gave up composing too, actually around 1980. I was too busy learning physics, and learning it thoroughly and well. I can't say I regret doing that, only that I wish I had discovered notation software about a decade earlier than I did, in late December 2019.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 30, 2021, 11:55:47 AM
Ahh, that makes sense if you were trying to use four voices maximum. Yes, I think double basses would sound great doubling the cellos at the octave in passages where you want more weight and power. It's up to you, of course!

Well okay, I really didn't have the time to do it, but I did it anyway... added a double bass part that's used VERY sparingly and doubles the cellos more often in unison than an octave lower. In unison, it just reinforces the cello line, but in a few passages where it goes into the lower octave, the effect is of brief growlings from the deep. And the very end of the Coda, of course, goes down ultimately to C1, though I never let the dynamic get above forte. I don't know that I'll keep this version - in any case, double bass players would hate me as they'd have so little to do!

If anyone's curious, the NotePerformer rendering and the score are linked below...

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 30, 2021, 12:45:21 PM
Well okay, I really didn't have the time to do it, but I did it anyway... added a double bass part that's used VERY sparingly and doubles the cellos more often in unison than an octave lower. In unison, it just reinforces the cello line, but in a few passages where it goes into the lower octave, the effect is of brief growlings from the deep. And the very end of the Coda, of course, goes down ultimately to C1, though I never let the dynamic get above forte. I don't know that I'll keep this version - in any case, double bass players would hate me as they'd have so little to do!

If anyone's curious, the NotePerformer rendering and the score are linked below...

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing)

Listening to your revised version now!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 30, 2021, 01:35:37 PM
Well okay, I really didn't have the time to do it, but I did it anyway... added a double bass part that's used VERY sparingly and doubles the cellos more often in unison than an octave lower. In unison, it just reinforces the cello line, but in a few passages where it goes into the lower octave, the effect is of brief growlings from the deep. And the very end of the Coda, of course, goes down ultimately to C1, though I never let the dynamic get above forte. I don't know that I'll keep this version - in any case, double bass players would hate me as they'd have so little to do!

If anyone's curious, the NotePerformer rendering and the score are linked below...

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AVl77z08AyB8acbySBO8EjW9GDTHkfvh/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EoEr1PR2dbl7pxDtGgbBc0SGcBCKTaCe/view?usp=sharing)

I confess, I really like the new version! I like the sparing way you use the basses, and the final chord really sounds great. There was one passage I thought could benefit from their presence: from the second beat of m. 527 through m. 530, if they came in an octave below the cellos, they would lend their weight to the pianississimo chord. But that's entirely up to you! All in all, excellent work!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek on September 30, 2021, 03:49:08 PM
Ah, but have you enjoyed your life even so? And it's not too late, of course, to write the works that you would otherwise have written back then... maybe they'll even be better works than they would have been, with the benefit of your years of experience... not necessarily musical experience, but even just LIFE experience!

I have to say, though, that Bolcom was a pretty cool guy, and I enjoyed studying with him for the most part, even though most of the time I was his student I was going through a fallow period where I found it extremely difficult to put ideas down on paper. I think in some ways I enjoyed Albright a little more. He was very encouraging, gave me some sharp criticism when I deserved it, and overall let me shape my piece as I saw fit. My other teachers at Michigan I had very little use for - especially George Wilson who once told me that "the pitches don't matter" when I asked him for some help with ear training. (Well, that's not entirely true, my first theory professor, Wallace Berry, was a real sweetheart! And sharp as a tack...)

And of course, I gave up composing too, actually around 1980. I was too busy learning physics, and learning it thoroughly and well. I can't say I regret doing that, only that I wish I had discovered notation software about a decade earlier than I did, in late December 2019.

Well, my life has been a mixed bag! I made some rash and not-well-thought-out decisions when I was younger... including giving up pursuing music. I'm stuck in a job I really don't like (software test engineer) just to pay the bills. But I've realized after 20-plus years that I need to have music in my life, and that includes writing. I had a stroke in late 2019 which kind of put things in perspective, and made me reconsider the things that were important to me! I'm still struggling to create new works, but I think I need to proceed more slowly - my brain is full of symphonies and other large-scale works, but perhaps I need to write some piano pieces and shorter chamber works first. Walk before I try to run, so to speak. I think, as you say, I have a lot of life experience to bring to the table - I just have to get comfortable composing again. I truly believe it will come.

How interesting that you studied with both Albright and Bolcom! I think they were both still at Michigan when I applied in 1997, though Albright passed away not long after. And good to know they were both good guys - it makes all the difference. I studied with two different teachers at Oberlin - one was Richard Hoffmann; he just passed away recently. Hoffmann was Arnold Schoenberg's assistant toward the end of his life, so he would spend most of our lesson time telling these elaborate stories. Although he was a really neat guy, he really didn't help me grow as a composer. My second teacher was a young guy (as in barely 30) who made it known he really didn't like my style, and repeatedly tried to get me to write in a more 'avant-garde' idiom. So he wasn't really helpful either.

And how could an actual musician say "pitches don't matter"? That boggles the mind!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on September 30, 2021, 03:54:05 PM
I confess, I really like the new version! I like the sparing way you use the basses, and the final chord really sounds great. There was one passage I thought could benefit from their presence: from the second beat of m. 527 through m. 530, if they came in an octave below the cellos, they would lend their weight to the pianississimo chord. But that's entirely up to you! All in all, excellent work!

Thank you! I think I needed someone to push me into doing that, as I had decided against it for a rather silly reason, namely that I'd been using the basses so consistently at major cadences that to use them again here would seem, well, almost cliche. But it really does help here, I agree. I spliced in just the new material (letter X to letter Y, starting at about 13:40) to the previous rendering (new file below). Revised score too (only that one tiny change)...

And thanks again for listening!!

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H52yw02ZAd-VeDHlVRpPmAIpFZAeS2Hr/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H52yw02ZAd-VeDHlVRpPmAIpFZAeS2Hr/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SBlfYefvNmjlNl0EYVG1srwQVcBLpgi0/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SBlfYefvNmjlNl0EYVG1srwQVcBLpgi0/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 30, 2021, 04:43:21 PM
Thank you! I think I needed someone to push me into doing that, as I had decided against it for a rather silly reason, namely that I'd been using the basses so consistently at major cadences that to use them again here would seem, well, almost cliche. But it really does help here, I agree. I spliced in just the new material (letter X to letter Y, starting at about 13:40) to the previous rendering (new file below). Revised score too (only that one tiny change)...

And thanks again for listening!!

Rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H52yw02ZAd-VeDHlVRpPmAIpFZAeS2Hr/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H52yw02ZAd-VeDHlVRpPmAIpFZAeS2Hr/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SBlfYefvNmjlNl0EYVG1srwQVcBLpgi0/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SBlfYefvNmjlNl0EYVG1srwQVcBLpgi0/view?usp=sharing)

Will listen anew tomorrow!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on October 01, 2021, 05:27:28 AM
Ah, but have you enjoyed your life even so? And it's not too late, of course, to write the works that you would otherwise have written back then... maybe they'll even be better works than they would have been, with the benefit of your years of experience... not necessarily musical experience, but even just LIFE experience!

I have to say, though, that Bolcom was a pretty cool guy, and I enjoyed studying with him for the most part, even though most of the time I was his student I was going through a fallow period where I found it extremely difficult to put ideas down on paper. I think in some ways I enjoyed Albright a little more. He was very encouraging, gave me some sharp criticism when I deserved it, and overall let me shape my piece as I saw fit. My other teachers at Michigan I had very little use for - especially George Wilson who once told me that "the pitches don't matter" when I asked him for some help with ear training. (Well, that's not entirely true, my first theory professor, Wallace Berry, was a real sweetheart! And sharp as a tack...)

And of course, I gave up composing too, actually around 1980. I was too busy learning physics, and learning it thoroughly and well. I can't say I regret doing that, only that I wish I had discovered notation software about a decade earlier than I did, in late December 2019.
Sounds like you have already lived quite an interesting and varied life!  Good for you!

PD
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on October 01, 2021, 05:29:22 AM
I'll definitely check out your String Quartet - I've persued the score (and indeed much of it is atonal, even though it begins [D-flat in the cello notwithstanding!] and ends in A minor. I wrote a String Quartet myself, back when I was (I think) 17... but it's highly derivative. I actually entered it into Sibelius and recorded it with NotePerformer; it kind of sounds like faux-Mendelssohn - it probably could have been written in 1840! Definitely anachronistic for 1992 - but I can share it as a curiosity!

I actually applied to U of Michigan for my Master's - I was interested in studying with William Bolcom. But it was a tumultuous time in my life; I ended up skipping my GRE's and my interview, and I ultimately didn't get accepted. I often look back on this period and wonder what might have been!

And I definitely hear you on not writing tonal music for composition classes! Even in the '90s at Oberlin, composing anything remotely suggesting a tonal center was sacrilege! Of course, I wrote tonal and tonal-adjacent music anyway; the rest of the composition department kind of looked down on it. Not with scorn or derision; I just think they saw me as naive and inexperienced. I know back in the '60s and '70s, twelve-tone music was all the rage in academia; at Oberlin, while I was there, it wasn't so much dodecaphonism, but everyone else was writing 'edgier' music: tone clusters, microtones, aleatoric music, multimedia presentations with tape and computers. I just wanted to write melodies, and to develop my own basically tonal style! And even though I've written almost nothing since 1998, that's still my number one goal.
Go for it CG!  You never know unless you try.   :)

PD

p.s.  I'm trying very hard not to address you as Cookie Monster--very hard not to considering your current avatar!  :D
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: amw 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek 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!

Quote
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
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek 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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter 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
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nWze-vKsqT0f79mkEr5TBqBXlB8j3Ubr/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xrBF1w5bINjhUbwiT3gEeXJuDl2J6A8j/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xrBF1w5bINjhUbwiT3gEeXJuDl2J6A8j/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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 (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 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HZe56Xl7L9p5BrBzkuUBt_t1wzJJXOJS/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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/1Mfu7C8k7wruxHS1zSjhVV35BPi_akgAi/view?usp=sharing)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fM1qOWzlFrHP7SWY-2VpdiWZqWi35IJX/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fM1qOWzlFrHP7SWY-2VpdiWZqWi35IJX/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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...)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter 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
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: classicalgeek 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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz 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.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on December 30, 2021, 02:11:59 PM
I'm glad that you heard back from him!  Has he seen a version of your score?

Fingers crossed for you here....

PD

Yes, I sent it to him three months ago, at the end of September. I assume he has looked at it...
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on December 30, 2021, 02:13:21 PM
I really hope this opportunity works out, even if you have to wait.  :(  Your piece deserves a performance - we're all pulling for you!

Thanks CG!  :)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on December 30, 2021, 02:20:20 PM
Yes, I sent it to him three months ago, at the end of September. I assume he has looked at it...

I should also say, the version I sent to him 3 months ago was chamber strings + soloists only. The full string orchestra version came later, and the current version that has frequent changes of ensemble between full tutti and chamber strings he has not seen. Part of why I posted asking for feedback about it is because I'm not sure how well it will work. In the computer rendering the effect is mostly subtle, but I have to imagine it will be less so in actual performance.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 30, 2021, 02:55:29 PM
Glad you two have connected! Similarly, a message he sent me on a time, vanished into e-mail twilight 8)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 09, 2022, 06:16:46 AM
I've had the feeling for some time that there wasn't enough contrast between slow tempos and fast(er) ones in this piece... so recently during a few hours of spare time I slowed the tempos slightly in the slower parts (especially Fuga I and Fuga III), leaving the faster ones (and Fuga II) essentially unchanged. I like the result, but some might feel the slow passages are TOO slow now... feedback would be appreciated.

Also, there is now a consistent use of the chamber sub-ensemble as a distinct voice through most of Fuga III. I'm not sure how audible the contrast is in the computer rendering; the chamber strings sound thinner and brighter to my ears, but the effect is subtle.

No changes to the notes, it's the same piece, just a slightly different "reading".

Sibelius/NotePerformer rendering:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16dcqYeWqz_klm7VkimcfAeIvNhJc7cF-/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/16dcqYeWqz_klm7VkimcfAeIvNhJc7cF-/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lep6mnLAkcLxWfTsol8Cq0bmppkNj8rB/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lep6mnLAkcLxWfTsol8Cq0bmppkNj8rB/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 11, 2022, 04:28:46 PM
After posting in Mark's thread about hiding fussy metronome markings, I realized that there were a few places in my own score where I hadn't done that, so I went back and cleaned them up. Link to "cleaner" score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fD60NcbWGre5-H3aXvyBRkEjV7vbXbrj/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fD60NcbWGre5-H3aXvyBRkEjV7vbXbrj/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: MarkMcD on April 13, 2022, 05:44:55 AM
Hello Krummholz,

There's nothing I could say that has not already been said and besides, I'm hardly qualified to give any meaningful critiquie, just to let you know that I listened and I liked it.

The only thing I would say is that there is a "Chorus" button in NotePerformer which can "widen" the sound a little and a little more reverb might add to the rendering of the piece.

I do like NotePerformer a lot, and for the price I think it's probably the best virtual orchestra available at the moment.

Kind regards
Mark
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 13, 2022, 07:07:14 AM
Hello Krummholz,

There's nothing I could say that has not already been said and besides, I'm hardly qualified to give any meaningful critiquie, just to let you know that I listened and I liked it.

The only thing I would say is that there is a "Chorus" button in NotePerformer which can "widen" the sound a little and a little more reverb might add to the rendering of the piece.

I do like NotePerformer a lot, and for the price I think it's probably the best virtual orchestra available at the moment.

Kind regards
Mark

Hi Mark,

Thank you for listening, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I wasn't aware of the "chorus" button in NP, thanks for the heads-up. However, I chose "Medium Room" in Sibelius rather than something larger because more reverb would tend to muddy the textures (I want all the voices to be clear and distinct as much as possible) - and for another reason. Every playback in NP is slightly different and some have real flaws... intonation errors, inexplicable pauses, legato phrases broken up, a weird "swishing" effect, even timing issues with solo strings. As a result, every sound file that I post has been spliced together from multiple renderings. The only places where it is possible (at least in Audacity) to splice in a passage from a different rendering is where there is complete silence, otherwise there will be an audible click or pop that Audacity doesn't seem to have the tools to erase. So, bottom line, increasing the reverb would make splicing even harder to do.

Actually, I meant to ask you whether you've noticed this with NP? I've discussed the timing issues by email with Arne Wallander and he is aware of the problem, and promises it will be fixed in the next major release - or at least, made less noticeable, since individual string "players" entering at slightly different times is an intentional feature in NP. I really like NP too, but these little issues can be awfully frustrating sometimes.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: MarkMcD on April 13, 2022, 07:57:26 AM
I have noticed some of those issues you mention and yes it is annoying.  I don't know if this will be the case in your experience but I tend to edit a lot and in the course of all the edits, sometimes i find a slur or tie or some other performance mark that didn't get deleted when you blow up the score and these too can make odd noises from time to time.  I don't think it deals particularly well with consecutive fermata which I sometimes use as "hack" to humanise the perfomance.

On the "M" key mixer page, you'll find the chorus slider under the reverb slider.  You can adjust it to your liking.  I don't use it much for most instruments, but for strings it does a decent job.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 14, 2022, 07:28:34 AM
I have noticed some of those issues you mention and yes it is annoying.  I don't know if this will be the case in your experience but I tend to edit a lot and in the course of all the edits, sometimes i find a slur or tie or some other performance mark that didn't get deleted when you blow up the score and these too can make odd noises from time to time.  I don't think it deals particularly well with consecutive fermata which I sometimes use as "hack" to humanise the perfomance.

Yes, I have had that happen too, especially with ties mysteriously getting deleted... had that happen recently in fact. But the odd effects I'm talking about happen on some playbacks and not others, even if I haven't done any edits at all. Arne said that the "swishing" effect was "psychoacoustic", which I assume means partly in the listener's brain, but they are either there in a particular rendering or not, and other listeners have reported hearing them as well. The variation in the time between notes amounts to a variable tempo (even with Meccanico) - Arne thinks it is inside Sibelius, but it does not happen when using Sibelius Sounds, only with NP.

Quote
On the "M" key mixer page, you'll find the chorus slider under the reverb slider.  You can adjust it to your liking.  I don't use it much for most instruments, but for strings it does a decent job.

Yes, I found both sliders, and Reverb was obvious, but I couldn't figure out what the Chorus slider does. I could not hear any effect at all from moving the Chorus slider.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 20, 2022, 04:12:44 AM
I rescored the piece over the last few days - not to change the instrumentation, but to break out the various choirs so that they could be separated spatially. This is really the way the piece should have been written to begin with, instead of just marking "solo" and "camera" in mid-line. In this rendering, the solo quartet is stage right, the chamber ensemble is stage left, and the large string orchestra extends across the stage. The separate choirs are much easier to distinguish now. No need to listen all the way through again, but the first 6 minutes or so of Fuga III really show off the result I think (starts around 14:30). The solo viola and cello open the exposition, then the full string orchestra enters, then after the exposition there ensues a sort of mysterious dialog between the chamber ensemble and the orchestra before everything collapses in despair. Then a pause and the solo quartet enters again, followed by the other choirs, as the music rises from the ashes to a rapt climax, and persists in a more urgent, yet hopeful, mood straight through to the Coda.

Though I didn't change the reverb or room size settings, reverb is much more apparent in this rendering, which of course made splicing more difficult... but it all worked out.

Sound file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing)

Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2022, 12:22:43 PM
I rescored the piece over the last few days - not to change the instrumentation, but to break out the various choirs so that they could be separated spatially. This is really the way the piece should have been written to begin with, instead of just marking "solo" and "camera" in mid-line. In this rendering, the solo quartet is stage right, the chamber ensemble is stage left, and the large string orchestra extends across the stage. The separate choirs are much easier to distinguish now. No need to listen all the way through again, but the first 6 minutes or so of Fuga III really show off the result I think (starts around 14:30). The solo viola and cello open the exposition, then the full string orchestra enters, then after the exposition there ensues a sort of mysterious dialog between the chamber ensemble and the orchestra before everything collapses in despair. Then a pause and the solo quartet enters again, followed by the other choirs, as the music rises from the ashes to a rapt climax, and persists in a more urgent, yet hopeful, mood straight through to the Coda.

Though I didn't change the reverb or room size settings, reverb is much more apparent in this rendering, which of course made splicing more difficult... but it all worked out.

Sound file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1llkaT81q0G0seUeYG96Wtze4_3TYdG/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGuEjcr7XyDDeVG7tFrEn4m8hvpRLr26/view?usp=sharing)



Will revisit soon-ish!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 20, 2022, 08:15:55 PM
Will revisit soon-ish!

Thanks Karl, I look forward to "hearing" your thoughts.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 22, 2022, 07:42:14 AM
I'm not entirely satisfied with the dynamic balance between the choirs in the rendering I posted the other day. Sibelius seems to do weird adjustments of the volume levels of instruments in the different choirs. If all instruments are given the same volume in the Mixer, the soloists are much too loud, and even the chamber strings ensemble is at least equally as loud as the full orchestra at the same volume level. It's very different from reducing the number of players using MIDI messages, as I had done earlier. I adjusted the volume levels and the dynamics to compensate but there are places where the soloists are too quiet now, and the chamber strings are in some places too loud and in others too quiet. I think I was wrong to adjust the dynamics and am now restoring my original dynamics and trying to find a happy medium in the Mixer that gives the result I want. I'll post an updated sound file and score in a couple of days.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on April 24, 2022, 04:45:15 AM
So this is the best I can do for now... there are still a couple of problems with balance, notably at letter X where the entrance of the orchestra seems a bit too loud to me... but it's pp, and if I make it ppp, then I'm mucking with the dynamics in the score to hack the rendering, and anyway I lose the die away to niente just before Fuga III, since there is no dynamic level softer than ppp in Sibelius. Also, I don't know how to bring out the chamber violas now at the very end of the Coda; they are almost inaudible even at f. I think human performers would know how to realize this, but in this rendering, it doesn't quite come off.

I'm undecided whether the chamber violas and cellos should enter mf or f at letter GG. f sounds better in Sibelius/NP, but I think mf is correct, and that's what is used for this rendering.

Edit: tiny tweak to dynamics to bring out a submerged pizzicato in Interludio II, and another to give a little more expression to the start of the Evoluzione.

Edit: solved the chamber violas problem at the end of the Coda (left the chamber violins' suspended F hanging, resolves after silence). Otherwise no changes to the score, just reformatted to eliminate (I hope) text spilling over the right-hand margin. I think I'm finally satisfied with this.

Audio:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tny10Dwmv6YKBVABOpqScz30ntHT4x5V/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tny10Dwmv6YKBVABOpqScz30ntHT4x5V/view?usp=sharing)

Draft score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/108-BNF_z-_rFv48JSyUF5MSx8-0vPy7X/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/108-BNF_z-_rFv48JSyUF5MSx8-0vPy7X/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2022, 06:44:53 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 16, 2022, 07:00:00 AM
I keep coming back to this piece because there are still things that bother me about it. One issue that has vexed me (and someone on a different board even voiced a strenuous objection over it) is the C major ending, which tends to sound like the dominant because F minor has played such a prominent role in the last third of the piece. Here is an experimental solution to the problem. No changes up to letter FF (21:20). Feedback would be welcome.

Edit: slight modification to the beginning of the Coda, and a brief transition for solo violin is treated more freely.

Audio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cCPoV1G-Qzl46o7D0H_t5URFHn8zYpyY/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cCPoV1G-Qzl46o7D0H_t5URFHn8zYpyY/view?usp=sharing)

Score (rather rough):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p-HLsSEYS9uIOtD4I63iqCE7EhlXLCNg/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p-HLsSEYS9uIOtD4I63iqCE7EhlXLCNg/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 16, 2022, 08:09:42 AM
I keep coming back to this piece because there are still things that bother me about it. One issue that has vexed me (and someone on a different board even voiced a strenuous objection over it) is the C major ending, which tends to sound like the dominant because F minor has played such a prominent role in the last third of the piece. Here is an experimental solution to the problem. No changes up to letter FF (21:20). Feedback would be welcome.

Audio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/13v8_ymf8fGiB6sIDMG2o9ObpvUVzTuSS/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/13v8_ymf8fGiB6sIDMG2o9ObpvUVzTuSS/view?usp=sharing)

Score (rather rough):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q_9kh_uZGHJJx1EUJ40nGklgX4UA1vsq/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q_9kh_uZGHJJx1EUJ40nGklgX4UA1vsq/view?usp=sharing)

Will listen again, this week!
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 16, 2022, 11:37:09 AM
Will listen again, this week!

Thanks Karl! (see above, also)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 19, 2022, 11:50:23 AM
This version is identical to the one above except for the Coda, which transposes the first 2/3 or so of the original Coda from F minor into C minor. I can't decide which version I like better. The C major ending is more convincing in this one, but some of the gravity is lost (and some clarity gained) due to the higher register.

Audio:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CJd3IY0H96IBCf1ndvxr1yXkrrgNJLtU/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CJd3IY0H96IBCf1ndvxr1yXkrrgNJLtU/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fG3ERyo1sjEX89kMVBBPOw5cEQezucmQ/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fG3ERyo1sjEX89kMVBBPOw5cEQezucmQ/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: amw on May 19, 2022, 04:12:06 PM
I keep coming back to this piece because there are still things that bother me about it. One issue that has vexed me (and someone on a different board even voiced a strenuous objection over it) is the C major ending, which tends to sound like the dominant because F minor has played such a prominent role in the last third of the piece.
This is actually one thing I wouldn’t change at all for this exact reason. The reason the end of Beethoven’s Op. 131 is so powerful is precisely because the C-sharp major is so “unconvincing” after the intense lean towards F-sharp minor throughout the coda; it creates a sense of infinite space in the ending, leaving it as both extremely final and extremely open, a question mark that at the same time feels like the only possible way the piece could have ended. Beethoven pulls a similar trick at the end of the Heiliger Dankgesang where it’s impossible for the final F major chords to not feel like the subdominant of C major, given the Lydian mode, and yet they are the only ending that could have possibly worked; introducing a B-flat into the texture at the last minute would have been much too disruptive.

That’s just my opinion obviously, I am just one person, your thoughts and opinions here are of course much more important. But my view overall is that I preferred the C major ending in your piece with the sense of ambivalence as to whether this was a true “resolution” or not. I like uncertainty in endings in general, though.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 19, 2022, 05:21:23 PM
This is actually one thing I wouldn’t change at all for this exact reason. The reason the end of Beethoven’s Op. 131 is so powerful is precisely because the C-sharp major is so “unconvincing” after the intense lean towards F-sharp minor throughout the coda; it creates a sense of infinite space in the ending, leaving it as both extremely final and extremely open, a question mark that at the same time feels like the only possible way the piece could have ended. Beethoven pulls a similar trick at the end of the Heiliger Dankgesang where it’s impossible for the final F major chords to not feel like the subdominant of C major, given the Lydian mode, and yet they are the only ending that could have possibly worked; introducing a B-flat into the texture at the last minute would have been much too disruptive.

That’s just my opinion obviously, I am just one person, your thoughts and opinions here are of course much more important. But my view overall is that I preferred the C major ending in your piece with the sense of ambivalence as to whether this was a true “resolution” or not. I like uncertainty in endings in general, though.

Thank you for your thoughts on this!

I think I've settled on the version below. I don't have a strong need to make the ending key perfectly convincing, but in the original version from months ago, F minor had been established so strongly before - not just in the coda, but in the final few pages of the last fugal section. It was so strong that it was not ambiguous at all IMO, but as in Op. 132, impossible to hear the final chord as the tonic.

But in Op. 132 the effect comes, as you say, from the whole movement being in the Lydian mode, so that's different. Op. 131 plays a different trick and I'm realizing, now that you mention it, that it's the exact effect I'm after here, a leaning toward the subdominant minor but only a leaning, producing some ambiguity but still with a strong sense of tonic in the final chord.

I'm keeping my changes to the ending of the fugue for other reasons, especially that I really like the crossing and re-crossing of the violin lines at the climax and the climbing into the stratosphere in the aftermath. But the coda had to return all the way to Earth and carry the full weight of the rest of the piece. The only change I'm making to the Coda (other than some harmony and voice-leading in one spot) is to begin in C minor, then four more overlapping entries instead of three, descending into the lower registers. The final cadence is supposed to have an element of Stoic triumph, which would be missing if the whole section were just transposed up to C minor.

Audio file:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oyOHzK7ephVdpICzk-r6ZrmsWQEUzl6O/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oyOHzK7ephVdpICzk-r6ZrmsWQEUzl6O/view?usp=sharing)

Score:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12YkAPtdsjSW4vxr48sjBfv05gt3SpKFX/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/12YkAPtdsjSW4vxr48sjBfv05gt3SpKFX/view?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 20, 2022, 06:40:59 AM
Yes, I think this piece is finished at last. The only thing I would change in the rendering above is to lengthen the solo violin's dramatic pause at 21:44 by maybe a second. But that's a performance issue. I still need to prepare a submission score minus all the Sibelius/NP hacks... when (if) I can find an orchestra that might be interested in performing it. It appears that the orchestra whose conductor had expressed an interest last year may have dissolved, a casualty of the pandemic. Karl, do you know for sure?
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 20, 2022, 11:22:31 AM
Yes, I think this piece is finished at last. The only thing I would change in the rendering above is to lengthen the solo violin's dramatic pause at 21:44 by maybe a second. But that's a performance issue. I still need to prepare a submission score minus all the Sibelius/NP hacks... when (if) I can find an orchestra that might be interested in performing it. It appears that the orchestra whose conductor had expressed an interest last year may have dissolved, a casualty of the pandemic. Karl, do you know for sure?

I am sure the interest is live.
Title: Re: Sinfonia Solenne for Chamber String Orchestra
Post by: krummholz on May 20, 2022, 02:59:27 PM
I am sure the interest is live.

Thanks Karl... but does he have an orchestra? When I do a google search on SCPO, the only links that come up for me now predate his tenure with the orchestra - unlike last year - so there doesn't seem to be any recent activity. Musicians have to earn a living somehow... hence my concern.