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 Post subject: Symphony nr. 2 - part 2
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:49 am 
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Is ready. Watch your volume!!!!

Symphony nr.2 - part 2
https://www.box.com/s/ik93v4tksi06rwp74brj (all EWQL)

Somebody made a remark about the vibrato of the solo flute, which isn't possible at high volume on lower registers. I tried to avoid this using ARIA and GPO solo flute but still it has a lot of vibrato, so I am stuck with the original chosen flute for the time being.

I am suffering some hearing problem with my right ear, due to a severe cold. It already took 2 weeks to make me hear a bit without the constant feeling of having water in my ear (inner ear). Must be patient, in about another week or so, I think (hope) that it is gone completely.

Raymond

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:20 pm 
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This is what I heard and enjoyed. Exquisite balance of sound with all instruments playing so nicely together and blending flawlessly. A potpourri of instrument mixes – all proportioned very well with traditionally weak instruments coming through very clearly. Deft touch with dynamics result in solo sections that actually stand out with virtual players not having to force their sound in order to be heard.

Can the same instrument dynamics be achieved by a real orchestra? Not sure.

Your orchestration was wonderful. Once again, your music seemed to have that pensive sound; that quality of holding back. You have not yet unleashed the full power of the orchestra. I can’t wait for that to happen.

Still waiting for that classic ‘Allegro’ section, or are your plans for the development of this piece going to follow a different structural path?

My biggest and only gripe: I felt the brass sound was severely understated (even anemic) at 6:57. Can or will a real trumpet section (or soloist) play such a nice line so quietly after such minimal activity for much of the movement? The dynamic mix seemed somewhat unnatural not only between the trumpets themselves, but also between the trumpets and the string/woodwind sections. From my chair in the trumpet section I can’t imagine any scenario where that kind of delicate sound balance could successfully be achieved. Not impossible I suppose, but difficult.

Regardless, great use of dynamic contrast, tempi and great structural development for this movement, and the length was perfect with a lovely yet pensive forward motion full of inventive musical ideas that kept this listeners attention for the full nine minutes. I was hooked from the first listen and thoroughly enjoyed your handiwork and musicianship in this second movement.

Merv.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Merv wrote:
Can the same instrument dynamics be achieved by a real orchestra? Not sure.


I asked myself this. After a lot of listening to recordings of Bruckner, Prokofiev, Mahler and Shostakovich I was convinced that this was possible. Mahler and Shostakovich, both performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, did this at multiple parts of their symphonies.

Merv wrote:
Your orchestration was wonderful. Once again, your music seemed to have that pensive sound; that quality of holding back. You have not yet unleashed the full power of the orchestra. I can’t wait for that to happen.


That all full blown allegro section has just been setup as part 3. You have to have some patience, first I must get rid of that hearing problem. I can notate/copy the notes form my sketches, ok, but balancing the loudness is out of the question for now.

Merv wrote:
My biggest and only gripe: I felt the brass sound was severely understated (even anemic) at 6:57. Can or will a real trumpet section (or soloist) play such a nice line so quietly after such minimal activity for much of the movement? The dynamic mix seemed somewhat unnatural not only between the trumpets themselves, but also between the trumpets and the string/woodwind sections. From my chair in the trumpet section I can’t imagine any scenario where that kind of delicate sound balance could successfully be achieved. Not impossible I suppose, but difficult.


Please use other words to describe what you mean by this. Should I give it more juice/power? Should I write another score for it with a bit more dynamical presence? Understated and anemic mean just about the same for me: bloodless, dull. Later on in the paragraph you say that the delicacy can be achieved with difficulty. Now I am confused.

But thank you for the compliments, tomorrow I will be off all day (some inevitable socializing), but on friday those inkspots will appear on the virtual paper.

Raymond

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:45 am 
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I believe that trumpets in relation to the rest of the orchestra (when used sparingly, as they are in your composition) occupy a unique niche. Somewhat like the piccolo (which you used very effectively). Any instruments inclusion is for a carefully thought out and calculated reason. In other words, “I want to achieve this result, and the instruments I need to achieve this result are…”.

Power is implicit in the trumpet. Its regal nature was not fully exploited in your climax. In your score, clarinets and violins could have done the job just fine. The majority of your composition employs strings and woodwind anyway, and this is not bad. Your mastery of these instruments and their various strengths is appreciated by this reviewer. In your very well-done climax the trumpet section could have contributed so much more.

‘Bloodless’ and ‘dull’ are your words, not mine. Anemic and understated infer that more power is needed – perhaps even more passion. Trumpets can provide this. Your words mention a ‘bit more dynamic presence’, and that is exactly what I am referring to. If you’re going to use the trumpet, make it effective and make it memorable.

It is not a big issue. It does not detract from the excellent work that you have achieved. I have not called into question your skills or ability or obviously excellent talent. Only one small weakness stood out among many major strengths. As a concert trumpet player of many years occupying the first chair, I may have been the only one to notice this small thing.

I am sincerely sorry if I have offended.

Merv.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:57 am 
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At first, YOU DIDN"T OFFEND ME!!!! Second, I am glad you explained your remarks more deeply. Since I am not a trumpet player, I never thought of "letting loose" the implied power of the trumpets. Looking at the score, it is not a question of notes but of "rendering". Since SONAR didn't do well with some parts when rendering from MIDI I had to make wave files for importing in SONAR. This limits my possibilities for getting them sound like "trumpets". When I come back this evening, I will have a second look at it.

Glad that you emphasized this, I really am - no doubt about this.

Greetings,

Raymond


Merv wrote:
I believe that trumpets in relation to the rest of the orchestra (when used sparingly, as they are in your composition) occupy a unique niche. Somewhat like the piccolo (which you used very effectively). Any instruments inclusion is for a carefully thought out and calculated reason. In other words, “I want to achieve this result, and the instruments I need to achieve this result are…”.

Power is implicit in the trumpet. Its regal nature was not fully exploited in your climax. In your score, clarinets and violins could have done the job just fine. The majority of your composition employs strings and woodwind anyway, and this is not bad. Your mastery of these instruments and their various strengths is appreciated by this reviewer. In your very well-done climax the trumpet section could have contributed so much more.

‘Bloodless’ and ‘dull’ are your words, not mine. Anemic and understated infer that more power is needed – perhaps even more passion. Trumpets can provide this. Your words mention a ‘bit more dynamic presence’, and that is exactly what I am referring to. If you’re going to use the trumpet, make it effective and make it memorable.

It is not a big issue. It does not detract from the excellent work that you have achieved. I have not called into question your skills or ability or obviously excellent talent. Only one small weakness stood out among many major strengths. As a concert trumpet player of many years occupying the first chair, I may have been the only one to notice this small thing.

I am sincerely sorry if I have offended.

Merv.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:57 am 
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Hallo Merv,

I am grateful that you made the remarks about the sound of the trumpets. Yesterday night I couldn't work at it, too late back home. This morning I started adding some extra "juice" to various trumpet parts in part 1 as well as part 2. Suddenly the character of the whole piece changed in a positive way.

I am a sponsor of our local Residentie Orchestra (The Hague) and they plan giving instrumental course to us. In the first place letting the sponsors try playing the instrument. With my age I certainly cannot do that, but what I can do is letting the "instrumentalist" discuss with me the various playing techniques, possibilities and completely impossible things. A sort of knowing the instrument in an orchestra, its role, etc..... I'll sincerely hope they go on with that plan.

Completely aside of this, don't ever think you will insult me. Dutch people love to be direct in their language and maybe I am one of those rare species that love getting corrected. It all helps me making a better composition and rendering.

With regards,

Raymond

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:45 pm 
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I just uploaded into Box.com the newly rendered parts 1 and 2. With some extra emphasis on the trumpets as Merv suggested in his post. The links are the same. Today I did some testing with different volumes/modulation (CC's in the notation program), also with some volume settings on the wave files (from overture) and the result of this careful "coarse and fine tuning" is now subject for your comments.

Personally I am really happy with this. Another listening to some CD's and a little analyzing "what do I really hear" together with the written score (fro IMSLP) told me that this new rendering could stand any criticism. Of course, it is a recording with a non-existent orchestra, MIDI all over - humanized where possible. It therefore can never compete with a professional orchestral recording. But I did my utmost best to satisfy you (and myself of course).

Since my hearing problem still exists, but is getting better and better everyday, I will concentrate on writing out the third part, immediately followed by the fourth. Till then no new renderings or diversion of any kind. I really want to have this symphony finished before my 69th birthday (22 febr).

Raymond

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