Here is a challenge for you. Write a piece of music where you don't copy paste the rhythm you use in the first bar in the following bars. Perhaps for a duration of the phrase or perhaps during then entire piece.
You write in a very formulaic way, perhaps imposing some compositional-technical challenges for yourself will improve your writing.
Hi! It's a joy always for me to score-read and listen pieces with grand scope.
After the first listening indeed I found that the dramatic arc in the first movement seems a bit incomplete. The ending came as a sort of surprise to me, I felt that there had been no real climax. of course leaving one part of a multi-movement piece open formally as a "question" is a perfectly valid approach and I can't comment on if I think it works here after only my first listen.
I have to say though, I really love the sound-textures in the beginning of the second movement. I feel as if you could have developed the timbral world there even more. Or at least thats what I would have liked to hear. The interplay between pizz. cello and harp in the very start there is something I lament that there is only one bar of. But your thinking is more in terms of melodic development than timbral one, it seems. Definitely an inspiring introduction for me though, I might try to develop something similar myself.
At bar 43, 2nd mov, I definitely hear Stravinsky.
The attaca from 2nd to 3rd also works really well. Combining the basses of the second movement with the motion in the woodwinds from the first is a cool touch.
And then in bar 100 or so at the third movement I am now reminded of Scelsci and his pieces for orchestra that use a single tone. This seems like a very different world from the rest of the symphony.
A very banal though as a final first impression of the symphony is that though it's culminations seem to hint at music that is very rhythmically active and high tension and complexity, then most of the time it was slow and reserved instead. Or maybe I have been listening to too much of Printempts recently.
No doubt. If you spend some time with them you can rehearse them to the point where you can play them reasonably smoothly and with ease. However, you seem to have missed my point. It is not that what you wrote is in any way illegal or is so difficult as to be unplayable, but that it is disproportionally difficult compared to the musical effect. It is a modest idea and the difficulty spike seems absurd with regard to what is happening in the music. Tell me, is adjusting the music in a non-essential way so that it lies better and gives the instrumentalist a greater chance of expressing the underlying form really such a large compromise? It is so wasteful to refuse to optimize even if you have virtuosos at your disposal (which most people do not). A similar thing occurs in programming - people know that they have an exorbitant amount of resources at their disposal and adopt dubious practices because they can get away with it. I think it is bad artistry - and you bet that people respect for example video games with solid engines that you can max out on modest hardware without a hitch. That's a sign of quality - and it comes at no expense to the precious artistic vision of the developers.
Beethoven is crazy, almost as crazy as the music he writes. He paints broad strokes and seems to ignore the canvas completely (was there even a canvas to begin with?) - in this sense he is similar to Béla Bartók. His string quartets are hideously difficult. I do not know any music which is as vehemently uncompromising, at times dissolving into almost complete barbarism. This is the spirit of the music, and it is hard to argue that he should exercise more civility when writing for strings - it seems almost a paradox to suggest so. Your music is not that crazy, in fact it is quite modest and well-mannered. In any case, both composers were reasonably aware of what they were doing, and you do not find many examples of such needless difficulty. When something is difficult, it is because there is really a lot of urgency or because it is to achieve an effect which cannot be achieved otherwise.
I do not understand your reasoning that because you do not hope for the piece to be performed that you can allow yourself more liberties. Strictly speaking, it isn't music until it is heard in performance - just imagine if you didn't have Sibelius playback. The concept of "writing for an instrument" without writing for it is puzzling to me.
That is a valid position to take if you believe in it. Personally I choose to look at it as a collaboration. I like to write music and I like to play music. I like to play difficult music, but I don't like to play music which is difficult solely because it is ignorantly written. Part of being a professional is being able to be on your A-game even when you are handed awkward music, but as I am not a professional performer I do not have to deal with that and greatly appreciate when things are cleverly written. My experience singing in choirs and playing in orchestras has led me to realize how important the psychological aspect of written music is. There are certain pieces where I can reach up to a chest G4 (sounding) with relative ease, like Rachmaninov's Bogoroditse Devo (but I have only once been brave enough to go all the way) from the Vespers and then there are others where I struggle with B3 (the difference is purely psychological, when testing my range on the piano I have reached up to B5 in full blast). It is symptomatic of me not believing in the music and not feeling it believes in me, if that makes sense. The Rachmaninov piece, although it is only an example, is special because it is written so comfortably for the voices. More important than being comfortable, all of the parts are interesting to sing and I really feel as if the composer is welcoming me to sing the music. This is something I consider very important, and it makes the performance instantly better. I especially love to sing music by the old Renaissance masters - it gets to be quite tricky but you always consider it an exciting obstacle to overcome - at least I do, they were real pros.
Don't misunderstand me, I have nothing against difficult music nor do I advocate unreasonable compromises. I would say that my music is generally speaking difficult and I have a few embarrassing experiences to confirm that. I have also written my fair share of absurdities due to misinformation and am in no way perfect. Anyway, I think the composer is responsible for their performer's emotional and physical state while learning and performing their piece. It is not a responsibility to take lightly - they aren't machines.
I had a lot of fun watching the video and the music. I very much admire the way you have managed to synchronize both: it must have been hard work. I liked the rythm and the theme you chose. Thx for sharing.
The first 2 pieces were rather simple, yet powerful and I could very well imagine how they could pay tribute to someone's departure.
The 3rd piece had some interesting bits (e.g. some "debussy-like" harmonic alterations), but was somehow a bit too repetitive, especially at the end.
Was it a recording ? (The execution was so perfect that I needed to ask the question)
Many thx for sharing,