danishali903

YC SUMMER 2016 COMPETITION RESULTS!!!

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YC 2016 SUMMER COMPETITION RESULTS

 

Reviewing and scoring has been completed by the judges. Before I share the results, I just want to say a few things:

Firstly, I again want to congratulate all the entrants who participated. You guys really stepped up and submitted some wonderful entries! I also hope we can have this type of participation in future competitions! 

Secondly, I want to thank the judges for their time. I'm sure they would all agree with me when I say that it was really hard to pick a winner for this contest. 

Thirdly, and most importantly....all scores/reviews are highly subjective, as usual. If you have a problem, or need further clarification, please show good sportsmanship spirit and kindly ask individual judges instead of whining about it on a public forum.

For reference, below are the entries that were submitted:

Monarcheon's Variations on a Wanderer's Theme: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34087/variations-on-a-wanderers-theme/

Marc 'O C's Airs from Titus Andronicus: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34092/airs-from-titus-andronicus/

Ken320's Everything that Grows: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34093/everything-that-grows/

Jared S. Destro's King Lear Overturehttp://www.youngcomposers.com/t34098/king-lear-overture-in-c-minor/

Luderart's Nine Sententiae for String Trio Op. 277: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34101/nine-sententiae-for-string-trio-op-277/

Fishyfry's Like as the Waves Make Towards the Pebbled Shore: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34114/like-as-the-waves-make-towards-the-pebbled-shore/

Gylfi's Chant and Variations: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34115/chant-and-variations-on-shakespeare‘s-127th-sonnet/

Noah Brode's Coriolanus: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34116/coriolanus/

Austenite's Julius Caesar, Op. 41http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34117/julius-caesar-op-41/

KJ's Hamlethttp://www.youngcomposers.com/t34118/hamlet-ycf-summer-competition-entry/

 

And now, without further ado, here are the tabulated scores (in order of submission):

Variations on a Wanderer’s Theme - Monarcheon

danishali903: 53

Bkho: 50

Sojar: 52

Johnbucket: 39.5

TOTAL: 194.5/200

 

Airs from Titus Andronicus - Marc O’ Callaghan

danishali903: 36

Bkho: 39.5

Sojar: 41.5

Johnbucket: 26.5

TOTAL: 143.5/200

 

Everything that Grows - Ken320

danishali903: 53

Bkho: 50

Sojar: 54

Johnbucket: 40.5

TOTAL: 197.5/200

 

King Lear Overture - Jared S. Destro

danishali903: 33.5

Bkho: 45.5

Sojar: 36

Johnbucket: 31.5

TOTAL: 146.5/200

 

Nine Sententiae for String Trio - Luderart

danishali903: 36

Bkho: 37

Sojar: 40

Johnbucket: 23.5

TOTAL: 136.5/200

 

Like as the Waves Make Towards the Pebbled Shore - Fishyfry

danishali903: 42

Bkho: 46.5

Sojar: 46.5

Johnbucket: 33.5

TOTAL: 168.5/200

 

Chant and Variations on Shakespeare’s 127th Sonnet - Gylfi

danishali903: 37

Bkho: 38.5

Sojar: 36

Johnbucket: 43

TOTAL: 154.5/200

 

Coriolanus - Noah Brode

danishali903: 40

Bkho: 45.5

Sojar: 41.5

Johnbucket: 31

TOTAL: 158/200

 

Julius Caesar Op.41 - Austenite

danishali903: 50

Bkho: 49.5

Sojar: 51.5

Johnbucket: 40.5

TOTAL: 191.5/200

 

Hamlet - KJthesleepdeprived

danishali903: 39

Bkho: 45

Sojar: 41.5

Johnbucket: 35.5

TOTAL: 161/200

 

RANKINGS:

1st: Ken320

2nd: Monarcheon

3rd: Austenite

 

 

Congratulations to Ken320, the winner of YC's Summer 2016 Competition! 

 

 

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Danishali903's Reviews and Scores:

Scoring Criteria:

 

  •     Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work:  /15 points
  •     Structure and coherence:  /15 points
  •     Instrumentation/Orchestration:  /10 points
  •     Quality of the Score: /8 points
  •     Audio Quality: /2 points

 

 

Variations on a Wanderer’s Theme - Monarcheon

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: You based your piece on the play, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The play, for those not familiar with it, is a psychological drama about the titular character’s quest for vengeance. I believe your piece captures the psychological torment that Hamlet goes through to achieve his end goal very effectively. 14/15

 

Structure and coherence: The piece is basically a “theme and variations”…5 variations to be exact. Each variation seems to focus on Hamlet’s interaction with another character, and musically depicts his state of mind. I like the fact each variation is unique, and a self-contained unit. I do wonder why Horatio didn't make the cut for your variations. 14/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: The piece is just for one solo cello. Very well written! You use the whole range of the instrument, and the use of advanced and extended techniques is perfect. 10/10

 

Quality of the score: Well-detailed and clean. 8/8

 

Audio quality: Yay, live recording! (and a very good one at that too!) 2/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Thoughtful and interesting! 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 53/50

 

 

 

 

Airs from Titus Andronicus - Marc O’Callaghan

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Your piece is based on the play, Titus Andronicus, one of Shakespeare’s lesser known tragedies. I’m not too familiar with the work myself, but your program notes provide an adequate description of the plot. 12/15

 

Structure and coherence: Your piece is basically an aria based on a soliloquy in the play, with added chorus. The concept is great, but the execution is not. Honestly, I thought the piece went way too long for its own good. For one, there wasn’t a variety in tempo or character/mood for 11 minutes. Also, the harmonies were quite plain, and times awkward, and not very interesting. There was some attempt at counterpoint in the chorus, but it left me desiring for more. 7/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: Your choice to have a countertenor is bold, and I think very appropriate. The writing for soloist and chorus seems alright. Your choice for using solo strings is a bit odd. There are obvious balance issues, as in most places the strings will be drowned out by the brass and/or chorus. The writing for the winds and strings is adequate, though a bit too plain. 6/10

 

Quality of the score: Nice score, though could use some more articulation, expression directions, bowings, rehearsal letters/numbers. 5/8

 

Audio quality: Good, though at times I could barely hear the strings. 1/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Informative and very helpful! 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 36/50

 

 

Everything that Grows - Ken320

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Your piece is inspired by one of Shakespeare’s sonnets…Sonnet 15…which you have provided in your notes. I think your piece perfectly paints the picture of spring, and things (be in man or nature) growing and renewing themselves. 15/15

 

Structure and coherence: The piece is structured well enough to hold interest. This is achieved through clever rhythmic and harmonic modulations mostly. The sections transition flowingly into one another without seeming random. I also like the fact that the piece has that baroque-y feel, yet feels refreshingly “modern”, so kudos! 14/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: The choice for a smaller, Elizabethan-style ensemble is refreshing. The writing for most of the instruments is nice. There are some double stops in the violin and cello that are awkward, and some of the harp passages seem difficult. As a side note, I feel like the small nature of the ensemble could lend itself well to use this music as background music in an actual Shakespeare play (I was thinking the masquerade ball scene in Romeo and Juliet) 9/10

 

Quality of the Score: Clean and well presented. 8/8

 

Audio quality: Very nice! 2/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Very informative! 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 53/50

 

 

King Lear Overture - Jared S. Destro

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: As obviously stated in the title, this piece was inspired by Shakespeare’s famous drama, King Lear. Your piece, in my opinion, intends to capture the plot highlights of the play…to some mixed results. 13/15

 

Structure and coherence: Usually overtures (in the context of “incidental music”…like Beethoven’s overture to Egmont or Berlioz’s own King Lear Overture…and to some extent Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture) encapsulate the plot of the drama in a condensed fashion, but they have a structure and an overall arch. Your piece seems more like a collection of scenes than a coherent overture. The music within each “scene” is also very bland, lacks development, and seems more like background scoring rather than something for the concert hall. Though I do have to say the introduction was quite superb, and some of the slower parts were quite sublime. The ending was also unconvincing with the sudden change to C major from minor. Overall, I think your work can benefit from some more melodic development and counterpoint. 8/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: You use a late classical/early-Romantic orchestra, which is alright. The string writing looks a little difficult, the 16th note passages will not come out clean due to various accidentals and string crossings. The winds/brass writing is little meh…and I don't think you utilize the 2nd player of each wind section well, but that’s a minor quibble. 6/10

 

Quality of score: Very well put, though could use big rehearsal letters/numbers, bowings, more expressive markings, etc. 5/8

 

Audio Quality: No problems there! 1.5/2

 

TOTAL: 33.5/50

 

 

 

Nine Sententiae for String Trio - Luderart

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Your piece was inspired by dialogue from the play Hamlet: “Brevity is the soul of wit”. I think it is clever how you were inspired from that to write your short pieces, but I wish there was a more direct relation between your pieces and to Shakespeare. 10/15

 

Structure and coherence: Your piece consists of 9 Sententiae, which are basically self-contained mini-miniatures. Since these are short pieces, they lack melodic/harmonic development, which doesn't really make me (and most people) really fall in love with these pieces. Though I must say that you employ variety of styles and rhythms across the 9 movements to a good effect. In the end however, I’m not satisfied with the lack of melodic development or the lack of an overall arch and structure. 6/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: String writing is adequate, though too safe. Some of the double stops in your 2nd movement look awkward for the violin. You should try to explore higher ranges for each instrument. 7/10

 

Quality of score: I don't see any dynamic markings or expressive markings. Other than that, it’s alright. 6/8

 

Audio quality: No problems there! 2/2

 

Bonus Points for program notes: 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 36/50

 

 

 

Like as the Waves Make Towards the Pebbled Shore - Fishyfry

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Your piece was inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 60. It seems like you were trying to put the central theme of the sonnet into a musical language, and you mostly succeeded. 12/15

 

Structure and coherence: You structured the piece based on the lines in the sonnet…basically trying to depict each line in musical terms. It’s a good strategy, but I don't sense musical cohesion between the different themes and sections in the music. This could also be due to your themes not being developed enough. The harmonic direction is a bit odd…and the few dissonances are a little off-putting. Also the section after the solo cello cadenza-ish and the entry of the lyrical violin theme…bars 48-50ish…is very jarring and needs smoothing over. 11/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: Very idiomatic writing for all instruments involved. The violin part looks a little tame, and has a somewhat limited range compared with the cello and piano. 7/10

 

Quality of the score: Looks good! Wish there were a few bowing suggestions, and big rehearsal numbers/letters. Also, some expressive markings would be good. 6/8

 

Audio Quality: The piano seems to be louder than the strings. Also the recording didn't have any crescendo or diminuendos, kinda distracting…1/2

 

Bonus Points for program notes: Very good, though could’ve talked more about how the sonnet relates to the music more. 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 42/50

 

 

Chant and Variations on Shakespeare’s 127th Sonnet - Gylfi

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: As the title suggests, you based your work on Shakespeare’s 127th sonnet. Your idea of mixing the old medieval chants with contemporary style is very provocative. Yet, besides the first variation where you used the text, I feel there wasn't enough of a connection between the theme of the sonnet with the music you wrote. 11/15

 

Structure and coherence: Your piece is structured as a theme and variations. It is a very “abstract” (for the lack of a better word) work, thus it requires the listeners full attention to fully grasp what is going on. To be honest, after the first variation, I felt like the work lost some steam, and didn’t end as strongly as it began. This is could also be due to the MIDI audio, however, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (kinda). 10/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: I believe you’re the only contestant who wrote for an a cappella choir, so good for you! I’m not an expert in choir writing, so my comments may not be accurate. The tenor range in the beginning for a chant seems really wide, I don't know if that’s a good thing. Some of the choral writing later seems devilishly difficult…Bar 17 in the 1st variation for example. On the other hand, I do appreciate you using extended vocal techniques to keep the work fresh and interesting. 6/10

 

Quality of the score: Titles and sub-headings are missing, making it confusing to figure out which variation is which. 4/8

 

Audio Quality: This ambitious work NEEDS a live recording. I believe most of the things weren’t brought out at all with the MIDI. 1/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 37/50

 

 

Coriolanus - Noah Brode

 

Piece’s relation to Shakespeare work: As stated by the title, your piece was inspired by one of Shakespeare’s last tragedies, Coriolanus. Your piece is basically is a tone poem that relays the plot of the play in musical terms. 13/15

 

Structure and coherence: First of all, I feel this piece is more of a short overture, rather than a tone poem. I feel like a tone poem should have more…gravitas…which I feel this lacked. Also, I think this piece can benefit from counterpoint…like a lot! Some moments sounded too bare without much going on…like bar 115. Your themes and harmonic ideas are interesting, though a bit old-fashioned. I would’ve liked a little more development and perhaps a contrasting section in the middle. Another problem for me was the ending section (around bar 175), where I feel like your musical language changes all together. Strangely enough, I found this section to be the most interesting. 9/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: It’s interesting how you chose the violin to represent the titular character. I personally would’ve chosen the cello, or the french horn…but to each his own. The violin writing is very virtuosic, though that triple stop in bar 104 looks dubious. The writing for other instruments is…on the meh side of ok…Your winds are going to be definitely drowned out by the strings in a live performance, and don't have much interesting material to play besides whole notes. 6/10

 

Quality of score: Mostly ok, missing bowings for strings, slurs for winds, and expressive markings overall. 16th note tremolo marks clash with the note heads in the strings…a little distracting. You don't mention if the horn part is in concert key or transposed (?) Could also use some rehearsal letters/numbers. 5/8

 

Audio Quality: No problems! 2/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Very good! 5 PTS

TOTAL: 40/50

 

 

Julius Caesar Op.41 - Austenite

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: As evidenced by the title, your work is inspired by The Tragedy of Julius Caesar….one of my favorites (if not THE favorite)!!! Your piece…which I assume is a tone poem and not an overture….attempts to capture the drama of the plot, and I think it greatly succeeds! 14/15

 

Structure and coherence: Very programmatic, but the way you structure it gives it an overall arch that is very convincing. Your melodic motifs are very memorable and greatly advance the drama in the music. I do wish your slower, non-militaristic sections were a little longer and more developed however. The ending also felt a little sudden, i would’ve preferred ending on a hold to release all the tension that was built up before. 13/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: Really well done here! Not much to say. 10/10

 

Quality of score: Very clean and detailed! Some wind parts could use slurring, and strings could use some bowings. 7/8

 

Audio Quality: For some reason the bass trombone was obnoxiously loud, and the strings were really soft. This really needs a live performance! 1/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Very good! 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 50/50

 

 

Hamlet - KJthesleepdeprived

 

Piece’s relation to chosen Shakespeare work: We have another composer inspired by Hamlet! It’s also very interesting (and very cool) how your interpretation is quite different from Monarcheon’s. Guess this shows that people can look at the same thing and have very different opinions and ideas…very cool! I guess your piece is the more “optimistic” of the two and shows Hamlet in a more “sympathetic” light. My only concern here is that I didn't feel the “soul” of Hamlet in the music…this is all very subjective.. 10/15

 

Structure and coherence: You wrote 2 movements that describe’s Hamlet’s character and his progression into madness. Both movements are structurally sound on their own, but I wish there were more a connection between the two. Your harmonies are sometimes interesting, but still on the safe side. I would like for the 2nd movement to be a bit more darker, and somewhat different (character-wise) than the 1st, since they both sound really similar. 9/15

 

Instrumentation/Orchestration: I don’t see any problems with your writing for the piano, though again, WAY too safe. 7/10

 

Quality of score: Everything seems very condensed, could use some more spacing. Missing some slurs…could also use some pedal marking. 6/8

 

Audio Quality: No problems there! 2/2

 

Bonus points for program notes: Very informative indeed! 5 PTS

 

TOTAL: 39/50

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Bkho's Reviews and Scores:

 

Monchareon – Variations on a Wanderer’s Theme for Solo Cello

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  15/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  15/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 2/2 points

     

50/50 

 

Very impressive, introspective work which I thought did the best job in capturing the source material.  Really uses the solo cello to the maximum potential with a wide array of techniques and sound effects to really bring the highlights of the play to life yet all within a clear theme and variations structure.  The excellent performance recording is added icing on the cake.

 

 

 

Ken320 - Everything That Grows

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  15/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  15/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 2/2 points

     

50/50

 

I don’t think there is a composer on this site more versatile in composing effectively for any combination of instruments.  The approach of using an “Elizabethian” ensemble to portray a sonnet is a brilliant stroke and there is wonderful interplay among the instruments, each having brief moments to shine then seamlessly recede to the background and at times coming together in beautiful and unexpected ways with skillful counterpoint combined with modern harmonies.   I struggled to find a “criticism” for the work and initially was going to say that it ends someone too abruptly, but then after reading the sonnet more closely and your interpretation of it, it’s perfect.

 

 

 

Austenite – Julius Caesar

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  15/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory: 15/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

49.5/50

 

Not too much to say.  This is simply a fantastic work that combines memorable themes with skillful development and lush orchestration which is vintage Austenite.  This is one of the few submissions where had I listened to it blind to the title and was only told it was a Shakespeare themed tone poem, I would have guessed correctly.  Tchaikovsky would be proud!

 

 

 

Jared Steven Destro - King Lear Overture

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

45.5/50

 

Well orchestrated, nice use of a descending second motif as a common aspect in both major theme.  As many have commented, the opening is absolutely wonderful, really setting the tone for the piece about as well as anything can.  The work as a whole has lots of great effects and individual moments and overall really strikes the right tone for King Lear, a mixture of sadness, anger, and madness.  My only tiny piece of criticism is that the individual themes seem to just rotate through the piece to the end without a too much development or variation as if came up with each of the different section separately, then figured out how to link them to together

 

 

 

Noah Brode – Coriolanus

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  14/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 7/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

45.5/50

 

I love the way you approached this as a concertante piece with a soloist “protagonist” and I hope you eventually flesh this out into a larger work, perhaps as a bona fide violin concerto.  Lots of great memorable themes with the solo part being both virtuosic and lyrically but never overly so and there is a good balance between the soloist and orchestral forces.  I liked the little harmonic wrinkles you put into the piece which otherwise is generally harmonically conservative.  I did find the ending somewhat abrupt.

 

 

 

Fishyfry – Like As the Waves Make Towards the Pebbled Shore

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  14/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

46.5/50

 

I though the first part was quite strong.  The driving quarter note motive is a simple but effective way to convey the passage of time and you definitely captured the imagery of approaching/receding waves well quite well.  The second part was quite jarring, I suspect intentionally on your end and after reading your description I understood what you were trying to do and it was pretty effective, maybe too much so since the extended cello part before the violin melody returns at the end really sounds out of place.  Otherwise, excellent piece.

 

 

 

 

 

KJthesleepdeprived – Hamlet

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  12/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  10/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 2/2 points

     

 

 

Total: 45/50

 

As a piece, this is a quite delightful work with wonderful thematic development, interesting harmonic shifts, and flows nicely through different moods and I enjoyed it very much.  The overall style strongly reminds me of Bear McCreary, one of my favorite soundtrack composers (he did the soundtrack for the reboot of Battlestar Galactica).  However, I must admit that this is a very different take than my perception of Hamlet which I consider a very dark play while you strike a more melancholy, wistful tone.   I think this works reasonably well for your intent in the opening movement to convey Hamlet’s mournful personality but not quite as well in the second movement when you try to outline the highlights of the play.

 

That being said, I thought the second movement was the better movement in terms of overall musical quality of music.  The opening theme is very reminiscent of the theme song for the Masterpiece Theater series “Dowton Abbey,” I don’t know if that was intentional but an interesting juxtaposition as that show concerns an aristocratic family undergoing change through tragedy and changing times.  If this was intentional, it is both intriguing, though at the same time, doesn’t make a great a fit for the source material.  I would have loved to see more contrast between the two movements, they generally sound similar in tone even though they represent very different aspects of the play.

 

 

 

Marc O’Callaghan – Airs from Titus Andronicus

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  13/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  10/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  8/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 7/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

 

 

39.5/50

 

What I found particularly interesting is that despite the fairly large forces required in the scoring, there is a persistent intimate feel throughout the work.  The opening is the strongest part (I like the use of the tubular bells) but there is a bit of a meandering quality to the piece as if it were through composed so I think it loses a bit of focus as parts seem to just drop in and out.  Some of the harmonies and rhythms are a little awkward (particularly in some vocal parts which may make it unnecessarily more difficult).  The instrumental interlude sections though are quite nice.   

 

 

 

Gylfi – Chant and Variations on Shakespeare’s 127th Sonnet

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  10/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  12/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  8/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 7/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1.5/2 points

     

38.5/50

 

So full disclosure, I find post-modern pieces like this difficult to understand.  I can appreciate on an intellectual level what you were doing here but it was hard for me to hear the connection to the sonnet or the actual theme and variations component of it.  That being said, there are some very interesting effects though I would think they would be very challenging to sing.

 

 

 

Luderart – Nine Sententiae for string trio

 

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  10/15 points

     

  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  10/15 points

     

  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  8/10 points

     

  • Quality of the Score: 8/8 points

     

  • Audio Quality: 1/2 points

     

37/50

 

I can certainly see why you picked the Polonius quote “Brevity is the soul of wit,” which I think describes well your compositional aspirations.  Certainly each of these little works embodies the “brevity” but the challenge involves conveying the “wit.”  I think there were some successes in this regard, I enjoyed #1 and #6 in particular.  Overall quite pleasant and easy to just as most of your other examples in this genre so this set didn’t particularly distinguish itself from other examples in your oeuvre.

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Sojar's Reviews and Scores:

MONARCHEON: VARIATIONS ON A WANDERER'S THEME

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: The explanation is awesome and music is easy to follow. Very good job. 15/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: A bit lack of better contrasts in the first half of the piece, otherwise no complaints.  12/15

 

Instrumentation: The composer is a skilled cellist and can write idiomaticaly for the instrument. 10/10

 

Quality of the score: Perfect. 8/8

 

Audio quality: It is adequate, I believe it was done by a portable disk recorder. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 52/50

 

 

 

MARC O' CHALLAGHAN: AIRS FROM TITUS ANDRONICUS

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: The connection works and the music language sometimes echoes very British feeling. Good job. 15/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: Although this is a very ambitious effort, it is sadly way too long for what it offers. The music is mostly diatonic but sudden dissonant progression and »creepy« chromaticism don't work as the probably should have. The end is sudden and unexpected as well. 8/15

 

Instrumentation: I would also love to witness more advanced orchestration – lack of good »tutti« climax is evident. There is some well done contrapunctal work but it is not enough. 7/10

 

Quality of the score: not bad, but there is a lack of articulation frequently. 5.5/8

 

Audio quality: I don't know why brass sounds out of tune. Is it possible that the programme believes it shoud have been out of tune? :p 1/2

 

TOTAL: 41.5/50

 

 

 

KEN320: EVERYTHING THAT GROWS

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Good job, everything is adequate and the music is nicely suited to selected topic. 15/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: The music is really floating nicely. Never gets boring, the harmonic language is carefuly selected and is a nice combination of traditional and contemporary. I am impressed. Bravo. 15/15

 

Instrumentation: I am sceptic about the harp, all other instruments are well-written. It is probably too fast for harp to play everything – bar 61 is perfect example. 9/10

 

Quality of the score: NP. Perfect. 8/8

 

Audio quality: works perfect in midi. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 54/50

 

 

 

JARED STEVEN DESTRO: KING LEAR OVERTURE

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: King Lear is a popular topic for orchestral or operatic music. So no surprise to receive this piece. 15/15 +0 for no PDF

 

Structure and coherence: The opening is certainly the finest part of the piece. After the music changes mood too quickly, too much in a programmatic way which significantly reduces the formal approach. 7/15

 

Instrumentation: The initial presto lack good instrumentation as it depends too much on tutti unisonos and lacks of significant counterpoint. There are also too many long chords which might sound effective but there is evident lack of contrapunctal writing. It reminds of myself when I tried my first orchestral composing. Slow sections are better. 4/10

 

Quality of the score: NP. Perfect. 8/8

 

Audio quality: Very fast notes in midi strings always come a bit late. Otherwise ok. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 36/50

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUDERART: NINE SENTENTIAE FOR STRING TRIO

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: The description is suitable and here I find no problems. 15/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: Luderart always composes miniatures without thinking of any significant development of form. There is always an attempt to make music longer by using repetition barlines. While the melodic material shows promise it would have been nice to use it properly. It would have been much better if only three sententiae were composed and each 2 minutes long than nine with approximately 30 seconds. 7/15

 

Instrumentation: There are no flaws in the use of trio, but more range would have helped music. It gets boring while using only comfortable low and middle range of instruments. 7/10

 

Quality of the score: Sometimes there is no articulation and dynamic marks are nowhere to be found. 4/8

 

Audio quality: midi OK, no complaints. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 40/50

 

 

 

FISHYFRY: LIKE AS THE WAVES MAKE TOWARDS THE PEBLLED SHORE

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: The description is fine, I have no problem with it.      15/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: The music is too »programmatic« when delivering contrasts between simple tonality and some dissonant outbursts in the middle. It is a bit too long for what it offers although I cannot say I got bored. However I wished the contrasting moments would be a bit longer to confirm their meaning. 12/15

 

Instrumentation: A bit limited use of instruments. Especially piano and cello should have been used in different registers more. 8/10

 

Quality of the score: no slurs in piano and sometimes hard-to-read due to strange notations of syncopated rhythm. 5.5/8

 

Audio quality: bad dynamics – no crescendos or decrescendos, just sudden forte or piano. 1/2

 

TOTAL: 46.5/50

 

 

 

GYLFI: CHANTS AND VARIATIONS

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: The description is fine, no problems with that. But the music is more of a personal response to the poetry and it is only used in the opening. 10/15 +5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: It is way too long to keep enough interest. The composer tries to make contrasts between »tongue percussion« and static harmonies which have some intriguing but lots of annoying dissonances. At 7:19 the piece should have ended. 7/15

 

 

 

Instrumentation: Way too big range for tenor solo to sing the solo line. The low A should be avoided, it does not sound well. Later use of choir is severly difficult and I doubt this piece will be performed a lot. It features some interesting use of mixing different vocals which is good, but the use of single lines is far more suited to instrumental than choral writing. 6/10

 

Quality of the score: NP 8/8

 

Audio quality: No midi for choral music, please! 0/2

 

TOTAL: 36/50

 

 

 

NOAH BRODE: CORIOLANUS

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Very nicely done, I have no problems. 15/15+5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: The music starts somewhat in Baroque fashion with some nicely added spicy harmonies. I wish that contrast would have been used more frequently. The formal approach lacks strong contrasts but at least the music is not excessively too long for what it offers. The ending of the piece has puzzled me. First sudden striking dissonances and a bit weak ending. 8/15

 

Instrumentation: The use of violin solo is highly virtuoso but I would prefer to use the orchestra more. The winds and brass always play relatively long notes and orchestration becomes static frequently. 7/10

 

Quality of the score: lack of articulation marks in legato moments. 5.5/8

 

Audio quality: Dynamics contrasts are not well presented when strings play tremolo. 1/2

 

TOTAL: 41.5/50

 

 

 

AUSTENITE: JULIUS CAESAR op. 41

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: Excellent description, as always. You'd expect something like that from experienced competitor like Austenite. 15/15+5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: There is some Tchaikovsky and perhaps a bit more Musorgsky evident in the musical language. The form is a bit too long for what the music offers although only slightly. Perhaps there is a lack of really fast section that would help to establish the value of 12 minutes of music. 13/15

 

Instrumentation: Austenite writes well for the orchestra. Climaxed sound fine, the contrasts between chamber forces and tutti are nicely done. 10/10

 

Quality of the score: I miss some articulation in the score, especially legato slurs in winds and brass when needed. 6.5/8

 

Audio quality: For midi it is perhaps the best it can be. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 51.5/50

 

 

 

 

 

 

KJTHESLEEPDEPRIVED: HAMLET

 

Piece relation to chosen Shakespeare work: an ambiental music following the storyline of Hamlet. The description is fine though. 15/15+5 for PDF

 

Structure and coherence: Nothing special to say about this music. It is nice but a bit too little ambitious in general. Similarities with American minimalism (Glass) are evident. 7/15

 

Instrumentation: The use of piano is limited. The sound is nice though. Still, octave transpositions in bars  22-34 are weak. If anybody knows Brahms or Rachmaninoff, (s)he can tell the difference. 7/10

 

Quality of the score: No articulation marks (slurs) 5.5/8

 

Audio quality: NP. 2/2

 

TOTAL: 41.5/50

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Johnbucket's Reviews and Scores:

Johnbucket wrote really detailed reviews and explanations in a PDF document that I'm going to attach. We should all aspire to write reviews like him!

 

PDF
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Wow, a bronze medal!!!! :thumbsup:

Well done, Ken! It's just fitting that you've got the first price - your work was outstanding! Hopefully this will reaffirm your confidence and help your growth as a composer.

Monarcheon's silver medal is nothing to frown about. The solo cello played the role of Hamlet as convincingly as any actor.

Everyone else: great job! It's been a pleasure to have this many great pieces produced as a result of this competition. Looking forward for what all of you will show up next.

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I have no objections but I would like to respond to some minor comments here if that's okay:

danishali903: The work is incomplete and therefore doesn't really end, so I don't find that surprising.

Sojar: The chant is not a tenor solo.

johnbucket: It's /a/ - all of the text outside of the chant is IPA for Received Pronunciation.

Otherwise, congratulations to Ken320 and to everybody, this was fun.

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Enhorabuena! Congratulations to all of you! It has been a pleasure to listen to all these good works, and an opportunity for learning, even more with the comments of evaluations.

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24 minutes ago, johnbucket said:

@Gylfi You might want to check that; RP only has ɑː and ɐ for 'a' sounds.

Don't you mean /æ/ instead of /ɐ/? My only source is Wikipedia. Nice catch nonetheless, I suppose what I mean then is /a/ in American English.* Just open your lips, relax your facial muscles and tongue and vocalize. I thought it was fairly universal, being arguably the most natural vowel. /æ/ is not that far off, but the effect is not intended to be contrived in any way. Just "ah", y'know?

* If that even means anything. I'm having a hard time finding a language that has the "a" sound I'm referring to, save for Icelandic. Just a relaxed and neutral "ah".

 

Edited by Gylfi

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No, I do not mean /æ/; I do mean /ɐ/, as in 'nut'. I don't link /æ/ with a(h) in my mind, and I suspect the same is true for most English speakers; /æ/ is very different from /a/ or /ɑ:/. Although /a/ is found in, say, 'not' in 'Northern cities' AmE, it doesn't occur in GenAm.

Should just make it clear that it's not IPA, I think.

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Congratulations Ken. And thanks to the judges for their detailed comments on and evaluation of each work.

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Some remarks about the judges' comments and marks on my submission:

@John Bucket: Concerning the 10% penalty, I don't know how you calculated it but there is an inconsistency. The scores you have give for each category add up to 26. Deduct 10% and the score becomes 23.5, not 22.5.

@Bkho: "Overall quite pleasant and easy to just as most of your other examples in this genre so this set didn’t particularly distinguish itself from other examples in your oeuvre." As you can see in the passage I just quoted from your review, a word is missing between "easy to" and "just". I would be happy if I could hear from you what it was meant to be rather than attempting to guess it myself.

Let me also share my experience in participating in this competition. It was a good experience. It was a big challenge to try to connect one's composition to a great master of literature such as Shakespeare in the sense that: 1. Music is inherently non-programmatic and abstract and contains its meaning in itself. To connect it to a theme therefore becomes a challenge, at least for me. 2. The responsibility is even greater when it is such a giant of literature whose work one would like "comment on" with one's music. I think all of us succeeded to do that in some measure. And we learned from the experience. Hope to also hear from the others about their experience.

EDIT: @Johnbucket: I see that the error was only in your pdf. It was corrected in the final presentation of the scores above.

Edited by luderart

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@luderart Indeed, you were awarded 23.5, as you can see from the big table, which supersedes the score given in the individual reviews. I apologise if I'd left it as 22.5 in the individual reviews section.

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I am very pleasantly surprised. Very! I thought that the entries with complete orchestras with their nuanced pastels would win over my primary colors. Everyone here contributed a unique and compelling angle to the contest. Thank you.

  • Also, many thanks to the judges who gave up their considerable time and expertise. I hope it was fun for you too!
  • :grin::grin::grin:
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6 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

I thought that the entries with complete orchestras with their nuanced pastels would win over my primary colors.

Well... as soon as I heard your entry (and Monarcheon's, among others) I knew I had to do my best. And even then, both of you remained on top due to the sheer quality of your pieces. So I bow my hat to both of you. Great, great job!

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55 minutes ago, Austenite said:

Well... as soon as I heard your entry (and Monarcheon's, among others) I knew I had to do my best. And even then, both of you remained on top due to the sheer quality of your pieces. So I bow my hat to both of you. Great, great job!

 

Thanks. And then the world turns, and isn't that something?

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Thank you so much to all the judges for your time and detailed analysis of our work. This was definitely a challenge, and I congratulate everyone who was able to compete, especially Ken. I learned a lot from both the reviews, and the other pieces submitted. 

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I also learned a lot from the other pieces as well as the reviews. Some of it was almost as interesting as the music. We are lucky to have such such scholarship here. I have not seen it anywhere else in cyber space.

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I agree; I haven't formally thanked the reviewers yet, and I absolutely thank you every word that was written. As much I appreciate the praise, hearing what I could have done better is always enlightening. Again, everyone did a great job; I can't think of a single piece that wasn't a contender, too. 

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I already said this in the chat box but I'll say it here too. I'm humbled, embarrassed, pleased, and incredibly thankful for the judges' reviews of my work.

Some quick things:

- Danish! Oh how you have wounded me... I guess in retrospect my harmonies are pretty safe when heard in the wider context of music as a whole. For me, though, this was pretty adventurous. Oh well, I'll take this as a challenge to write darker and even more tonally explorative music.

- Bkho, I know the beginning of the second movement sounded a little Downton Abbey-ish but it wasn't my intent to draw a connection. I just found myself writing the melody that way because it felt right. Thanks for your remarks!

- Alas for me, Sojar. I'd have liked a more detailed (if painfully incisive) critique from you of all people, but I appreciate your remarks anyway.

- JohnBucket, you overestimate me. I didn't intend to reference Chopin and I certainly didn't intend that whole V-bvi business. I'm really not that good, unless perhaps subconsciously. I won't give myself that much credit, of course. The dominant usurping the tonic was just a happy accident that I wasn't even aware of until I read it in your critique.

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