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Everything posted by TJS

  1. You do have a point. I suppose I was thinking that if you did it at the award ceremony that there would be a write-up about it (if for no other reason than people would be so shocked at what happened) and that would at least get the other composer's name out there, and you could give him/her the award money. Perhaps you could even convince them to change the name on the award or in their record books. I guess it would have to be one of those things that you decide at the time. If you REALLY feel you don't deserve it, then you can make the principled stance to reject the award. But I'm sure many people trying to establish their careers might be happy to have the recognition and it would be a hard thing to turn down. It also happens at times that composers can be too self-critical and might actually be wrong that their piece is not great. Tchaikovsky was often unhappy with his works which we recognize as masterpieces today, for example, and then you have perfectionists like Brahms who went so far as to destroy entire works that he didn't think were up to his standard (yet I'd be certain they were better works than most other composers living at his time could have done). Bartok was a strange and uncompromising man. Here's another story: early in his career when he wasn't getting a lot of performances, the main orchestra of Budapest played some movements from his First Suite, probably thinking they were doing him a favour, but instead of being thankful, he wrote a letter telling them off because all the movements are thematically linked, so by playing only some of them, they ruined the structure of the piece. He then proceeded to ask them never to play any of his music again (!). (Paraphrased from Harold C. Schonberg's Lives of the Great Composers.) So I am not surprised by point number 4 up above!
  2. Well, you could always take it and then at the award ceremony pass it off to the person you believe should have won. ;) After all, the judges chose you, but once you have the award you can do what you want with it.
  3. I'd say it's on the decline at the moment but I don't expect it to go away. That said, I think the days of the mid-twentieth century avant-garde's self-believed supremacy are gone for good, something for which I shed no tears at all.
  4. Congratulations to Emiliano! Many thanks to the judges for their hard work in looking at all the works entered in the competition. While I don't like judging at all, really, I think this would have been a particularly hard one to grade because of the many truly excellent entries, so I'm glad it wasn't my job to sort through it all. :) When do the details to the winter competition get announced?
  5. Thanks for the input. That would remind me of Schnabel's quote on Mozart, "Mozart is too easy for children, but too difficult for professionals." ;)
  6. Wouldn't something on that level be quite difficult? As a keyboard player, Bach's suites (like, the English and French suites) are at the top levels of difficulty, obviously excluding his easier pieces. Grade 10 and ARCT (and above) level, by my country's (Canada) rankings.
  7. Mozart variations - Full score.mp3 At the request of Monarcheon, I am uploading a single file for the mp3 and a single file for the score. None of the notes or markings, etc., has been changed, although a couple of changes were made by removing my name from each variation, for example, since that wouldn't have made sense in a single file. Thanks to the above posters for listening and commenting! "Inverted" might have been the correct word. The theme is G, Eb (or E, in the major), D, C. In the third variation, though, it goes G, C, D, E, ascending rather than descending. If I had completed more of the variations, it might have been more balanced, though I would not presume to be able to write at Mozart's level!... ;) There certainly is a risk when using a theme from such a great movement (some have argued it's Mozart's best concerto finale) and Mozart himself wrote variations on it. As I was getting close to the deadline, I suddenly realized I had written down a few too many of the major-key variations and not enough of the minor-key ones, so that's why it is a bit biased toward the major. Thanks :) Maybe you enjoy it BECAUSE you don't (or can't?) write in that style? I know there are many pieces (not simply classical) which I love but which wouldn't come naturally at all to me, or maybe I wouldn't even make an attempt at writing that way but admire it greatly, maybe all the more because it's beyond me how they came up with it. As for the fourth variation, I felt that there was enough movement going on in the upper voices and that a pedal was needed. If it had been a full orchestra, I think this would have been covered by handing it to the brass and/or bassoons and then maybe the lower strings would have been needed to give more power to the violas and second violin. (Someone with real-life experience, please feel free to chime in about how the balance would work out.) A small part of the bass line in Variation VI (one octave up, one octave down) also references the earlier variation as a way to tie it in a bit. Thanks for listening! EDIT: Is there a way to stop the below file from playing at the same time as the above? It seemed like I loaded this page and both played at once.
  8. Here is my entry. Good luck to everyone! Hopefully you had a good experience with this type of writing. Here is a recording of the theme. Yeah, it sounds just a little better than the computer rendering. :/
  9. Here is my entry for the November, 2016 competition. Hopefully this uploads right....
  10. Hi, I used to be a member here a few years ago. Sorry that I haven't been around but it's nice to see some people I remember (whether they remember me is another story ;) ). I'd like to enter this, although 25 days to submission will be VERY ambitious. But even if I don't get it done, at least I'll have gotten something down, which is better than I have done in...far too long. I presume it would be all right to write variations on a theme which has already had variations done on it? I don't mean in the sense of Paganini's theme but rather that the composer of the theme himself wrote variations on it. (If you say no, I'll kick myself for having asked, since my variations are well under way...if not in written form, anyway.)
  11. Undoubtedly a great idea (how I would love to tear apart the waltz I uploaded last year), but I probably won't compete. The result is a foregone conclusion anyway, if we're being honest. :P
  12. I think the point (or part of the point) of the competitions is to get people to explore something different and move them beyond their comfort zone. Obviously I am disappointed that the last competition had only a single entry, but I'm not sure if that was a problem with the idea itself (maybe it was seen as too much work? Something else?) or because the site seems a little moribund lately. I occasionally wonder if it would be interesting, but depending on how one interprets the idea, it seems unbelievably tedious. Serialists, though, would often talk about the freedom their system gave them to explore other aspects of composition--I dunno, maybe it's true.
  13. Sorry to anyone who had been offended by my comment on Babbitt. I meant he sucked as a composer. Had no idea about his orientation. I still think it's an incredibly stupid bit of advice in the grand scheme of things (though not entirely).
  14. So does it have to use those themes? I'm guessing not but thought I'd ask.
  15. If you finish this by August 31st, you can enter it in the July/August competition and get guaranteed feedback!
  16. I believe I have a good piece in mind for some variation-writing. I understand you want a short theme, but do the variations have to be the same length, or can they sometimes be expansions (or even contractions) of the theme? In other words, how strictly/freely do they have to conform to the original theme?
  17. It's true that some composers did not listen much to other people's music (or at least maybe after a certain point in their lives). Either they didn't like what they were hearing or felt it intruded too much on their own thoughts. For my own part, I don't listen to nearly as much as I used to at all, which I find unfortunate, but also for some reason necessary. I can't say whether it's helping or hindering (probably the latter, really), and it might have something to do with my life at the present moment, but that seems to be my instinct for now.
  18. I'd add Mozart, Debussy, Mahler, Prokofiev, Liszt, Bartok off the top of my head as other composers who thought very highly of themselves (although maybe in Liszt's case it was not as a composer that he saw himself that way). Not sure how you can call Wagner an also-ran given his influence on music. Whether it was good or bad, the same could be applied to the others listed. And that being said, look at the list we have compiled: the history of music would be entirely different without many of those names (and again, for better or for worse, depending on one's perspective). Maybe thinking that way was partly a defence mechanism that these composers came up with to explain why their brilliant music was so often disliked or misunderstood. On the other hand, maybe they had a look around and just knew they were better (although I don't personally agree in all those cases, certainly). As for today, I can't comment, but if history holds true, then it's likely at least some of the most important composers of today will think highly of themselves. What I do wish people would drop, though, is the Wagner-Liszt-Boulez mindset of the "Music of the Future" crap, because history always proves them to be incorrect.
  19. Plenty of the greats had massive egos and fully believed they were geniuses and saw the genius and greatness in other composers and strove to be great themselves. Maybe I am missing your point.
  20. http://www.youngcomposers.com/music/4894/sonatina-in-d-minor-for-solo-bassoon-mayjune-2013-competition/
  21. Me, certainly. How oddly coincidental that I literally just finished setting an LDS hymn about an hour ago....
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