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Theodore Servin

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Everything posted by Theodore Servin

  1. @pianist_1981, thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad that you have enjoyed my recent piano works, and my performances of them. It means a lot to me. It's true that the Serenade has a wider range of contrasting emotions than the other piano works. In a sense, the Serenade is the true Fantasy of the three, as it has the most free emotions and form of all three pieces. Also, you're right about the Serenade not fitting as the 2nd moment of the Fantasia. Originally, though, I had a section in the middle of the Serenade that quoted the theme of the first movement of the Fantasia, to try to connect the two works. I realized, however, that the section just didn't fit in with the rest of the piece, plus the piece would have been too long. Again, thank you immensely for your observations. I really appreciate that you took the time to listen to my works and consider them carefully. All the best, Theo 😄
  2. Thank you for your suggestion. The way you have described writing long tuplets on Musescore is the exact same way to write long tuplets on Sibelius. However, my main problem is that if I were to try to put the section from the Chopin nocturne above EXACTLY the way it's written on paper on Sibelius, with all of the fiorituras as they are, I wouldn't be able to. For example, it's impossible to write 18 eighth-notes (quavers) over 4 eighth-notes, without getting the message "This is too long to fit in this tuplet", blocking my attempt. I suppose I should just resort to trying to write multiple small tuplets (maybe even tuplets within tuplets) as you have suggested, because making these tuplets in the way that Chopin or Liszt would write them, is apparently impossible on Sibelius. Again, thank you, @caters, for taking the time to answer my question. Theo
  3. Hello everyone, Is it possible to write fiorituras in the manner of Chopin or Liszt in Sibelius 7.5? Sort of like this: What I am trying to do is create arpeggios in the left hand/right hand parts in a piano score with a similar number of notes as the fiorituras in the Chopin nocturne above. The piece I am writing in is in 6/8 time. Is possible to accomplish? Thanks!
  4. Hi, @pianist_1981, thank you for responding! I have posted a few solo piano works here, and it would be an honor for me if you listened to some of them. The pieces I have posted are: the Fantasia in F-sharp minor, Op 7, the Serenade in E-flat major, Op. 8, and the Improvisation on a Theme by Rachmaninoff, Op. 9. I also have a post on underrated romantic composers, which might interest you. And yes, I do have perfect pitch. Best, Theo 😄
  5. Fantastic piece! I personally find this piece is very appealing, probably because I'm more into darker music these days. - I love all the movements of this sonata, but the 1st movement is probably my favorite movement. I love the dark and brooding feeling that permeates the whole movement, and I also love the clarity and emotional quality of the themes. I also love how smoothly the 2nd theme is introduced. - The main theme of the 2nd movement is just heavenly 😍. The movement has a very interesting form. I like how you end the movement in an emotionally ambiguous manner, in neither a major nor minor chord. - A very exciting and turbulent 3rd movement. I love how you end the movement in C minor. I thought it was going to end in C major, but the surprise of the minor-key end is much more effective, in my opinion. Again, it's a truly fantastic piece! Also, like the Violin Sonata recording, the balance didn't bother me, as I was still able to enjoy the music. I really wish I was at that concert! One of the great things about your music is that even though you compose in a late-romantic fashion, you still manage to express your own voice! You are one of my favorite contemporary composers! Best, Theo 😀
  6. Welcome back! It's a real pleasure to hear more of your amazing romantic music! I only joined this site after the conversion, so this is the first time I've ever heard this sonata. - The 1st movement is very reminiscent of Brahms' violin sonatas, in terms of emotional content, form, and the delivery of thematic material. Very elegant sonata-allegro, with a nice balance of emotions in the development. Well done! - The 2nd movement is just beautiful. What a wonderful emotion to open up the movement, sending the listener to a lovely place. I like your choice of having a darker middle section. But the recapitulation of the 1st theme is my favorite moment in the whole movement. It's just so beautiful and satisfying, the orchestration and the emotional and musical content, especially at the climax at around 6:30. - The 3rd movement is my favorite movement in the sonata, mostly for its thematic clarity. I like how you start the movement in A major, and then finally reach the sonata's home key of D major for the joyous ending. It's a really amazing composition! Also, the recording's balance didn't bother me, and I was able to enjoy the music all the same. Great playing from both you and the violinist! Best, Theo 😀
  7. I can think of a couple of Polish film composers who wrote some beautiful film scores: - Jan A. P. Kaczmarek (born 1953) - Zbigniew Preisner (born 1955) Other than contemporary film music, I can think of a number of rather unknown, but truly amazing romantic-era Slavic composers, mostly from Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. You might know some or most of the names I've listed: - Viktor Kosenko (1893-1938) was a Russian-born Soviet-Ukrainian composer and pianist. He wrote for almost every genre of music, including concertos and piano music. He is probably best known for his Passacaglia in G minor for piano, a magnificent work of epic proportions. Even though he was around during the Soviet era, he mostly wrote in a late-romantic manner. - Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924) was a Russian composer and pianist. He mostly wrote for piano, but also wrote a few compositions for orchestra, such as his 2 symphonies and piano concertos, as well as other works with a similar orchestration. - Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909) was a Polish composer and conductor. He tragically died young in an avalanche, when he was only 33. Probably his best known works are his Violin Concerto in A major, the Symphony in E minor, and his 6 tone poems, including the Lithuanian Rhapsody. - Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901) was a Russian composer. His life was a tragic one, to say the least, having been impoverished most of his life, and dying at aged 34 from tuberculosis. Probably his best known works are his 2 symphonies, both of a fresh and magical quality, with touches of Russian nationalism incorporated in the music. - Vasyl Barvinsky (1888-1963) was a Soviet-Ukrainian composer, pianist, and teacher. For a while, he was a respected musical figure in Soviet Ukraine, until he was arrested on false claims in 1948. He spent 10 years in a gulag, and had all of his music destroyed as part of his arrest. He spent his remaining years after his release trying to reconstruct his music for memory, but was only able to complete a small amount before his death. Fortunately, though, copies of works previously thought lost were found in various countries around the world, and a number of them have since been recorded. - Władysław Zelenski (1837-1921) was a Polish composer, pianist and organist. If at all, he is probably best known for his chamber music, such as his Piano Quartet in C minor, an excellent work, that I would highly recommend to any chamber music-lover. - Pavel Chesnokov (1877-1944) was a Russian composer, choral conductor, and teacher. He was one of the foremost composers of Russian liturgical choral music, and his music is still often played in Russia, but less so in the West. It's really beautiful music, and I would recommend the Cherubic Hymn from his Divine Liturgy, Op. 42. - Alexander Gretchaninov (1864-1956) was a Russian composer. He is best known today for his liturgical choral music, including his Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, but he also wrote a substantial amount of chamber and orchestral music, including the Piano Trio no. 1 in C minor. - Vladimir Drozdoff (1882-1960) was a Russian-American composer and pianist. He was also a co-founder of the Pushkin Society of America. He lived and worked in Russia until 1923, when he decided to settle in America. The Drozdoff Society was created in his memory, with musicians such as Vyacheslav Gryaznov actively promoting his works as members. Drozdoff's music has a generally reflective and sorrowful quality, making it especially worth preserving. I recommend his "Au Tombeau de Rachmaninoff", written on the day of Rachmaninoff's death and in his memory. - Reinhold Gliere (1875-1956) was a Soviet composer. He can be considered to be among the last of the Russian nationalist composers, as his music often incorporates folk-inspired themes, and colorful orchestration often heard in Russian nationalist music, particularly that of Rimsky-Korsakov. He was also a respected teacher, having had many famous Soviet musicians counting as his pupils. Some of his works are well-known within the repertoires of certain instruments, for example his Harp Concerto in E-flat major and Horn Concerto in B-flat major, but he also wrote large-scale symphonies, including the monumental "Ilya Muromets" Symphony in B minor. - Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912) was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor, and ethnomusicologist. He is often considered to be the father of Ukrainian nationalist music, and began a whole generation of Ukrainian romantic nationalist composers. He mostly wrote vocal music, including songs and operas, but also wrote some instrumental music, including piano and chamber music. - Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952) was a Ukrainian composer and pianist. He was a respected virtuoso musician in pre-WW1 Europe and the Russian Empire, but suffered greatly during the 2 world wars, and needed physical and psychological medical attention as a result. After WW2, however, various friends provided financial support for him during his remaining years. His music is much like that of Rachmaninoff's, and is highly accomplished and musically complex. - Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) was a Russian composer and pianist. He was a good friend of Rachmaninoff's, and even dedicated 2 pieces to him. Probably his best known works are his Piano Concerto no. 3 in E minor, the Violin Sonata no. 3 in E minor, and his 15 piano sonatas, especially the Sonata no. 1 in F minor. - Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915) was a Russian composer, pianist, teacher, and music theorist. He was one of the foremost music theorists in Russia, specializing in the study of counterpoint, particularly fugues. He was also a teacher of composers such as Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Medtner, and Gliere. Taneyev's music is quite academic, often incorporating fugues or some other contrapunctal elements, and I would recommend the String Quartet no. 3 in D minor or the cantata John of Damascus. Hopefully you find this list helpful!
  8. Thank you very much, @J. Lee Graham! I'm very happy that you enjoyed my piece and playing! I, too, am one of those who think that keys have personalities. I think that each key has its own emotions that are intertwined within its scale, even if all major and minor scales follow the same patterns. And I agree with your sentiments of E-flat minor: your description is apt for that key. At the time of writing this piece, I wanted to try writing in keys that aren't commonly written for, in this case, E-flat minor. Yes, indeed, Rachmaninoff was a major influence on this piece. Rachmaninoff is one of my heroes in music, and this was becoming apparent around the time of composing this piece. Again, thank you for your compliments and appreciation. It means a lot to me. All the best, Theo
  9. Thank you immensely, @Pietro17! I'm very happy that you liked my variations! I'm also really glad you liked the fugue as well, especially because you, in my opinion, write the best fugues on this site! So I really appreciate it! Best Theo 😄
  10. @zhenkang Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked the piece! Unfortunately, though, I'm not ready to show the score for this piece yet, as it's kind of messy, and I want to revise it somewhat in the near future. I will make the score available at some point, but as of now, it just isn't ready. Thanks again for your appreciation, and I'm sorry about the score. Best, Theo
  11. @aMusicComposer @DanJTitchener Thank you both for commenting! I'm glad you like the piece and my playing!
  12. Hello everyone, Here is a little piece I wrote over the holidays. The theme is actually a mix of 2 themes by Rachmaninoff combined into one, from the 2nd movement of his Piano Sonata no. 2 in B-flat minor, and his Prelude in B minor. It is a short piece, only lasting 6 minutes. I might add another piece to the opus number later on, but in the mean time, it will remain as is. Here is my performance on Youtube: I hope you all enjoy. 🙂 Theo
  13. This is really good! I love the power and the vigor in the 1st movement! It kind of reminds me of the string quartets of early Beethoven or Haydn or Late Mozart, in terms of emotions and style. Also, you made excellent use of the unusual arrangement! I would love to hear your other quartets. Best, Theo
  14. @J. Lee Graham I've always considered Sheremetev's "Nine sili nebesniye" to be a masterpiece within the Russian liturgical music repertoire. I mean, those harmonies are just incredible! Of course, the same thing goes for the extreme bass notes, characteristic for Russian liturgical music. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only piece I can find by him, which is a shame, because the piece is so beautiful! Here is another liturgical piece that you may be familiar with similar circumstances surrounding it, called "Ne ridai mene, mati" ("Не рыдай мене, мати"), by a composer named Fyodor Ivanov. There is practically zero information about this composer on the "western" internet (meaning all pages not written in Russian), but I think the piece is heavenly. I have heard of Bortniansky. He is a truly wonderful composer, and I especially love his famous Cherubic Hymn no. 7 in D major. It's like an Orthodox version of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, in terms of the heavenly beauty that both pieces are written in. I think it's safe to say that Russian liturgical music is some of the best and most underrated music out there, and deserves to be performed much more often in the west.
  15. @Pietro17 Until now, I have never heard of Mieczysław Karłowicz. Having listened to his Violin Concerto, I can say that I want to know more of his wonderful music! Such fine orchestration and harmonies! He is definitely a composer who deserves more recognition. It's also good to know that someone else likes Vasily Kalinnikov! One of my favorites from Russia. @J. Lee Graham I have heard Rachmaninov's (or Rachmaninoff's) All-Night Vigil. It's definitely one the great works from the catalogue of Russian liturgical music. It seems that Chesnokov is much more well-known in Russia than in the west. He seems to be one of the main liturgical composers in Russia, along with Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. There were many other Russian liturgical composers from around Chesnokov's time, including Alexander Gretchaninov, Alexander Arkhangelsky, Viktor Kalinnikov (brother of Vasily), and even Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, among others. There are a few Youtube channels that are specialized in this type of music, such as "The Oktavism Channel", "VitalyGR", and "Бибилиотека рентгента. Церкного хор" (which means "Library of the Regent (choral conductor). Church Choir").
  16. @HoYin Cheung I love Moszkowksi and Chausson as well! Both pieces that you mentioned are masterworks too! I also love the Piano Concerto no. 2 in E major from Moszkowski and the Piano Quartet in A major from Chausson.
  17. Wow... the harmonies from "Beat Quorum Via" gave me chills! The counterpoint in both the Stanford and Rheinberger pieces is amazing! You might like to listen to some Russian choral music as well, particularly Russian Orthodox Church music. Here is a piece by Russian composer Pavel Chesnokov (1877-1944), another underrated master, called "Cherubic Hymn" (Херувимская Песнь, or Kheruvimskaya Pesnya) from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom: By the way, in case you are interested, here is the 3rd movement to Toivo Kuula's Piano Trio: In case you get to listen to these, let me know what you think of them! Best, Theo
  18. @J. Lee Graham I'm very glad to hear that! Now, I'm also interested in checking out more of Stanford, because I must confess, I have not listened to much of his music. I do like Rheinberger's music very much; very sophisticated and well thought-out music. I enjoy this kind of romantic music. Best, Theo
  19. Thank you responding, @J. Lee Graham! I suppose I should give some introductions to my list, as you have done with yours. Viktor Kosenko (1893-1938) was a Russian-born Ukrainian-Soviet composer and pianist. He wrote for almost every genre of music, including concertos and piano music. He is probably best known for his Passacaglia in G minor for piano, a magnificent work of epic proportions. Even though he was around during the Soviet era, he mostly wrote in a late-romantic manner. It's wonderful stuff to listen to. Toivo Kuula (1883-1918) was a Finnish composer. He wrote mostly songs and chamber music, and has an unfinished Stabat Mater. Personally, I love his massive Piano Trio in A major, particularly the 3rd movement. It's some very emotional and passionate music. Unfortunately, he was killed at age 34 from a scuffle with a drunken soldier at the end of the Finnish Civil War, from a gunshot wound to the head. Wilhelm Reinhard Berger (1861-1911) was a German composer, pianist and conductor. He was a very prolific composer, have completed over 100 opuses, although much of it remains unperformed. I consider his Piano Quintet in F minor to be among the best piano quintets ever written, and, like Kuula's Piano Trio, is a huge work, lasting roughly 50 minutes. A criminally underrated genius, in my opinion. Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909) was an Italian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was the first Italian composer in decades (if not centuries) to not write an opera. His output includes 2 symphonies and piano concertos, and much chamber and piano music. It's very sophisticated music, and is definitely worth checking out. Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901) was a Russian composer. His life was a tragic one, to say the least, having been impoverished most of his life, and dying at aged 34 from tuberculosis. Probably his best known works are his 2 symphonies, both of a fresh and magical quality, with touches of Russian nationalism incorporated in the music. Wladyslaw Zelenski (1837-1921) was a Polish composer, pianist and organist. If at all, he is probably best known for his chamber music, including his Piano Quartet in C minor, an excellent work, that I would highly recommend to any chamber music-lover.
  20. Hello everyone, Quick question: who do you think are some of the most underrated romantic-era composers? I have a whole encyclopedia of names, so I'll name just a few of my preferences: -Viktor Kosenko -Ernst von Dohnanyi -Toivo Kuula -Wilhelm Reinhard Berger (NOT Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, or Wilhelm Georg Berger) -Giuseppe Martucci -Wladyslaw Zelenski -Vasily Kalinnikov Let me know who you think is underrated. I'm interested to hear who you think should be more well-known. Thanks, Theo
  21. Thank you for your kind words, @Josep Montserrat! I really appreciate it! 🙂 Theo
  22. What a lovely piano piece this is! Beautifully romantic, and excellent playing! I am always looking forward to hearing your music. Theo
  23. This is really good! The way you wrote for the strings is really impressive. Also, that was a nice fughetta at the end! This piece deserves to be performed by a profession string quartet ensemble!
  24. Here is an [ongoing] list of classical music professors who compose/improvise tonal music. Some of them are from Europe, but because the percentage of teachers who teach and write tonal music is so small, I'm including anyone who fits the bill, even non-Europeans. -Morten Lauridsen, professor of composition the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music -Michael Gees, professor of improvisation and composition at the Cologne Conservatory -Georgs Pelēcis, professor of counterpoint and theory at the Latvian Academy of Music, also the first president of the Riga Center of Early Music
  25. @SSC, I do agree that it is important for the student to get along with his/her teacher. However, I think what he wants from a teacher is someone who doesn't force atonal music theory down the student's throat, and so one's best chances at getting that would be by studying with somebody who composes tonal music. These days, it's extremely rare for a composition teacher to only teach tonal music, and it's debatable if such a teacher even exists anymore. Also, most of the composition teachers throughout the world who teach standard modern (atonal) composition are atonal composers themselves, and their students mostly end up becoming atonal composers. So, the logical conclusion would be to study with a tonal composer, and hope for the best. @Josep Montserrat, Honestly, I've been wondering about this myself. I don't know if this counts, but I know of an improvisation professor at the Cologne Conservatory, whose improvisations/compositions(?) are tonal. I don't remember his name, but I can find out, if you like. If not, maybe there are some professors elsewhere who compose film music, which is tonal for the most part. Best of luck, Josep, and keep composing! You write amazing music!
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