Jump to content

Overture in D major, "Snowdonia (Eryri)"


Recommended Posts

A concert overture I just recently finished about Snowdonia National Park, Wales (Eryri in Welsh), which I recently visited. Let me know what you think! 

PDF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave this piece quite a listen, and was left with a generally positive outlook. I must say, however, that my expectations were lowered a bit by the introduction, since you stuck with it for a bit too long and used the orchestra rather shyly, relying mainly on strings. I got that you were going for a melancholic, slightly grim atmosphere, but I guess you could have done it differently with a better effect. The faster section arrived a bit late, but it more than made up for the wait, as it regained a lot of my interest. It seems you're most at ease when writing in a Classical-period language, despite some touches here and there. Nonetheless, I guess your music would greatly benefit from a more aggressive orchestration, which would lend a lot more of color into an already joyful composition.

Thanks for sharing your work with us!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Austenite said:

I gave this piece quite a listen, and was left with a generally positive outlook. I must say, however, that my expectations were lowered a bit by the introduction, since you stuck with it for a bit too long and used the orchestra rather shyly, relying mainly on strings. I got that you were going for a melancholic, slightly grim atmosphere, but I guess you could have done it differently with a better effect. The faster section arrived a bit late, but it more than made up for the wait, as it regained a lot of my interest. It seems you're most at ease when writing in a Classical-period language, despite some touches here and there. Nonetheless, I guess your music would greatly benefit from a more aggressive orchestration, which would lend a lot more of color into an already joyful composition.

Thanks for sharing your work with us!

Thanks! Yeah, I could see the introduction perhaps being too extended. I might revise it some other day, but I thank you for your comment! My Inferno Suite might be somewhat better, in my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me the work sounded confident in its pacing regarding the introduction. After that I was expecting several themes to be introduced which is what I think overtures are for. But there was only one main theme, lovely though it was, the Allegrissimo. There was the brief brass chorale after the intro but that was never developed. So -backseat driving begins here - I would get rid of the short chorale. Go straight from the ether of the opening to the main theme. But to make the transition less jarring, incorporate the first three notes of the theme in a timeless gesture, two, maybe three times at the most before engaging in rhythm. The flute would be fine there, or a french horn, or an Irish flute ... I could split hairs about the title but I won't. To me it was a very nice pastoral work! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...

I've been listening to many of your pieces that are working here and I believe this one to be the best.  I'll echo what others have said in response to some of your other music - this is a masterpiece!  It has hints of a Straussian tone poem and sometimes reminds of early Wagner.  Btw - did you know that Wagner wrote a symphony early in his career?

I think your music is some of the most sophisticated here on this forum although it sometimes lacks catchiness.  That's not the case for this piece though.  Despite the simple introduction I was enthralled the whole time - always eagerly anticipating the next note, phrase.  The wind chorale was quite interesting harmonically as well, as far as chorales go.  And the fast section was a delight also.

Which is why I find it very sad to hear that you don't share your music anywhere anymore.  Many of your YouTube links on here don't work anymore so only upward of a dozen of your pieces still have working links.

Your profile says you write "modern" styled music, which comes as a surprise given the high quality of some of your classically styled pieces such as this.  It would be great to hear some of your more recent stuff (if you still write of course).

Thanks for sharing this gem and I hope you haven't given up on music!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was a bit surprised when the composition moved into a more classical style since the introductory harmonies hinted at something more contemporary ... and then later in the work it becomes a bit romantic.  Although, each section has its charms including that lovely folksy tune introduced in the beginning and towards the end ... (which has a bit of a Rossini flavor) ...  my only thought -  is to try to keep the style more consistent. 

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MJFOBOE said:

I was a bit surprised when the composition moved into a more classical style since the introductory harmonies hinted at something more contemporary ... and then later in the work it becomes a bit romantic.  Although, each section has its charms including that lovely folksy tune introduced in the beginning and towards the end ... (which has a bit of a Rossini flavor) ...  my only thought -  is to try to keep the style more consistent. 

Mark

 

Thank you for your comment. This work is part of an earlier catalogue of mine -- one that consists of several hundred juvenilia; and, as such, it reflects the period of development that I was in -- one of exploration in different areas, such as texture/inspiration/form/reference/etc. In essence, I had not yet settled on the key characteristics that would come to define my music in later projects, and during this period the main composer whose music I studied with great detail is Joachim Raff, who remains the only person in the Romantic period to whom I routinely listen.

 

This work serves as a good junction at which my music began to take shape, though it by no means reflects what I produce now. Thank you kindly for your feedback on this work -- I would not say that it is a clear representation of where I stand at this point, however, and thus stylistic concerns with this piece are, in particular, of limited impact.

 

Instead, what I see in this work is a tendency toward pedal tones (which is a result of my improvisational practice at the piano, and something I continued to improve upon with the works of J.C. Bach at the time); an attempt at a cohesive, encompassing form -- one that varies in narrative perspective and in textural content; and a simplistic, earnest processing of orchestral color. This piece was an important step in the right direction for me, though it is a step behind me, not one in front of me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a nice academic orchestral music with good orchestration. I can hear the influence from almost two century of classical music from Verdi to Brahms and too many musical catchphrases from Beethoven. When a composer is writing today classical music (or the so called neo-classical) it is always difficult not to sound like something heard before and this ouverture is not escaping from that. The quality is there and the hard work shows but the originality ... well ... it is far from Saint-Saëns - Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 for Organ. 

The production is impressive considering the tools used. Indeed, it may be a question of real concert audio reference or taste but some virtual instruments are not as convincing as one would prefer. Indeed, repeating notes sounds like machine gun (due to the lack of Round Robins in the VST used) and long notes does not have the expressivity a real musician should provide on long notes such as a crescendo after the attack and then a slow decrescendo. A steady volume and expression doesn't sound natural and that can only be fixed using the dynamic controller if your VST allows for it. Indeed, around 10:30 what I believe are the horns and then the trombones plays long notes that are so painful that I was so happy to hear the woodwind even though they had that unnatural looping vibrato. Producing with virtual instrument is not easy I must admit. When you produce your recording composing is only 33% of the work. You then have to play the score for each musician with the necessary expressivity (another 33%). Indeed, your score is only notes. The instruments is altering it in order to make it sound better, which is not what I can hear here. Then you have to be the concert master that balances the instruments expressivity over and above what the composer believed was appropriate (another 33%). The remaining 1% is the sound recording that you leave to your virtual instrument VST and if it is a very good one should be easy.  

Hope that will help.

Cheers,

Syrel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Syrel said:

This is a nice academic orchestral music with good orchestration. I can hear the influence from almost two century of classical music from Verdi to Brahms and too many musical catchphrases from Beethoven. When a composer is writing today classical music (or the so called neo-classical) it is always difficult not to sound like something heard before and this ouverture is not escaping from that. The quality is there and the hard work shows but the originality ... well ... it is far from Saint-Saëns - Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 for Organ. 

The production is impressive considering the tools used. Indeed, it may be a question of real concert audio reference or taste but some virtual instruments are not as convincing as one would prefer. Indeed, repeating notes sounds like machine gun (due to the lack of Round Robins in the VST used) and long notes does not have the expressivity a real musician should provide on long notes such as a crescendo after the attack and then a slow decrescendo. A steady volume and expression doesn't sound natural and that can only be fixed using the dynamic controller if your VST allows for it. Indeed, around 10:30 what I believe are the horns and then the trombones plays long notes that are so painful that I was so happy to hear the woodwind even though they had that unnatural looping vibrato. Producing with virtual instrument is not easy I must admit. When you produce your recording composing is only 33% of the work. You then have to play the score for each musician with the necessary expressivity (another 33%). Indeed, your score is only notes. The instruments is altering it in order to make it sound better, which is not what I can hear here. Then you have to be the concert master that balances the instruments expressivity over and above what the composer believed was appropriate (another 33%). The remaining 1% is the sound recording that you leave to your virtual instrument VST and if it is a very good one should be easy.  

Hope that will help.

Cheers,

Syrel

 

Thank you @Syrel for your in-depth feedback on my piece. To tell the truth, I cannot even remember what VST/library I used at the time this was created. It's certainly not as bad as it gets, though I've since learned there are far more impressive sounds one can access. Moreover, the score was produced in Finale--a program I cannot recommend whatsoever, nor do I like in any regard Sibelius.

Luckily, I have improved the sounds of my many mock-up works, and I primarily use the Spitfire BBC yadyadayada whatever it's called. With that said, I know there is a level of optimization that can be placed thereafter, though I have found being very specific with articulation and dynamic markings has produced an acceptable result.

To be honest, technology in general has never been a strength of mine, and I am just happy that I use Dorico and that I am now very comfortable with it. I create paintings/digital art--not that they are spectacular--to accompany my engravings as an added security measure, and that is about the level of my computational finesse.

Thank you again for your comment--it is appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

This is a fun, light, enjoyable piece, but I'm not as enthusiastic about the orchestration as others. You've got a B-flat trumpet doubling 1st violins, playing in an extremely high register that is very difficult to sustain and play in tune for an extended period. This won't work. You're asking the trombone to be as agile as the cello, which it isn't; and you're also asking them to hold a single tone for nearly a minute without a break. And you're asking the horns to play staccato 8th notes for 92 straight measures, with no place to breathe. By the end of the piece the brass section has either died of asphyxiation or walked off the job. You need to be more attuned to the realities of human musicians when you orchestrate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tom Statler said:

This is a fun, light, enjoyable piece, but I'm not as enthusiastic about the orchestration as others. You've got a B-flat trumpet doubling 1st violins, playing in an extremely high register that is very difficult to sustain and play in tune for an extended period. This won't work. You're asking the trombone to be as agile as the cello, which it isn't; and you're also asking them to hold a single tone for nearly a minute without a break. And you're asking the horns to play staccato 8th notes for 92 straight measures, with no place to breathe. By the end of the piece the brass section has either died of asphyxiation or walked off the job. You need to be more attuned to the realities of human musicians when you orchestrate.

 

Thank you for your comment. It is true that in the orchestration of this piece -- one that was composed when orchestration was new to me and I was starting high school -- descends into many pitfalls. The trumpets, for instance, are particularly confused (as much of the repertoire I listened to at the time was for natural trumpets, which are of course different than the modern instrument). This, amongst many reasons, is why this piece has in my catalogue been destroyed.

I am aware the capabilities, broadly speaking, of a human being playing an instrument. I am also aware that music, in this context at least, is for human players, and that some humans are better at some things than others (taking into account things like circular breathing or the heat of the mouthpiece for a brass instrument). But more importantly, understanding the scale of difficulty -- what actually is possible, what is hard, what is easy -- was a long path, and I got there through diligent experimentation. This work was still quite early into that trek, and so it certainly fails in many of the ways you point out. Since I was in no position to be around musicians or orchestras at the time, this piece was never meant to be performed, and it was an experimentation into form and texture on a large scale (compared to what I had worked on previously). 

Things I have noticed that are more striking is the exclusion of many important notational devices, such as dynamics for some of the instruments. When I return to these abandoned pieces, it is about a balance of extracting the broader image of the piece with the smaller details, such as an obviously preposterous trumpet line. 

You can rest assured that I take under consideration much of what you have criticized in more modern pieces of mine, and there is no longer any attunement necessary. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Jared Steven Destro said:

...composed when orchestration was new to me and I was starting high school...

I was nowhere near writing at that level when I was starting high school. Hats off to you, and kudos for taking criticism gracefully.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...