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OUTDATED: Air for Soprano & Piano - Il prato di pace mio


Jared Steven Destro
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Here is a piece based upon earlier motifs I had written long ago. I composed the lyrics, as well as translated them into Italian as best as I know (I think they're pretty close, if not let me know). Instead of the terrible midi choir I have, I utilized the flute voice, as it not only sounds better, but it can actually sound some of the piece's notes (the choral patch cannot hit the higher notes for some reason). I wrote this piece for a friend of mine who is an operatic soprano (she is able to hit the higher notes written). Let me know what you think!

 

UPDATE: This piece has been changed and moved into an updated collection here ------> 

 

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Is the flute written an octave higher than what the voice is supposed to sing? Otherwise there are impossible notes...

The air is very beautiful and majestic, in a truly baroque mood.

Some chromatic notes in the piano are a bit strange (Bb bar 42).

Perhaps, I think there are many ideas or phrases. Yes, the final instrumental part is similar to the intro, but the vocal parts don't have a tipical da capo structure.

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This is very pretty. Like Luis said, there is a feeling of baroque, although I also thought it was rather like a hymn. I particularly like the contrasting dynamics in measures 80-85. I'd like to hear this sung by your friend, if you ever get the chance to record her.

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  • 1 month later...

Again, my problem is the same as with Lentamente, le prime foglie verde pallido, the high notes you request are really very, very, VERY high. The high G6 you request is the highest ever written in the classical operatic register (something of Mozart's, if I recall correctly) - higher notes were written for specific singers in later times. If I am not mistaken, the highest note ever sung was a Bb6, which is not far from what you want here. At the least, I feel the whole of the voice part should be shifted down a fifth, and that would already be quite demanding. I noticed you wrote if able under the last cadenza, which is good in itself - you could consider writing an ossia. But I must impress on you the very small odds of someone singing the original part...

I very much appreciate the kind of Baroque touch to the melody, as well as the whole of the musical structure of the piece.

On the text, again just a few things - mainly in terms of syntax. I would write it like this:

Il mìo pràto di pàce,

La mìa òasi nel desèrto,

Ìo ti terrò sèmpre vicìna

Nei tèmpi di dolòre e paùra

In terms of adapting the music to the lyrics, I would recommend avoiding upward movements and long f holds on the last syllable of a word (b. 39, 66, 81 etc.) because it gives the impression the syllable is stressed, when actually in spoken Italian (and prose, at that) it wouldn't be natural to stress it. Although I understand you don't want your line to sound like a recitative either, this will make for a song that does not sound native.

For reference I marked the stressed syllables in the text, but as you probably know they are not to be written out normally (except terrò which is a future tense).

 

Anyway, as always, very good work. I enjoyed it a lot.

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17 minutes ago, Marc O'Callaghan said:

Again, my problem is the same as with Lentamente, le prime foglie verde pallido, the high notes you request are really very, very, VERY high. The high G6 you request is the highest ever written in the classical operatic register (something of Mozart's, if I recall correctly) - higher notes were written for specific singers in later times. If I am not mistaken, the highest note ever sung was a Bb6, which is not far from what you want here. At the least, I feel the whole of the voice part should be shifted down a fifth, and that would already be quite demanding. I noticed you wrote if able under the last cadenza, which is good in itself - you could consider writing an ossia. But I must impress on you the very small odds of someone singing the original part...

I very much appreciate the kind of Baroque touch to the melody, as well as the whole of the musical structure of the piece.

On the text, again just a few things - mainly in terms of syntax. I would write it like this:

Il mìo pràto di pàce,

La mìa òasi nel desèrto,

Ìo ti terrò sèmpre vicìna

Nei tèmpi di dolòre e paùra

In terms of adapting the music to the lyrics, I would recommend avoiding upward movements and long f holds on the last syllable of a word (b. 39, 66, 81 etc.) because it gives the impression the syllable is stressed, when actually in spoken Italian (and prose, at that) it wouldn't be natural to stress it. Although I understand you don't want your line to sound like a recitative either, this will make for a song that does not sound native.

For reference I marked the stressed syllables in the text, but as you probably know they are not to be written out normally (except terrò which is a future tense).

 

Anyway, as always, very good work. I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Thank you very much for the notes (especially the Italian, of which I know little). These airs were very much experimental, and I glad I got a lot of comments concerning these pieces from a lot of different people. I clearly have to re-evaluate my vocal writing, but thanks anyway.

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I totally loved the piece (which seems to work just fine as a flute/piano work, for that matter). Of course, if I were a singer I would probably cut my own throat before being able to hit any of the notes as written, as they seem already an 8va up in some passages - but I see you already took note of that. Not that I am a very prolific vocal writer myself (having authored a single choral work, a single cycle of songs plus an additional odd piece), so I don't regard myself as an authority on the issue, but it's pretty obvious that it's a tough affair for any singer. Perhaps some members such as Pateceramics or Sojar, both of which have extensive training/experience as singers, can be of any help.

The work itself, as the other pieces I've heard from you, show considerable talent, esp. considered that you seem to be at a rather early stage of your composing career (although you seem to be more capable than I was at your current age). The piano introduction made me fall instantly in love with this work, even as I felt a few bars deeper into it could have used a different bass line (I was thinking a chord inversion over a rumbling low note, but that's a choice I would probably have made myself).

Needless to say, I enjoyed this little gem a lot, even with the expectation that the vocal line would probably be double-checked going forward. Good job!

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