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Bagatelle in D for String Orchestra

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A short, tense Bagatelle in D Minor for String Orchestra (+ Triangle), the second movement of a Suite still in progress.

The form is roughly A-B-A, with the A parts in Agitato cut time, D Minor, and the dreamy B part Assai Meno, written on the contrast between mute sustains and pizzicati/short sforzandos.

Apart of some notational distractions (I forgot the 8vb in the Violas, last bars and to write divisi in a couple of Vl.I passages, let me know If you note some scoring errors (I'm not a string player).

Audio and score:


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I don't hear a Bagatelle. That form is for one-offs and trivial things. This is powerful and deserves more than the time you've given it. At least two or three times. The Sfz stabs could use a bit of context, which you will get with a longer length. I love the harmonic landscape you're working in, so full of energy and tension. But it needs more time to develop. What's the hurry?

Obviously, I'm only an observer, but I don't see the point of adding more movements when you're already sitting on a raw gem.

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On 15/8/2016 at 3:05 AM, Ken320 said:

The Sfz stabs could use a bit of context


On 15/8/2016 at 4:28 AM, bkho said:

it definitely has potential for expansion into a larger work

Thanks for the feedback! In fact it was intended as a movement of a series of short pieces with some traits in common. For example, the pizzicato thirds at the opening.

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I agree with the above - already the cover picture sets the tone (Otto Dix is terrifying). At the first bar, already, I knew this wouldn't be a Bagatelle.

Now, the music fits perfectly with the painting and its drama is masterfully written. But you shouldn't call it a Bagatelle, which immediately had me expect a dum-de-dum tralala tune (perfectly fine in itself, I don't mean Bagatelles are not good) - you will agree, however, that this piece has nothing of a gay, bouncing and uplifting tune.

The suspenseful part from bar 28 onwards I found really good, it's basically film music material. This definitely deserves to be delved further into, you could make a fantastic longer piece out of it.

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