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This is my submission for the Summer Competition. Please read the Program Notes for further explanation.

As usual, comments and feedback is absolutely welcome! Thanks in advance...

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Thanks for your appreciative comments!

If you listened to my other stuff, it's easy to notice that I'm rather "traditional" - while tending to reserve a few surprises for the latter half of my pieces. Nevertheless, I included those few bars for two main purposes: 1) To throw the listeners off-balance a bit, 2) to achieve the musical equivalent of Shakespeare's foreshadows, hinting at the upcoming conflict.

BTW, I'll make sure to look into your pieces as well.

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MIDI is a terrible thing isn't it? Going to be honest, the histories are some of the plays I've never read, but based on what I know from regular history, this sounds like a fine translation of it. Your textures are great and varied and support a very strong melodic line throughout. Nice!

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It was a very nice voyage! You took us through a lot of scenery and handled the transitions deftly as I usually observe in your work. The themes were clear but I'm not sure if I would say memorable, as you spent a good bit of time in romantic variation mode. I listened to it twice. I noticed a brief tip of the hat to Tchaikovsky:grin: which brought a smile to my face. The piece is unabashedly in that vein and a successful effort. So, great job, Austenite. For me the most interesting and exciting parts were around pgs. 30-35 when the orchestra was the most contrapuntal.

I did not care for the long held notes in the brass, made worse by the bad sound. I feel strongly about this because it challenges me so to invest my ears on it in order to judge your work fairly. Similarly the close intervals in the brass were difficult to hear in their register. More wider intervals would have been better, yes? BUT I am not a judge and the contest awards only 2 points for sound anyway, and notation software sound is probably the reason why. So ...  it's a great entry. Good luck to you!

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Whew... I don't know where to start.

@Monarcheon You just said it - MIDI is indeed a disaster. When writing, I try to discount the playback factor and orchestrate "ideally" (hoping for a live performance someday), but MIDI must do for the meantime. I'd say it doesn't do a lot of justice to my piece, since I have relied heavily on brass, which tends to be the weakest spot of the playbacks. Nevertheless, I can see you've gone through the whole work, so I must thank you for your appreciation.

@fishyfry Funny thing, the K section onwards was the section I had to rush through during the last weekend before the deadline. I must admit, however, that I've had the melody of the passage where Caesar's ghost taunts Brutus (Allegro con Moto) stuck on my mind ever since.

@KJthesleepdeprived Thanks for your comments! I feel somewhat humbled by the burden of expectations that seems to have popped up upon my work for this competition. Nevertheless, as I always try to give my best when writing large-scale pieces, I'm delighted that fellow composers have come to expect it too.

@Ken320 I was looking forward to your opinion about my piece. Indeed, I just had to tip my hat to Tchaikovsky, with his Hamlet and Manfred being the main models for what I wanted to achieve, along with Mahler's Fifth Symphony's 1st movement. Of course, as I pointed out already, this piece uses the brass quite often, and the available sound fonts don't quite add up, so the result is murky at times. I'm not sure if I would be looking for wider intervals most of the time, however (I used a lot of chord inversions in many passages) unless I'm going all out piling up the brass to swear a theme across a wall :headwall:...

@Marc O'Callaghan Glad to have your comment too! I'm equally elated and humbled by the fact that other composers have so high expectations and look at my orchestral works as a standard of quality, since it seems I've come a long way. I'm delighted that you found the work worthy of praise despite our differences on tastes or appreciation.

Everyone: thanks a lot!

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Austenite, considering the style and scope of your music you owe it to yourself to buy the very best orchestral libraries that you can afford. Just consider this a friendly suggestion. I don't know what notation program you use and I don't know what soundfonts are ... but I use Sibelius and I would consider its built-in sounds "bad sound." Actually, some of them are OK. But anyway, it allows you to use third party "sound sets." Finale might also allow this but I don't know. And fortunately for you these excellent libraries have come way down in price, some of them by 50% from a year ago. You will be absolutely amazed at your "orchestra" after an "upgrade!"

Some subtleties in your music I missed because of the soundfonts, which was a shame because I couldn't adequately critique your music either, except to say that I liked it. Feel free to PM me if you want to move forward on this or have any technical questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

@Luis Hernández: thanks for the heads up. I tried to install better sound libraries, but so far I've failed miserably. Perhaps I should stay composing rather than play my hand as a sound engineer :blink:

 

@Kvothe: I must commend you for your continued support. Of course, the work is modeled after the Russian master's own takes on Shakespeare. I hope I had a convincing result as well, since Julius Caesar happens to be among my favorite plays. Perhaps the piece is much more complex than other works of mine, but I spared no effort nonetheless.

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