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Violin Concerto - III


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This is the third and final movement of the violin concerto I had written a while back, now copyrighted and published and whatnot. The speed it's written at is a parody of Barber's last movement of his violin concerto, but when this was first performed, it was definitely taken a bit slower. This piece deserves a lot of criticism, especially with the timpani part, since it relies on pitch bending on timpani which is extremely difficult to execute. Hope you all enjoy, though it may be a bit of a farce. :sweat:

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Your opening is the same as my ballet finale! LOVE IT FOR THAT (though I know you never heard of it:grin: )

1) Those 5/16 bars are the devil...I think you could rewrite that if you really wanted to...esp that 5/16 + 2/8.

2) Put SOLO violin on the score

3) Measure 23 in the flute is another bear.  Might I suggest using what I call the "daphnis et chloe" technique.  Meaning, split it every other bar or every two bars between the two flutes so it is more playable.  You'll get the same effect and it's more accessible.

4) Shouldn't measure 93 be written as an harmonic in the solo?  That's not playable as is.

5) There are spots where the solo won't be heard of the orchestration.  

The piece is enjoyable! I listened to it three times; can't wait to hear it live!

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I agree with The Maestro on certain performance aspects. I think it sounds rushed. The tempo is too fast. I think that if you are going for cartoonish, you could keep that feel, and maybe even improve on it by slowing it down because many of the lines lose their wit if the listener cannot digest them adequately.

I'm not sure what you mean by pitch bending on the timpani. I think maybe you mean tuning? I played timpani in college and I had to change pitch during rests, even on quiet parts. It's doable. I could also change pitch while playing, but it was never required because of the classical repertoire. If you want the timpanist to change pitches while playing, just ensure that there is time enough to mute the drum beforehand, otherwise you might hear the slide. I say might because a lot depends on other factors such as loudness. I could move the pedal up or down a half or whole step without muting and basically get "in the ballpark" and it would sound OK. I don't see any markings for tuning changes here and even if you put them in, the tempo might give them away and it would sound muddy. The drums are designated I-II-III-IV and it would be good practice to put all four tunings at rehearsal marks and at the spot tunings themselves (I-Bb) or (I-A-Bb)I. then the player can mark up his part in a way that's comfortable for him. Or her.

Is it really necessary to write naturals for the transposing parts when changing key? I'm curious.

BTW, I liked the snare drum! It reminds my of Scheherazade.

Thanks for posting!

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While this is an over the top parody of the Barber Violin 3rd movement, it also feels like an homage to that piece. Starting from that snare drum rhythm (which I believe occurs in the 2nd half of the Barber movement), the big orchestra tutti attack chords, the devilish time signature changes, and off-kilter rhythms, and the general perpetual motion feeling of the piece is very similar to Barber. 

The tempo of your piece is a bit TOO fast..even violinists who play Barber at the tempo (excluding the finale bit of Barber) miss the subtleties by playing it too fast. I agree with MaestroWick, in that some of the acrobatic violin stuff will be covered up by the orchestration, mainly towards the end. Is measure 93 even playable? At best it's gonna come out sounding scratchy and non-pitched. 

In measure 76 (and whenever that happens), wouldn't it be better for strings to play those all up bows. I feel like down bows would make the sound more weighty, and the strings are just accompanying there.

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All definitely valid critiques! This is what happens when you write very tailored music.

@LostSamurai No, this is all Garritan sounds from Finale 2014. It sounds inauthentic to me, personally, but I'm glad you find it invigorating, at the very least.

@Ken320 It's a very esoteric tuning technique (I didn't really have a name for it, so the qualification may be off), where there's a linear rate of tuning, but the timpanist needs to mute the latter envelope of the attack after a hit. I've seen it written out and done and it's impressively daunting. My program creates natural signs when going from a major key to a minor key or visa versa... couldn't tell you why, or if it's necessary. 

@danishali903 Doing all of those up bow in 76 is very possible, but the attack of a down bow is what's desired more than the resulting envelope. 

@maestrowick 1. That's kind of the point. Using a 3.5/8 or 4/10 bar would be way too difficult for people to understand, and the slightly off rhythm is the intent of those markings.
2. Good point!
3. You're right, but I did have that in mind. Sometimes I assume these things will done, kind of like not writing divisi in string parts all the time. 
4. It didn't come out in the score, but they were intended to be "harmonic" "x" heads on the same staff position an octave up. The aim is to have the noise of that same pitch come out of the instrument, rather tan the actual pitch. This can be done by pressing in the territory beyond the fingerboard in the right locations.
5. I think all the parts that really need to come out do. Some parts were intended to intentionally have a slight bit of sound relief in the solo from the orchestration, as found in some concertos like Lutoslawski or Ravel.

I'm glad to hear you all at least enjoyed some of it! Cheers!

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