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mazeth

Voyage nostalgia - Fantasy No. 4

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Dear all,

It's a long time since I last posted a composition. So, here is my 4th Fantasy, which reminds me of my youth, traveling in Asia.

I'm very much looking forward to receiving some feedback: did you like it or not, any recommendations for future compositions? Any bits you didn't like at all?

I realise the interpretation is not that of a professional, anyway, hope you'll enjoy listening to it!

Kind regards,

Julien

 

PS: if of any interest, the score is available at https://imslp.org/wiki/Fantaisie_No.4_(Piaser,_Julien)

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Hi

I have to say that, many times, I get bored with works written in strictly tonal language (it's a question of taste, nothing more). But other times I enjoy this kind of music very much. In fact I've been listening to it three times, just to tell you something I don't like or whatever. But I love it. The two main themes contrast very well and are beautiful. I think the piece is well organised. I never tell anything of things that, in my opinion, the composer has devised or determined.

I only have two suggestions: the score would be great if you would have written dynamics and slurs (which, in fact, they are played). The other issue is that, perhaps, the piece would sound even better with some modulation in the middle, or just in the last part to brighten the end of the piece.

Greetings!

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Hi Luis,

Many thx for your feedback, I am really glad you liked it. That's really encouraging.

And thanks for the tips linked to the score and modulation, that's really helpful.

Kind regards,

Julien

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Hi Julien,

I really love your composition! 

There are many places where I hear Chopin's and other romantic piano composers' influence on your writing.
As @Luis Hernández already mentioned, add dynamics and articulations!

Well done!

Kind regards,

Maarten

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Hi Maarten,

I will definitely rework the score!

Many thx for your feeback, very encouraging,

Kind regards,

Julien

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Overall this is a very well written piece. I like the melody and the variations that you use to keep the listener interested. Like other have mentioned, I would like to see more dynamics. The beginning is a little slow in my opinion, and could use a little more work on keeping the interest of the listener. Other than that, I think this is a great piece with lots of potential.

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Hi,

Thanks so much for your encouragements, and your constructive comments. Thx for the feeback about the beginning, that's very useful.

Kind regards,

Julien

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Hi Julien,

Nicely done. Bringing the cascading 16th note effect into the restatement of the main theme at m. 29 is a great move that provides a wonderful sense of unity while adding interest.

A few comments:

1. The pedal markings are adding a lot of visual noise to the page. You might consider using the modern "schematic" notation with the horizontal line instead.

2. When you're considering where and when to use your dynamics, think about the structure of the piece. Use the dynamics to highlight the structural elements that interest you.

3. The transitional material in mm. 14-17 is doesn't fit the rest of the piece. You've got two ideas that dash past in four measures like the Odd Couple on a Vespa scooter. Neither the dotted 8th/16th fanfare nor the "toy piano" music grows organically from the material surround the transitional period. While I could readily accept m. 14-15 being a little fanfare to usher in a new section (without themselves being further developed), m. 16 beats 3 & 4 present a compelling idea. I honestly felt cheated when it left so quickly to make room for the syncopated material following.

Too much interesting material is a great problem to have as a composer, but it is a problem nonetheless. The piece itself is very compact, in essentially an ABABA form. The two main ideas are provide great contrast to each other and plenty of developmental possibilities. The foreign transitional material crowds the piece and obscures an otherwise tight form. Replacing it with transitional material drawn from either of the main themes would make more sense. But don't toss it! There are always more pieces to write.

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Hi Adrian,

About your comments:

0. I didn't know whether the move starting at m. 29 was a good idea or not, now I have an honest opinion, very useful.

1&2. I'll keep all that in mind when updating the score, thx for the expert advice

3. I'm not sure I understood the Vespa story ;-) but I definitely understood your point about the not-so-appropriate transitional material. I'll give it a second try, following your advice, and use the "redundant material" in a new composition. Excellent feedback.

I'll conclude by saying that I couldn't have dreamed of such a thorough analysis, I truly owe you one, so many many thanks to you, it will help me a great deal.

Julien

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Hi Julien,

Just wanted to follow back up on this. Regarding the transitional material, it's not that it was bad material. The problem you had is one every composer has. We spend days or weeks, even months, living with a piece of music. We become intimately familiar with the material. So, when we're trying to do something interesting, it's tempting to reach for a new idea. That is interesting for us.

Now, put yourself in the audience's position. They are hearing your piece for the first time. Every idea is new to them. They do not know what's important. In literature, Anton Chekhov stated this principle by saying, "Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there." In music, we make sure that each new idea we bring into play has significance in the piece.

Now, you could drop an idea into a transition and pay it off later. But in the case of this piece, the form is so tight otherwise I think you would create other problems for yourself by trying. But it's a handy trick to think about when conceiving a larger work.

 

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Hi Adrian,

thanks for the clarifications. Your point is very clear and makes a lot of sense. I have already started reworking the piece, and have put aside the transition material, which I will use in a later piece. In the meantime, I received other feedback from colleagues and friends who basically had a feeling of "complexity", that they somehow couldn't describe. Thanks to your clear analysis, I think I now see clearly what bothers them.

Thanks Adrian, musically yours,

Julien

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Wow, it really kept my interest. I like the beginning, it has a nice feel and contrasts well with the balance of the piece. Measure 5's slight ritardando contrasts well with the sudden increase in dynamic at the end of the measure. Measures 6-9 add intrigue with measure 9 as a wonderful setup for the variation.

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Dear Fred,

thanks for this kind and precise feedback, it's good to know that you liked this contrast, I wasn't sure if I should keep it. Really helpful!

Kind regards,

Julien

 

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Hello,

First of all, this is indeed a very good work. Very deep melody, a well constructed harmonic progression. But I have to say that sometimes the music loses some clarity. I dont know if it was on purpose, so I would like to hear from you. I give you an example: measures 10-11 vs. 13

Best regards!

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Hi Martim,

Thank you very much for your compliments and feedback, it's really appreciated.

Measures 10-11 vs. 13 are indeed a change of rythm which was done on purpose (the effect I was looking for was that of a bumpy stop). I am surprised you didn't mention measures 14-17, which seemed a bit off tracks to some listeners. I would be happy to hear your opinion about it?

Kind regards

Julien

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1 hour ago, mazeth said:

Hi Martim,

Thank you very much for your compliments and feedback, it's really appreciated.

Measures 10-11 vs. 13 are indeed a change of rythm which was done on purpose (the effect I was looking for was that of a bumpy stop). I am surprised you didn't mention measures 14-17, which seemed a bit off tracks to some listeners. I would be happy to hear your opinion about it?

Kind regards

Julien

 

Actually measures 14-17 make sense to me as a transition moment to initiate the measure 18, but measure 13 just seems as not the best way to be written. Im not a pro in fact, Im just giving my opinion as a listener!

 

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Thanks Martim for the constructive feedback, it's good to know other composer's opinion (pro or not): it will me help rework the piece.

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