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I hear a lot of the 2nd Shostakovich waltz (augmented 4th's and all that jazz), but it loses a lot of its charm by not being present enough. It was a great opening, I just wanted more as it went along.
Like, I hear percussion later, and different timbres so I get a sense for what you want, but it's never really driven home and sounds continually sparse and a little too laid back.
II7 chords were sometimes awkward with a minor 9th passing tone (i.e. 0:36).
0:38 was weird with the double mode mixture with the F vs. F#. 
Crossed voices at 2:16, I think? A chord tone was a little bit too constant.
The entire section from3:26, I see the canon you're trying to introduce but it might work better as a fugal comes rather than a strict canon.
It has a lot of great melodies and heart, mainly it just needs a bigger presence; it seems shy right now. Good work!

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“The Admiralty Waltz” is a suite of tunes intended to evoke the sentiments of naval/military bands style of around the WWI time. I would like to score it for an ensemble of a modest size. I felt the timbral aspect would require a somewhat greater emphasis on woodwinds. Also, I tried giving a more contemporary twist to that music by using a greater melodic angularity, chromaticisms, and dissonants.

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On 6/20/2017 at 1:39 PM, Maarten Bauer said:

Very nice melodies!
Could you give us more information about the piece. A score would also help to give feedback.

 

Maarten, the PDF score has been added to your request. Thanks!

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Hello Tobias,

This waltz reminds me too of Shostakovich's Second Waltz - which has an alto saxophone solo, yay!
The melodies are beautiful. The trumpet part (0:53) is my favourite one and the small trill gives the music an extra vivid pulse.
Although you present many different themes, the waltz is still coherent. The transition from one melody to another go all very fluently for me.
From m.51 I love the sort of descending counter melody in the piccolo and flute part against the clarinet melody.

You have added some percussion instruments, but I think you could utilise these percussion section(s) a lot more!
Orchestration is a point to work on. I second Monarcheon's point about the shyness. At this stage, the music is pretty demure and you can make the music more 'present' by better orchestrating.
Mm. 44. Cornet: Low D#. This low D# (not the one that is an octave higher) is impossible to play on the Cornet in Bb, because it's out of range. It looks like overlooked this, because the cornets are playing unisono through the entire piece.

I gave you feedback on the lay-out of your Sonatina for violin and piano and there are lay-out issues in this piece as well:

  • Whole piece. Contrabassoon. I think something went wrong with the settings in your notation program. The stems above the B in the center of the staff are turned upwards, whereas they need to be turned downwards.
  • The same applies for the flute, but here the stems are turned downwards instead of upwards, which it has to be.
  • Last two bars. Please fix the legato bows that overlap the crescendi.
  • When this piece will be performed, make sure that you add rehearsal marks and / or bar numbers above the partiture. This will make it much easier to rehearse.

Very well done, I enjoyed it!

Maarten

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It's a nice composition. In some parts it loses some strength, for example the third section from 1:10 or so, until 2:20.

The question I have is the ensemble. I mean, an important number of instruments are playing que background, and sometimes the division is a matter of color, as in here... those lines could perfectly be played by one instrument: 

5953b4c714c70_Capturadepantalla2017-06-28alas15_52_34.jpg.50b1d7bbf69179b6de16aae00c342795.jpg

I tell you this in terms of "economy". If you have instruments, it's good to exploit them.

Writing for any ensemble it's difficult. I don't think it's easier a piano solo than a large orchestra. Writing for piano or any instrument (soo) needs time and study. The same with the orchestra. This is why I don't write for orchestra. Also, I prefer small ensembles, but the thing is if you write for an orchestra (even small likes this one) you have to show what the instruments can do. In your waltz, I feel that several instruments, in turns, are always with the waltz-pattern, which is necessary, but I would have done it with less instruments.

Don't take this as anything important, it's just my point of view.

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11 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

Hello Tobias,

This waltz reminds me too of Shostakovich's Second Waltz - which has an alto saxophone solo, yay!
The melodies are beautiful. The trumpet part (0:53) is my favourite one and the small trill gives the music an extra vivid pulse.
Although you present many different themes, the waltz is still coherent. The transition from one melody to another go all very fluently for me.
From m.51 I love the sort of descending counter melody in the piccolo and flute part against the clarinet melody.

You have added some percussion instruments, but I think you could utilise these percussion section(s) a lot more!
Orchestration is a point to work on. I second Monarcheon's point about the shyness. At this stage, the music is pretty demure and you can make the music more 'present' by better orchestrating.
Mm. 44. Cornet: Low D#. This low D# (not the one that is an octave higher) is impossible to play on the Cornet in Bb, because it's out of range. It looks like overlooked this, because the cornets are playing unisono through the entire piece.

I gave you feedback on the lay-out of your Sonatina for violin and piano and there are lay-out issues in this piece as well:

  • Whole piece. Contrabassoon. I think something went wrong with the settings in your notation program. The stems above the B in the center of the staff are turned upwards, whereas they need to be turned downwards.
  • The same applies for the flute, but here the stems are turned downwards instead of upwards, which it has to be.
  • Last two bars. Please fix the legato bows that overlap the crescendi.
  • When this piece will be performed, make sure that you add rehearsal marks and / or bar numbers above the partiture. This will make it much easier to rehearse.

Very well done, I enjoyed it!

Maarten

 

Maarten,

Thanks a lot for your critique on my score. I didn’t even expect it being so positive!

The cornet’s double D# in m44 is, of course, a typo.

I listened to Shostakovich’s Second Waltz. Yes, I feel certain commonalities, both motivic and spiritual. I don’t compare my compositional capabilities with that great one, but I believe those similarities come from imitating the same style of waltzes prevailed in the beginning of the 20th century. Shostakovich’s waltz has a “bigger” breadth, it sounds more “democratic” and, the same time, more sarcastic than mine. Though, film makers like using it for scenes portraying nobilities’ ballrooms. To the contrary, what I was thinking of, was dancing in the parks and on the piers, a somewhat semi-provincial atmosphere.

But these are just belles-lettres. Thanks again for your review. Should you have more thoughts, I am eager of knowing them. Regards,

Tobias

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7 hours ago, Luis Hernández said:

It's a nice composition. In some parts it loses some strength, for example the third section from 1:10 or so, until 2:20.

The question I have is the ensemble. I mean, an important number of instruments are playing que background, and sometimes the division is a matter of color, as in here... those lines could perfectly be played by one instrument: 

5953b4c714c70_Capturadepantalla2017-06-28alas15_52_34.jpg.50b1d7bbf69179b6de16aae00c342795.jpg

I tell you this in terms of "economy". If you have instruments, it's good to exploit them.

Writing for any ensemble it's difficult. I don't think it's easier a piano solo than a large orchestra. Writing for piano or any instrument (soo) needs time and study. The same with the orchestra. This is why I don't write for orchestra. Also, I prefer small ensembles, but the thing is if you write for an orchestra (even small likes this one) you have to show what the instruments can do. In your waltz, I feel that several instruments, in turns, are always with the waltz-pattern, which is necessary, but I would have done it with less instruments.

Don't take this as anything important, it's just my point of view.

 

Luis,

Thanks so much for sharing again your thoughts on my score. I truly appreciate it, and the more since expressed by a “double-colleague”.

I have written this score for that specific ensemble, since I heard it precisely in their timbres. I do share your principle of “economy”. However, the triple-rhythm bass figure has been split between the Bassoon and the Contrabassoon not only out of the timbre purpose, but in order to make the real playing easier to the performers.

Hope, you will continue commenting on my music in the future.

Best wishes,

Tobias

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