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Monarcheon

A Night in Winter

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I wrote this as a trial piece for Two Dances for Orchestra was written for the local Youth Symphony (can be heard here: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34330/two-dances-for-orchestra/#comment-1186669895)

It's SO very different and it's an objectively bad piece but there a lot of good things about it regardless (still ©'d it though!). It follows a young woman as she's drawn further and further away from the path by snow.
You'll also have to forgive the playback. Finale and aleatoricsm don't play nice. 

 

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Honestly, there are some wonderful things here. I don't think it's at all fair to say it's "objectively bad", even if it may be more flawed than the pieces that followed it. The main theme has just the right dark, wintry vibe and I found it seriously captivating. The only major gripe I have after one listen/reading is the entrance of the aleatoric trumpet section at m. 110. Personally, I felt like its entrance was too abrupt for such a stark contrast to the material that preceded it. I think it would really have benefited from having some more transitional material to get to that point, especially considering the narrative of the piece.

Anyways, I take it that you've spend plenty of time thinking about the things you might have done differently, so I won't waste our time trying to pick apart your score. I just hope you aren't too quick to dismiss it, because it really does have some lovely ideas going for it.

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Overall, I like the theme. I think the contrasting section, with the rhythmic tympani motif, could be expanded some for better impact and interest. My only concern, I think, is the orchestration. The strings, for instance, appear to (on paper) overpower the winds -which don't seem to be supported much. 

I think one thing that is interesting, is that you seem to be bordering between a more traditional sound (sections 1 and 2) and then a more modern sound (8 mins in). This isn't a bad thing -I've done it myself even. However, I would say prepare the listener for what is transpiring at the 8 min. mark. It's quite a drastic change -which is interesting, cause for instance, you have the cello divisi earlier in the piece. Perhaps you could have viola and cello underpin and prepare the listener for the change? Just a thought.

Nice work!

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4 hours ago, jawoodruff said:

My only concern, I think, is the orchestration

Interesting. I think the strings, rather, are covered up by the winds especially with my god awful rocking motif I have in the opening section.
My conductor said the same thing about transitions, but I think the only way to be impactful with that kind of sectional entrance is without predication. Otherwise it's too fluid.
Like I said, the piece is garbage, so it's not really a reflection on valid musical ideas. More like an exercise.
 

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