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Mozart PianoSonata c-minor KV457 - orchestrated

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For both practicing orchestration and just for fun I made this attempt to orchestrate my favourite piano sonata by Mozart which, I think, is well suited for a symphonic setting:


http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mozart_PianoSonata-KV457-1_orch.pdf   (score)






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While I am not as familiar with this piece as I am sure you now are, I felt you managed to capture the piece effectively for the orchestra! It certainly felt quite natural.

My critique would be to be cautious in excessive line-doubling. For instance, in m. 64, while I understand the rationale in doubling the line of say the first violin, I can envision the woodwinds providing rhythmic accentuation there rather than simply following the lead of the violins (with the second violins following the first, but an octave down, a more resonant logic).

The dialogue that you develop between the instruments, mm. 36 - 44 as an example, felt much more liquid and effective.

Great job, nonetheless!

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This is a good orchestration of one of Mozart's sonatas.

I'm going to comment (as a player) on the woodwind section.

There is some impractical writing. I'm going to look at some stuff in detail. You said this was practice, so I want to make these points. Don't take these the wrong way - the writing is mostly very good.

Bar 2: Flutes cannot play low C very loudly. Compared to the very loud oboe in that register, there will be a distinct imbalance of tone and registers.

Bar 6: The same again. Most flutes do not have the ability to play a low B.

Bar 10: Bassoons slurring up octaves will be difficult and lose clarity.

Bar 22: I assume you meant to slur the oboes too. If not, this will be very difficult and sound muddy.

Bar 50: Low Bb is impossible on the flute.

Bar 57: The oboes jump quite a lot here. I would maybe split the part up between different instruments.

Bar 91: Arpeggiated basses don't work as well in the orchestra as on a piano, but they can be achieved. The bassoons and cellos will struggle a bit here.

Bar 181: That'll be difficult on bassoons.

If you have any questions about any of these points, just ask! 😀

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am arranging this exact sonata, but I am staying reserved with my instrumentation, only arranging it for a string trio. I reached my first conundrum at bar 49, where it looks like I will have to have the violin change the upper note while sustaining the lower note. By the way, I think your orchestration sounds good.

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Also, please note that a viola's lowest note is C below middle C (midi C3) so they will be unable to play bars 15, 23, 46, 51, 61-65 and the double stop in  bar 46 etc is impossible. Take care with these low double stops. If the upper note is below G (midi G3) then you're expecting it to be played on one string! E.g. the one in bar 141 is likewise unplayable as the upper note is F#.

Looks like your horns are in C. In which case you're taking a bit of a chance here and there - bar 67, 73 etc, playable but bar 264 you may have to bribe the player with a few beers. 

Edited by Quinn
noticed some extra stuff
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