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Should I go with option 1 or option 2?

Which option should I go with?  

  1. 1. Which option?

    • Option 1: Oboe and Clarinet switch
      0
    • Option 2: Flute takes over oboe, oboe doubles clarinet
      0
    • Other(if so, what should I do to fix the issue)
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I have orchestrated the exposition of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and gotten several comments. Here I will concentrate on a single comment that I got, that the oboes are too high in bar 11. I got no suggestions as to how to fix the issue though, which I thought was just wrong, given that I had a detailed analysis of my orchestration mistakes. But I thought of a few solutions to the issue. Here is the edition of Mozart's score that I used for my orchestration:

Mozart's Werke Edition

I would use the Mozart manuscript, since it is written neatly and easily readable. But most of the Mozart manuscript isn't there, just a few pages of each movement. So the manuscript is out of the question as far as reference material goes. Thus, I went with the oldest published edition which is the Mozart's Werke edition. Unlike Beethoven's Werke by the same publisher, I have seen no measure displacement or other issues with Mozart's Werke.

And here is what the woodwinds look like in bars 10-15 of my orchestration:

enter image description here

The green note is just defaults from Musescore, I didn't make that note green, in case you were wondering.

Just in case you are wondering, here is my instrumentation:

  • 2 Flutes
  • 2 Oboes
  • 2 Clarinets
  • 2 Bassoons
  • 2 Horns(I originally thought of having a third horn but was told that it wasn't very Mozartesque to do that, so I retracted the third horn)
  • 2 Bb Trumpets(I was told that I should change this to C trumpets, but Bb is the default for the Classical Orchestra template)
  • Tympani
  • 1st Violins
  • 2nd Violins
  • Violas
  • Cellos
  • Double basses

Here are my proposed solutions for the woodwind issue at bar 11:

Option 1: Switch oboes and clarinets

Here, I would move the oboe part to the clarinets and likewise, I would move the clarinet part to the oboes. This would, if I'm correct on this, give a mellower sound than having the oboes up in that range. Just to make sure that I don't overwrite anything in the process of doing this in Musescore, I had the horns be silent here. Here is what it looks like after the switch:

enter image description here

Option 2: Oboes double clarinets, Flutes take over oboe part

Here, I would simply have the oboes doubling the clarinets. The flutes would be playing what in the previous version, I had the oboes play. Here is what it looks like after that change:

enter image description here

Myself, I think I prefer the oboe and clarinet switch over the doubling. I already have enough doublings between the woodwinds and the strings. I don't need more between 2 different woodwind parts. Plus, I think that upper reinforcement of the flutes is necessary. Having the flutes take over the oboe part would get rid of this upper reinforcement.

There is a good chance that you have already listened to my orchestration. Believe me, I am working on the issues that you and other people mentioned. I figured though that this woodwind issue was higher priority than the issues having to do with octaves or whatever.

Should I go with option 1 or option 2? Or is there something else that I missed? Note: I'm not thinking of just taking the oboe out entirely. That would be, I think, the worst option.

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A question about writing for winds is my specialty (as a wind player!)

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik will be difficult to orchestrate well, because it is only written for string orchestra. 

2 hours ago, caters said:
  • 2 Flutes
  • 2 Oboes
  • 2 Clarinets
  • 2 Bassoons
  • 2 Horns(I originally thought of having a third horn but was told that it wasn't very Mozartesque to do that, so I retracted the third horn)
  • 2 Bb Trumpets(I was told that I should change this to C trumpets, but Bb is the default for the Classical Orchestra template)
  • Tympani
  • 1st Violins
  • 2nd Violins
  • Violas
  • Cellos
  • Double basses

You can easily have C trumpets by changing the instruments once in the file.

2 hours ago, caters said:

Option 1: Switch oboes and clarinets

Here, I would move the oboe part to the clarinets and likewise, I would move the clarinet part to the oboes. This would, if I'm correct on this, give a mellower sound than having the oboes up in that range. Just to make sure that I don't overwrite anything in the process of doing this in Musescore, I had the horns be silent here. Here is what it looks like after the switch:

Changing oboes to clarinets hear is going to make it even harsher. In those top notes the clarinet is very loud and piercing.

2 hours ago, caters said:

Option 2: Oboes double clarinets, Flutes take over oboe part

Here, I would simply have the oboes doubling the clarinets. The flutes would be playing what in the previous version, I had the oboes play. Here is what it looks like after that change:

Yes that would work, but you will have a lot of doubling. You need to be careful about excessive doubling when you are orchestrating.

I have thought of a couple more solutions.

OPTION 3: Take out the oboes.

Take them out altogether from these few bars, and have the pair of flutes playing in thirds. Add the oboes back in another time - you don't need or want to have all the instruments playing at once. 

OPTION 4: Oboes and flutes in thirds.

Have both sections playing in thirds and doubling each other. This will avoid register confusion, and the flutes will soften the tone of the oboes.

Thanks for the question.

 

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I take issue with the fact you're having anything doubled an octave higher in the first place. I don't see a need for it and it expands the range of the bar/section when it doesn't really need to. 
My personal opinion would be to move the oboes down an octave and remove the flutes and clarinets altogether. 
For yours though: Option 1 poses the same issue, but shifted to the clarinets, as @aMusicComposer said.
Option 2 creates an interesting timbre, but since the bar is supposed to be pretty pure, it's maybe not one you want. That's the "better" option of the two to me, but having one of the sections just not play is probably better.

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3 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

I take issue with the fact you're having anything doubled an octave higher in the first place. I don't see a need for it and it expands the range of the bar/section when it doesn't really need to. 
My personal opinion would be to move the oboes down an octave and remove the flutes and clarinets altogether. 
For yours though: Option 1 poses the same issue, but shifted to the clarinets, as @aMusicComposer said.
Option 2 creates an interesting timbre, but since the bar is supposed to be pretty pure, it's maybe not one you want. That's the "better" option of the two to me, but having one of the sections just not play is probably better.

 

Well, I had it an octave higher in the flutes and oboes for a reason, it isn't just that I more commonly see woodwinds such as flutes in higher octaves than string instruments like violins that can reach like piccolo pitch with techniques like octave harmonics, though that is a reason for it(Like I very commonly see flutes written in the top octave of their range. Very rarely, even in a violin concerto, do I see violins written in the top octave of their range. Usually if anything goes to the octave extremes with violins, it is the lower octaves or very quick octave leaps). It is also so that the woodwinds stand out more against the strings, since I did intend this section from bars 11-17 to be more woodwind dominant after the more string dominant beginning of the first theme. Because, I mean the first theme basically divides into a few parts of it's own, like this:

1316519565_FirstTheme1.png.a25394dc11779e330d569f8c3254d2f9.png

1842111924_FirstTheme2.png.534c2303bed1a559aa64ae4d3ae883bf.png

As you can see, each one of the sections is orchestrated a bit differently.

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1 hour ago, caters said:

Well, I had it an octave higher in the flutes and oboes for a reason, it isn't just that I more commonly see woodwinds such as flutes in higher octaves than string instruments like violins that can reach like piccolo pitch with techniques like octave harmonics, though that is a reason for it(Like I very commonly see flutes written in the top octave of their range. Very rarely, even in a violin concerto, do I see violins written in the top octave of their range. Usually if anything goes to the octave extremes with violins, it is the lower octaves or very quick octave leaps)

All instruments are not created equal. For example, it doesn't require much skill for a violinist to drag a bow across the G string, even though that's the violin's lowest extreme. It does, however, require great skill for a flautist to hit her lowest note, a middle C—and even then, the sound is so diminished it usually has to be solo to be heard. The same principle is true of upper extremes. A master of the orchestra writes to the instruments' strengths, not their weaknesses. So you've found a passage that can be transcribed for the oboes/clarinets and played at the limits of human capability... so what? The oboe isn't so mellow nor the clarinet so woodsy when you get into the troposphere like that. Both @aMusicComposer and @Monarcheon have taken the time to give you excellent suggestions, and I agree with them.

2 hours ago, caters said:

It is also so that the woodwinds stand out more against the strings, since I did intend this section from bars 11-17 to be more woodwind dominant after the more string dominant beginning of the first theme.

Oh, it will definitely be woodwind dominant if you make a clarinettist blow a lung out or induce an aneurysm in the oboist, all while trying to squeeze out those ledger-line notes that will pierce the tympanic membrane of anyone listening. Ok, I'm exaggerating, of course, but the point is you can make the passage "woodwind dominant" while still keeping it sounding pleasant. I don't see why you can't leave it at the octave Mozart originally wrote and just use woodwinds to render it. It'll still sound nice.

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8 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

I take issue with the fact you're having anything doubled an octave higher in the first place. I don't see a need for it and it expands the range of the bar/section when it doesn't really need to. 

Definitely agree here. My solution would be to just nix that top oboe and have one player play the lower harmony, so you'd end up with flute above and oboe below (that sounds like an indie album title...). If you're dead set on doubling, I would share the current oboe part between clarinet (top) and oboe (bottom), then just have one clarinet play the current clarinet part. But it's been a while since I've orchestrated, so I may be a little rusty. My big things are usually (1) is it possible, (2) is it enjoyable to perform, (3) does it sound the way I want? If something doesn't meet those criteria I try to re-work it until I meet all three. If you're happy with it the way it is, then keep it I guess!

Gustav

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10 hours ago, caters said:

It is also so that the woodwinds stand out more against the strings, since I did intend this section from bars 11-17 to be more woodwind dominant after the more string dominant beginning of the first theme.

Why don't you take the strings out altogether? Doing so would give a break for the string players, and also add variety into the timbre.

Here is another possible solution:

Oboes play in thirds, an octave below what they are playing just now. Take the violins out of this bit. In the second bar, add in clarinets, bassoons and low strings. In the last two bars add in flutes and pizzicato violins/violas.

That was just another possible idea that I came with which makes it more woodwind dominant.

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