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jawoodruff

Quintet for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, and VC

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Posted (edited)

I started this quintet with the intention of entering this into a competition -so, I've been working pretty intently on it (to the point that it's all I think about).

Here are the first 2 movements:

1. Andante: The first movement serves as a sort of introductory movement. The movement utilizes the short two bar theme presented in the opening (this theme also permeates large portions of the work as a whole). The theme is presented in all voices, leading to the establishment of a 'hopefully' hypnotic pattern -through which I play with the theme and introduce contrapuntal material. The structure is ABA'. 

2. Allegro Con Fuoco: This is the movement so far that I've spent the most time on -and this is revision number 4. The opening two bars introduce an ostinato pattern that is taken up by ALL instruments within the quintet. This movement is meant to be faster than what I have set. I've slowed it down to give more attention to detail. 

3. Adagio Semplice: To compliment the 2nd movement -and in stark contrast texturally- this movement is more of a mediation and prayer-like movement. The movement is slow and contemplative. 

At any rate, I'll post the final 2 movements once I've finished them. Hope you all enjoy these experiments.

Edited by jawoodruff
Added third movement
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Posted (edited)

Nice work! I almost always like chamber music when well writen. I like andante the most. The allegro sounds too dissonant for me, sorry. Anyway, it gives a feeling of perturbating restless, that I thing you are aiming, arent you? Then it's nicely achieved. 

Sorry, Im probably too conservative :)

best wishes!

Edited by Guillem82

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Hi, just some impressions.

 

ANDANTE

Overall, I think the arc of tension-relief is very well shaped. The crescendo until m. 30 is quite intriguing. At that point, more or less, there is a short part where the instruments cross. I'm sure some people won't like it, but it's a perfect transition to the next part. The line of the bassoon at the end (m. 65-67) becomes essential for the final cadence, besides it confirms the canonic feeling of the piece.

ALLEGRO

Very beautiful textural work here. I only have one observation, taking into account you said this was for a competition: the wind instruments need to rest here and there. Yes, many times if the melodic lines are built upon long notes of with very clear cadences, the rest are implicit. But here the motion is quick and almost restless in some parts.

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I agree that it's very well written piece, which I enjoyed listening to. It sounds like you took care to make it approachable, that is to say not too academic, and I think your audience will appreciate that. It's a shame this is only a mock up because this kind of thing would benefit from real players who I think would have a good time with it.

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:02 AM, Luis Hernández said:

Hi, just some impressions.

 

ANDANTE

Overall, I think the arc of tension-relief is very well shaped. The crescendo until m. 30 is quite intriguing. At that point, more or less, there is a short part where the instruments cross. I'm sure some people won't like it, but it's a perfect transition to the next part. The line of the bassoon at the end (m. 65-67) becomes essential for the final cadence, besides it confirms the canonic feeling of the piece.

ALLEGRO

Very beautiful textural work here. I only have one observation, taking into account you said this was for a competition: the wind instruments need to rest here and there. Yes, many times if the melodic lines are built upon long notes of with very clear cadences, the rest are implicit. But here the motion is quick and almost restless in some parts.

 

Yes, I concur on the wind parts in the Allegro. I thought about leaving a marking stating to breathe as needed during that passage. I also added slurs -thinking maybe they'd take a breath after each slur. Should I be more direct or cut the last note of each slurred note to allow room for a breath?

I also added the third movement to the piece. I'm considering doing one of two things with this as part of my first revision:

1. Connect all three movements into one, single movement (I have a few ideas on how to do this)

2. I'm not sure a fourth movement is needed. The piece seems to stand strong with just the three movements. I can then expand the ending of the first movement to make it more coherent and expand the last movement to provide a stronger closure to the piece (though I think the ending of the third movement is already strong enough to stand on its own).

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The first movement is hypnotic indeed. I was grabbed by it and had a sensation of almost losing my attention, close to being in a meditative state, while beign very concentrated on the music.

I think the second movement is my favourite. I also feel it's hypnotic, but in a different way.

I like how good is the transition in m 37 of the third mov. I felt like the music was going to ceise or rarefy, but it seamlessly slides into another section.

As you said this is strong as it is, and you should only add new stuff if you feel its necessary. It just depends on your vision for it.

Congratulations on what you have so far.

Good luck on the competition, and do let us know of the outcomes!

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13 hours ago, Jean Szulc said:

.I think the second movement is my favourite. I also feel it's hypnotic, but in a different way.

 

Honestly, this movement is my personal favorite and is the one that took the most time to compose -and the most enjoyable one at that. I may try something similar to this movement on a much larger scale for a later work. Glad someone else enjoyed it!

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:41 AM, Guillem82 said:

Nice work! I almost always like chamber music when well writen. I like andante the most. The allegro sounds too dissonant for me, sorry. Anyway, it gives a feeling of perturbating restless, that I thing you are aiming, arent you? Then it's nicely achieved. 

Sorry, Im probably too conservative 🙂

best wishes!

 

 Not too conservative at all. I used to feel the same exact way you did when it came to dissonance. You have to emancipate your ears to such sounds. Then once you do, the possibilities are totally endless. I'm glad you like the andante. The introductory nature of the work -along with the shaping of the texture was meant to soften the dissonant intervals present. When you space out dissonance, it becomes less dissonant and much more sweeter to the ear. 

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My favorite part of the first movement is the syncopated violin figure starting at measure 35. I also like the downward chromatic motion in the flute from around measures 27-30. 
In movement two I love the double stops in the cello and also the exciting bassoon lines. I liked the development of this movement. 
The pizzicato section of the third movement was refreshing. 
Great work on this piece! If I were to offer some small piece of advice, it would be to explore more timbres within each instrument. For the strings as an example, sul ponticello, flautando, spicatto, col legno, overtones, using mutes, etc. This would add color to the piece and would also make performing it more interested, especially during sections with more stagnant or sustained lines. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 9:41 AM, BlazingDragon said:

My favorite part of the first movement is the syncopated violin figure starting at measure 35. I also like the downward chromatic motion in the flute from around measures 27-30. 
In movement two I love the double stops in the cello and also the exciting bassoon lines. I liked the development of this movement. 
The pizzicato section of the third movement was refreshing. 
Great work on this piece! If I were to offer some small piece of advice, it would be to explore more timbres within each instrument. For the strings as an example, sul ponticello, flautando, spicatto, col legno, overtones, using mutes, etc. This would add color to the piece and would also make performing it more interested, especially during sections with more stagnant or sustained lines. 

 

Thanks very much for the review. Glad you enjoyed my music!

I deliberated on using extended techniques -and have used them in the past with other works. In terms of this piece, I did consider using spiccato and sul ponticello (as well as sul tasto) for some of the passages within the first and second movements. I also deliberated using fluttering for the flute and clarinet parts in the second movement. The third movement's opening section also was a spot that I had considered revising the violin part to play the suspended note as a harmonic instead (I do wish to do this, but... haven't figured out how to do harmonics in MuseScore -in particular how to get the rendering to play it). I'm also a bit old fashioned in my usage of extended techniques. While I appreciate the timbral qualities and how they can further enhance the musical texture and soundscape, I'd like the music itself to stand out -and, in a way, feel that by adding extended techniques just for added pizzazz lessens the value of the work itself. It's all subjective though!

 

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