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Jean Szulc

Sextet for Winds and Piano

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Hello everyone! I've been away from the forum for a couple of weeks, we all know times have been crazy...

However, I had finished my Sextet for Winds and Piano some time ago, and wanted to share it here.

As always, feedback is extremely appreciated. Thank you for listening┬á­čÖé

 

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Loved it! Super loved it. I can't wait to hear more of your new work in the future, but that was an amazing 8 minutes of my life right there!

Wish that huge crescendo at m.114 led to a big moment! It had the coolest build-up to a moment I was expecting, but it wasn't there. Led it be loud for longer!

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@Eickso┬á@PBStu┬áThank you both very much for listening, it means a lot to me ­čÖé┬ácomments like this keep me writing.
 

On 5/11/2020 at 12:17 PM, Eickso said:

Wish that huge crescendo at m.114 led to a big moment!

It did lead to a big moment, but I felt like ll the sections build up to a climax, and then descend into the next part. I was hoping I could subvert this scheme a bit, by not allowing the last section to grow too much. Perhaps I was wrong ­čÖé┬áThank you a lot for your feedback!

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Hi Jean,

 

This is an very beautiful piece. A few comments.

 

1. I just don't think the oboe in the first few measures (as ppp as possible) is going to get the effect you want. It sounds so shrill in that upper register, it's going to sound more like a honk. I would suggest instead using the flute, or moving down.

2. There is no need to put dynamic markings at the bottom or top of the piano portion unless they are getting in the way of the notes. The pianist should understand the interpretation and bring out what you want even if you place it in the middle. I would leave it in the middle.

3. At measure 67, those 32nd entrances are going to be very difficult to get in time.  Sounds nice, especially if the ensemble has time to work on it, but if you only get a few practices, it might sound a bit rough.

Again, beautiful piece.

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Hello, @Morgri!

Thank you a lot for listening and for your feedback! I really appreciate it.

52 minutes ago, Morgri said:

I just don't think the oboe in the first few measures (as ppp as possible) is going to get the effect you want. It sounds so shrill in that upper register, it's going to sound more like a honk. I would suggest instead using the flute, or moving down.

I wrote this based on a few passages by Poulenc (just as most of the piece, really), and I was hoping to get an "almost cracking, ethereal" sound. Poulenc did this in a few moments, and depending on the oboist it sounds amazing. It was a shot in the dark most of all, but we will only know after an actual performance.

 

1 hour ago, Morgri said:

2. There is no need to put dynamic markings at the bottom or top of the piano portion unless they are getting in the way of the notes. The pianist should understand the interpretation and bring out what you want even if you place it in the middle. I would leave it in the middle.

I usually add dinamic markings for every voice on the piano just to make sure I get the right interpretation at the end. When the interpretation is less critical, I leave it to the player. Perhaps not necessary, but it makes me think of how exactly I want it to be played, and it won't hurt the interpreter.

 

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Wow! I haven't heard a piece on here I've liked this much in a LONG time. Granted I've been gone for a long time haha, but your piece is extremely impressive. I'm excited to see how much you grow and improve once you start your studies in music school. You've obviously been taught very well, and your voice is emerging into something very uniquely you. Do you know Silvestre Revueltas? some of the rhythmic figures you used reminded me of the really cool percussive takes Mexican and Brazilian composers have used. 

I absolutely love that major 7th theme that resolves down. I love taking an expected resolution and taking it somewhere different, and you develop it very well, reminded me of how Beethoven would take the most simple themes and toy with them all day as if he wasn't even trying. 

The sparse bird like interlude was a nice texture change. I don't know man, I could go on and on with what I like about it, but I really don't have much to criticize. I did get kind of lost in all the tone color sometimes, but it seemed like you purposely put harmony in the front for that effect, so I'd say it worked. 

Well done my friend, keep me updated with your future works, I'll look out for your name

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@Thatguy v2.0

Thank you a lot for your kind words, my friend! 

6 minutes ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

You've obviously been taught very well

I like hearing this, makes me feel like a jedi lol

I didn't know about Silvestre Revueltas, so I'll take a look into him in a bit. Thank you for your recommendation. As we're in this subject, please give Camargo Guarnieri a listen. He's way too good to be mostly unknown nowadays. I'd recommend listening to his Ponteios, and his piano concertos (the 5th one, to be more specific). It's simply a fantastic influence, I hope you enjoy it ­čÖé

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Wonderful work. Beautiful.

Transitions and connections are smooth. Harmony is super rich. The textural development changes many times, perfect. 

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I don't normally like chromatic music. However, this is supremely well constructed. I love the use of different textures and colours throughout. You've used the winds idiomatically - something which is especially difficult in chamber ensembles. And you've managed not to let the piano overpower the winds! *worship*

Watch out with starting an oboe phrase on a low note like in bar 18. It has honking potential. Piano tremolos in Bar 54 might not work be very clear.

I was going to say I loved the piano bit in the middle - it reminded me of water. Then I looked at the score and saw you wrote "water like"! Well done on water well evoked! Reminded me of Ravel's Jeux d'Eau in its ripply-ness. And the quiet winds over that made me happy.

How bent do you want the oboe in bar 81? It's quite a tricky note to bend I believe (at least it is on flute due to the longer air column, and oboe has very similar fingerings. I don't know what instruments you play though - maybe it's easy enough!)

Those final few bars - in a live performance, you'll have the audience hanging of the edges of their seats! Captivating!

Congratulations Jean!

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@aMusicComposer Thank you very much for your kind words!

 

21 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

Watch out with starting an oboe phrase on a low note like in bar 18. It has honking potential.

Definately true, but I actually quite like this timbre┬áthat the oboe produces in the low register. Poulenc has displayed some good uses of it, so I hope I'll be safe with this one ­čÖé

 

21 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

I was going to say I loved the piano bit in the middle - it reminded me of water. Then I looked at the score and saw you wrote "water like"! Well done on water well evoked! Reminded me of Ravel's Jeux d'Eau in its ripply-ness. And the quiet winds over that made me happy.

That was some good two weeks of my life trying to replicate water sounds (lots of Jeux d'Eau and Une Barque sur l'Ocean involved), so I'm glad it was evocative to you! 

 

22 hours ago, aMusicComposer said:

How bent do you want the oboe in bar 81? It's quite a tricky note to bend I believe (at least it is on flute due to the longer air column, and oboe has very similar fingerings. I don't know what instruments you play though - maybe it's easy enough!)

Not too much of a bend, I just want the player to "get into the note from beneath" (I know, this could definately sound better). Thank you for pointing it out to me, I still don't know much about bends on the oboe so I'll have to consult an oboist sooner or later.

Once again, thank you a lot for spending time to give me this thorough feedback, I really appreciate it ­čÖé

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This is really lovely. You are a very talented composer. How long have you been composing music Jean?

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Hello @Markus Boyd! Thank you a lot for listening and for your feedback. 

I'll complete a year of composition in couple of months. I had notated some stuff before, but never finished anything more than a mere exercise.

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