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Clarinet Quintet no. 1 in C minor


Henry Ng Tsz Kiu
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Thank you for your review regarding the scoring!

1 hour ago, jawoodruff said:

what is with the random 2/4 measure at the beginning?

Yeah I could have eradicated that random 2/4 measure, had the program wise enough to prolong the time I intended!

1 hour ago, jawoodruff said:

Also.... why do you have the clarinetist using an alto (c) clef?

Yes that's right. I was originally afraid that there will be too many ledger lines, but it seems better to use treble clef throughout. I will change that for a final scoring.

Thank you!

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7 minutes ago, Henry Ng said:

Thank you for your review regarding the scoring!

Yeah I could have eradicated that random 2/4 measure, had the program wise enough to prolong the time I intended!

Yes that's right. I was originally afraid that there will be too many ledger lines, but it seems better to use treble clef throughout. I will change that for a final scoring.

Thank you!

 

No worries. Just surprised nobody mentioned those two things. 

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15 minutes ago, jawoodruff said:

No worries. Just surprised nobody mentioned those two things. 

Maybe because the piece is sooo long so some problems may be missed!

Thanks for pointing the mistskes out! I am really not good at scoring at all and usually make it a mess despite knowing that it is crucial to have a clear scroing for others to read and know my music!

 

Edited by Henry Ng
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3 minutes ago, Henry Ng said:

Maybe because the piece is sooo long so some problems may be missed!

Thanks for pointing the mistskes out! I am really not good at scoring at all and usually make it a mess despite knowing that it is crucial to have a clear scroing for others to read and know my music!

 

 

Scoring and writing idiomatically for the instrument that come with experience and knowledge of the instruments. I'm pouring over the score -which might take me a day day or so given my schedule (and that its a massive score). So, I'll post a more thoughtful review then. 

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3 hours ago, jawoodruff said:

the random 2/4 measure

Wait, random why? In other words, what's more ambiguous and random, a pause of 2 beats that the composer decided to put there in order to precisely indicate to pause for 2 beats or a fermata which each set of interpreters would perform at will? Probably none of this is random if one knows what he wants. This is probably one of the reasons no one did ask about that: they hadn't thought that was a mistake. I wouldn't dare to say so either, though judging by some other scoring mistakes it could be.

3 hours ago, jawoodruff said:

Also.... why do you have the clarinetist using an alto (c) clef?

Oh that's a good question, though still nobody likely paid attention to it (and since I'm not a clarinettist I hadn't even found it strange) as it appears only briefly in the first movement. The other three, as far as I remember, have not C clef on the clarinet. Guess the scoring also speaks of the difference between Henry at the time of composing that first movement and the fourth one.

Kind regards,
Daniel–Ømicrón

 

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2 minutes ago, Omicronrg9 said:

Wait, random why? In other words, what's more ambiguous and random, a pause of 2 beats that the composer decided to put there in order to precisely indicate to pause for 2 beats or a fermata which each set of interpreters would perform at will? Probably none of this is random if one knows what he wants. This is probably one of the reasons no one did ask about that: they hadn't thought that was a mistake. I wouldn't dare to say so either, though judging by some other scoring mistakes it could be.

I did intend to have that pause for two beats, but as @jawoodruff said I will also be fine with a fermata. I put the 2/4 time signature mainly because that the Sibelius 6 software is quite stupid. If I don't put that specific, it will immediately flow away without the length of pause I intended. I am afraid a fermata putting on a quaver rest would show that I want a shorter pause, which I don't. There's also a 2/4 empty bar in before the coda of the third movement for the same reason. I really want that two beat pause instead of a full bar pause or an indefinite pause by using fermata especially on a quaver rest, but for the sake of cleanness I am also OK for a fermata if performers I imagined can pause longer. But I guess I will keep the 2/4 empty bars in the final score. Thank you for explaining that issue for me, @Omicronrg9 !!  

8 minutes ago, Omicronrg9 said:

Oh that's a good question, though still nobody likely paid attention to it (and since I'm not a clarinettist I hadn't even found it strange) as it appears only briefly in the first movement. The other three, as far as I remember, have not C clef on the clarinet. Guess the scoring also speaks of the difference between Henry at the time of composing that first movement and the fourth one.

Yeah I am grateful that I don't make that stupid mistake in the later movements!! I really was learning to write the music by writing it! But I was stupid enough not to notice that when final checking the final draft, so that is definitely a good spotting.

Kind Regards

Henry

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Henry,

I've listened to your first movement so far.

I'm not very good at analysis; but I especially enjoyed the baroque passages, combined with a more modern musical palette.

Must've taken a lot of work to produce this!

 

Will definitely listen to the other movements when I have a moment, and have subscribed to your You Tube channel.

 

Happy (Western) New Year!

Alex 

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Dear @Alex Weidmann,

thank you so much for your listening! I am glad you enjoy it. It's quite long, isn't it?

On 1/3/2023 at 9:31 AM, Alex Weidmann said:

I've listened to your first movement so far.

I'm not very good at analysis; but I especially enjoyed the baroque passages, combined with a more modern musical palette.

Thank you! Some of the passages in the first movement are quite good, but the problem is the structure is too sparse. They are not connected well even they come from the same opening motive, and I won't compose like that now.

On 1/3/2023 at 9:31 AM, Alex Weidmann said:

Must've taken a lot of work to produce this!

It did take me a lot of work!! Due to laziness I use almost 3 years to finish the first draft of the first movement.

On 1/3/2023 at 9:31 AM, Alex Weidmann said:

Will definitely listen to the other movements when I have a moment,

Take your time! I actually consider the first movement the weakest movement in the piece, and I hope the later movements will also be enjoyable!

On 1/3/2023 at 9:31 AM, Alex Weidmann said:

and have subscribed to your You Tube channel.

Thank you!!

Henry

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12 minutes ago, ComposaBoi said:

This is probably the best composition I've heard on here. Bravo. The only problem for me is the soundfont, which makes me wonder how this would sound with the new Musescore 4 sounds?

😱😱 Thank you so much ! I do not expect this huge compliment from you!!

Yes the soundfont is bad. It's the soundfont from Sibelius 6 itself. I think it may sound better with the Musescore 4 sound, but I have to change my old computer first😅.

Thank you for listening!!

Henry

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/27/2022 at 11:55 PM, chopin said:

Be careful because it is impossible for string instruments to play 3 notes a time.

This is actually not true. String players can technically play more than 2 notes at a time. It is just impossible to sustain those notes or use quiet dynamics since the bow needs to be pressed so hard.

 

I really dislike it when people spread false information on string playing btw. If you wonder if something is possible, check with a string player, not a book you read 3 years ago.

Edited by ComposaBoi
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5 hours ago, ComposaBoi said:

This is actually not true. String players can technically play more than 2 notes at a time. It is just impossible to sustain those notes or use quiet dynamics since the bow needs to be pressed so hard.

In the passage with tripple stopping (First Mov, b.237, 239) it's short and forte, so I guess it will be alright? In first mov. b.535 is long though, so I guess I should mark the bottom note as a crotchet, but at least it's in forte. I am really just learning how to write for strings more accurately! Thank you for your explanation Jonathon!

Henry

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It's been too long, my friend...

 

 

 

 

way too long...

 

 

 

 

the time it took to review your piece would compare to the time it took you to write it...not literally...but I really needed a lot of time to fully digest this one!

 

 

 

 

So...this has received quite a bit of attention. You've gotten lots of viewpoints and critiques from members here, I almost don't know what more could be said. We all know @Omicronrg9, @chopin, and @jawoodruff really know their stuff, I'd take to heart everything they had to say. All of them have vastly different musical output with their compositions, and one thing I love about YC is the extremely different viewpoints that the different members have, all leading me to new ideas and angles to analyze my own music from. There were a few others I didn't mention, but those three are very good composers that I happen to have gotten acquainted with their music pretty frequently (as a side note, I'd love to hear a new @chopin ballade one day. I know you're busy with MJ, Mike, but I miss your music).

Before I say anything, I'd just like to remind you that I'm just a simple blues musician who occasionally ventures into the world of this type of music. I'm always interested in what the "classical" composers have done, and in fact, there are even a few that are some of my biggest inspirations. In 2023, I'm referencing "classical" as Bach to Corigliano, so I guess the more concert style of music. I'm just saying, these are just my opinions as a musician living today.

Before I get into the actual music that you wrote, I'd like to say that this piece DESERVES much better sound samples. You write very well crafted music, but it's 2023. Without a live performance, I strongly encourage you to incorporate something you worked so hard on to be presented in the best way possible. The simple truth is, not everyone is like me or the ones that have delved deep into your music. If you give them old midi samples of the audio, they won't even give it a second thought; they'll see the hour long time of your piece, and think, "do I even want to listen to this?" No matter how great you are as a composer, this is an unfortunate fact of the present world we live in. And no matter how great your music is, if it isn't presented in the most polished way possible, you might find it'll be hard for people to gravitate towards your music. Your music is quite good, Henry, and I know you have a desk job...spend a bit of that in upgrading your sound samples. Yes this is an old piece, but I use Sibelius too, and you'd be surprised at how well the midi is saved when importing into a sequencer. If you go that route, I'd be happy to share some thoughts on sound samples ( @AngelCityOutlaw would be a great person to talk to as well about this). But also, Noteperformer integrates very well with Sibelius (I believe @Brandon S uses it as well), and you don't have to do a thing with a DAW. Just keep that in mind. Your music deserves to be heard brilliantly, and until I hear a performance by whatever ensemble you pay to recreate your work, I'd strongly consider the more advanced computer renditions. 

Now, finally, on to the music. 

HOLY BEETHOVEN

Sorry, had something in my throat...

In being fair, Beethoven is my all time favorite composer. Although I seldom listen to his music anymore (wth is wrong with me...), I can hear when he's been an influence. I remember when one of my music history teachers told me that Beethoven was a terrible melody writer, and...well, he kinda was. Very seldom did I ever hear a melody of his that floored me. But does that make him a bad composer? Of course not, because Beethoven did everything else so well that it didn't matter. He could turn a simple motif that most of us would have discarded into a grand development that we wouldn't think possible. I kind of hear the same thing with this piece. 

For the whole deration of this piece, there's not a single moment when the melody was at the forefront, and tbh, I feel like that's a mistake. If you're going to undertake an epic mission of an hour long piece, I think you should have the strategy of making each element of music profound. First of all, you do a SUPERB job of motivic development. In fact, that's what really kept me interested. I was always surprised by how you continued to develop your motifs and adhere to your forms, and it's by far, to me, the strongest element of your music. You, just like Beethoven, took a kernel and molded it into a plethora of popcorn (yeah the analogy is dumb, sorry). But I would have loved to hear a strong melody at the forefront somewhere. Let's see, Beethoven Emperor Concerto? Most famous movement is with the melody. 5th symphony? 2nd movement has a strong melody. What about the 9th? Well, we all know what comes to mind. How about his famous Pathetique sonata? Strong melody in the Ab major movement. Hold on...Appassionata? 6th symphony? Do you see where I'm going with this?

Sure, not every piece he wrote may be applicable, but the notable ones are. It's just something I would consider moving forward. I myself have always viewed my music as the same as yours. I focused so hard on developing small fragments, just like Herr Beethoven, but it wasn't until within the last few years where I really concentrated melody that it was a big deal to me to rectify a flaw I saw in my music. That was the whole reason on writing my gypsy piano piece, or the new blues guitar piece I can't wait to show you. I waited too long to discover the finer intricacies needed to implore that side of me. I don't want you to make the same mistake. 

You did a fair job in giving space to the texture of the piece as a whole, but I greedily wanted more. What if you gave a full minute or longer of just one or two instruments? It's an hour long, I mean, to me, give the listener and the players a longer break. Like I said, you do this a bit, but don't ever feel like just because you have 5 instruments they need to be constantly playing. If the piece is under say 10 minutes, maybe this is different, but man...this is an hour long! It would have been so cool imo to have prolongated sections featuring only a few instruments. You did this a bit in movement 1, but...well idk, I think it would have been cool, since this piece was featuring the clarinet, to give LONG extended periods of time to the clarinet. Let it sing, man. I'm not saying that all your instruments were playing all the time, but it was just something that I expected with a piece of this length. I guess I was just hoping for more elongated solo sections, to really feature the clarinet and what it could do. Yes, you do a good job in general of exploring it's full register, but what about technique and rhythm more applicable to our current time?

Speaking of rhythm, I felt like it was a weakness overall in your piece. Now, to be fair, if you were going for a more classical approach to your music, I guess it's ok. But rhythm is one of the elements that I feel like is a weakness of the classical time period, just because it wasn't explored like it is nowadays. If you want your music to sound like 1802, sure, it's more than fine. But I feel like us composers in 2023 should really dive deep into the intricate rhythmic textures that have been utilized within the past 100 years. You don't have to be overly complex with layers and layers of polyrhythms, but just think about the rhythm that you hear in today's music. Your music is for sure harmonically complex, as it scurries around all different keys, but most of the time it's a straight rhythm with hit points of classical era moments. What if you have a movement in a swing rhythm? Or what if your rhythm for an extended section made use of a syncopation like a lot of hip hop music today uses? I don't know, these are just some things that come to mind. 

Moving forward, I guess I'll follow suit in naming my favorite movements in order. Least to best, I'd say 3, 1, 2, 4. I just personally don't care for fugues, but I know lots of people here do, so I won't go to into that. They all sound "pretty" to me, but I don't really care for them. Yours sounded pretty too, so I'll leave movement 3 for more adept people of the style to give you advice on. 

Movement 4 was by far my favorite. I love how you took the main theme and syncopated it in an interesting way. Measure 101 of that movement was the first time I can recall that you had a cool arpeggio in the strings and just let the harmony sing, without all the busy counterpoint. Don't get me wrong, you're an absolute legend when it comes to counterpoint with this piece, but my ears needed a moment to just soak in the chords, especially after movement 3. Right around bar 342 of the 4th movement we even get bits of pentatonic melodies, I wish there were more! It sounded so fresh after hearing such a dense assault of major/minor scales. I love the triplets introduced at 403 too, I wish a more rhythmic varied texture was introduced earlier in the piece! You saved the most exciting moments for the last bit. The spicy harmonic lines of the violins at 547 were really cool too, just do more of that imo! Bar 576 was very cool too. Again, interesting textures that take my ears away from endless sequences and counterpoint. I really like the little clarinet cadenza at 614, just think about the breathing!

In fact, that was something I was thinking about the entire duration of your piece. ALWAYS think about the performer, and there are several moments where I questioned the breathing of the clarinet. I don't play the instrument, so if this was to ever receive a live performance, I would constantly confer via paranoia about this aspect of the instrument. You could even amend your phrasing if you were extra cautious like I am, and give ample rests in between long and fast sections. I know you wrote ad lib., and maybe that takes care of that. But still, I would consider it a vital fundamental in your clarinet writing. It's nice that you gave it ample time to catch a breath afterwards however. 

Overall Henry, I really did enjoy this piece in it's entirety. This isn't my go to for style when listening to music, but you compose extraordinarily well. I purposefully focused on ways to maybe improve your writing, but you do loads of things very well. You give us listeners lots to soak in as far a color varying in the keys you flow into, and your writing is very technically sound. I'm only merely pointing out the things that stylistically differ with what I love listening to, but you do the baroque/classical era justice. I would love to see you flourish in a more modern style, given that you do what you do so well, but I know we're all different in what we're going for with composition. Your piece is superbly crafted, and I wouldn't dare comment on the finer points of what's "correct" with the counterpoint, or venture too deep into the use of sequencing and motivic style. You develop your music like your inspiration Beethoven, and I hear it wonderfully crafted all throughout your music. My only hope, albeit a selfish one, would be for you to use your experience in the style and knowledge of the era to create music that's more uniquely you in our modern age. Again, if your goal is to embellish the lovely techniques of that era, than job well done. But I want you to stand out in the crowd of the plethora of composers existing today, and with your attributes I think you could become a phenomenal composer that stands with the competition of his era. 

And to quote my buddy Daniel...

excellent, keep composing, keep uploading your works both on here and on YouTube!

Wonderful job, and you should be very proud of this work, even if it is years old. It's emotionally deep, and I can tell you poured your heart and soul into this. I hope everything I hear from you stands up to this piece, no matter how small you may deem it. This is an extraordinary work, that took an extraordinary time to compose, and thanks so much for sharing. It was thrill and joy to listen critically (twice!), and I can't wait to hear what you come up with in the future! 

 

 

 

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Who summons me?

Edit: Holy damn that is a long piece of music.

Anyway, I would personally not even attempt to mock this up with samples. I am not exaggerating when I say you'd be there for years.

The best options that are out there for notation playback is without a doubt Musesounds (it's free), followed by Staffpad, and Noteperformer in last place.

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw
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4 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The best options that are out there for notation playback is without a doubt Musesounds (it's free), followed by Staffpad, and Noteperformer in last place.

I found a whole bunch of free sample libraries recently on pianobook.co.uk, some of which might be useful here.

The ones designed for the Decent Sampler plugin are especially good, and include a number of different clarinets. 

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On 1/23/2023 at 4:22 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

The best options that are out there for notation playback is without a doubt Musesounds (it's free), followed by Staffpad, and Noteperformer in last place.

On 1/23/2023 at 8:47 PM, Alex Weidmann said:

found a whole bunch of free sample libraries recently on pianobook.co.uk, some of which might be useful here.

The ones designed for the Decent Sampler plugin are especially good, and include a number of different clarinets. 

Thanks for your suggestions! I will probably try Musescore if I change my old PC since I am really lazy on this issue! I honestly don't pay much attention on the DAW issue which I should! Thank you!

Henry

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Hey Vince,

I am so grateful for your detailed and honest review. I really need some time to chew and digest on it to give you a reply!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I'd like to say that this piece DESERVES much better sound samples. You write very well crafted music, but it's 2023. Without a live performance, I strongly encourage you to incorporate something you worked so hard on to be presented in the best way possible.

That's so true. I will think more about that in the future!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

For the whole deration of this piece, there's not a single moment when the melody was at the forefront

Actually I think there is some small portion of it, e.g. mostly in movement 1. But you are right, my main approach here is utterly motivic.

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

You did a fair job in giving space to the texture of the piece as a whole, but I greedily wanted more. What if you gave a full minute or longer of just one or two instruments?

Actually I think this point is good. You know what, this quintet is directly inspired by Brahms Clarinet Quintet, and I definitely use that thick texture everywhere, whether good or bad. I can use that more in my future music! But not here though, since I don't want the clarinet having too many solo passages to show its colour here. That will make it too beautiful and self-expressing here. I really wanted a depressed and oppressed clarinet here which doesn't have much chance to show its real emotions and colour, since this is what the piece is about for me. I may be wrong on this point though. But I do want to have an oppressed atmosphere here in this piece of music to reflect what I would like to express here! This for me also link to the rhythm issue as well:

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Speaking of rhythm, I felt like it was a weakness overall in your piece. Now, to be fair, if you were going for a more classical approach to your music, I guess it's ok. But rhythm is one of the elements that I feel like is a weakness of the classical time period, just because it wasn't explored like it is nowadays. If you want your music to sound like 1802, sure, it's more than fine. But I feel like us composers in 2023 should really dive deep into the intricate rhythmic textures that have been utilized within the past 100 years. You don't have to be overly complex with layers and layers of polyrhythms, but just think about the rhythm that you hear in today's music. Your music is for sure harmonically complex, as it scurries around all different keys, but most of the time it's a straight rhythm with hit points of classical era moments. What if you have a movement in a swing rhythm? Or what if your rhythm for an extended section made use of a syncopation like a lot of hip hop music today uses? I don't know, these are just some things that come to mind.

I do find the rhythm here not featured enough. I do think I should add more polyrhythms here just like Brahms, but my main concern here is really on counterpoint, motives and harmony so I kind of less focused on that! I won't have swing rhythm or too much syncopation here though since it does not fit well. It will be way too vivacious to have these lively rhythm under the oppressive atmosphere for me! I does have some polyrhythm passages in movement 2 and 4 but I should have added more of that!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I just personally don't care for fugues, but I know lots of people here do, so I won't go to into that. They all sound "pretty" to me, but I don't really care for them. Yours sounded pretty too, so I'll leave movement 3 for more adept people of the style to give you advice on. 

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Your piece is superbly crafted, and I wouldn't dare comment on the finer points of what's "correct" with the counterpoint,

To be honest, I don't know how to write counterpoint before writing movement 3. I want to use fugue in this movement since it's the best device to develop the core motive of the themes presented, as I would like this movement to be a discovery of the core of despair. I may be too brave to write a five part fugue for my first fugal movement but I am really happy to finish this movement. It's only after writing this movement that I know what's chamber music and how to write for it. Daniel @Omicronrg9 notices the learning curve and the well mixing sound of this movement and the finale because of that. I remember I've read different sorts of counterpoint books and listen analyzed Palestrina's works to write the movement. It's not perfect but I am happy to finish it with some good sense in it!!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Moving forward, I guess I'll follow suit in naming my favorite movements in order. Least to best, I'd say 3, 1, 2, 4.

You have the complete reverse of @chopin! That's what I love most in this forum: the diversity of styles and approaches!! My favourite one is the fourth and possibly also includes the third!!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Movement 4 was by far my favorite. I love how you took the main theme and syncopated it in an interesting way.

Actually I am afraid it will be too chill with that motive, but it does have some good effect!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Measure 101 of that movement was the first time I can recall that you had a cool arpeggio in the strings and just let the harmony sing, without all the busy counterpoint. Don't get me wrong, you're an absolute legend when it comes to counterpoint with this piece, but my ears needed a moment to just soak in the chords, especially after movement 3.

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Bar 576 was very cool too.

Bar 576 actually is a developed version of bar 101. Maybe I am just addicted to writing counterpoint in mov. 4 after acquiring the skill in mov. 3! But I do find using counterpoint here can tell many things simultaneously, and it can create the effect of unending angst and oppressed despair. Probably I can add some more thinner and homophonic texture here, but that will not be too much. But I will definitely remember this and aware of the contrast of texture in my future pieces! Actually b.101 act as an escape from the thick texture, but I don't want that too long since it will be too happy for the music😅!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Right around bar 342 of the 4th movement we even get bits of pentatonic melodies, I wish there were more! It sounded so fresh after hearing such a dense assault of major/minor scales.

Nah, actually you and I have the same passage in mind!! It also means to be the escape from that despair motive but just a glimpse of it. I will feature that more in my second clarinet quintet and my current pieces!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I love the triplets introduced at 403 too, I wish a more rhythmic varied texture was introduced earlier in the piece! You saved the most exciting moments for the last bit.

In there I actually want to introduce all the elements from the previous movements. The triplets in the cello actually quote the rhythmic motive of the second movement. I love this passage as well! I should use polyrhythm though.

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

The spicy harmonic lines of the violins at 547 were really cool too

Actually b.167 does the same thing with the intruding German sixth chord which replaces the expected dominant seventh, but I do find these two places cool!!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I really like the little clarinet cadenza at 614, just think about the breathing!

In fact, that was something I was thinking about the entire duration of your piece. ALWAYS think about the performer, and there are several moments where I questioned the breathing of the clarinet. I don't play the instrument, so if this was to ever receive a live performance, I would constantly confer via paranoia about this aspect of the instrument. You could even amend your phrasing if you were extra cautious like I am, and give ample rests in between long and fast sections. I know you wrote ad lib., and maybe that takes care of that. But still, I would consider it a vital fundamental in your clarinet writing. It's nice that you gave it ample time to catch a breath afterwards however. 

Yeah I didn't think about the breathing. Maybe the clarinettist can breathe at the beginning of 615 and I should write that out. That little cadenza signifies the "freedom" of the one though, finally having its own solo time and not despairing!

On 1/23/2023 at 4:13 PM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Overall Henry, I really did enjoy this piece in it's entirety. This isn't my go to for style when listening to music, but you compose extraordinarily well. I purposefully focused on ways to maybe improve your writing, but you do loads of things very well. You give us listeners lots to soak in as far a color varying in the keys you flow into, and your writing is very technically sound. I'm only merely pointing out the things that stylistically differ with what I love listening to, but you do the baroque/classical era justice. I would love to see you flourish in a more modern style, given that you do what you do so well, but I know we're all different in what we're going for with composition. Your piece is superbly crafted, and I wouldn't dare comment on the finer points of what's "correct" with the counterpoint, or venture too deep into the use of sequencing and motivic style. You develop your music like your inspiration Beethoven, and I hear it wonderfully crafted all throughout your music. My only hope, albeit a selfish one, would be for you to use your experience in the style and knowledge of the era to create music that's more uniquely you in our modern age. Again, if your goal is to embellish the lovely techniques of that era, than job well done. But I want you to stand out in the crowd of the plethora of composers existing today, and with your attributes I think you could become a phenomenal composer that stands with the competition of his era. 

And to quote my buddy Daniel...

excellent, keep composing, keep uploading your works both on here and on YouTube!

Wonderful job, and you should be very proud of this work, even if it is years old. It's emotionally deep, and I can tell you poured your heart and soul into this. I hope everything I hear from you stands up to this piece, no matter how small you may deem it. This is an extraordinary work, that took an extraordinary time to compose, and thanks so much for sharing. It was thrill and joy to listen critically (twice!), and I can't wait to hear what you come up with in the future! 

Man you have such a high expectation on me, and I am so glad for it. I am also finding what's me in my music actually, as I have problems expressing myself in my music. When I composed this piece I didn't think about my style at all since it's an emotional outburst. From my personal tragedy to what happened in my living place and the World, I cannot resist composing this, that's why I have too many things to tell here. I am happy you say that you know I had poured my heart and soul into this, since indeed I did. 

Is this piece a turning point of my composition path? I think it is. I have acquired the sense and skill by finishing this. It may be the departure from my old style and the heavy influence from Beethoven. After finishing this I get so weary of the overly motivic style: I want to compose something less motivic. When you push the possibility of one approach into limit, it's time to attempt another one and try to combine different approaches. It's a new path and at first I was afraid of that, but now I am happy for that. My current piece working is the first movement of my String Sextet and it's not quite motivic and not in sonata form! It's really pentatonic in some sections. As you have mentioned, the fourth movement has something pentatonic. That may be my new direction to fresher harmony I guess. The little wind quintet piece is also more pentatonic, though I did use fugal technique in it. It will be posted here later on. I admit rhythm the weak part of my style so I will drill more on it and find pieces use that nicely.

Thanks so much for your heartfelt encouragement and comments. I hope my later pieces can match this level and won't disappoint you guys and myself!!

Kind Regards!

Henry

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