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Orchestra Work based upon previous chamber music posting ...


MJFOBOE
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Hi all - in a previous thread I posted a chamber music work.  I received some encouragement - so I decided to expand it to a full orchestra work.  You can find the original posting here:

So here is the first completed draft .... as you can see from the letter v - (I started with a) there have been many revisions!!  By the way it is no longer called Adagio - I haven't decided on a Title as yet.   All suggestions, comments, etc .... most welcome. 

 

Edited by MJFOBOE
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Hey Mark

I'm surprised you've given this idea to the full orchestra, that's no easy feat; you must feel very inspired with this one! I've given this several listens now, and would like to share some thoughts in no particular order:

- For one, to the best of my scanning of the score, I didn't see a single slur throughout the entire piece. Was that intentional? You might find that you can create some better phrasing with slurring. This already has a very medieval vibe to it, and especially all the faster runs unslurred make it seem that way to me. Perhaps that's what you're going for, but it just struck me as odd. 

- I think one of the stronger parts of this was the added percussion in the B section. Why limit yourself to those instruments being in just that spot? I think they gave it a cool rhythmic flair, and I was sad when they disappeared when the A section returned. Yeah you have the timpani for it, but that's been done again and again. I think you gave this a nice tone color with those percussion parts, and if this were my piece, I'd experiment with ways you could tie in their elements to other sections. I kind of like how the first A section is more like an "adagio", but might be cool to keep using them when you reinstate the main themes from before

-  You do a decent job with orchestration, but one thing you could maybe do more of is have sections play at a time, as it might give them and your piece as a whole more character. There are times when you do this a bit, but maybe having whole string section parts would be cool to vary up the overall texture a bit. Like I said, you DO do this a little, mainly with the strings, but what about whole brass parts? Or woodwinds? Or maybe even having the B section enter with just percussion? 

- I think my favorite part is that B section. You give lots of different tone colors, and one of the things I really like about it is the scarcity of a lot of the tutti...ness (lol) of the texture. It really lets the individual instruments be heard. The pizzicato are so much nicer to me hear because they're not buried underneath walls of sound. I could listen to this section again and again!

- I wasn't a huge fan of the accelerando at the end. I think it's a good idea, but maybe it could be set up a bit longer to work better? To me it just sort of seemed a bit random and tacked on. 

These are just some of the things that popped out at me. This piece has become vastly superior to what I remember it being in it's infant stages. Take my comments with a grain of salt, I'm just a blues guitarist at heart. I really like a lot of the ideas here, and I think with a little bit more polishing and organization of your ideas you have something very worthwhile in the making. I love that I've gotten to see the progress with this one. I remember it being very block chord style with very little variation in rhythm, and you've managed to rectify that with loads more work and ideas. Keep composing man, I'm excited to hear the final version!

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Hi again ... thanks for the feedback.  Yes, more work is coming!  One of the problems I am having is finding a good composition mentor since my old one is no longer available.  So I am working with only my instincts ...  And yes the ending is a first draft ... just wanting some closure there.

Mark

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Will be brief since Thatguy's review covers many points that I detected and I don't want to be redundant.

Possibly my favourite part starts around 4:10. The piece sounds a little "quiet" to be a for a full orchestra, but this does not mean it sounds empty nor anything like that, it's just not typically what I'm used to listen to, and I really like it in this case. You definitely have a pretty well defined (I believe) personal voice and compositional style and that's sometimes very difficult to achieve (that's what my teachers say at least). 

Your instincts are definitely working good and I'm glad to listen to the result of more than 20 iterations of your hard effort. I believe it paid off. 

Kind regards,
Daniel–Ømicrón.

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14 hours ago, Omicronrg9 said:

You definitely have a pretty well defined (I believe) personal voice and compositional style and that's sometimes very difficult to achieve (that's what my teachers say at least). 

Your instincts are definitely working good and I'm glad to listen to the result of more than 20 iterations of your hard effort. I believe it paid off. 

Kind regards,
Daniel–Ømicrón.

 

Thank you for the review.  I have been told that I do have a personal style that is evident in many of my works.  Part of that style I believe is I write in a "modal" melodic style.  Again that's for the encouragement ...

Mark

PS: One more thing - I am now filling out the texture with second brass and woodwind parts which will enhance the tonal fabric of the work.

Edited by MJFOBOE
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hi all,

For those interested and following this thread ... I am posting my most recent version of the work - which began as chamber music piece.  This is not the final version.  I still haven't run it by a mentor as yet and I am still pondering on the ending.   All feedback is most welcome and appreciated.  The work is now titled "An honored Guest Arrives".

Mark

Edited by MJFOBOE
Will Post Again at a later date .... I continue to work on the piece. I didn't like the added texture at the beginning and I decided to rework the second orchestra parts and tweak more.
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  • 2 weeks later...

After almost 2 years I finally met with my mentor and reviewed the work.  More work ahead!  The objective/task for me is to enhance the harmonic movement/contrast.  Will post again when the work is finished. 

Mark

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all ... for those following this thread and maybe those just curious~!

Here's the latest version of the composition.  I had one meeting with my mentor and I have also made changes before and after.   ... you will notice more harmonic variation in the midsection and a tighter edited final movement.  Some orchestration tweaks. I am still working on the ending ... I need to discuss my revisions with my mentor and work some harmonic "magic" in the last movement.

All comments - suggestions - criticisms most welcome.  Hopefully, the next post will be the finished product.

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Hi Mark,

The addition of brass makes this very grand and fits with the modal keys. I love your use of the brass like in b.73-81 that high range trumpet, and the horns throughout the piece whether as fill up or melody. I love your middle section very much since it sounds much like Chinese music with the pentatonics, pizzicato and percussion! Though the transition back to A section is abrupt for me. I enjoy your modal colour so much in the A sections, but feel like there can be more variety of keys and harmonic choices. I do find the piu mosso in b.188 sudden,

5 hours ago, MJFOBOE said:

I am still working on the ending

and the ending on Db flat major with a perfect cadence weird since it's too functional for me to end this way. But I am sure you can find the solution to it!

You can probably cancel those redundant arco in b.11,13 and 15?

Thanks for sharing!

Henry

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