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Romance for Piano and String Orchestra | Valentine's Day Event Submission


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Here it is! The submission for the Valentine's Day Event! To say that composing this piece was a hectic process is an understatement. Heck, I'm submitting this piece on the day (or night) of the deadline!

I think I was going with the joyfulness aspect of romance, with of course a little bit of dark theme (just the minor version of the main theme really lol) mixed in there. This piece also contains a theme from a sketch that I have always wanted to explore. But yeah, dunno what else to say other than to enjoy the piece!!

Edited by Ferrum
Fixed missing piano part on measure 64; Fixed some other weird quirks; Fixed missing piano notes on bar 246-249
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I feel like... your brain works in the opposite of mine. When I hear your music, I don't immediately know what to say or think. Don't misunderstand, I really like this. I'm fascinated by a lot of things with it. For instance, your decision making seems so different than mine. Where I feel like I lock in to static harmonies and drones subtly moving, your language is so free and colorful. Or how you had a cadence ending on F, and then the theme in the piano starts up again with Gb. Just things I don't think of that you help me to see and hopefully amalgamate into my own style. 

I really like your language too. Not only am I a fan of your talent and technique, but I like your style. You seem at least somewhat influenced by game music, at least it appears to me. I am too. 

Do you mind sharing what you were exploring with this piece? As in, were you working with a certain scale/harmony/form/etc.? Or if not, what are some musical tendencies that you have that you feel like are a part of your style? I get the rhythmic choices of your style, but I'm really curious about the harmony and melody. 

As far as "Romantic", I mean it's obviously oozing with it. You took the romantic flavor and really made something of your own. This is one of my favorites of yours. Thanks for sharing!

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3 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

You seem at least somewhat influenced by game music, at least it appears to me. I am too. 

Yeah, you're right! Many video game OSTs have indeed influenced at least some parts of my style. I often watch gameplay videos or playthroughs multiple times for many games in my spare time (simply because I don't have the equipment to run such games). If a game's soundtrack appeals to me, I'll often find said game soundtrack album on Spotify and listen to it many times. I mean, I have even orchestrated, made variations, and made sonatas with theme taken directly from games, and I haven't even posted half of them here yet! So much so that I sometimes struggle to actually compose an original melody just because I really like to develop video game OSTs to larger works.

4 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Do you mind sharing what you were exploring with this piece? As in, were you working with a certain scale/harmony/form/etc.? Or if not, what are some musical tendencies that you have that you feel like are a part of your style?

I guess you could say that I was mainly exploring with harmony. I'm a harmony guy so I've been experimenting with taking notes from a theme and exploring those notes in a different key. My style lately could be described as "state a theme in a key, develop said theme in different keys creating ambiguity, go back to the key where the theme is stated with lots of unresolved cadences until the end, and also inject said music with so many weird chords and copious amount of nostalgia". Some of those tendencies don't apply here, but they definitely apply to my other works. Oh yeah, and also converting a theme to a different scale, like B-flat major to G minor (I know it's a relative minor, but you get what I mean, major to minor, that stuff). As for melody, I guess it's just the basic rule of creating a good theme, like taking a fragment and repeating said fragment in a single theme.

4 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

This is one of my favorites of yours. Thanks for sharing!

Mann, you've said this at least twice now, I think. I am really flattered. Thank YOU for listening!

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Great job with this piece!  It exhibits what I think is a feature of much great music whether that's video game music or romantic music or jazz - the use of extended chord factors in the melody and harmony.  The nostalgia you speak of I think comes partly from those luscious harmonies and rich voicings.  There's also some great warm and sometimes bouncy melodies in this that are full of energy and life.

I also like how this is not structured like a typical piano concerto at all.  I also wrote a piece for piano and orchestra recently - my Variations on "Deck the Halls" - in which I use a similar approach as this piece where the piano very often is the first to expose new material with the orchestra following or joining later or at first only accompanying the piano, which is unusual in a typical double exposition in a concerto sonata form.

I also love the moment in the minor mode which is a great contrast to the rest of the piece which isn't as angst-ridden.  I had to listen to this piece multiple times to really appreciate how romantic it really is.  I think I saw you looking at an old topic one of these days about how rare it is to find good romantic music on this site.  Although I think you should be proud that your piece is far from a typical romantic era specimen.  It's hard to compose music that is as emotionally affecting as this but you pull it off.  Congrats and I will be awaiting your future works and further maturation eagerly.  Thanks for sharing!

Peter 

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30 minutes ago, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

The nostalgia you speak of I think comes partly from those luscious harmonies and rich voicings.

For sure. 

31 minutes ago, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

I also like how this is not structured like a typical piano concerto at all.

I've always imagined this piece as a "second" movement of a regular 3-movement piano concerto, where the second movement is usually much more calmer and in ternary form. Obviously in the usual ternary form, the "B" part is often as calm and singing as the "A" material (not every time though). However, this is just a one movement piano concerto, so I feel like adding some bouncy melodies in the "B" part to add some contrast. 

44 minutes ago, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

Although I think you should be proud that your piece is far from a typical romantic era specimen.  It's hard to compose music that is as emotionally affecting as this but you pull it off.  Congrats and I will be awaiting your future works and further maturation eagerly.  Thanks for sharing!

Awh you're too kind! Thanks for the feedback and the compliments! I really, really appreciate it.

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Hi @Ferrum,

I want to listen to this but don’t have time for long, but now I manage to do it. I am sorry to say it, I know it’s great music but I cannot get into it. Your developing technique is wonderful and the harmony is very colourful. The orchestration, voicing are all very mature. It’s just my problem that I can’t discern into its structure even though I know it’s very coherent. Also I cannot get into the emotion at all. It must be all my fault and it’s sad that I know it’s great music but cannot enjoy it as it should be! I am always of very high regard of your music and this is clearly not an exception. But the problem it’s all in me, maybe I just don’t like the anime style of the quartal chords sustained in a long work. I don’t know what happen, maybe I am one who have no love so I can’t enjoy the piece as it deserve! Thx very much for sharing your great work here! Hopefully my review, or rather self-babbling soliloquy won’t discourage you a bit.

Henry

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1 hour ago, Henry Ng Tsz Kiu said:

Hi @Ferrum,

I want to listen to this but don’t have time for long, but now I manage to do it. I am sorry to say it, I know it’s great music but I cannot get into it. Your developing technique is wonderful and the harmony is very colourful. The orchestration, voicing are all very mature. It’s just my problem that I can’t discern into its structure even though I know it’s very coherent. Also I cannot get into the emotion at all. It must be all my fault and it’s sad that I know it’s great music but cannot enjoy it as it should be! I am always of very high regard of your music and this is clearly not an exception. But the problem it’s all in me, maybe I just don’t like the anime style of the quartal chords sustained in a long work. I don’t know what happen, maybe I am one who have no love so I can’t enjoy the piece as it deserve! Thx very much for sharing your great work here! Hopefully my review, or rather self-babbling soliloquy won’t discourage you a bit.

Henry

 

Hey dude! It's fine if you cannot get into my piece! It's shows that you've tried to at least give it a chance and I really appreciate that. Your reasoning is honestly quite fair. I know I used a lot of quartal harmonies (what can I say, I like how they sound lol) and the final climax of the piece unfortunately is just a lot of I-IV due to time constraint. I know I could get more creative with that but y'know. 

Also, the structure of the piece is just Introduction-A-B-A-Coda. I know it's more detailed than that and a lot of the themes are referenced many times throughout, which kind of blurred the structure a bit. In addition, the Coda is a variation of the combined Intro and the A theme placed at the end of the piece, so I get why it gets a bit confusing.

I'm really glad that you're honest about this and you give your own personalized criticism with your own taste in music. I am not in the slightest discouraged by it at all and it honestly kinda balances it out with all the compliments and stuff. So yeah, don’t fret about it. I too sometimes do not feel like I have a thing that's called "love" so I try to haphazardly convey what "love" is through the medium known as music (lol).

Thanks for the feedback!

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Think I hear some touches of Debussy and Ravel in this. The triplet figure in Bar 30 for instance.

Quite a tricky piece for the pianist.
Bar 99 has some big spans that would be hard to play unless you have very large hands!

Interested to know why you decided to specify up and down bowing in the strings sometimes?

I've been told it's best to leave the bowing to the musicians.

Anyhow congrats on completing this major work! Very much enjoyed listening.

 

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10 hours ago, Alex Weidmann said:

Bar 99 has some big spans that would be hard to play unless you have very large hands!

You could play the 2 voices in succession or arpeggiate it, either works. I've seen many scores with chords that are like almost "impossible" to play, but the pianist ended up doing either of those two things (I know the audio provided doesn't do that). This specific section is also a slow solo section therefore the pianist is in full control of the tempo. So yeah, I think it's fine.

10 hours ago, Alex Weidmann said:

Interested to know why you decided to specify up and down bowing in the strings sometimes?

I've been told it's best to leave the bowing to the musicians.

Yeah, I've learned the same thing. But through many scores that I've learned from, I've actually seen many specifications of bowings in the strings in some parts. Definitely need a bit more research on that.

 

11 hours ago, Alex Weidmann said:

Anyhow congrats on completing this major work! Very much enjoyed listening.

Thanks for listening! Glad you enjoyed it.

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