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THIS WAS INITIALLY AN IMPROVISATION, I BUILT UPON IT WHAT YOU HEAR HERE.

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Rock Solid (you asked for hard criticism). Seriously, this is superb. The only thing I can think of that might improve it, would be to play some of it at very low dynamic level. you vary the dynamics quite effectively, but perhaps playing part of it very quietly would enhance the overall effect. I'll leave it to you to decide where. I'd do it roughly at about 3/4 of the way through.

hardly shabby hardly boring hardly something I couldn't listen to again

well done, I wouldn't change a thing    RS

Excellent. I would purchase this IF you just get the tone better perhaps playing with greater dynamics and sustain, but the composition is beautiful I especially like the beginning. Great work. 

Wes, I listened to this again, and really enjoyed it.

Now I would change 1 thing, that's right, 1 note-

I would drop the very last note of the score and leave

the listener 'up in the air ' without the closer.   Make sense?    RS

Very nice! It has an excellent flow and does not get boring. One thing though- I fully agree with Roger that you should drop the last note.

Congratulations.

Regards, Johan 

Well, you asked for some HARD CRITICISM, so I am deliberately NOT going to give you that.

There is something wonderfully “Scarlatti-like” about the tonality of this piece, which is a bid odd, since he didn’t write any waltzes. (I love Scarlatti).

I know how damn hard it is to write a good waltz. Prokofiev is the only modern composer I know of who did it consistently well many, many times, during the 20th century. (I put some considerable effort into writing an orchestral waltz, and was not very satisfied with the result).

I applaud your effort, and dub it a success. I wondered if you intended this to have a “Scarlatti-like” feel to it, or if that was just the coincidental result of some other aspect of the work. It’s not just the tonality, but also the tempo and overall feel. And it’s delightfully incongruous.

Can anyone do a Bach, a Wagnerian, or a Schoenbergian Waltz?

[This is NOT a criticism, but a question. I was using a firefox browser, so I don’t know if that was the problem. I can’t get it to play at all, on a Safari browser. But with the Firefox browser, it just seemed to cut off near the end. So I didn’t hear the “last note” that was commented upon. Could you post it on another medium like picosong, or thingamabob-whatever (dot) com, or Ewetube, Ayetube, Theytube, Heetube, Sheetube or Weetube?]

Hi Wesley,

I was drawn in by your explicit invitation for hard criticism, and as I see that you have already received ample praise (and rightly so) for what is indeed a delightful melody, I'll just concentrate on what slightly disturbed me as I listened to your piece.

I find your playing a little too metronomic / mechanical, almost as if this was "touched up" through a midi editor (I'm not suggesting that was the case). In particular the trills (of which there are possibly a few too many for my liking) lack subtelty (no variation in speed or intensity). In a nutshell, I think this deserves a rerun with more attention to slight tempo changes and dynamics.

But, once again, it remains a very enjoyable piece.

Just my humble opinion :-)

JM

***

I just read Jean-Michel George's comments, and although they are well written and thoughtful, and guided by the best of intentions, I am sure—I must respectfully disagree.

He wrote,

“I find your playing a little too metronomic / mechanical, almost as if this was "touched up" through a midi editor (I'm not suggesting that was the case). In particular the trills (of which there are possibly a few too many for my liking) lack subtelty (no variation in speed or intensity).”

I oppose this critique. It is precisely the “metronomic/mechanical” nature of the work (which is only slight) that gives the piece and performance its primary charm, and its simultaneous modern and quasi-baroque character (á la Scarlatti, as I noted before). If you do away with that, what you have is simply a knock-off waltz, a waltz that is “human, all-too-human,” and not what it is now: a piece that is delightfully paradoxical, a waltz to be sure (something almost alien to contemporary culture) but something fast-paced, dynamic, exciting—almost but not quite futuristic (in the 1920’s sense)—while at the same time lightly humorous and deliberately anachronistic.

Push it into the direction that Jean-Michel is asking, and it becomes—dare I say it—horror of horrors !! It becomes… it becomes—like any old Chopin Waltz. We don’t want that, do we? I certainly do not.

Je ne sais pas si vous parlez français, mais peut-être que je peux dire de cette façon: Où est cette fameuse sensibilité française? N'aurions-nous pas préférer avoir une valse de Satie, Poulenc ou encore de Honegger, en théorie, d'une valse qui n'avait pas l'ironie?

Also, I listened to the trills, and it is their very “mechanical quality” that makes them hearken back to Scarlatti. The trills are lovely (and just the slightest bit brutal), as they are.

Victor said,

"With respect to everyone reviewing the piece here, Jean-Michel knows what he's talking about and the OP would do well to think seriously about his advice."

I agree. Always think seriously about any advice that might help you improve your work. We always do well when we look carefully at the choices we have, when we compose and put the work into a form so that others can listen to it.

Just for the record, my intention was not to "rebuff" anyone's comments, if by rebuff, you mean "reject (someone or something) in an abrupt or ungracious manner" [That's the dictionary definition].

For that reason, I spoke favorably of Jean-Michel's intentions, and prefaced my remarks with the comment, I "respectfully disagree."

I certainly hope no offense was taken. My enthusiasm for certain aspects of the work, in its current form, may have gotten the best of me in some way. My apologies, if there was any misunderstanding regarding my strong predilection for the piece as it is.

Well I hope we're not going to get into an international row over all this (after all, we agree to disagree), but maybe the reason you connected this to Scarlatti in the first place is precisely because the majority of his work was for the harpsichord, the "not quite as expressively nuanced ancestor" of the pianoforte ... I know , that's probably asking for trouble ! Just teasing :-)

 

Let me put it this way : If Wesley's intention was indeed to "sound mechanical" or to follow in Scarlattis' footsteps, which is certainly a far more delicate way of putting things, then I applaud with both hands (as the French say) ... Quite mechanically ... It went completely over my head.

Pour ce qui est de ma sensibilité française, tout chauvinisme et patriotisme exacerbé mis à part, je troquerais volontiers 10 sonates de Scarlatti pour une seule de Poulenc, une nocturne de Chopin ou une gymnopédie de Satie. Mais ca, c'est juste de la provoc Ondib ;-)

 

Amicalement,

JM

You asked for hard critisism, so I have one additional comment. Why is there no score? It is difficult to provide you with a serious critisim for this kind of music, if there is no score.

Regards, Johan

I will second Johan's request for a score. While not absolutely required, if you can produce one, you should post it as a PDF. Like Johan said, not having one makes it more difficult for your peers to provide you with feedback. Also, a little commentary about your piece makes it more likely to get a response.

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