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I've actually posted a far shorter version of this before.  I've since added considerably more to it in the fugue section.  This piece will eventually be played live by an ensemble in Canterbury comprising an Oboe, Harpsichord, 4 Violins, 2 Violas, 2 Cellos & a Double Bass.  I've yet to finish it, but the basic idea is here.  What I will be doing is transferring it to Notion 3 when it's ready, to get the LSO samples and also to be able to notate it (rather than Finale at this time), as I'm finally getting a dual layer DVD drive fitted to my PC this afternoon.  Anyhow I would appreciate it if you would kindly listen to it, and maybe advise how it might be changed.  I'm always open to ideas, and since this is going to be played live, all input from my fellow composers would be extremely valuable.




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A lot better recording, however you managed that.

The melody seems to be better crafted this time as well and I like the new fugal section - adds a lot more life to it. As does the harpsichord part then.

Look forward to the score and I hope that Notion is more user friendly than Finale (If I assess your motives for switching to it are correct)
I'm not actually switching from Notion 3 to Finale 2010 for notation purposes. Finale 2010 cost my dad about £300. It's just that the learning curve is so huge, and it's going to be a long time before I can get to grips with it, but I am working on it. However, Finale 2010 can do absolutely anything if you work at it, and I'm not sure that Notion 3 isn't quite as fully comprehensive (I might be wrong, of course). Nevertheless, what I am sure about is that Notion 3 will be able to handle a score for this chamber work and it may well prove to be easier to use than Finale because it's not such a large programme. However, as far as pieces like my symphony and piano concerto goes, it will surely be Finale.

Have you decided to invest in Notion 3 yet. It's a hell of a deal for £76. If you ring them up (number on their website) and ask for either Kris or Richard, and explain that you have Sibelius, they'll be willing to let you just fax copies of the first two contents pages without having to rip them out. They're really friendly people and always at your beck and call. And Notion 3 contains:

All orchestral samples - Stage mic (recorded by the LSO at Abbey Road)
All orchestral samples - Close mic (recorded by the LSO at Abbey Road)
Full Notation programme (whereby written dynamics are played as written, including the hairpin crescendos and diminuendos)
IK Multimedia award winning CS Reverb programme (that's got to be worth a few bob alone)
IK Multimedia AmpliTube X-GEAR 1.5 (full mixing programme)
Really good technical support, really friendly and helpful.

All for £76

I can't think of any reason whatsoever not to get it, no matter what one has already.
Adrian Allan said:
A lot better recording, however you managed that.
The melody seems to be better crafted this time as well and I like the new fugal section - adds a lot more life to it. As does the harpsichord part then.
Look forward to the score and I hope that Notion is more user friendly than Finale (If I assess your motives for switching to it are correct)
Thanks Fred. I forgot about giving the oboist breathing space, which is not like me. I'm usually quite sympathetic to the musicians. That's why my work is always relatively easy to play.

As for the oboe taking a back seat, that is definitely intended, also when the strings become prominent, as well as the harpsichord. It's the title that's wrong, not the music. But I will be changing that....... when I can think of a name.

Thanks for your advice. It's always welcome.

Cheers,

Simon

p.s. What exactly are the 18th century version of pyrotechnics and double reed writing? I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not familiar with these woodwind techniques.
Nalinikanth Josyabhatla said:
Hi Simon,

The piece is excellent, I liked the Fugal section and the Harpsichord sound and parts. I liked the Chromatic descents in the Oboe in the initial portion (pure Baroque feel). I thought some rhythmic and contrapuntal notes (may be Pizzicato) on Double Bass / Cellos would have added more life to Oboe Parts in the beginning and end (my idea, please think if it works).

Thanks Nalinikanth

I have actually decided that the lower strings are a bit monotonous at the beginning (too much like Albinoni's Adagio for Organ and Strings). So I will be creating more interest in that department.

From 2:58, there is a Symphonic feel (your signature style again).

Thanks for sharing,
Nalinikanth
Nice revolving theme. I think the live arrangement will sound fantastic. Please post a copy of the performance if you have the opportunity. Thank you.
Hi Simon,
first of all I enjoyed your piece which sounds to me goddenish :-) Thanks for sharing this!
Some impressions:
Violins (viola?) from round 1:30 til 1:55 and round 2:55 sound too loud, too shrilly
~3:20, ~4:20 and ~5:20 Melody sounds somehow unready to me
from ~2:56 Reverb is much too intense (sounds like the orchestra has moved to a larger hall)
Let me hear the final version!
Very deep and interesting.
Some suggestions:
1) Where is the coda? The recapirulation stops, not ends. The simplest way to change this is to insert a ritardando with fermata at the last d in melody near the end and add 2-3 bars of morendo accompaniment.
2) The culmination (I assume it is planned to be around 5:25-5:30) is not distinctive enough. This is probably the most important dramatical moment of the piece. I suggest to add several changes in dynamics (acc, ret, rubato, sf etc) from 5.20 up to the recapitulation. For example, an allargando of the last clavichord section before the recap (5:35-5:45) would make the dynamic more distinctive. Before 5:20 you can add some accelerando. All this will break the rhythm of the quick section and impose some exclamation marks.
Great work!
Hi Roger, thanks for your critique. When you say 'thrills', I'm assuming you mean 'trills'. I will adding them in due course. However, I will be economical with them because I don't want to hinder the momentum of the piece. I've had a listen to your observation at 5.02 and it's purely intentional. What you have to remember is that this piece is modulating (changing key) every two or three bars, so as well as major and minor harmony, there is also a lot of chromatic harmony (I've often used the 'augmented sixth {german}' as a pivot chord on many occasions because it has the same structure as the 'dominant 7th' of the 'flattened 2nd {neopolitan 6th}' which is ideal for modulating up a semitone), more than you would find in traditional Baroque music, especially the sort of music that Vivaldi would have composed (I'm suspicious that Bach may well have used it occasionally in his later works as his harmony was far more complex and better argued than that of the Italian school).

I might well take up your suggestion of resting the oboe in the second section when the 1st violin takes over the melody. It makes good sense. Thanks for that. I'll be posting up a revision of this piece in due course, after I have analysed everybody's remarks, including yours.

Thanks again,

Simon

Roger Noren said:
Very nice piece. I think it has a good baroque feel, with some elements that sounds more modern. I suppose that's neo-baroque, even though I have only listened to the classic baroque. The chord progression is more advanced than baroque, but the playing style sounds really genuine. I miss some baroque cadenses though, with its typical thrills in the end of verses.
I like the violins "call and response" and the harpsichord playing. That's baroque to me. But the double bass moves too free from the harpsichord to get a basso continuo effect. A minute into the beginning sounds a little strange to me. The oboe is still playing (softly) when the violins gets louder to play the lead. I would expect the oboe to rest instead, since I fear the oboe will dominate anyway in such a small ensemble.
At 5:02 there is a note that sounds major in a minor scale, so to say. It's okay in more modern compositions, but I'm not sure if it fits here. I

Sounds like a good mock-up too, better than what I usually hear from notated music. But to hear it as a live perfomance with real musicians would be fantastic.
Hi Andrew, sorry for the late reply. I've been wrestling with Finale and Notion 3. I'm desperate to get this piece finished, but I'm not handing it to the ensemble until I'm really happy with it. Please believe me when I say that your two suggestions have already been planned. That culmination that you heard was simply a copy and paste of the first section to assess the length of the work. It needs a complete overhaul in re-orchestration and the addition of a coda as you say.

Andrew Gleibman said:
Very deep and interesting.
Some suggestions:
1) Where is the coda? The recapirulation stops, not ends. The simplest way to change this is to insert a ritardando with fermata at the last d in melody near the end and add 2-3 bars of morendo accompaniment.
2) The culmination (I assume it is planned to be around 5:25-5:30) is not distinctive enough. This is probably the most important dramatical moment of the piece. I suggest to add several changes in dynamics (acc, ret, rubato, sf etc) from 5.20 up to the recapitulation. For example, an allargando of the last clavichord section before the recap (5:35-5:45) would make the dynamic more distinctive. Before 5:20 you can add some accelerando. All this will break the rhythm of the quick section and impose some exclamation marks.
Great work!
Thanks Kris,

I'm not too sure about the 'selling myself short' though. I mean, as far as I understand it, the Baroque period was superceded by the Classical style because of its complexity with counterpoint and key change (J S Bach being the main 'culprit'). I'm well into the final draft of this piece (after taking on board what most people on this forum have said) and I look forward to seeing what people have to say about it.

Cheers,

Simon

Kristofer Emerig said:
Very, very nice Simon. I really enjoyed it - reminiscent of Handel in the latter section, but I think you're selling it short with the label of Neo-Baroque. I definitely hear some signature Godden eclecticism in there, above and beyond the staple I-IV-V. Call it merely " Piece for Oboe Chamber Concerto". A very engaging listening experience as usual.
Hi Simon,

Pretty cool piece. The allegro part is very powerful though I would like the background (accompaniment) to be more rich rhythmically there's too much repetition in the 4->1 beats, The harmonic rhythm gets too predictable and in my opinion there's too much emphasis over those beats over the nice melodic lines you have. (unless that was your intention, to have that steady support over the revolving melody)
Thanks Ariel,

I've actually nearly completed a complete overhaul of this piece on a new notation programme (Notion), which incorporates a change of rhythm in parts. There was a lot of good advice in this discussion, much of what I've taken on board. So please wait for two or three days and I'll have a completely rev(ital)ised new version posted.

Cheers again,

Simon

Ariel Ramos said:
Hi Simon,

Pretty cool piece. The allegro part is very powerful though I would like the background (accompaniment) to be more rich rhythmically there's too much repetition in the 4->1 beats, The harmonic rhythm gets too predictable and in my opinion there's too much emphasis over those beats over the nice melodic lines you have. (unless that was your intention, to have that steady support over the revolving melody)

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