Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Cecil B.DeMille's Ten Commandments is about 60 years old. I was thinking it could use an update in the form of an opera. It is nearly four hours of epic cataclysm, strife, and disaster, a little heavy for opera, though there are operas in the tragic mode. My version will attempt to tell the story in a more optimistic light, with some humor. DeMille's epic dives right into the Israelite's bondage in Egypt. I begin with the birth of Moses, a funny tale, the stuff of which opera is made.

The opening recitative is the evil pharaoh, Ramses I, decreeing that all Israelite babies boys must be thrown into the Nile. We'll skip that and begin with Jochebed, Moses's mother's aria, Act I Scene 1. I'm hopeful that this story can be told in under three hours.

Views: 94

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I begin with the birth of Moses, a funny tale ".

What is funny about the birth of Moses?

Fictional babies in rivers always get the audience on side.

Anyway I'm sure Lawrence would prefer comments on his music and after receiving so many on your own profligate posts Saul, perhaps it is time try it yourself.

I think this would be successful live Lawrence. I had to stretch my imagination for the vocals of course but the presentation is good enough. I feel you could improve the clarity of your score by condensing and avoiding collisions though. Bar numbers are often obscured and lyrics infringed by dynamics. Horns and oboes could generally occupy one staff moving to two if needed.

I'm waiting to hear an explanation from Lawrence. He might have meant something else then what you have written on the bottom here. The clarification on his part would give me a better idea about the piece.



Charles Holt said:

Fictional babies in rivers always get the audience on side.

Anyway I'm sure Lawrence would prefer comments on his music and after receiving so many on your own profligate posts Saul, perhaps it is time try it yourself.

I think this would be successful live Lawrence. I had to stretch my imagination for the vocals of course but the presentation is good enough. I feel you could improve the clarity of your score by condensing and avoiding collisions though. Bar numbers are often obscured and lyrics infringed by dynamics. Horns and oboes could generally occupy one staff moving to two if needed.

Funny, probably isn't the right word.  It is ironic that the daughter of the pharaoh saves a Hebrew baby.  It's whimsical that Miriam tricks the princess into choosing a nurse maid that is actually the child"s mother.  So in the end the scene has a happy ending.


 Saul Dzorelashvili said:

I begin with the birth of Moses, a funny tale ".

What is funny about the birth of Moses?

I have stage directions at the top of the score, but they are hard to see in the pdf.  For some strange reason dynamic markings and typed in words, not lyrics, move around in the score with this version of Finale.  They don't stay where I put them.  There would be additional info in the program, such as, Jochebed, mother of Moses, Mirium, sister of Moses, Bethiah, daughter of Pharaoh.  Maybe I can get the pdf to print larger.  Thanks for listening.
 

I've used the same score for so long It would kill me to change it.  I use two lines for flutes, oboes, clarinets and violins so I can easily transfer lines to hear parts with different instruments.
 
Charles Holt said:

Fictional babies in rivers always get the audience on side.

Anyway I'm sure Lawrence would prefer comments on his music and after receiving so many on your own profligate posts Saul, perhaps it is time try it yourself.

I think this would be successful live Lawrence. I had to stretch my imagination for the vocals of course but the presentation is good enough. I feel you could improve the clarity of your score by condensing and avoiding collisions though. Bar numbers are often obscured and lyrics infringed by dynamics. Horns and oboes could generally occupy one staff moving to two if needed.

Thank you for the explanation, now that makes much more sense. Yes, there were many strange and mysterious things taking place in the Biblical Narrative and also some Ironic ones. Remember that Moses was raised in the house of Pharaoh so the power of the entire story multiplies because its not only that Moses defeated Egypt, he did it also at the expanse of Egypt. Its one thing to have an enemy that came from a different land and has nothing to do with you, its another thing to raise your enemy in your own home with your paycheck. Its simply makes the miracle all that much greater.

For the music now:

Well, at first listening I think that the music is very nice and it has some interesting and lovely moments, but I want to listen another time from beginning to end in order to make a more informed opinion.

Thanks for sharing.

Lawrence Aurich said:

Funny, probably isn't the right word.  It is ironic that the daughter of the pharaoh saves a Hebrew baby.  It's whimsical that Miriam tricks the princess into choosing a nurse maid that is actually the child"s mother.  So in the end the scene has a happy ending.


 Saul Dzorelashvili said:

I begin with the birth of Moses, a funny tale ".

What is funny about the birth of Moses?

Charles,

I just realized I posted an earlier version of the score without the stage directions.  So I've changed the score pdf to the latest version that makes more sense.  Thanks for the heads up.

My only criticism is that for such a serious and beloved subject it lacks drama. Adding a notable climax can remedy that.

But its impressive that you have taken on this project. I'm very hesitant to try to compose something with religious connotations cause I always believe that for stories such as these which are so great, fittingly great music has to be composed. If its not literally great, it diminishes from the story. So far, I have only composed one work that is about religion its called Chanukah In G minor, and I believe that its great. Took me about a month to complete, while working on it between 6 to 8 hours a day. But even today, I still believe there is what to improve.

Are there elements in your music that one can work with to elevate it from just another beautiful piece of music into a Great Music?  I think yes. Its up to you if you will make it great.

Regards

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2018   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service