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My first work for orchestra and solo instrument to date.. It comes in 3 movements: I Allegretto, II Lento, III Allegro.

Its in a classical style, influenced by the piano concertos of Mozart (K488 in particular), Beethoven, and of course the Gershwin and Rach concertos.
Very accessible, and it breaks no rules, the aim of it was to write modern music that is paletable to the ordinary person. So no tone rows :)

Take the time to tell me what you think. I want it ripped apart by you people!

Bear in mind that the score isnt completed to my satisfaction yet, its pretty hard to read at the moment, and looks a little cheap. Best i can afford Im afraid! same with the MIDI sounds. thats the magic of being a poor student! :)

Thanks in anticipation!

Youll find the mp3 on my new myspace page:

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Before I begin my critic I want to address one thing that I have been noticing a lot on this site and that you said in your opening comments that has been irritating me for a while now. I HATE when composer feel the need to "make their music accessible" to an audience. To me, that is dumbing down music because you think the audience is not intelligent enough to comprehend the music you write and if I was in the audience and I knew that, I would be very insulted (even if I wasnt able to understand the music). Purposely simplifying or "dumbing down" music is only OK when the performers of your music can not understand it (i.e. church, volunteer, or local ensembles that do not regularly study or read music on a daily basis or children ensembles). Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Gershwin, ect. never simplified their music or attempted to make it more accessible to the ordinary person, they just made good music, and good music is always accessible to anyone.
Just wanted to get that off my chest, and now that that is out of the way I will get to your critic. :P

Movement one:
What I liked;
I liked the that odd meter used, it gave the piece a very forward drive.
I dont know if it was intended but it had a very Spanish/Mexican folk song feel that I liked. Dont know if it is a good thing but i liked it :P.
I also liked the simple form used to structure the piece. Very balanced.

What I didnt like or was confusing:
I wished you had used to orchestra better. Majority of the time the orchestra felt more like a throw away part then an accompaniment to the piano. And when you started using the orchestra towards the end of the movement, I saw a few range and idiomatic things: like the flute part in measure 78-88 that was a little low for orchestral music.
Also the divided parts in the violins would greatly diminish the sound of your strings.
Last thing, I would reconsider some of the rhythmic notation in the 7/8 bars, something about them just doesnt look right or easily readable.

Movement two:
What I liked:
I liked that you started using the orchestra more. The orchestra and the piano felt more like partners then "piano plus after thought".
I also liked how the parts began to be more woven together. Very good part writing in places.

What I didnt like or was confusing:
Again there were some notational things that need to be fixed (measure 77 in the piano for example). Also some idiomatic things that need to be addressed or re-looked at.
This piece also needs some breath marks or rest for you wind players as well as slurs and ties. For example measure 40-48 in the clarinet. That needs to be slurred and there needs to be a breath mark or a rest because thats a lot of notes to tongue and play for a long time.
Also the divisions in the strings, again, will diminish the sound of your strings in a bad way. (mainly 48- end).

Movement 3:
What I liked:
The best movement by far. Loved the beginning of this movement. Great part writing!
I loved how you brought things from the first movement into this movement and the piano cadenza.
This movement is also better notated then the others.

What I didnt like or was confusing:
Divisions in the strings again, and odd voicing in some parts. Also very unidiomatic flute parts.

Over all:
I liked the piece, it was very engaging and interesting. I liked how you can be influenced but composers like Mozart and Beethoven with out sounding like Mozart or Beethoven which seems to be an issue with other composer that claim to be influenced by the same composers. This piece is very much you, and I like that.

What I didn't like is the score. The score is organized very oddly. You have your french horn above your oboe and you are missing the cello part for what ever reason. At times your piano part seem to just be running for no reason and didn't have a direction or purpose. There also seems to be a great lack of dynamics and expression markings as well as articulations.

But all in all, this is a very good piece that you should be proud of. Just needs a little bit more polishing and cleaning. Great Job.
Wow...thank you for such an in-depth analysis! that was just what i was hoping for on this forum. some really helpful opinions in all that...ill try to address a few now...

-First of all, I hate compromises when it comes to the music as much as anyone. I like to see it as a balance that needs to be struck bewteen indulging your own creativity and writing something your audience enjoys. After all, writing something they will get pleasure from doesnt necessarily mean insulting their intelligence, but a sign of your own discipline..writing for people, not just for yourself.

-The orchestra is indeed a little static in the first movement,,a few people have told me that and its quite obvious- all it does is hold chords which the piano plays on top of. I will try to revise that at some stage.
Its also hard to read the 7/8 time with all the double dots...Ill try to think of something to get around that..:)

-Bar 77 is just my lack of knowledge of sibelius. I think it hates me. Its very frustrating. There are countless instances like that all throughout the score. Slurs, ties and breathmarks are something I forget all the time when writing for WWs. Just my inexperience I suppose.. :D

-That's Sibelius' default orchestra for the classical period. The reason there is no cello line is that it assumes the cello plays the same notes as the doube bass, just sounded an octave higher, so cellos are expected to read from that line. A little thing i picked up from K488! Lack of dynamics is my own laziness :( - something i intend to get around to.

Again, thanks for taking so much time to critique my music! I appreciate it! :)

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