Music Composers Unite!
You may know by now that I love to write works inspired by scetches by Beethoven. This is true in particular with my string quartett based on Beethoven's very last project, a string quintett. We know from this a piano reduction of the introduction and the main themes of all 4 movements. Based on this I wrote this 1 st movement (the other mov. will follow...):
I hope you like this!
My father -- whose account I am logged in as -- died a year ago and I was going through some of the sites he belonged to. In any case, congratulations on completing such a polished piece.
A delightful first movement, Gerd! Even though your ideas may be inspired by Beethoven, you have a lyrical style all your own, that I first really noticed in your Variations on the late Beethoven sketch, and which is very much in evidence here, in both the first and second themes and in the way they are developed. There is much very nice counterpoint in the development as well, and some unexpected harmonic twists. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but the way you develop your themes reminds me quite a bit of another composer, Robert Simpson, who was very good at spinning out ideas and extending developments to great lengths beyond what the composers I use as models (Nielsen, Holmboe) would have done. But Simpson sometimes seemed to write entirely from his intellect, and I don't get that impression from your work at all - you integrate the intellect and emotional side very well, and the result is always engaging and enjoyable.
I will have to listen again to the transition to the second theme - that's one spot where I felt the modulation (to A major) was a bit abrupt. But a small nit only.
All in all, kudos on an excellent 1st movement, and I look forward to hearing the rest when you're finished!
I really did like this. I thinks it's a very noble thing to be so involved in Beethoven's music. One could do much worse. Is there one particular thing about his music that you try to emulate?
On the mix- I listened on headphones so maybe my perception of reverb was skewed. To my ears the mix itself sounded dry compared to a live performance. I am guessing you are going for a realistic sound and this is why I mentioned it. I didn't hear it as totally dry of reverb but almost dry in my headphones.
I don't intend to minimize how excellent this was overall. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you all for your encouragement! @Liz, especially your insights always mean very much to me, but your comparing my style with the modern R. Simpson (whom I didnt know so far) I could not quite follow. I only checked 2 pieces in spotify and couldn't see any resemblance).
what from Beethoven I try to emulate? Hard question - ... probably a combination of dignity, passion(!!), tenderness, singable melodies, trancedence, counterpoint , pain and jubilent joy ... just all contrasting aspects of the emotions of humanity which Beethoven could express in such a unique way with so many works ...
Reverb is something difficult for me to handle. I have the wonderful bluetooth headphones Sony WH-1000XM3 and with these I find the sound and reverb quite appropriate, but with other headphones I would agree with you. Would you say that this reverb is better for you --> http://gerdprengel.de/WoO62_1_rev.mp3 ?
I didn't mean that your work resembled Simpson's in any way (except, maybe, for the Beethoven influence ;)) - just that Simpson has a gift for spinning out developments at great length - a good example is the outer movements of his Symphony No. 5. I only meant that to me, it seems your talent for development runs along similar lines. Your development section in this movement goes through quite a number of twists and turns, always finding fresh perspectives from which to view your material. I am the opposite - I'm terrible at spinning ideas out, so my development sections (e.g. Variations 3 through 4 in Fugal Variations) are very compact and claustrophobic.
Rereading my post, I see that it could be taken as a criticism.. but I didn't intend it that way, only to point out a feature of your music that's very different from my own.