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I'd like to share with you my Scherzo of my c-minor symphony which I wrote about 20 years ago based on a theme Beethoven sketched for his planned 10th symphony:

http://gerdprengel.de/Scherzo-on-10th.mp3

http://gerdprengel.de/Scherzo_on_10th.pdf

Gerd

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Very Beethovenian, yet with a unique flavor all your own. Very impressive! The dramatic rhythmic shifts are very refreshing and keeps the listener on their toes. I liked it!

Indeed, Gerd, it seems you were channeling Beethoven! The only thing in the scherzo proper that I can't imagine Beethoven writing in that context was the quadruplets, but even that wouldn't surprise me too much.

Wonderful, Beethovenian scoring as well. Very well done! :-)

Last month I presented to you my symphony Scherzo. By now I was encouraged to increase the tempo to a real Scherzo Presto, and I think this was indeed a good advice! Do you agree? What tempo fits better? 

http://gerdprengel.de/Scherzo-on-10th.mp3    (new version)

http://gerdprengel.de/Scherzo-on-10th0.mp3  (former version)

This is excellent work Gerd. Even though you have never once commented on anything I have done here ( maybe that's beneath you?)

I will comment on this. You do excellent work and I can tell you are a very experienced composer. Thanks for sharing!

Hello Gerd,

Whatever I will say here, the bottomline is, it’s stunningly magnificent!
Congratulations! very well done! Orchestration, superb!

A few small details:
Bar 34 (0:22) Alternation Violins and Woodwinds, lovely
Bar 50, Quadruples, nice!
(Bar 96, small detail, only 2 quarter rests in the Oboe part instead of the full bar rest)
Bar 111, (1:30) Horn parts very well done!
Bar 156, (1:52) Viola A-D in score, maybe it’s my limited hearing but I cannot hear the A and D played by the Violas. I seem to hear something else then written
Bar 250, In the score there are 2 repeat symbols here, one to the right (repetition to come) and one to the left (repeat previous) but the orchestra continues to play without repetition (I mean the one pointing to the left)

Bar 251, Maybe a bit more volume on the 2nd Violins and the Violas, I think these patterns may sparkle up this section. It’s too nice to be pushed away by Celli and Basses.
Bar 268, (3:04) Transition to a slower tempo? If you take the tempo in bar 270 (slightly slower than before) and start with that tempo at bar 251 you prevent the impression that the conductor is tired and needs to slow down a bit….:)
Bar 305, (3:36) The Timpani part is missing in the score.
Bar 339, Coda, here we jump back to the beginning, play until bar 250, then back to bar 340. It took me some page turning to figure it out….:)

I have listened to the new version and I think I’ve been looking at the score of the former version. I guess that’s why I found some minor discrepancies between them.

A few small points about the sound and stereo image.

I listened with a headset and tried to visualize the orchestra. I’m sitting directly behind the conductor at a distance of 10 meters or so.
My first thought was, “I wish this was played in a larger hall, the piece certainly deserves it” but this is probably my personal preference.
The Brass section and Woodwinds are well placed in the stereo image.
The Timpani are slightly off to the right, I guess this is another personal preference. I prefer them to be in the center line of the orchestra. The other thing about the Timpani is, they are too close to me which makes them a bit overwhelming at times.
The string section maybe slightly unbalanced concerning the stereo image. I don’t hear enough difference in physical location between the different string sections. Basses, further away and slightly more right than the Celli. Viola’s, left of the Celli end so on.

The last thing, the reverb.
For example, at time 1:47, there are 2 sf chords. Listening to the reverb after the last sf chord it seems the tail of the reverb veers off to the right. In other words, there seems to be more reverb on the right side than on the left side.

All in all, it’s a master piece Gerd! Very well done, a pleasure to listen to.
Thanks for posting

Dear Joos,

thank you soo much for your thorough and thoughtful considerations. I think I hardly ever have received such a detailled review!! Very helpful and encouraging.... I will check all of your points.

Since you like this movement so much you may also like the other movements of my symphony:  http://www.gerdprengel.de/symphony-c-minor.html

Gerd

I listened to the entire symphony, all very high quality Gerd.
The 4th movement has hints of Brückner in places, traces of Dvorak and a sniff of Mahler, all on a solid Beethoven foundation. I’m amazed by the sound quality. I would love to have a sneak around your studio to see what you’re using...:)

Gerd Prengel said:

Dear Joos,

thank you soo much for your thorough and thoughtful considerations. I think I hardly ever have received such a detailled review!! Very helpful and encouraging.... I will check all of your points.

Since you like this movement so much you may also like the other movements of my symphony:  http://www.gerdprengel.de/symphony-c-minor.html

Gerd

Gerd,

This is wonderful, beautiful and shows expertise.

Thanks for sharing.

Tim, Joos and Saul, I thank you all for your feedback...

 

Joos: "I’m amazed by the sound quality. I would love to have a sneak around your studio to see what you’re using...:)" -

Joos, you will be amazed about the simplicity of my "studio": I just edit the notes with Finale and the sounds are created with the fantastic (and cheap)  pluggin tool NotePerformer just by the notes and dynamic markings from Finale (or Sibelius)... 

--> https://noteperformer.com/

Gerd

Indeed, NotePerformer is an amazing product that improves the output from notation software (Finale, Sibelius, Dorico) by orders of magnitude. But I feel the need to point out that it is not perfect, and has odd bugs that can cause no end of unpleasantries, as the composer has very little fine control over what it does. The developer (Arne Wallander) is aware of some of these issues and has indicated that a fix will happen at some point, but their progress has been greatly slowed by the pandemic.

Now Gerd is using Finale as the underlying engine and some of the problems may be less apparent in that setting. See my thread "Fugal Variations" for some idea of how difficult it can be to get a really good rendering out of NP running under Sibelius.

Gerd Prengel said:

Tim, Joos and Saul, I thank you all for your feedback...

 

Joos: "I’m amazed by the sound quality. I would love to have a sneak around your studio to see what you’re using...:)" -

Joos, you will be amazed about the simplicity of my "studio": I just edit the notes with Finale and the sounds are created with the fantastic (and cheap)  pluggin tool NotePerformer just by the notes and dynamic markings from Finale (or Sibelius)... 

--> https://noteperformer.com/

Gerd

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