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Symphony In C 

Thank you to all who assisted me with string writing for Albion 1

Regards,

Saul










Second Movement - Andante


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Saul, this is beautiful! I like the opening theme and the way it is developed. At first I thought the harmony was too static, but you do go into the dominant for a while midway. There were a few places I thought the pizzicato strings could stand out more, and I would have liked to hear more action from the winds, but overall this was very nicely done. I do wonder about the ending: is this a single movement work or the first of several movements? (or maybe an incomplete movement?)

Suggestion: you might want to post this with the #SongsOfComfort hashtag as it is simple and uplifting.

Thank you Liz.

I think I didn't mention that this is a String symphony no woodwinds or other instruments are included.

The harmony for this symphony is pretty conspicuous to give it that cheer feeling. Funny about the pizzicato I thought I over done it a little but you said you wanted more of it, its interesting how different musicians differ on taste and style.

As for the ending, I'm entertaining the thought of continuing to write a second and perhaps a third movement as well.

I did apply your suggestion of the hashtag to the youtube video will do the same for the Soundcloud.

Glad you liked it!

Best Wishes



Liz Atems said:

Saul, this is beautiful! I like the opening theme and the way it is developed. At first I thought the harmony was too static, but you do go into the dominant for a while midway. There were a few places I thought the pizzicato strings could stand out more, and I would have liked to hear more action from the winds, but overall this was very nicely done. I do wonder about the ending: is this a single movement work or the first of several movements? (or maybe an incomplete movement?)

Suggestion: you might want to post this with the #SongsOfComfort hashtag as it is simple and uplifting.

Wow. Then either my ears are really defective or the Albion 1 sound is a bit off because I could swear I heard the main theme being doubled in the low brass a couple of times! I should add, though, that that is the ONLY clearly non-string sound that I heard, so maybe I should have been a little more cautious in my comment.

On the pizzicato: it's not that I wanted more pizzicato, just that I wanted to hear it more clearly. At one point it sounded as if there was a line that was being covered up by the other strings.

Saul Gefen said:

Thank you Liz.

I think I didn't mention that this is a String symphony no woodwinds or other instruments are included.

The harmony for this symphony is pretty conspicuous to give it that cheer feeling. Funny about the pizzicato I thought I over done it a little but you said you wanted more of it, its interesting how different musicians differ on taste and style.

As for the ending, I'm entertaining the thought of continuing to write a second and perhaps a third movement as well.

I did apply your suggestion of the hashtag to the youtube video will do the same for the Soundcloud.

Glad you liked it!

Best Wishes

Haha

I grant you the low strings can sometimes be mistaken for brass, depending on different factors.

I see what you say about the Pizzicato...

Liz Atems said:

Wow. Then either my ears are really defective or the Albion 1 sound is a bit off because I could swear I heard the main theme being doubled in the low brass a couple of times! I should add, though, that that is the ONLY clearly non-string sound that I heard, so maybe I should have been a little more cautious in my comment.

On the pizzicato: it's not that I wanted more pizzicato, just that I wanted to hear it more clearly. At one point it sounded as if there was a line that was being covered up by the other strings.

Saul Gefen said:

Thank you Liz.

I think I didn't mention that this is a String symphony no woodwinds or other instruments are included.

The harmony for this symphony is pretty conspicuous to give it that cheer feeling. Funny about the pizzicato I thought I over done it a little but you said you wanted more of it, its interesting how different musicians differ on taste and style.

As for the ending, I'm entertaining the thought of continuing to write a second and perhaps a third movement as well.

I did apply your suggestion of the hashtag to the youtube video will do the same for the Soundcloud.

Glad you liked it!

Best Wishes

This is purely my personal opinion, so please take this with a suitably-sized grain of salt.

I found the main theme very beautiful and the rhythms very invigorating. However, I felt that in many places a lot of opportunities to build momentum were missed. You stayed in C for quite a long time in the opening passage; that made it feel quite static, and while you had a wonderful build-up towards a climax in the first theme, it didn't end with a dramatic transition to a new key or at the very least a new theme, so it felt like it sortof fizzled out and didn't really get us anywhere. The fireworks went off but we're still in square 1.  IMO you could have used the momentum you built up towards that climax to push the music into new, interesting territory. The passage in G came IMO a little too late; it would have had much more force if it had come it right after (or shortly after) the first climax in the opening theme. In the beginning of a symphony, you want to build up momentum and open musical questions; letting it stay in the same place for too long weakens this momentum and risks losing interest.

You also had a lot of interesting ideas and secondary themes, which are wonderful, but I felt that it lacked the kind of tight coherence a symphony ought to have (IMO). It seems like you were just jumping from one idea to the next, and while you had a wealth of beautiful ideas, I think you could work more on integrating them into a cohesive whole.  The overall effect of being too static in the opening theme and the somewhat disconnected ideas that follow made me feel like you started out with a bang, but then kinda lost your way a bit and was groping in the dark to find your way, before getting back on track in the closing passage.

IMO it would have been more effective if you tighten your opening theme and made it more compact -- leave the expansive grand passages for a later climax instead of spending it all at the beginning -- use the opening momentum to push the music straight into the second theme and other themes, and don't get stuck in one place for too long.  Push the listener out of their comfort zone quickly in the beginning, then lead them back to concluding passages where you can then stay longer in the home key to emphasize and reemphasize it to reinforce the feeling of homecoming.

Also, the kind of symphonies I'm partial to tend to develop their thematic materials extensively; I find that somewhat lacking here. You could perhaps expand some of your secondary themes more fully to serve as stronger contrasting themes to the first one, and use some of that development to build up a more powerful dramatic arc.

Overall, very beautiful themes and engaging rhythms; but a bit weak in overall structure and could use more coherence. Could develop/explore thematic materials more thoroughly.

On an unrelated note, in the closing passage I think your dynamics are a bit too high and the audio is clipping. Might want to turn the master volume down a notch or two to prevent distortion artifacts at the end.

All valid points and the symphony could have been written in many other different ways, some even better ways, and the final product could have been even better. Currently working on the second movement lets see where it leads me.

Glad you liked some aspects of the symphony.

Regards

This is the second movement in F major - Andante.

Some thoughts about this. It was much more difficult to write the second movement then the first. I think the primary reason was the voicing. I wanted each string section to be clear and not drown out the other, it was very difficult to achieve this balance. Many hours of work and hundreds of edits, revisions, erasing and re-recording. I hope I was able to achieve some kind of a cohesive harmony between all the sections. When writing slower pieces of music everything sticks and everything must make sense as much as possible.

Hope you'll find it enjoyable. My next project is to write a third movement.

Best of Wishes,

Saul

Second Movement - Andante

Hi Saul,

The extra work here paid off I think. Structurally this movement seems to me to be much better organized than the first. The contrast between the two movements is effective, yet it is clearly part of the same work. One feature I found interesting but wasn't sure if it was intentional was the pizzicato scale passages in cross-rhythm with the rest of the music. At the first instance of this I had the impression of a "loss of ensemble" rather than a true cross-rhythm, as if the instruments playing pizzicato had fallen behind. Since this is a rendering prepared on a DAW I assume it must be that way by design.

The movement seems to be in F major, ending in C (though I could be off by a semitone). It does feel a little as if it is ending on the dominant, and I am curious to hear what comes next.

Thank you Liz,

I have changed the lower string section to give it a more gentle and harmonious sound. Before that the this section was comprised of a melody that was in octave even though played separately I think it was too dominant. Now I changed it to a single note melody, Please let me know if you like this version better.

I made an extra effort to make the Pizzicato and the Melody be in-sync and complement each other, perhaps if you give it a second listen you will see that this was carefully planned out and conceived.

The movement does end in C even though it begins in F, this is where it naturally flowed.

Regards,

Saul 

Hi Saul,

I do like this version better. There seems to be greater clarity, the various lines stand out better and it is overall more understandable. Having the first theme staccato, then played against much slower and broader lines is something I neglected to comment on the first time around, but it is very effective.  I still had the impression of loss of ensemble by the pizzicati in a couple of places. It is possible that some of it is the reverberant concert hall ambiance. Overall it is a very nice Andante movement and I'm eager to hear the rest of your Symphony!

Hi Saul,

The difference between the first string movements in your last thread and this one are like night and day. This sounds very realistic and true to a real string section. Not only this but you have made a very delightful composition with a very light hearted feel. Congratulations on such progress in such a short time!

The volume and dynamics of the second movement in the very first post is a little less dynamic and lacks the overall volume of the second. Still , it's all good.

Thanks Liz, 

I do come back to it and listen to it carefully to see how it can be made better, so far this is the best that I could do with the second movement, with time perhaps I would be able to sort it out, this work would become even more refined when I begin working on the score. 

Now that the first and second movements are basically done for now, I am currently working on the third movement, I have a theme in mind but it is still a sketch for now, will have to develop the entire third from this theme, will see what happens.

Thanks for your input!

Liz Atems said:

Hi Saul,

I do like this version better. There seems to be greater clarity, the various lines stand out better and it is overall more understandable. Having the first theme staccato, then played against much slower and broader lines is something I neglected to comment on the first time around, but it is very effective.  I still had the impression of loss of ensemble by the pizzicati in a couple of places. It is possible that some of it is the reverberant concert hall ambiance. Overall it is a very nice Andante movement and I'm eager to hear the rest of your Symphony!

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