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Hi everybody,

After lots of advice and hard work, here it is... my 'The Creation of All', my first work and it is an oratorium for SATB Choir and full orchestra.

Yes, I know I have to do some things more but before that I need more experience.

It is a 50 minute piece, contains 14 parts, so take your time if you want to listen to it all...

What I like to say is that part 1, the intro, contains a little of other pieces, I did that on purpose... ;)

Any way, I am not looking for revision at this moment, but good advice is always welcome of course...

You can find it here.

Thanks for listening.

Erwin.

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Nicely done.

Hi to all...

There is something that keeps coming back to me.

When I was writing, and near finishing The Creation of All, everybody told me 'I want to hear it'. Well, I was of high expections of replies with advice or compliments (I prefer the last, of course :P ) but...

It is online for over a week right now, and nobody took a peek? I feel kinda deserted... :( Why?

Erwin,

I listened to some parts last night, and will try to listen to the rest soon. I hope others will do the same as well.

I much enjoyed what I heard so far.  (Then got distracted with all those conversations...)

Mariza

Erwin, I'm still listening to the different parts of your piece.

Mariza

Hi, Erwin,

Today, while I worked, I got to listen to the remaining third of your oratorium. I enjoyed very much to listen to the entire oratorium. You wrote that you are not looking to revise the piece, but still would like some comments. I understand why you wouldn't want to revise the piece - as it seems to me to be a very heart-felt, personal concept piece that has a great deal of meaning to you. This comes through when I listen. There is enormous coherence throughout the nearly hour long piece. There is not a great deal of variation in mood or tempo, and even the main theme appears throughout most of the piece - but again, it is clear that it is meant to be that way, that you feel it that way, so it should be that way. I also think it i appropriate given the gravity of the theme.

Here and there there were some surprises. My favorite part is 6 - Land and Sea. Really nicely done and very enjoyable. I also liked 8 - Moon and Stars very much.

If you feel like sharing some of your thoughts about this piece, and why your very first piece was so ambitious in its theme as well as its length, I would like to know. But of course, only if you really feel like sharing those more personal aspects.

Congratulations, Erwin.

Mariza

Hi Mariza,

First I wanna thank you - I know you're quite good at reviewing and know what to listen for. So I am surprised you have so few advices... Of course, when time will pass, and when I know more, I will attempt to make it better... (Actually I wrote " I am not looking for revision at this moment", so I will take all advice to heart and save it (here in this thread).

You're asking me about some background information. Well, I am willing to give. But first, I did not upload the scores for a reason (because it are 14 parts, that would take 5 comments to do... you can always ask me for it and I will upload when requested).

Actually, long time ago I went to a concert of the Continental Singers - I must have been around 10 or 12 years old - and they were singing a song with the text of John 1:1 (part 2). That tune kept coming back, so I started to rewrite it. But I always linked it to Genesis 1, so it was obvious John 1:1 should be part of a bigger whole. I have quite some inspiration, but it is also my first work, so that is may be why there is little variation in tempo and mood, although Genesis 1 is quite heavy laid, of course, it is also a happy event (hence the very quick part 14, in 180 bpm) but as you say, it's a heavy theme...

The theme keeps coming back. I use it both as a recognationtheme as well as I needed it to get a new part started. Now, since I am a little bit more experienced, I would not repeat is that much, but I will not change that in the future for TCOA.

It was not really my intention to start off my 'career' as composer with something this big, it actually just happened...

Thanks for the compiments.

I have always a little trouble talking about my feelings (I said it once in the chatroom so I am not afraid to say it again) because I am authistic. That also - I realize - compromises my music a little, since I cannot 'feel' the music, I just 'hear' it. May be that is what you're missing, right?

Anyway, Mariza, if you have positive feedback and advice, do not be afraid to dump it here... ;)

Thanks again for listening.

Erwin,

Thank you so much for sharing some of the history and an explanation of how this work came to be your very first piece.  I think it is very impressive and promising as a first piece.  I understand now!   I think it's a wonderful story.

You know, I don't compose for orchestra, I don't even know how.  So it is difficult for me to provide feedback beyond saying how I experienced the piece as a listener.  I also am extremely comfortable with very different styles of music, so I don't feel any need to say that a particular piece needs to be "more this" or "less that".  As long as it sounds coherent and I get a sense that it corresponds to an original concept in the composer's mind, I don't really want to suggest any modifications.

You wrote that I am good at reviewing, but I don't really think I am.  I rarely know how to criticize anything, unless it comes close to the type of music I compose myself, and even then... 

Anyhow, I am quite surprised to read that you cannot feel the music, only hear it.  I would guess that you and I use the word "feel" differently because, upon hearing your auditorium, it is clear that you felt the music, in the sense that I would use the word "feel".  Sorry, I don't want to be disagreeing with you, but I do suspect this is mostly about the usage of the word "feel".  Also, I am quite familiar with autism, since two people close to me are autistic, and even though every person is different, I certainly do not equate autism with lack of feeling for music, and was a bit surprised to hear that you do.

If I can offer any advice, it would be that you upload to the Forum just one part of music, not too long, instead of the entire work.  As you probably have noticed, few people on the Forum actually provide feedback on the music uploaded, and for a long piece they will need to reserve a lot of time. Some people may not be able to do so.

I really enjoyed listening to your oratorium, however.  It filled me with peace and there were many beautiful passages.

It made me want to compose for orchestra one day as well.  Who knows?!...

Mariza

Sorry, I still haven't found the time to listen to the entire work through yet (still wading through the long backlog of new pieces posted here since I last reviewed something), so I can't really comment just yet. I will get to it one day, though.

But I just couldn't resist responding to Mariza's comment about wanting to compose for orchestra one day... I wholeheartedly agree! :-)  To me, an orchestra represents the epitome of music -- music in its richest and most multifaceted manifestation.  It is not easy to master, but definitely extremely rewarding both in the sense of the realization of the music itself, and also in the process of orchestration where it forces you to grow (a lot!) as a composer.  I don't expect anyone to be able to write for orchestra overnight, but it's certainly a worthwhile long-term goal!

I really enjoyed listening to your oratorium, however.  It filled me with peace and there were many beautiful passages.

It made me want to compose for orchestra one day as well.  Who knows?!...

I guess I can take that as possible the biggest compliment I can get...

Well, I coudl upload one or two parts, and since you liked 6 and 8, I guess I should start with #6... ;)

For the rest I like to explain what I meant with 'feel the music'. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was over at my ex's place, where I was too, and he suggested I took a listen to "The Planets'' from Holst. So I did, and of course it started with Mars. My ex was in the kitchen and asked to stop that agressive music. After about 3 measures that was. I didin't hear any agression in it, it was just loud to me. Yeah, it sounded strickt, loud, lots of brass... but I didn't hear any agression. That is what I meant with my comment. Let's rephrase then: I don't feel the emotions behind the music... On the other hand, of course I know what emotions I want in the music I write, and since I have a good set of brains, I can argue with myself how to. ;) I mean, if it's meant to be lovely, make it not too high or too low, not too fast and not too loud... I know that, so I can put in the basics of course...

Thanks for letting me explain.

Back to HS... ;)

I know it's a long piece, don't worry. That is part of me, too, I feel easily deserted. I know that is my problem.

Well, for the ones who want a peek: here's part 6: Land and sea

Attachments:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the feedback.

I am aware that I doubled some instruments (piccolo - flute, oboe - clarinet, bassoon - horn - tuba). I did that because I failed to notice (after I initially finished the whole piece) I needed a full orchestra. To give it full but not to have completely rewrite the thing, I just doubled up.

When I said I didn't want to review the whole thing in my first comment, I was actually referring to that. When I have more experience, I will rewrite the lines for the piccolo, clarinet, bassoon and tuba. But I need more experience and knowledge first... I hope you understand.

About the fifth, thanks, I will take notice of that and try to implement that in other scores I am writing.

It is true also (I suppose you are talking about the choir in harmony) that I use the thirds only. I did that because I wanted to make a statement in the sound: two melodylines right there, to give more meaning to the text and less to the music at that point. I am aware of it. Thanks for noticing anyway.

I am not making up excuses, I know that I am a starter and that I have to learn, so I will reread the comment some time later and remember when writing again for full orchestra (and choir).

If you wanna see more scores, just ask. I didn't feel like putting up 5 comments with scores, but on request it is no problem.

Thanks again. :)

Finally got to this. Sorry for taking so long, Erwin. :-)

Anyway. Just listened to 01 Intro. I mainly agree with what Bob said, but I'd also like to note the positive aspects as well. In this introductory movement, I hear a lot of different ideas, that appear to be seeds that are developed later in the piece. There is the sense of grandeur, of a vast scope, and of the solemnity of it all.  It's very organ-like in its construction; perhaps a little too much so, that it feels like it would be better suited as an organ piece than orchestra. :-)  But be that as it may, many parts remind me of Sibelius' Kullervo Symphony, which was equally ambitious and also shared that sense of primal rawness in the melodies and grandness in scope.

As for recommendations... while you certainly have grand ideas, I think the execution could be improved, if not in this piece, then in future pieces, by listening to more music specific to each instrument in the orchestra, so that you develop a feel for what's idiomatic for each instrument. For example, listen to as many flute pieces as you can, to get some idea about what kinds of music flutes usually play. Then listen to as many oboe pieces as you can find, and do the same. Ditto for each instrument. Eventually, you should be able to know what kinds of melodies are more suitable for, say, flute, vs. oboe, vs. clarinet, etc.. Given some random snippet of music, you should be able to tell which instrument(s) might be best assigned to play it. You should be able to write something for a specific instrument that cannot be readily swapped for another instrument, because it's specific to that instrument's peculiarities.  This is, of course, a lifelong learning for any orchestrator, but mastering this aspect of orchestral writing even just a little should make a big difference in the effectiveness of your orchestrations.

Alright, enough rambling for now. Time to listen to 02...

Alright. Got up to 05 so far. Here are some comments:

02: very nice opening with a cymbal crash and the grand entrance of the choir. This part is very short, but I liked it very much, especially with the cymbal crash presumably depicting all things springing into existence.

03: intermezzo. A gentle, slow-moving bridge... I found it a bit on the long side, but perhaps this was deliberate?

04: The material here seems to be quite intimately related to 03. There's an interesting shift to triple time toward the end.

05: similar in tone to 04; the choral writing is not too shabby here. There are also some interesting stretches where the melodies are instrumented differently, which is a refreshing change from the overall character thus far, which has been more or less uniform in tone, mood, and style. This part also has quite a lot of sections; I'm not sure I understand the significance of them all...

... but taken as a whole, everything so far sounds very grand in scope and persistently solemn in tone.  While there are interesting divergences every now and then with the appearance of accidentals, what I've heard up to this point seems to be primarily driven by modal melodies; the harmony, as Bob has pointed out, is a little weak. The modal sound imparts a kind of medieval solemnity throughout the piece, despite the rather modern-sounding use of dissonant intervals and unexpected accidentals.  Although the way the work is put together does indicate relative inexperience, there is nevertheless a lot of original ideas and themes here, much more than, for example, the clarinet symphony, and of far grander scope.

Alright, continuing with 06 ... wow! this is quite a refreshing change in mood from the preceding movements.  The upward scale runs of the main theme give this movement a fresh, distinctive character that stands out from the prior movements. The timpani strokes also add freshness to it. Overall, a surprisingly refreshing movement after what was mostly uniform in mood, tone, and style prior to this.

07: what appears to be the unifying theme of this work returns, with some nice upward transpositions that impart a sense of brightness.  Heard in context, this intermezzo is actually more effective than I had found it before, when I only heard it on its own.

08: here, an interestingly chromatic theme appears. Makes me think of it as some kind of "music of the spheres", rather appropriate for a movement titled "moon and stars". Sadly, the interesting chromaticism wasn't taken advantage of very much in the following development, even though what is there is not bad. There is some nice dialogue between the upper and lower sections of the choir here.

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