Music Composers Unite!
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.
09: Another point of interest: trills! The writing here is quite polytonic... (more on this later)
10: The material here seems not that much different from 09. There are some interesting variations in how the choir is scored here, but the overall style / tone / mood remains pretty much uniform.
11: A new theme appears here, but again, it remains pretty much uniform in style, tone, and mood as everything else. We have some interesting timpani motifs here, and a trumpet fanfare, concluding with a cymbal crash. Clearly this was intended to be quite dramatic and grandiose, though it seems to be a bit held back by the overall uniform style and tone.
12: A slow movement with the main theme returning polytonically...
13: This movement is also quite uniform with respect to the rest of the work. I thought it was a bit lacking in the feeling of celebration or rest, but probably that's because I have a different interpretation of the subject matter here. :-)
14: I was expecting a grand finale here, but while there were parts that sounded like it was supposed to be grand, it didn't seem to break away from the overall uniform style, tone, and mood. The second last chord was an interestingly polytonic chord before the grand appearance of the tonic at the very end.
Some closing remarks:
- Having heard some of your other pieces, notably the relaxing melodies for piccolo and strings, which definitely have a much more triadic harmony, I have to conclude that what you have done here is deliberate. The overall tone and mood here is very much reminiscient of the inside of a large cathedral. The melodies are quite modal in sound, despite various excursions into accidentals and other more remote areas. It seems that your writing throughout this piece is very much driven by melody, to the point that in several places it's clearly polytonic. While you have stated before that you write in classical style, I have to say that this isn't very classical; it is quite modern in some ways, and at the same time older than classical other ways, such as in the modal-sounding melodies.
- The bass line is... shall we say, unusual? It doesn't seem to be driven by the melodies that you wrote for the other parts, yet neither does it seem to stem from harmony in the classical sense. I can't quite put my finger on it. There are quite a number of places where it sounds discordant because it holds the leading tone, or a note that doesn't seem to harmonize with the other parts. In the past I have suggested following the root of the chord by default unless there is reason to do otherwise, but in a work like this one, where things are primarily driven by melody and the harmony is quite bold (in the modernistic sense), I'm not sure how applicable such a suggestion would be, nor what guidelines one might look for to improve it.
- This work definitely has a lot of ideas and material that are grand in scope and solemn in mood. It's clear that you have put in a monumental amount of work into it. It seems to exist in its own world, in different time and place, quite apart from the dramatic, bustling kind of music that our modern ears are more acquianted with; it seems to be more like a relic straight from a medieval cathedral with its forbidding solemnity and grandeur, yet at the same time its harmonic palette is definitely not medieval, but features bold use of polytonality and what would have been considered harsh discords in that day and age. What is unclear to me, though, is how much of this is deliberate, and how much is accidental. Clearly, certain aspects must be deliberate, since you are undoubtedly capable of writing triadic-sounding music, as proven by your piccolo and strings piece, so the choice of the particular kind of sound and mood in this work must be intentional. Yet the execution of the work as a whole also seems to indicate that at least some things are accidental, or resulting from lack of experience, that, with more experience, could have been done more effectively than it is right now. There are also parts of this work that I have to admit I can't quite fathom, even though they must have special significance for you; and so, not knowing exactly what your intentions are, I'm unable to give you any more specific advice than to continue studying and experimenting with composition, so that one day you'll be able to convey what you have in mind effectively. It may be that you already have a voice of your own, and you just need to develop the technical skills to be able to realize it in an effective way.
Sorry for the late reply, I wrote earlier but I guess I forgot to post it... :(
Thanks again for the reply - again - and your vision. I will have to read it a couple of times to understand if fully, but that is because English isnt really my first language. And it is a lot of info again.
I like to tell you that some things are intentional. The ever returning theme is one of them. Also, as you noted, most of the intermezzos have the theme of the next choral, but are usually slower. That is intentional, too.
Some things are undoubtly because I lack experience. I am planning to review the whole thing in about a year or three. There is one question I have... You said you missed something in the final part, what is it you were missing?
You said it sounds somewhat like organ music. As you know, I have been playing the organ now for about 35 years. So the music I am most custumed to read, is organ. So it is no surprise, but it was not my intention... I hope the next parts do have less of an organ-sigunature....