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Hi everybody.

Again a while ago, I know I'm not around much. I have finished another choral piece now. Sadly, I like to write my chorals in German, so the title is Das Opfer der armen Witwe. For anyone owning a Bible (or caring to look it up on the net) the text is derived from Marcus 12:41-44.

Again I used full orchestra and choir, and this time I used a tenor solo.

Feel free to comment. Especially the end (last two pages) need some attention, for I am a bit lost there.

Keep it friendly, honest and helpful please.

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Yeah, you're right in that, Dave. And I must admit I changed it back for I like that better. I have been relistening the whole thing over again and I like it as it is. Only the ending bothers me a bit, still....

BTW I did this reply before I read all the other things you both wrote.

Hi Erwin,

Can I ask that you provide an English translation of your text, so that I may understand what spirit moves things the way it does in this piece. To me the text is of paramount importance for any vocal composition to start with.

Otherwise I had a quick look at the score and I agree with Dave regarding the orchestral balance, but also with Rowy regarding some harmonic rules.

For example the 1st entry of the choir at bar 21 sounds weird.


Cello ends its downward scale of D major on a low D and one would expect the same 1st chord to enter there on the vocal part. Well, it does apart from the bass singer who is on a C# (a major 7th higher than the cello). Would it not be simpler to give a D to the bass singer also there? Imo, it would as well as providing this vocal line with better voice leading, ie a repeated D weak to strong would sound better than the written repeated C# strong to weak, as well as establishing the tonality in stronger terms.


In the 2nd beat of bar 21 the vocal harmony moves to 1st inversion A chord over the cello deep D, that's fine, but what is the F# sharp doing in the viola still? You must decide there if the viola participates as a D or A chordal factor.


From 2nd to 3rd beat of bar 21 it gets more weird to my ears. The harmony progresses to a Bm chord with strongly pronounced parallel 5ths in alto-soprano parts (A-E => B-F#), while the C# on the 2nd violin is a kick to my ear and a confusion to my brain, taking away the joy of the (intended?) harmonic change.


4th beat of the same bar, I suppose can be taken as a 2nd inversion of D major, with elements of Bm7 (look 2nd violin part again). Would it not be better on this 4th beat to have a clear sounding A7 dominant chord to lead back to tonic in the next bar as notated? (but new ambiguities start on bar 22).


Perhaps this is some of what Rowy means (?). Anyway, if I can observe all these things in one single bar, I thing you should clarify the harmonic thinking behind them for us.

And please… the text. Do give us also some aesthetic/ideological reason for your choice which can be discernible in it perhaps(?)

You made quite an effort, analysing that measure. I didn't even go there, because there are too many faults in this score. Like I wrote, it would take me several lessons of an hour, just to clean up the score. I think it is water under the bridge. Erwin re-listened the entire score and he is satisfied. Pity, but no sweat of my back.

Socrates Arvanitakis said:

Perhaps this is some of what Rowy means (?). Anyway, if I can observe all these things in one single bar, I thing you should clarify the harmonic thinking behind them for us.

That I am satiesfied does not mean it is good, does it? Because if I thought it was, I would not have posted in Critics.

The text is Marcus 12:41-44

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

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