Music Composers Unite!
I have written a lot of verses in my life and it is a big race for me to try setting to music as many as I can.
A lot of songs result, usually accompanied by chamber ensembles or just one instrument. Eventually they form themselves into cycles or bigger units and into complete stories. That is why I put a hierarchical header on most of my scores giving the exact address of each item.
Sometimes I feel that a cycle or something similar should be proceeded by an instrumental piece and thus I write some overtures usually based on themes taken from the songs it introduces. This is the case here with a Valse in Am and a fugue in A. All themes of both pieces are taken from two of the songs that follow and for which I feel that the lyrics did not convey the whole of what I wanted to say.
Any comments and constructive criticism are welcome.
Thanks for listening.
Your piece has a lot of good in it too, so I hope you are not too hasty.
I think it works fine until b32. At that point perhaps consider not doubling the horn line an 8va below with vc and bsn and at the same time, re-space the chords in the upper strings to fill in the hole around and just below middle C. This way, the counterpoint is more in the clear and a little more clarity will be apparent. You could even even double the 2 lines (trp and hrn) an 8va higher in the wind for added sparkle. Or, why not pair the melody down to solo instruments with a light accompaniment! Just some thoughts you might want to explore.
Although midi playback is awful, it can be quick and useful when trying out orchestral spacing. If you feel so inclined, try opening up some areas of the acoustic spectrum by for example putting the clt up an octave in places and erasing some octave duplications in the middle registers. As it takes nothing in the way of effort to try these things, why not give it a go, it may refresh your ears and give you more scoring ideas. Always keep in mind the clarity of the music and whatever the scoring is doing, consider if it is presenting your music in the best possible light. Be alert too, to the registral strengths and weakness of instruments and balance between sections.
Your part writing (counterpoint) is so well written, that you do not need to fill in every hole in the space and so transparency should be the goal here, so as to not undo the sound composition. There is nothing wrong with the way you have scored at present as most of it would sound fine in a live situation - just a few moments here and there that with a little more finesse, could improve the piece immensely. The music reflects well your european heritage.
I agree. Now is the time to do a little experimenting. Just as the guitar sounds different through out it's range, every instrument has strengths and weaknesses. You wouldn't use piccolo in it's lower range in a full orchestra fff section. The range and type of instrument that is on the top of the chord is just as important as the inversion. The right instrument in the right place can make the difference between an exciting sound and a dull one. Perhaps "exciting" might not be the right word. But every note has to do something. In some way, it has to move the listener, draw them into the music. Every note needs to make the listener want to listen to the next one.
Ha! This coming from someone who has placed third in every contest on this forum. Thumps chest proudly:)
I think it's worth chiming in to say that it's always the perceived problems that get the most attention in comments, not the good bits, so while it might have looked like myself and others were ripping it to pieces that's not the case. I wrote whole paragraphs on one note in one bar, but I think it's a great piece with a really authentic aesthetic (even if you weren't planning one specifically) and solid-sounding orchestration. The strength of the writing was communicated even through midi, which is quite a barrier.
Polishing it up is one thing, but going back to the drawing board is drastic I think. The kind of suggestions Mike's made are similar to those he gave to me for my orchestral piece - unchanged compositionally, but the last couple percent that adds that final layer of veneer to orchestration.
Thank you all three guys for your continued comments and suggestions. By drawing board I meant only regarding orchestration, I don’t intend to change the piece structurally. I have already started working to make things more audible, (in time free from other works) as per these suggestions and ideas that come up, and I envisage the tuti sections will give me most trouble, though I can see how some other sections could improve a little.
I will re-submit video & pdf once I'm finished. It's an embarrassment to have it up as it is on youtube and having people liking it. :-)