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Variations on a late Beethoven Adagio sketch for a sring quartett

Among Beethoven's sketches for his quartett op. 130 a very beautiful Adagio tune was found. I liked this theme so much that in the last 2 weeks I wrote a variation movement for string quartett on this.

It starts with the naked theme, then it is repeated with an added bass line and a second part from me, then 7 variations follow:

www.gerdprengel.de/Beeth_quartett_sketch_1825_variations.mp3

www.gerdprengel.de/Beeth_quartett_sketch_1825_variations.pdf

I hope it will speak to you ...

Gerd

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I love the hymn-like last statement of the theme. The close is like an A-men. I wonder what part of the quartet the theme was a sketch for? An early version of the Cavatina maybe? Your variations were mostly very nice, though I was hoping they would go farther afield than they did, both harmonically and in transformations of the theme. Still, for something that was written so quickly, I'm impressed. Very good job.

Dear Liz, thank you for your response! I cannot quite imagine that Beethoven intended this theme for the op. 130 quartett - a D-Major Adagio in a Bb-major quartett? That would be quite unusual. 

By now I made some changes in the bass line of the variations 2 and 3 by adding some motifs to make the bass line more interesting, For further variations ("harmonically and in transformations of the theme") right now I have no vision yet ... I love it as it is ...

Gerd

Hi Gerd,

Well I thought you said the theme was among his sketches for Op.130?? And late Beethoven's inter-movement key relationships were at times unusual... isn't Op. 135 in F major with a slow movement in D-flat? And the Hammerklavier's slow movement is in... F-sharp minor I think. Not so far removed from D major, and the work is also in B flat. (Actually I forget the key he chose for the Cavatina... E-flat I think. Not so unusual I guess.)

Did you upload the revised version? If so I will listen and look at the score again.

Out of curiosity, what did you use to create the demo audio file? Was it done on a DAW? NotePerformer?

Liz

yes, I uploaded the new version. Yes,  indeed I use the wonderful NotePerformer :-)

And now, indeed I am greatly puzzled. If you have followed my threads and others that I have participated in, you know that I have had no end of difficulty with NP because of random timing, i.e. synchronicity errors when rendering a string quartet. Each demo that I've uploaded of my own Quartet required many hours of editing with Audacity to produce a version that is, not entirely free of those errors, but even just not cringe-worthy. A typical run-through of my Quartet using NP under Sibelius sounds like an impromptu group of four players sight reading the music for the first time. The problem is most apparent in legato passages, of which your piece has many.

So I have to ask: did you have the same issue? And if not, what notation software are you using? I did notice that the problem happens less frequently using Finale compared with Sibelius. But Arne at Wallander Instruments assures me that the cause is in his AI algorithms and not Sibelius.

I shall take another look/listen to your Variations soon...

I use NP together with Finale, and I have no problems at all when editing a new piece. NotePerformer for me has been the greatest gift since I write music!! So easy and quick to compose or arrange!

Sometimes I had only problems after importing a file from an old Finale version. Then I did what is here described at page 34: https://www.noteperformer.com/media/NotePerformer%20-%20Users%20Gui...

Puzzling indeed. I have seen this problem even with Finale, though as I said, much less frequently. I never encountered the issue described on page 34 because I only had the one version of Finale, which was a 30 day trial. I found that importing XML from MuseScore or Sibelius required so much fixing up that it was not worth the effort. Maybe I should have stuck with it.

I agree that NP is a wonderful tool... the instruments sound so real! I hated the MIDI-ish "instruments" in MuseScore, and jumped at NotePerformer before understanding that it was to blame for the problem I was hearing. I hope Wallander releases a fixed version soon.

I wonder if the fact that your Variations are in a more Classical idiom might account for some of the difference in our experiences with NP. My Quartet is in a late Romantic idiom and much of it is atonal, and probably devilishly hard to play. But I've heard timing flubs even at simple entrances where, say, the 1st violin enters against a continuing legato line in the 2nd violin.

Very mysterious...

Gerd, I listened again to your Variations and I love them as they are - maybe a couple of the middle variations might work even better with a modulation to a different key as there is an awful lot of D major in the work. But it is all beautiful.

This time, knowing it was done with NotePerformer, I listened more closely for timing errors. I did hear a couple of minor flubs: most noticeably in bars 160 and 188. Still not bad at all, not something you would notice, I think, unless you were listening for it, and not outside the range of what might happen in an actual performance by a professional string quartet.

Liz, I think I know now how you can solve your NotePerformer Problem. I remembered that recently I had the same problem with my violin sonata. The Human Playback parameter must be set to "Standard" - not "Romantic" or something else! Please check this!

Hi Gerd,

That makes sense, but alas, the Human Playback parameter is a Finale feature I believe. As far as I know, Sibelius has no equivalent.

I am really curious now. Gerd, would you be willing to export your Variations as a MusicXML file? (assuming Finale can do this, I never tried it when my trial was active...)

I would like to try to import it into Sibelius and see if NotePerformer will make as bad a mess of your work under Sibelius as it does of mine. I have a hunch that it is the idiom, and not the host notation software, that is the main factor here. I suspect Wallander "trained" their AI algorithms on more traditional music, and they have a harder time with more modern idioms. If it is indeed the host software, then I want to make sure Arne knows that, since it could possibly make a difference in getting the correct fix.

Thank you, I just did! I'll let you know what I find...

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