I have been away, and not reading my forums, so I didn't know that this one had disappeared, however briefly. I've been doing some reconnecting and rejoined yesterday. I thought I would post something for you. I recently completed my fourth symphony, and thought I would post an excerpt. I may post a link to the whole thing at some point later (it's 36 minutes), after I've done the final clean-up on the score.

The symphony has 3 main movements separated by interludes. This is a scrolling score video of the first of these interludes. Let me know what you think.

For those of you who (like me) who obsess on software, this was created in Sibelius and realized using NotePerformer and Spitfire Audio's BBCSO Core. I have since switched to BBCSO Pro, but the only instruments that effects in this excerpt are English Horn, Bass Clarinet, and Contrabassoon, which are the normal NotePerformer sounds. (You won't really notice them.) If anyone wants to discuss using the BBCSO sounds, I am willing to discuss. I had loads of problems getting it to work properly, the PRO version at least - it required a major upgrade of my already hi-end computer.



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                • Pärt could be the topic of another discussion entirely.

  • particularly as he was quite an interesting composer in the 1960's before he had his "conversion" and started writing the drivel for which he is famous. But I won't continue -- as you say, this would be a new topic.


    What a fine piece your 4th is Stephen. Utterly compelling and thoroughly symphonic. The narrative, invention, form and imagination - all the result of what feels like complete control of the expression and the means to achieve it - feels absolutely inevitable as the work progresses. 

    This symphony can hold its own and far outstrips some of the less compelling music I've heard performed by established orchestras on YT.  For me the symphony is concert worthy and deserves its place there. NP/ BBCSO has done a good job too and probably in a fraction of the time I take to do a mock-up. I hope that you get a live performance.

    • Wow, Mike. Thanks for your comments. Concerning the mock-up, one of the things that I did while composing this piece was write to the strengths of the NP/BBCSO set up. There are some things that don't sound well, and I'm trying to work out solutions for future works. The vanilla NP4 sounds better on a couple of things like string glissandos, and I may try to create some performing versions that have extra staves with just the things that NP4 does well. It means an extra version of a score, and extra staves of the playback video, but that is something that I might have to live with. I've been in touch with Wallender about it.

      • Inevitably we all have to guard against writing for the samples too much but I know how tempting it can be. When I was composing professionally, it didn't really matter unless there was a budget for a live band, then I was meticulous about the sound of any demos prior to recording. Pain in the arse though it is, DAW programming still gives the best and most musical options and solutions imo, although string gliss are tricky even then but do-able in certain situations. One day I'm sure Dorico will figure it all out although I believe Sibelius is seemingly going for tighter integration with Pro tools which might signal newer ways to integrate Daw and notation.

        • Dorico does now finally support pitch-bend glissandi but I know what you think of that solution -- still it's better than nothing and works better in some situations than others. I at least have two NPPE engines (not counting the bundled Iconica) with CS being the top preference overall but certainly there is a temptation to write to the samples, especially for those of us without contacts in the music business. If Sibelius really does manage better integration with Protools then Dorico had better watch its rear and no doubt, better integration with Cubase will jump up the priority sheet.


          • Wallender says that pitch-bend glissandi isn't the way to go. They are looking for another solution for NPPE. NP4's native solution sounds better. (I can't remember what they called it.) One of my pieces has a really wide glissando, and it just sounds ridiculous in NP/BBSCO. Some of the small ones sound really rough, too, say if it bends from E to D and then repeats or ties the D to another.

            In the past, I refused to write for software, but as a few piece languished unperformed, I decided to rethink that in the cases where a demo might be needed to make the difference for a performance.

            • NP's native gliss. was only recently supported for the first time in Dorico (with 5.1), nevertheless, although the implementation is natively rather better than NPPE, it's not practical within that environment to to disable NPPE only for that artic. (and as BBC and CS sound far better in general), it would be great if Arne was able to do something in that direction.


              • He is apparently working on it, according to the last email he sent me.

                • sounds good - maybe with 4.5, then.


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