Here is a work for chamber orchestra and solo guitar that I invite you to comment on.  This was planned
to be the middle movement of a longer work so it does not end conclusively. Thank you for listening,
all comments and criticisms are welcome.
Edit: In the updated file above I have added addtional orchestral parts to help blend the guitar with the orchestra.

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  • Hey Ingo,

    An interesting work and enjoyable. The flow of your tunes and the often unexpected turns in the harmony are engaging. The whole thing seems a little dreamy but not always a comfortable dream.

    However, (this is purely my reaction) I felt the guitar episode didn't integrate well with its chamber orchestra brackets. A beautiful guitar solo - may I presume it was you playing?  Very warm.

    There's potential for a lot of development here - several ideas spring to mind: after the solo having the chamber orchestra trace out the guitar line with or without 'expected' harmony, then blending in the material around bar 41 where the solo breaks in? Possibly somehow extending the opening section into where the solo starts - some kind of lead in with the orchestra's lower voices underpinning a few introductory guitar bars...perhaps even getting into a swing rhythm. 

    But I think part of the non-integration is down to the rendering itself. The general tone of the orchestra doesn't match the solo; the orchestra (understandably) sounding more synthetic than the guitar/drums/bass. That can't be helped and I had a good look at the score to read beyond it. 

    If you were using guitar samples, please point me to the library in question. One of those rare cases where 'if it's too good to be true then it also happens to be true!'.



    • Thank you Dane for your generous words and useful insights.  That is me playing the guitar, and integrating that live track with the soon to be iLok protected orchestra is indeed a problem for this piece. Sometimes I think ,"nice left turn with contrasting material" and sometimes I think NO NO NO.

      But you've given me some useful suggestions to help with the transition and I'm grateful for that!


  • Hi Ingo,

    I offer a comment on one aspect of the piece, and that is the tempo. It feels a little too slow to me. Finding the right tempo is important: a tempo that is too fast for the material can come off as hokey or comical; a tempo that is too slow makes the piece seem plodding, which is my perception here. I suggest if the piece is 2-5% faster it might energize it. A second comment along the same lines: the guitar section might be better contrasted from the outer portions of the piece if you bump up the tempo even more, maybe in the range of 5-8%. 

    Thanks for sharing it!


  • All I can add is: have you produced an 'album' of your recordings of your solos/ensemble? I could spend hours listening to this. I'd buy it if I could.

  • Very nice music Ingo. I enjoyed hearing this very much. I agree with Dane that the guitar solo isn't integrated and it sounds like a different piece from the orchestral sections on either end of it (though I enjoyed hearing both musics!). Maybe there is a way to integrate or suggest the jazz pizz bass (and maybe the drum kit) that occurs with the guitar into the orchestral music? Also, maybe the orchestra could have some sort of presence in supporting the guitar solo, rather than have it just as a jazz trio?  

  • Gavin -  Thank you for listening and giving me a good suggestion that I hadn't considered.  I will experiment with that.  One thing I have to consider is that this piece is the center piece in a longer work and the slow tempo will hopefully provide a good contrast for the movement that follows but we'll see.

    Dane - Thank you, you are too kind.  I hope to get organized one day but there's a lot to it.  I don't see how you're able to do composition, graphic arts and viola practice all while having a life at the same time.  I'm busy just trying to get cc 7 to quit arguing with cc 2 but I appreciate the encouragement.

    Martin -  You have hit on the main problem with this piece and I really appreciate that you have taken the time to listen.  That is a great suggestion and together with what Dane and Gavin have given me I intend to apply that and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the good words and suggestions!

  • Hi Ingo,

    nice listening. I get the impression of melancholy in the orchestral parts and a more happy but relaxed mood in the middle guitar part. And I found myself longing for an acoustic guitar in the third part to get a connection with the middle part, a guitar that could make it a little bit more lively and contrasting to the first part.. Good to listen to your music. It has always a very personal touch which is appealing.

    Thank you,


    • Thank you for listening Kjell.  I have updated this track with some added orchestral parts to allow the guitar part to hopefully better blend with the orchestral parts.

      I think your idea of using a traditional guitar part with the closing section is a good one which I hadn't thought of, thank you for the excellent suggestion!


  • Hi Ingo,

    I listened to your piece, and definitely vibed with it.  As Dane so astutely observed, it really did feel like an unsettled dream.  You have received some excellent feedback from fellow forum members, who have done a much better job articulating their suggestions than I could.  I will say that I'm glad each composer on this forum seems to explore their own unique voice and allow themselves the freedom to develop without fear of conforming to expected norms/practices. Kudos on this fine effort!



    • You're right Dave, CF people are excellent listeners and we have a good variety of styles here now. I was happy to make some changes to this piece that were suggested by members here and that I think improved it. Thank you for listening and giving encouragement.  I'm always happy to have criticism too, it's the only way to improve and that's the most important thing to me.

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