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I've found that continuously writing atonal music is a bit wearying. So I turned to something light. Sort of in the Leroy Anderson vein.

I was starting to lose touch with diatonic harmony which I'd like to keep - keys and scales - so this is a catch up. 

Just a short, 3 minute movement using a small orchestra - flute oboe clarinet bassoon 2 horns trombone timps (the player also bashes a cymbal somewhere) a small string orchestra.

It gave me a chance to try out a high trumpet and the 'humanising' (intonation) thing on my player so if the trumpet seems a bit off on a couple of notes, that's why.

Comments are always welcome and gratefully received, and thank you if you can give it a listen!

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I can see this as being a release from atonal. Jaunty little piece. I did think the cadenza too long and serious at times.

Reminded me of Leroy Anderson’s style. Played his trumpeter’s lullaby and blue tango just recently. Like many composers it’s his miniatures and not longer pieces which are remembered.

Hi Michael,

Thank you for listening and your comment. On reflection I think you're right about the cadenza and I may change it today. I'll probably keep the reference to Bach in it but cut out some of the iffy modulation.

I know of both the works you mention - they're probably as much pleasure to play to listen to. Light music is a far nicer background to me than the pop pulp radios turn out these days.

Cheers,

Dane

There. Changed it. Cuts about 10 seconds off the piece as well.

Also raised the intonation 'error' amount. A little more exaggerated but hopefully a better demo of that feature.

Yes, I thought, there has a hint of Bach somewhere (Brandenburg Concerto, right?).

I am a big fan of references, because, in the end, there is really little completely "new" or "unique" stuff out there - so, it's good to acknowledge that by bowing to the old Masters...I find the style actually very "British" and not so much American (if you were thinking of Leroy Anderson).

This really could be a good "encore" piece for a local (amateur) orchestra,for the summer season, and part of me thinks sometimes, that there should be an official obligation for such orchestras to play one piece of an "unknown" composer as an extra at each performance, just for the experience of everyone (the composer, the musicians, the conductor and the audience), for practically no cost, but just benefits. But hey...

Yes this is quite a change from your darker and denser works, I had to double check the thread label :)  Just kidding, I know you have a great range of style and skill and this is very well done and enjoyable to listen to.  It should dispel any doubts that your more adventurous works are done by choice and not lack of compositional skill.

I had trouble putting my finger on the style, I'm not familiar with Leroy Anderson and I didn't really get a Brandenburg feel, although Mr Bach is almost everywhere if we look hard enough. This piece is certainly tonal and there's certainly a romantic influence (light as you say). I'd almost say '50's pop but they weren't doing concertos with trills. Well done by any name!

The intonation factor is interesting. I wouldn't have noticed it without you mentioning it so I'd say it is natural and works well. Of course my hearing is bad and I've been around a lot of novice horn players so there's that. And I think intonation and rhythm are flexible and subjective anyway.  The only thing I'd change here would be the reverb level and I'm pretty much in left field on that issue too so disregard that comment!

Hi Dane,

A light-hearted romp! I thought I heard echoes of Copland, Gershwin, and American southwestern at times. If this was just an exercise to keep a foot in tonality, then no suggestions, it is well done. As a standalone piece, I would have one suggestion: the solo section I don't think works as a solo - all the forward motion of the piece halts when the solo begins. If it is of interest to you to keep it, I would suggest a smaller solo section at the end in a coda would have felt more appropriate (to these ears at least). Thanks for sharing!

Gav

Hi Dane,

This was delightful simply put. I thought the solo was a bit longer than expected, at least to me. Not anything that would break this.

Cheers to a pleasant work! I am also seeing more and more that you compose atonal by choice.Probably because it interests you.You are an excellent composer all round'.

Hi Tellerich,

Ahah! Yes, I quote a brief moment from Bach. His bite was definitely worse than his Bach!

In fact the name of this file in my folder is the Beefenberg Concerto.

Thank you very much for listening and for your comments.

Indeed our local orchestras will slip a 5 minute work in a programme for which there's some competition and an amount of nepotism but we get by. The performances aren't always ideal. I've wondered about this one adapted for a more usual instrument and leaving the cadenza to the player or running one up specially.

Cheers,

Dane.

Tillerich said:

Yes, I thought, there has a hint of Bach somewhere (Brandenburg Concerto, right?).

I am a big fan of references, because, in the end, there is really little completely "new" or "unique" stuff out there - so, it's good to acknowledge that by bowing to the old Masters...I find the style actually very "British" and not so much American (if you were thinking of Leroy Anderson).

This really could be a good "encore" piece for a local (amateur) orchestra,for the summer season, and part of me thinks sometimes, that there should be an official obligation for such orchestras to play one piece of an "unknown" composer as an extra at each performance, just for the experience of everyone (the composer, the musicians, the conductor and the audience), for practically no cost, but just benefits. But hey...

Ingo, good morning!

Many thanks for listening and your most generous comments. Always much appreciated.

I mentioned Leroy Anderson as the site has a few American members and the name would probably be more familiar than, say, Anthony Collins or Ronald Binge. I wouldn't have dared mention Eric Coates whose excellence at orchestration leaves me well in the shadows. Another American who came to mind was Don Gillis of "Symphony 5 1/2" fame, a lovely piece of derision and rather clever (although he could write perfectly good serious symphonies of course).

I suppose for self-expression I like the freedom those "darker" works offer though they take far more effort than a small, light number like this - the orchestration of near-atonal things takes miles more care to get the sound and balance right without resorting to cheating. I rarely get past a few bars without an island of tonality besides.

So then, tired and fed up I turn to something lighter just to clear the slate. I've posted a couple here before - in fact that competition entry a couple years back was fairly light.

I'll be posting a procedure to use the humanise feature later today if you're interested. It does make the VI player one of the most powerful in the market at the moment as far as I can see because of its randomising effect. Maybe I'm wrong and ready to stand corrected.

So once again, thank you. You're most encouraging.

Dane.

Ingo Lee said:

Yes this is quite a change from your darker and denser works, I had to double check the thread label :)  Just kidding, I know you have a great range of style and skill and this is very well done and enjoyable to listen to.  It should dispel any doubts that your more adventurous works are done by choice and not lack of compositional skill.

I had trouble putting my finger on the style, I'm not familiar with Leroy Anderson and I didn't really get a Brandenburg feel, although Mr Bach is almost everywhere if we look hard enough. This piece is certainly tonal and there's certainly a romantic influence (light as you say). I'd almost say '50's pop but they weren't doing concertos with trills. Well done by any name!

The intonation factor is interesting. I wouldn't have noticed it without you mentioning it so I'd say it is natural and works well. Of course my hearing is bad and I've been around a lot of novice horn players so there's that. And I think intonation and rhythm are flexible and subjective anyway.  The only thing I'd change here would be the reverb level and I'm pretty much in left field on that issue too so disregard that comment!


Many thanks for listening, Gav, and your comments.

I think I mentioned before that I learned much of my harmony in practice from Gershwin so no surprise if some of the cadences come with his influence. As I mentioned to Ingo, pieces like this are more about clearing the slate. It's easy to get too involved in the more extended, less-tonal works and needing a break or they all get to sound too similar which leads to a block. They take a lot of work.

Others have had things to say about the cadenza so maybe the patch around that needs rethinking. I'll leave it for a few weeks (usual practice for me) so I can approach it afresh. In my file it's called the Beefenberg Concerto, after Bach's No.2 in F. Probably had him turning in his grave!

Again, thank you,

Dane


Gav Brown said:

Hi Dane,

A light-hearted romp! I thought I heard echoes of Copland, Gershwin, and American southwestern at times. If this was just an exercise to keep a foot in tonality, then no suggestions, it is well done. As a standalone piece, I would have one suggestion: the solo section I don't think works as a solo - all the forward motion of the piece halts when the solo begins. If it is of interest to you to keep it, I would suggest a smaller solo section at the end in a coda would have felt more appropriate (to these ears at least). Thanks for sharing!

Gav

Hi, Timothy,

You are most generous with your comments and thank you for listening. Writing it was restful. I bought the piccolo trumpet from VSL as they still have a good discount on VI single instruments because I wanted a higher trumpet for ordinary orchestral use so thought to try it out with this. No regrets about that!

I begin to worry that people might think my 'usual' stuff is just thrown together (like I'm sure much contemporary classical music is) but actually it's quite sapping and does take work and a half. I also reckon it's necessary to keep in touch with those musical niceties like keys and standard rhythms hence a break like this has been welcome.

Again, thanks.
Timothy Smith said:

Hi Dane,

This was delightful simply put. I thought the solo was a bit longer than expected, at least to me. Not anything that would break this.

Cheers to a pleasant work! I am also seeing more and more that you compose atonal by choice.Probably because it interests you.You are an excellent composer all round'.

Hi Dane,

I thoroughly enjoyed this little piece! Yes, very much the kind of thing that Arthur Fiedler used to perform with the Boston Pops, nicely worked out - and, i might add - and wonderfully scored! Your usual skill at orchestration is very much in evidence here. The cadenza was fun too, and seems to contain a quotation from something I can't quite place... I'll have to go back and listen again to see if I can put a finger on it. What I'd really love to hear is what a live player would make of that cadenza, as it sounded slightly mechanical in this rendering.

That's the tiniest of nits though... overall, VERY well done! Congrats.

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