Largo for Sting Quartet is one of the last things as an undergraduate. This is also my first successful string quartet. In Largo for Sting Quartet, I tackle an area of string music that has always given me trouble, double stops and harmonics. I also explore the idea more of being semi-atonal. Though the piece lacks a key signature, sections of the music elude to tonality if only briefly.
When listening to the piece it would be better to listen with the score as well. Their are effects that I have written in the score that I could not produce using my sequencing software such as sul tasto and port.
I would love to hear what you guys think about the composition and how it is notated, especially the double stops and harmonics.
I didn't finish the whole thing... atonal music is difficult to listen to... but that didn't stop me from liking what I did listen to.
I am not versed enough in critiques to give you an accurate translation of what I hear you could be doing differently... but Alas practice makes perfect if practiced perfectly... I will try:
The piece on a whole gives me th feeling of being wax and melted over a really hot fire, it's almost agonizing in fact, dissonant atonal music always gives interesting feelings, no?
attempt to put more thought into the placement of your notes and harmonies, Attempt to unify more solid constructs in your musical shapes (in terms of tonal concepts in atonal form) in contrast with more balanced atonal... dissonent forms... if that makes sense.
I could hear the life beneath it... but it felt like it was covered in dust... or melting wax : )
More practice, and more patients in finding what will "hit home" as it were. In my mind, the purpose of atonal music is not to smash away whatever emotion or thought -could- be possible, but to bring to life a new and invigorating perspective on things that could not be felt/thought otherwise. Thats not your fault though, the truth I think in atonal music in this age is we are still toddlers trying to drink out of a "grown up" cup... if you understand what I mean. There is very much to explore still before people start to get it right in this new age realm of thought.
a good piece though, I hope this critique made some sense haha
I reread my comment, sorry if it sounded harsh, didn't mean it to come across that way.
- okay just listened to the rest, really liked how you ended it, the last 1/8th really topped it off so to speak. I probably don't know enough about the actual notating and theoretical parts to be giving a proper critique, but what I notice through sense, and what I meant about being "waxy" is that the atonal parts sound heavy and lop sided, not that thats bad, you wrote an atonal piece and atonal music is naturally so, oddness characterized by what is meant by atonal I suppose. I better see the contrast between tonal and atonal, the shifts between the two are subtle.
The heavy or waxy feeling I've mentioned I think in listening to it now is caused by the midi strings, you've already made note there's more to it than the program could reproduce from your scoring. I would love to hear this live.
Lovely piece man, it has a really engaging mood and atmosphere. I really like how you have the confidence to use and develop those simple, striking motifs and your antiphonal/ imitative writing. The tonal conflict is nicely balanced and the added 6th chords give a nice lushness! I'm getting quite a bit of Bartok from this- who were you listening to when you wrote it?
good score! you need to write "ord" after a sul tasto marking though, otherwise the players will just play the whole thing sul tasto. its a nice effect, playing over the fingerboard, very warm sounding. yeah i can't handle your string sounds bro... sorry but you should download some decent string sounds... the SSO (sonatina symphonic orchestra) is excellent! i only just found it a week ago on these forums.....
any way, the piece is quite good. the score really gives away the secrets, not the audio file... i see you've spent a lot of time trying to get it perfect, and i think it would sound awesome on a real quartet. also, what program do you use to make your audio files? is it just a sibelius export? p.s. do you like Alfred schnittke? he's a great guy for dissonant string works. also schonberg's 5 pieces for orchestra.
Thank you for pointing out that I forgot to add "ord" in the score, I will get on that ASAP.
As far as samples, I use Garritan Personal Orchestra. It came with either my Finale or Sonar. As much as it would be nice to have better samples, I am reluctant for a few reasons. Being a concert composer, my focus is on notation then anything else. My end goal is a live performance or reading with real musicians, of whom will never hear the midi mock-up. I have found that more advance samples are either way to complicated to use and takes time from what I need to focus on and/or take up to much space on my computer and effect my notation software. So in the end, I would have to really really think about downloading any sample sounds since for me the end (a live performance) doesnt justify the meas.
As far as if I had heard Schnittke, I heard the name but havent heard his music yet. I have heard Schonberg's 5 pieces for Orchestra though.