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Greetings fellow composers. I've been away for about 2 months, my longest hiatus in 5 years. Back to the opera Moses. Scene I was Moses being drawn from the Nile by the daughter of Pharaoh. Logically, Scene II would be Moses killing the Egyptian slave master, but I skipped it and went to the burning bush. (If everything in Exodus is included this opera could be 4 hours long.)

This piece contains chromatic scales by the woodwinds. Initially I tried to harmonize the chords to the scales which rendered a eerie/strange feeling so I went with the chords of D min. and ignored the dissonances caused by the scales. The first beat of the scales begins on the tonic or dominant. In 6/8 time there are 12 sixteenths per measure which is the number of notes in the chromatic scale.

If you enlarge the pdf, you can read the lyrics in the score. All criticism is welcome of the music and/or lyrics. Thanks.

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Hi Lawrence, this was really cool! Somehow you captured the scene very well. I could see Moses in a colorful robe approaching the burning bush, with an extremely puzzled look on his face. Perhaps shaking his head, thinking "What is it this time? Doesn't he ever get tired of these tricks?"

You have improved your sound since I last heard it, which was a few years ago, since I was away so long (I was abducted by the same guys that got Ezekiel). Did you change your software? I am noticing that the sound in general has improved over here, which is very intriguing to me, as I know most of you use notation, where I use a DAW. I'll have to check out notation more closely.

Hi Lawrence,

I have tried to imagine this in my mind's ear being played/sung by live musicians and still think maybe it's all a bit samey and a touch too ethereal. I really want to enjoy it but there are too many distractions - where are the changes in mood - where's the drama upon seeing a bush burst into flames in front of your eyes - where are/is the climax(es)? 

What did you use to compose this - is it notation software? The trombones sound a bit like somnambulant honey bees. Why do you have the violas playing throughout in the bass clef?

You start in d and end with the chords of Ab major (first inversion) and C major - it's sort of intriguing but I'm not fully convinced that it works.

I hate nit picking like this as I'm sure you have spent much precious time composing it and the last thing I want to do is discourage you. I think you have some good raw material here - the chromaticisms do work. These comments are clearly based only on the music - I haven't looked at the words. Overall this is a laudable effort and the material is well worth developing and refining into something entertaining......also of course I realise this is just a part  of your opera and it may contrast brilliantly with what precedes and follows on from it. Perhaps when I hear the whole thing it will all slot into place and I'll have to eat my criticisms...I do hope so.

Saul,

     I am not trying to do an opera version of De Mille's epic, which is three hours of shock, awe, and reverence, IMHO over wrought.  Moses first reaction to the burning bush is curiosity so if the actor wants to ham it up he can look in the sky, under a rock, ask someone in the audience.  When he takes off his shoes his motivation is fear.  So he might stumble, hop on one foot and maybe get a laugh.  My goal is first to tell a story and second to entertain.  In the end the message of the scene is joyous and uplifting....God will save his people, save the shock, awe, and reverence for the big miracles like parting of the Red Sea.

     I'll probably get more of this criticism since I am intentionally trying to add humor.  Your input made me think of the motivation for this scene and I will probably add some more stage direction for the actor.  Thanks.

    

Saul Dzorelashvili said:

Hi,

The section where Moses takes off his shoes supposed to be more dramatic/serious the chromatic section there has an uplifting and joyous feeling, rather then serious and owe inspiring. I grant you, its not easy to translate a physical act into music, but in that instance, it does not work. Other sections are very nice, I like the middle eastern feel you gave some of those phrases. I would give it another listen.

Regards,

Saul

Michael,

     Long time no see, two years, wow.  

    This is the first time Moses witnesses a miracle so his reaction is one of curiosity and fear.

     Maybe my sound has improved because I am finally learning to use the mixer, but more likely because Finale has improved their Aria player.  This is about their fourth version.  I continue to use Print Music because it is less cumbersome than Finale and still have the same Garritan Personal Orchestra for sound samples.

     Welcome back.  I always read your positive and insightful comments.

    


 
michael diemer said:

Hi Lawrence, this was really cool! Somehow you captured the scene very well. I could see Moses in a colorful robe approaching the burning bush, with an extremely puzzled look on his face. Perhaps shaking his head, thinking "What is it this time? Doesn't he ever get tired of these tricks?"

You have improved your sound since I last heard it, which was a few years ago, since I was away so long (I was abducted by the same guys that got Ezekiel). Did you change your software? I am noticing that the sound in general has improved over here, which is very intriguing to me, as I know most of you use notation, where I use a DAW. I'll have to check out notation more closely.

Stephen,

     The semi-climax is at the end.  I don't see this scene as a big moment in the opera.  It is a set up for what is to follow.  Actually this is the first half of scene 2 because now I have to deal with Moses's objections/excuses as to why he can't do the job. 

     The sound is as good as Finale gets.  Oops I did forget to change the violas to alto clef.  Thanks for the heads up.  I always compose them in bass clef.  My key signatures are rather fluid.  Maybe I change keys to frequently but it works for me.  I'm looking to tell this story in two hours, but it make take three or four (hope not).
 
Stephen Lines said:

Hi Lawrence,

I have tried to imagine this in my mind's ear being played/sung by live musicians and still think maybe it's all a bit samey and a touch too ethereal. I really want to enjoy it but there are too many distractions - where are the changes in mood - where's the drama upon seeing a bush burst into flames in front of your eyes - where are/is the climax(es)? 

What did you use to compose this - is it notation software? The trombones sound a bit like somnambulant honey bees. Why do you have the violas playing throughout in the bass clef?

You start in d and end with the chords of Ab major (first inversion) and C major - it's sort of intriguing but I'm not fully convinced that it works.

I hate nit picking like this as I'm sure you have spent much precious time composing it and the last thing I want to do is discourage you. I think you have some good raw material here - the chromaticisms do work. These comments are clearly based only on the music - I haven't looked at the words. Overall this is a laudable effort and the material is well worth developing and refining into something entertaining......also of course I realise this is just a part  of your opera and it may contrast brilliantly with what precedes and follows on from it. Perhaps when I hear the whole thing it will all slot into place and I'll have to eat my criticisms...I do hope so.

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