Music for Orchestra 5

An impressionist piece.

This is my 4th attempt to catch a particular atmosphere. I feel I'm getting near it now so this'll probably be the last.

Written about a month ago and reviewed last week.

I have one more piece to write for this set which I'll start on in the coming months

Unfortunately the score is cumbersome because I divide the string orchestra into 7 as each part generally plays a different line.

May I thank you in advance if you give it a hearing - and comment is always appreciated, good or bad. My own thoughts are that

I may have been a bit heavy on the brass for "tranquillo, languido". It's generally quiet but with a couple of outbursts.


MusOrch5 -hmnsd200521 160.mp3


You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –


    • Hey, Ali,

      Many thanks indeed for your generous comments and listening through - and glad it was easy on the ear. 

      It is through-composed but a simple motif pervades the piece as you spotted. I kind-of developed a few ideas about blending atonal with chromatic to make it work(so I hoped);  so it wouldn't be rejected outright as atonal.

      I can't hide the fact that it's fairly close to CPP with chrmoatic alterations that ensure that tonal centres are dwelled on only briefly. To me, there's a relationship between consonance, dissonant notes, ttimbre, vertical space and the mood/effect one's trying to get. But I think if it does make sense that's because the profile of phrases is fairly conventional. You've once again spotted some of the devices I use to ensure continuity and cohesion.

      Is this the 'post-modern' emerging: a chromatic impresionist 'style' that draws in convention if it seems right?  Thankfully I'm not the one to judge!

      Thank you again for your penetrating insights and comments. Always appreciated.



    • This reply was deleted.
      • Michael,

        Thank you for these generous comments and listening. You're kind indeed to listen to it again or ponder it to form several impressions. I recently finished the 4th movement and on review felt it more piecemeal than this movement even though a couple of motifs thread throughout. I'll post it eventually but am ready to scrap it.

        As for midi mixing I'm glad it comes over adequate. I do the adjustment through the velocities once I've set a track slider to what seems like an 'mf'; kind of pretending I'm facing an orchestra.

        Again thanks.

        It was difficult to find your reply! This evolution of the site doesn't post replies in strict chronological sequnce like it used to but attaches them to a specific poster.  

  • Hi Dane. I enjoyed this a lot. Mysterious, lush.  Colorful orchestration. Beautifully strange - definitely evokes a certain atmosphere.  

    .... What was that story about playing in B or Db? 

    Thanks for posting.

    • Thank you indeed for listening and your most encouraging comments, gregorio. As I said, I'd tried to evoke a certain atmosphere before, the ephemeral quality of evening, and made several messes. So I'm pleased this one seems to work. Thank you.

      As for the Dflat B thing. I'll keep it short. My first piano was old. It had gone out of tune so I persuaded the tuner to stablilise it half a tone flat. As I did sessions with a clarinetist and singer who'd pop round to rehearse this or that, I had to play in B so the clarinnetist could play in C (sounding Bflat), likewise others for which I had to transpose up half a tone. And when I was playing along to learn "lounge" style numbers. Now I just find it easier to play in extreme sharp and flat keys.

      Less mistakes when you mainly aim for the black notes!


  • Hi Dane,

    very innovative and exciting as usual from you. Somewhar cinematic this time I think with lots of emotionally engaged events. Couldn't figure out the direction but it will certainly appear at a second listen.

    Thanks for a pleasant listening.


    • Hello, Kjell,

      Many thanks for listning and your generous comments. It's the close of a suite of 5 pieces loosely dealing with seasons and times of day. I'm pleased that it seems to have worked - episodic, amorphous but with a motif that vaguely joins the bits throughout. 

      I'm unsure about the ending, though. That may need revision to bring the collection to a more restful close. Tha final chord is more of a question mark than a full-stop.

      Again, thank you. Most appreciated.


  •  Hi Dane,

    I must admint my knowledge isn't wide enough to fully understand you pieces but, as usual, I'm pretty impressed but all the timbres everyone can run into while listening to your music.

    Everything sounds proper and fits each passage, as though the orchestration was born way before the music itself. Maybe it's just me but I find this sort of feeling pretty exciting.

    I'm usually not much into this kind of music but yours sounds perfectly to me, each single time I listen to it. Thank you for keep posting it!



  • Dane - thanks for that story of the out of tune piano - and its fallout. And your preference for certain key sigs. when playing the piano. I love the 'make it work' mentality:)

    It reminds me of how Irving Berlin had a lever specially installed on his piano to move the hammers horizonally, so he could transpose the key signature while still playing in 'C' :)

  •  Hi Dane

    Here's my impression of your impression! Taken on its own, if you view it as almost 6 minutes of music from an unknown timeline then you can't fault it - it has grabbed my attention and got me listening. What came before it and what comes after it is the question I'm asking, Are you intending to develop it into a larger, more adventurous work?

    It isn't particularly melodic (IMHO) so how would you sustain it for a further 10 minutes or so, would it be more melodic than it currently is? Or am I missing the point of impressionism?

    Thanks, Colin

    • Hello Colin,

      Many thanks for listening and your most useful considerations - much appreciated. It's the last movement planned in a suite of 5 pieces that originally had subtitles, this one: "evening". It's ephemeral. There's rarely melody in my things, through composed anyway, but they rely on developing motifs. If I CAN get away with it it's because I aim for durations under 6 minutes. Perhaps I can't! In context of the whole suite it's probably a poor conclusion structurally. 

      I'll give it some time now then come to revisit the whole thing.

      Many thanks for your interest.

      All te best,


This reply was deleted.