A piece recently finished in draft, fairly modern as I return to my Lutyens-esque mode. The Soprano part is wordless.

It's iin keeping with my aim of 6 minutes. I doubt it'll ever be performed live but I'll be submitting the score to the BBC. The chance of them doing it is slightly less than me swimming the Pacific Ocean...but one never knows.

If you have 6 minutes to spare, can cope with modern works, please give it a listen - and comments of all hues are always greatly appreciated as it could do with some tarting up here and there. 

Thank you.

01 - Music for Soprano and Orchestra - 2022 VDRA.pdf


Cantata XI V2 180622 128.mp3

(Sorry about the low quality mp3. Still seems to be reasonable though. I'm less happy about what Soundcloud would do with it but if anyone would prefer that, please just say.


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      • Crikey!

        Sheesh....here's me thinking I'd fully vetted that score; thinking I know it like the back of my hand - and I let THAT slip through. Those very low notes are key switches...none of the clarinettist's business! 

        I'll put that right and resubmit the score!

        Thank you indeed for spotting that. If I had sent the score round I'd be branded a charlatan on the very first stroke! 


        • keywitches was indeed the obvious explanation -- if you're using VSL (well SE at any rate) then the clarinet uses them from C2 unless you set them differently. I would hope that those seeing a score would not brand you as a charlatan and would assume there was an innocent explanation. After all, I've done the same myself (though rarely in Dorico where it can really only come about with errors in the Expression Map)

          Incidentally, I also find VW's Sea Symphony deadly dull.


    • Hi Ingo,

      Ha! I bet he didn't swim all that distcance in one go. One needs to eat and sleep! I doubt I'd do more than a length of the pool without being knackered!

      Thank you for listening to this piece and your kind and encouraging comments. In a way, aside from the bombastic outburst I found the soprano 'leading', the orchestra being more of an accompaniment.fitting in with what she was doing.than in earlier pieces. Pleasing that you noticed that !

      Elisabeth Lutyens was a bit outspoken. She lived an interesting life and was one of very few modernist/avant gard-ist women composers of the UK. She'd use whatever techniques she felt fit in her work - could work tonally (she wrote a lot of film music) could apply serialism (but not necessarily 12-tone), anything really. I sometimes think she was my best teacher (in spirit) and I have to steer WELL clear of her music when writing these symbolist pieces.

      Cow pat musi?. Don't tell Mahler that cow pats are musical instruments. He'd write another symphony to use them.... :D. 

  • There. Score changed in case the clarinettist tries to play the keyswitches!

    Sorry about the filing of my replies. They're all over the place, not in chronological order like they once were. 


  • There's something wrong with the reply counter on this site. It reports 6 replies (as I write) wherease this will be the 15th.

    • there is something wrong with the reply counter in general at the moment if you look at other threads -- many have an incorrect tally.


  • Dane, I have a great time listening to your music. I have liked all your works that I have heard in this forum and, besides, a lot (by the way, I know you don't like SoundCloud, but one advantage it has is that all the works are grouped and ordered, making it much easier for them to be reviewed by a more or less clueless listener, as would be my case). And this recent work is no less. For me it is very good work. Its title represents very well what it is, a small concerto for soprano and orchestra. The protagonist of the piece is the voice that plays the most important role in the musical discourse and dominates the dialogue that is established with the different orchestral timbres, which make up a large color palette. It begins with orchestral force followed immediately by an explicit question-answer between the voice and the orchestra and, from then on, the give and take between these two musical poles that undulate and undulate again and again where the flow of time seems to stop and a kind of emotional enchantment is entered, and so on until the end of the work, which is produced with smoothness. . .

    I must clarify that, although it is not the style that I practice, I have a certain weakness for impressionist music. I have the feeling that it is the music that is at its right point (neither too raw nor too elaborate). A phrase used by Gavin Brown in his commentary sums it up well: “The music seems to be somewhere in the middle of the tonal vs. atonal worlds”; I think that Gavin is correct in the list of observations that he has written and is a good approximation to the characteristics of impressionist music, but what for him supposes a list of limitations that make it difficult to understand the musical work, for me are the characteristics that precisely give it its greatness and its value, which allows it to express ideas in a somewhat insinuated way, what it is said that spots are seen up close and an interesting figure is created from a distance. . . We are faced with a dilemma of aesthetics, impressionist music (which perhaps could already be considered, to a certain extent, ancient since it has been in existence for more than a century) was the first attempt to overcome the characteristic aesthetics of romanticist styles (focused on the «I», the unconscious, the dark, the unintelligible) and also the previous characteristically classicist aesthetics (focused on the «us», the everyday, clarity, the intelligible) and then proposes the aesthetics of sensation, of the sensual, of the senses. . .I don't want to go overboard in theorizing trifles or create any kind of controversy, but it has come out like this, almost unintentionally.

    In short, I love impressionist music and I love your work, which has a great compositional level (and also performance production with your excellent command of the DAW).

    I've also listened to The Hope of Summer. . . It's a little wonder of descriptive music with exquisite timbre colors. . .

    • Hi Ramon,

      Apologies for the late acknowledgement.

      Thank you indeed for your comments. Much appreciated. You have been very kind to me. In fact I just compose naturally. I hear things in my mind and try to catch them on paper - rarely successfully. (Notation software with its bar lines and strict note-duration values is a little like a prison to me.) Sometimes I draw something (I'm no artist but the aim is to catch the sensation rather than graphic competence), and I'm inspired by Mallarmé (as Debuusy was, but more by Mallarmé's later work) or the mood of something that grabs me. 

      It never works out quite like the original inspiration though. I'm not competent to get everything as it should be but I try! It's gratifying enough that you can make some sort of sense of this piece. 

      I had pondered a concerto for voice and orchestra and I suppose it's always possible. It's a medium I'm moderately comfortable with. Perhaps...perhaps....

      I'll take your tip and put my pieces on soundcloud in future. I worry about soundcloud. I put up an attempt at playing a piece of Liszt and it accused me of uploading some Ashkenazy! Complete nonsense as the duration difference for a start was half a minute longer. I should have been flattered but I was annoyed!

      Anyway, thanks again.

      All the best, Dane.


      • my main problem with Soundcloud, apart from the reduced audio quality, is the spam which came on both occasions I tried this site. Doesn't make me feel very secure.


  •  I enjoyed listening to thie piece. I somewhat see the form as a conversation between the soprano and the orchestra. I wonder if the soprano would have words in it, would that be possible, given the melody structure?

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