My second symphony

Hello everybody

It´s been a long time since I last posted anything here. Well, here is my latest work. It is way shorter than my first symphony (17 minutes against 52), especially because it only consists of one movement. After much thinking (I completed it in May), I accepted that I had nothing else to say, so one movement was enough.

Orchestra: strings (violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, double basses), 2 trombones, 2 Wagner tubas in B-flat, french horn, clarinet in B-flat, soprano solo, celesta, timpani.

Recorded with Sibelius | Ultimate, Noteperformer3.

As always, I thank everybody in advance for all their thoughts, commentaries, suggestions, etc, etc.

Enjoy your weekend

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  • A nice accomplishment.

    If you wish it to be called a symphony then symphony it is although it largely came across as an impressionist piece to me about wide open spaces.

    Just my views. It didn't seem to vary harmonically much nor tempo wise until about 9'50" when you lent it more energy but the pulse at 10'45" seemed unvarying in its harmony. At 12'15" it came alive with a burst of energy which I was expecting to continue to the end but at 12'54" it ramped down again and reverted to a recap of the opening mood. In a way, the energetic part was too short to balance in the work as a whole. Is it worth considering extending that section?

    The scoring worked fine, well balanced, not too elaborate which is fine in context.

    Congrats, then, a pleasant piece to listen to.

    Dane

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  • Impressive work, Valerio.

    Listening at it again after leaving comment on YT.

    I can hear echoes of the finest Italian orchestral tradition here.

    My only complaint — a matter of personal taste indeed — is for some of the ostinato passages. I can see how hard is not make them sounding “cinematic” in these days of ubiquitous pre-baked galloping low strings one-note patterns. There must be a way out from all this…

    An highly enjoyable, inspired (and inspiring) piece of music anyway.

  • Thank you all for the comments!

    In chronological order:

    Dane: Sorry for the late reply, I´m happy to read that you liked it. I thought it would work as a symphony - or its nutshell, at least - as it's structured (loosely) on sonata form. Hence the idea that it would stand as a symphony's first movement - not implying that sonata form has been needed in symphonies anymore in about 120 years. Regarding the choked climax, I see your point, and thank you for underlying it. On second thought, it does sound a bit unbalanced.

    Fabio: I am glad to hear you appreciate and find this piece inspiring. Indeed I do understand what you mean by cinematic. I try to make the most out of the "high" models I bathe in (in this case Bruckner, Mahler, Shostakovich and Yoshimatsu), but apparently I guess it's easier than one thoughts to end up exploiting stereotypical tools in composing from our everyday mainstream music exposure, movies included. Thank you again for your commentary.

  • I would start the symphony from 2:53.

    The string passages are too long for my taste, it is like saying a word for a long time, instead of communicating with phrases.

    As I'm listening well into the 7th minute I have heard nothing substantial or interesting, composers of old like Beethoven or Mozart would have finished the movement by now. I'm not comparing you to them, but just something to remember. You make it too long without saying much, and repeating the same long passages is not helpful.

    By that time, its either the long passages have to be so compelling that it would justify the long time, or if they are not compelling enough, music has to go on, articulating your musical statements in a timely manner.

    Yesterday I was composing a piece of music, but I figured that even though there are some passages there that I liked, the piece was too long, so I discarded it completely and begun composing a totally new work. Time is of the essence when it comes to music. 

    Regards,

    Saul

  • Me too regretting the days when “ostinato” meant Bruckner and Mahler, not cheap Hans Zimmer impersonators.

    (Disclaimer: HZ music is often terrific)

  • My impression is that in general you actually know what you're doing with this symphony. Certainly the careful choice of instrumentation does appear to be effective in creating the desired atmosphere and the work as a whole does have a certain logical progression. I wouldn't significantly extend the faster central section but I probably would build it up to a stronger climax to build more of a contrast to the coda (where the use of the voice is nicely done).

    My problem with the piece is simply the question if the melodic material is of high enough quality to sustain the substantial length and perhaps also if it is indeed too slow to start (though Saul's desire to scrap the first 2'52" goes too far in my view). The melody certainly becomes ever more beautiful from around 5'58" and the next three minutes or so is probably the finest section in the work. Harmonically it is OK but perhaps in this day and age, a more interesting chromaticism would be in order. I'm left with mixed feelings --it's not far from being a really nice piece.

    • Hei David, I'm glad to see some feedback on a long-ago posted work.

      I see how the first section and the pace may be redundant, and it was something I had to come to terms with, as the work had indeed to be long breathed. In the end, the work solely consists of two main themes, re-stated and reiterated and exploited over time in different ways.
      I may have been listening to a bit too much Bruckner at that time, as far as I recall. I specifically fell in love with his 7th symphony's second movement (23 minutes long) and my brain had consequently begun thinking in very large-paced terms.

      Thank you for listening

      • I don't think it's possible to listen to too much Bruckner! Indeed his 7th symphony was the direct catalyst for my own 8th (if curious you can access this through my Reelcrafter link to the 14th symphony for instance) and he's the most important influence on my symphonic output overall, though it varies from work to work. I don't actually think the span of the work is a problem here -- the way the material develops is more sophisticated than might seem at a casual glance. I've listened to this a couple of times now and I certainly find your output worthy of quite close attention -- perhaps because I'm basically sympathetic, I find it easier to pick up on things which might seem less optimal than in music I simply either don't understand or don't like.

        • Thank you very much David, your comment means a lot to me - especially as I have found a fellow Bruckner lover

           

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