Orchestral piece 1

So... Orchestral piece 1

What an original title, isn't it? If you have better ideas for it say me... I don't have any!

I would say that this piece is my first orchestral piece. In fact, not really, I should say the second, but it's the first time the orchestration is more or less realistic. BUT... I am mostly self-taught and I think there are many things to improve (the chord at 2:30 which sounds horrible, but not only). Please tell me if you think that things are unplayable or that the balance between instruments is weird etc... This is still WIP.

The audio (made with EWQLSO) is bad because I had not the ardour to do something better and because it misses many articulations.

Thanks for you reviews!

RUSSIA.mp3

Orchestral Work 1.pdf

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  • I agree with Bob totally. Also, good orchestration as well, and nice sound, but something would benefit you to look at, as Bob has pointed out above. and i don't like this, no, i love this. Nice job. I am definitely adding this to my iTunes library.

    BTW, beautiful publication! "Bernard Duc Edition"-I love it!

  • I wrote Russia because when I composed it I thought at some big and "brutal" landscape somewhere in russian steppe, but  I don't know if this is really a good title... For the clarinet that make FF in the low range (during the ostinato?) it's normal. It plays some notes to allow the bass clarinet to breath. In fact the clarinet can be quite loud in this register (the chalumeau register).

    I made the score in Finale and then I exported the XML in Notion and rendered one instrument after the other. Finally I put them all together in Reaper with some EQ and some reverb. Normally if you use a DAW you shouldn't have less dynamic. The problem is that many people think they have to put a lot of compression to make it sounds good...
    Bob Porter said:

    Sounds very Russian to me, as you have titled it.It also sounds just fine, including the chord in question. As for playable? Well there are places like the spots where you have the clarinets playing FF in their lowest range. This might be better done by the bass cl or trombone. Thank you for putting some texture and dynamics in. Can I assume this is done in a DAW? If so, so many of folks who use them put in little or no dynamics and sound the same all the way through.

    I like it. Quit making excuses and make music.

    Orchestral piece 1
    So... Orchestral piece 1 What an original title, isn't it? If you have better ideas for it say me... I don't have any! I would say that this piece i…
  • Thank you! I think that the "Bernard Duc Editions" is here only to balance the design of the front page :D

    Quinn Mason said:

    I agree with Bob totally. Also, good orchestration as well, and nice sound, but something would benefit you to look at, as Bob has pointed out above. and i don't like this, no, i love this. Nice job. I am definitely adding this to my iTunes library.

    BTW, beautiful publication! "Bernard Duc Edition"-I love it!

    Orchestral piece 1
    So... Orchestral piece 1 What an original title, isn't it? If you have better ideas for it say me... I don't have any! I would say that this piece i…
  • Thanks Raymond! I know most of these tricks, but my main problem was the time. It's for a scholarship and I have to send it tomorrow. As the mockup is not that important for the scholarship (score is much more important) I've exported XML from Finale into Notion and I rendered each track separately  and finally I used some EQ in Reaper (all tracks have hi/low pass). But when I have more time (hopefully in February or in March) I will do a better mockup.

  • I think this might work better as a piece for  Pipe Organ, it kind of has that feel to it.

  • This sounds more like a compendium of orchestral "effects" (and "Russian" movie-music cliches) than an actual musical composition, Bernard. You restlessly move from one idea to another and one key to another without taking the trouble to properly state or develop any of your ideas. Some of the effects are quite nice, however, and you have obviously taken a lot of time and effort to put together a score that actually looks something like a "proper" score should look. If I were evaluating this for an undergraduate scholarship from a relative beginner I would be impressed enough to take it seriously as a contender, because it represents a considerable amount of sincere effort and shows some talent for sure.

    Now for some details, and of course these represent my own taste, not necessarily yours, so it's not a matter of right and wrong, but just a chance to toss out some ideas that might make sense to you. I would begin with the clarinets alone. To me, the violas don't add anything essential and get in the way. It would be more effective, I think, to have them wait, and come in on measure 4, to add some body to the clarinet parts.

    The f# in the horn and celli in measure 2 is a nice, subtle touch. Good! However I think it would be more effective if kept solely in the horn, which in my opinion, sets off the clarinets more distinctly than the celli. (By the way, I'm wondering why this isn't given to the first horn -- also you fail to indicate whether this is to be played by horn 3 or horn 4.) When this same note is repeated in meas. 5, however, it is much less effective and sounds to me like a distraction, mainly because the note isn't given enough time to make it's point but is just sort of stuck in. In any case, I would advise you to do more with the material in the first 6 (or 9) measures before moving on to the next section. You could repeat these measures with different instruments, or transpose them, or develop them into a full blown melody, but they definitely deserve more of a chance to realize their potential.

    In meas. 7 you again combine horns and strings. Of course we hear such a combination often in the classical literature, but in this case you are obviously trying to invoke a sense of barren starkness, which is softened, to my mind, by the celli, especially divisi celli, which is a subtle touch that seems out of place here. I think these chords would be more effective if played solely by the horns.

    I'm puzzled at your choice of the English Horn for the following solo, which would, imo, be far more suited to the oboe. It's in an awkwardly high range for this instrument and I'm wondering why you chose it.

    The next two measures present several problems. For one thing, you change key too soon, and your new key signature is misleading since you immediately cancel the c flat with a natural and also add a c#, which fits awkwardly into a signature of 6 flats. Also, you overlay different subtle effects with one another, which causes them to cancel one another out. The divisi violas, flutes, harp and vibraphone all vie with one another for our attention. I would, again, get rid of the violas and also the flutes, and concentrate solely on the harp and vibraphone, which make a very effective sound together. I think also you need to expand this section in order to give each of the elements a chance to "speak" and properly make its point.

    In the 3rd, 4th and 5th measures after B, once again you combine parts in such a way that they tend to distract from one another, and the whole thing goes by too quickly. The flute part at the top would be more effective played completely solo, with the violin parts worked in later, as part of a general expansion of this section, which imo is badly needed. But you move on very restlessly and a few measures later are already in yet another key. The key change at D is effective, however, and the next section works quite well, with many nice orchestral touches. The next key change works very naturally as an intensification, so I have no problem with that. In fact the music from D on is the most effective of the entire piece, with one part building very naturally from the other, and ideas tossed back and forth in the manner of a symphonic development. But it ends too abruptly and the transition back to the slower material is a disappointment.

    There are many things in this piece I find impressive, but you definitely could use the guidance of an experienced composer, so I hope you get your scholarship and find the right teacher. Good luck.

  • Thanks for your comment, I understand what you mean by a "Pipe Organ" feel. Maybe I will do once an organ version...

    michael diemer said:

    I think this might work better as a piece for  Pipe Organ, it kind of has that feel to it.

    Orchestral piece 1
    So... Orchestral piece 1 What an original title, isn't it? If you have better ideas for it say me... I don't have any! I would say that this piece i…
  • Thanks for your detailed comment! That's really music dissection! I will try to answer to each point.

    "This sounds more like a compendium of orchestral "effects."

    Last week I looked at the score and though that the structure was actually pretty bad. I think it lacks some details to give a sense of unity. After my exams I will do a new version, not much different but, I hope, with a better structure. I already know which changes I will do, I just need time to write it! And the "Russian-like" feel was really not voluntary. I know that the mp3 is called "Russia" but that was a observation I've done when the piece was "finished"... It sounded "Russian" (not like actual Russian music).

    "I would begin with the clarinets alone."

    I used the violas because I wanted, on each beat, a franker attack than just with the clarinets. They sound awfully bad in the mockup but I think that this is the only way to achieve the sound I want.

    "The f# in the horn and celli in measure 2 is a nice, subtle touch. Good! However I think it would be more effective if kept solely in the horn, which in my opinion, sets off the clarinets more distinctly than the celli. (By the way, I'm wondering why this isn't given to the first horn -- also you fail to indicate whether this is to be played by horn 3 or horn 4.) When this same note is repeated in meas. 5, however, it is much less effective and sounds to me like a distraction, mainly because the note isn't given enough time to make it's point but is just sort of stuck in."

    The purpose of the 3 cellos was to add a color to the horn note so that it blends more with the other strings while keeping his own sound. You're right, the first horn should play this.I really want the note to be played again in meas. 5. It adds an harmonic color that is voluntary, but maybe I should change the orchestration the second time (maybe remove these cellos) and add a "meno forte" to make it more subtle.

    "I would advise you to do more with the material in the first 6 (or 9) measures before moving on to the next section. You could repeat these measures with different instruments, or transpose them, or develop them into a full blown melody, but they definitely deserve more of a chance to realize their potential."

    I don't know if measures 1-7 need more development but I will definitively expand measures 7-9.

    "In meas. 7 you again combine horns and strings. Of course we hear such a combination often in the classical literature, but in this case you are obviously trying to invoke a sense of barren starkness, which is softened, to my mind, by the celli, especially divisi celli, which is a subtle touch that seems out of place here. I think these chords would be more effective if played solely by the horns."I don't want this part to be too much "arid" (but yes, there is some starkness in these chords). But you gave me a nice idea: maybe that measures 7 to 9 will be played only by the horns while measures 17-19 will be played by the horns and the cellos. But I think that, if cellos divisi alone sound subtle, when they blend with the horns they add a color and it doesn't sound that subtle.

    "I'm puzzled at your choice of the English Horn for the following solo, which would, imo, be far more suited to the oboe. It's in an awkwardly high range for this instrument and I'm wondering why you chose it."

    I think I will simply get rid of this solo. It seemed to be a nice idea but it doesn't really fit with the piece. When measures 7-9 will be expanded the transition will be much more natural with this solo. But it's playable without problem (but higher can become problematic), and I really wanted the english horn sound, not the oboe sound that is quite different.

    "The next two measures present several problems. For one thing, you change key too soon, and your new key signature is misleading since you immediately cancel the c flat with a natural and also add a c#, which fits awkwardly into a signature of 6 flats."

    You are right, I should change the key signature only at measure 17.

    "You overlay different subtle effects with one another, which causes them to cancel one another out. The divisi violas, flutes, harp and vibraphone all vie with one another for our attention. I would, again, get rid of the violas and also the flutes, and concentrate solely on the harp and vibraphone, which make a very effective sound together.

    Again I don't see the violas and the flute as and effect added (they play the same as the harp and the vibraphone) but as a color. They are also here to avoid a sudden gap in the orchestral texture.

    "I think also you need to expand this section in order to give each of the elements a chance to "speak" and properly make its point."

    Maybe, even if I don't know how... (but that's my problem!)

    "In the 3rd, 4th and 5th measures after B, once again you combine parts in such a way that they tend to distract from one another, and the whole thing goes by too quickly. The flute part at the top would be more effective played completely solo, with the violin parts worked in later, as part of a general expansion of this section, which imo is badly needed."

    The flute is double by the harp to make the link with the previous measure, but you're right, the whole thing goes by too quickly, and that's why section B don't seem needed (but I think it is actually needed).

    "The next key change works very naturally as an intensification, so I have no problem with that. In fact the music from D on is the most effective of the entire piece, with one part building very naturally from the other, and ideas tossed back and forth in the manner of a symphonic development. But it ends too abruptly and the transition back to the slower material is a disappointment."

    It ends abruptly and that was voluntary, but the transition is bad, I think I will find a solution...

    "There are many things in this piece I find impressive, but you definitely could use the guidance of an experienced composer, so I hope you get your scholarship and find the right teacher. Good luck."

    Thank you!


    Victor Grauer said:

    This sounds more like a compendium of orchestral "effects" (and "Russian" movie-music cliches) than an actual musical composition, Bernard. You restlessly move from one idea to another and one key to another without taking the trouble to properly state or develop any of your ideas. Some of the effects are quite nice, however, and you have obviously taken a lot of time and effort to put together a score that actually looks something like a "proper" score should look. If I were evaluating this for an undergraduate scholarship from a relative beginner I would be impressed enough to take it seriously as a contender, because it represents a considerable amount of sincere effort and shows some talent for sure.

    Now for some details, and of course these represent my own taste, not necessarily yours, so it's not a matter of right and wrong, but just a chance to toss out some ideas that might make sense to you. I would begin with the clarinets alone. To me, the violas don't add anything essential and get in the way. It would be more effective, I think, to have them wait, and come in on measure 4, to add some body to the clarinet parts.

    The f# in the horn and celli in measure 2 is a nice, subtle touch. Good! However I think it would be more effective if kept solely in the horn, which in my opinion, sets off the clarinets more distinctly than the celli. (By the way, I'm wondering why this isn't given to the first horn -- also you fail to indicate whether this is to be played by horn 3 or horn 4.) When this same note is repeated in meas. 5, however, it is much less effective and sounds to me like a distraction, mainly because the note isn't given enough time to make it's point but is just sort of stuck in. In any case, I would advise you to do more with the material in the first 6 (or 9) measures before moving on to the next section. You could repeat these measures with different instruments, or transpose them, or develop them into a full blown melody, but they definitely deserve more of a chance to realize their potential.

    In meas. 7 you again combine horns and strings. Of course we hear such a combination often in the classical literature, but in this case you are obviously trying to invoke a sense of barren starkness, which is softened, to my mind, by the celli, especially divisi celli, which is a subtle touch that seems out of place here. I think these chords would be more effective if played solely by the horns.

    I'm puzzled at your choice of the English Horn for the following solo, which would, imo, be far more suited to the oboe. It's in an awkwardly high range for this instrument and I'm wondering why you chose it.

    The next two measures present several problems. For one thing, you change key too soon, and your new key signature is misleading since you immediately cancel the c flat with a natural and also add a c#, which fits awkwardly into a signature of 6 flats. Also, you overlay different subtle effects with one another, which causes them to cancel one another out. The divisi violas, flutes, harp and vibraphone all vie with one another for our attention. I would, again, get rid of the violas and also the flutes, and concentrate solely on the harp and vibraphone, which make a very effective sound together. I think also you need to expand this section in order to give each of the elements a chance to "speak" and properly make its point.

    In the 3rd, 4th and 5th measures after B, once again you combine parts in such a way that they tend to distract from one another, and the whole thing goes by too quickly. The flute part at the top would be more effective played completely solo, with the violin parts worked in later, as part of a general expansion of this section, which imo is badly needed. But you move on very restlessly and a few measures later are already in yet another key. The key change at D is effective, however, and the next section works quite well, with many nice orchestral touches. The next key change works very naturally as an intensification, so I have no problem with that. In fact the music from D on is the most effective of the entire piece, with one part building very naturally from the other, and ideas tossed back and forth in the manner of a symphonic development. But it ends too abruptly and the transition back to the slower material is a disappointment.

    There are many things in this piece I find impressive, but you definitely could use the guidance of an experienced composer, so I hope you get your scholarship and find the right teacher. Good luck.

    Orchestral piece 1
    So... Orchestral piece 1 What an original title, isn't it? If you have better ideas for it say me... I don't have any! I would say that this piece i…
  • Orchestral Work 1   v.2

    Hand manufactured in Reaper

    I've done a new version. There are some changes with the structure (I hope it's better now) and the orchestration. I've also taken much more time to do a proper mock-up. It's something quite new for me, and I need some advice (Raymond??). I've used mainly EWQLSO but the strings come from LASS (thanks to a friend!) and the flute (and a layer for the horns) from Spitfire Albion. All the tracks have EQ and each note is modulated with cc1 or cc11, I have also used some pitch modulation, particularly at the end of long note for the woodwinds/brass, and also to avoid the "machine gun" effect when the same note is repeated. I've used the close mics from EWQLSO and Albion (LASS is already recorded quite dry) and I placed the instruments on a "virtual stage" using different amounts of Early Reflections with different delays for each group. Finally I've added a long reverb on the whole track...

     

    So... I've done many things but I don't master many of them and that's why a need advice form other people.

    There score is still not polished, I will upload it when it will be finished.

    https://soundcloud.com/swiiscompos/orchestral-work-1-v2

  • Very impressive, Bernard, whether mostly self-taught or not. I hope the scholarship comes through. Please let us know!

This reply was deleted.