•  Hi Ingo.

    This really captures the mood - the gentle and sometimes severe  pathos of the passacaglia. (The orginal meaning - 'street song'  - is something that doesn't describe the type of emotive character we've come to ascribe).

    I liked it very much! Especially how the stark (and bold) simplicity gradually becomes more adorned.

    I think it works great as a duet, but can also imagine further orchestration (gradually adding more instruments) - but that would probably risk the intimacy factor - that the duet provides so fully. 

    I just wanted to mention that at bar 112 (I think) that the flute is written as B natural on beat 1, but I think Im hearing middle C - (which I think may be a more interesting note, as the next note is a higher B natural, and makes it a resolution from the Gsus, from the leap of a 7th in the melody - which I find more dramatic than an octave leap).

    Wonderful! Thanks for posting!


  • I have to confess ignorance of this form, in spite of being quite familiar with famous examples such as the finale of Brahms' 4th.  I'm more used to thicker, filled-out harmonies, and the austerity of this piece was a little hard on my ears.  I also noticed some parallel 8ves between the flute and bass (e.g., mm.163-166) that bothered me for some reason.  Maybe I've been writing fugues a little too much, I've lost appreciation of simpler forms. :-/

    That aside, though, I listened to this a 2nd time w/o score -- and found that I could appreciate a little better that way for some strange reason. Maybe having no score forced me to turn off my analytical mind and listen more musically instead?  In any case, it brought up mental pictures of a dimly-lit, mostly empty room in the late afternoon or evening, where one is at rest but alone and contemplating the hardships of life.  If this is close to the kind of feeling you wanted to evoke, then you've succeeded. :-P

    As an afterthought, I wonder if a little more dynamic variation in the piano part might make it sound better?  Just a thought, I'm not sure.  The flute part seems beautifully rendered -- I was almost about to believe that it was recorded?  But other aspects of it seem to indicate that it's likely just a pretty good VST.

  • Hi

    I liked this a lot - to me it sounds like a renaissance piece and out of interest I would like to hear it with a harpsichord rather than a modern pianoforte.

    Thanks, CD

  • Gregorio-  Good catch on the score error; I'll have to fix that!  Thank you for the encouraging words.  I hadn't heard the 'street song' reference, that's interesting. To me it somehow fits the idea of a simple practical form that can be extended or abbreviated as needed.

    You're right about the orchestration I think. I was tempted to go further with this but my original idea was to have an arc of development in a short time space with limited materials so I felt I should keep it simple.  Thanks again, glad you are with us here.

    H.S. Teoh - Thank you for commenting here, as always you make some good points.  I'll have to listen to the Brahms, I haven't heard it.  As you say I could fill this piece out harmonically, probably with the left hand piano part but my original idea was to develop it from simple to dense and then back to simple using basic materials. I understand that the parallelisms stand out for some of us in a piece like this, I editied out some of them but they just don't bother my ear.

    Your image of an empty room is interesting. I don't usually get images from music, just feelings, but yes the idea is the same.

    You are exactly correct about the instrumentation. The flute is VSL which works pretty well but the piano is an East West Steinway which has a limited range of options and is too stiff to work well in this application. It's a long story but yes I need to do better with that.

    I'm surprised that you didn't comment for better or worse on the counterpoint in this, there is quite a bit. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts, you are very perceptive and knowledgeable, thanks again.

    Colin - Thanks for listening and the kind words. That's a great idea about the harpsichord, I hadn't thought of that. That would be a whole different blend, I might write this differently or at least be able to hear the parts better.  I'll have to check that out


  •  Yes, A most pleasant listen, Ingo. Like H.S.Tech I'm not familiar with the form but looking through your score informs me of the pattern. It develops rather well and gets pretty complicated before the final slow down at the end.

    I notice in bar 112, you're asking for the flautist to fit a B-natural or B-flat foot. Nice one! (A member of the town orchestra told me he encountered that but didn't have the extended foot so rolled up a tube of paper to fit which meant he had to withdraw it quick-like to get the low C later on!

    The piano part gets complicated at bar 121. It's going to need some thought on the fingering to play the following bars legato particularly after bar 137. Interesting.

    So a very nice piece and a pleasant departure for me into the world of tonality!



  • Being an incompetent pianist, like Dane I'm also not sure how possible it is to play the left hand from bar 137 smoothly. In that bar I had expected an Ab in the flute instead of an A natural - I'd have likely written the same as I like the clash but this work for the most part seems to follow fairly traditional harmonic paths so it seemed slightly out of place. A pleasant listen, certainly, and true to the spirit and letter of the passacaglia if not exactly pushing the originality envelope.

  • Dane -  Yes thank you for the encouragement and the help with bar 112, Gregorio pointed that issue out also.  Perhaps I could borrow your flute-playing friend or at least his paper roll to record this? Maybe he has a rubber fingered piano playing friend as well?  Or perhaps I should just police my scores a little better. In my triadic garden writing a playable part shouldn't be an issue certainly.

    Thank you for the kind words and visiting me here in a tonal place :)

    David - Thank you for the kind words and pointing out the piano issues, they should be easy to fix in the unlikely case that someone should want to record this; at least I'll be advised before being embarrassed :)  Pushing the originality envelope is a tricky business that I am fond of attempting but yes I am staying close to home here. Working within boundaries occasionally is good for me I think since I tend to wander otherwise.

    Thanks for commenting!

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