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These are two short choral pieces composed a couple of years ago for the chamber choir of which I am a member. The recording is from its first performance back in 2012. They are written to be performed attacca as a whole and be seen as an entity.

I would really like to take this writing as a starting point and develop it further and wonder what you think of it and how I might develop this in future compositions.

I am greatful for any tips and comments on this.

Btw the opus numbering of my pieces is no longer valid, and have been removed, so please disregard that.

Skånska vinterkvällar

Translation into English of the texts was asked for, so I edit them in here now (they are also found further down in the commentary):

I.

Now stillness falls around us
and evening’s peace turns light,
and plains of white are sleeping
with houses in the night.

Behind the ridges forests
the sky is rosy red.
And soon the final noices
of flails in town are dead.

And shadow stretches deep black
the church tow’r o’er the plain,
it sparkles in the snow crust
with silvery blue grain.

 

II.

It is the time when dark and chrimson red
it breaths against the window’s frosty snow
one final note of sunset’s glow is spread,
where calm it shines in evenings misty glow.

It is the time, when all shivers resound,
when tiniest branch of elm and ash we saw
by quiet rocking wind is touched on ground
and dragging rustling in the heaps of straw.

It is that silent time when smooth a stream
towards you comes when peace of evening reigns,
when everything is strange and waken dream
and rosy mists are over fields and plains.

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Hi David, nice pieces indeed and very well written.

I my only comment for future pieces would be (if you want to appeal to a wider audience) possibly making one of the movements or pieces more dynamic and less "soothing". That would be more difficult but I think would be well within your abilities to do effectively.

Thank you Fredrick and Paul for responding! I guess the question asked isn't that easy to answer on how to develop a style, but I am glad to hear that the way of writing seams to work, although I do not expect that any of you could know what the text was about. Small practise pieces in simple contrapunctual engages more and more of my interest, and I suppose that writing a larger piece within the same style is mostly about such a simple thing as adding more phrases...

Thanks for listening and commenting!

This is very well done! Even though I don't usually listen to choral works (prefer instrumental) I found this pleasant to listen to and quite enjoyable. Especially loved the subtle shift in harmony on the 3rd beat in II. m.4.

The counterpoint feels just right throughout -- not so complex that it's confusing or requires extreme focus of attention, but just enough to capture your interest.

Thanks a lot H.S.! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

And yes, Fredrick! Paul makes sense in his comment. I am currently reading Charles Rosens The Romantic generation and although I am familliar with most of the music he talks about the book is a true reminder of that very fact - that short movements can really create a larger masterpiece when grouped together. The two poems here are ambiguos whether they are really separate poems or just different parts of a larger one. That together with the fact that the texts are mostly landscape painting of winters stillness created the mellow unchanging mood in the music this time.

These are beautiful, and I would say perfect.

The counterpoint is exceptional, I think, and has great effect in the ears and in between them as well.

Excellent choral writing David!

My first idea of continuing towards something larger would be that of inserting various instrumental interludes between the vocal pieces with the aim at variety of mood and texture and introducing new tonalities.

My only regret about these two pieces is that I don’t understand the words. Could you please provide a translation. The verse sounds quite metric to me (in both pieces the foot sounds iambic to me, but correct me if I'm wrong cause I don’t understand the rhythmic stress of the language involved). If the meaning of the words is similar, perhaps there are also other texts with similar meaning which could be set and used as another unifying factor, (just a thought).

But in any way, I enjoyed them very much as they stand.

Thanks for sharing.

David, very nice pieces.

Love the flow and occasional unexpected turns.

I too would like to see a translation

Thank you very much Mariza Socrates and Michael! It makes me very happy you enjoyed them! I shall see to it that there will be a translation up here tomorrow. However the language is very poetic so the translation will have to be quite the opposite I am afraid.

David, sublime and superb, and very well done.

I think you did a really good job with this and I wouldn't change a thing.

Ah, the art of music, with a bit of soul ... ay :>}        RS

Although this too took some work, it was actually easier to convey the poetic feeling of the text by making a poetic interpretation of the text in English than just translating it plainly. Contrary to what I believed yesterday. So one or two words have been shifted around to make it understandable and fluent in English, but everything is in there still.

And even though I am a hobby poet, my skills for writing poetry in my second language is not something where I have much confindence. Anyway, here they are:

I.

Now stillness falls around us
and evening’s peace turns light,
and plains of white are sleeping
with houses in the night.

Behind the ridges forests
the sky is rosy red.
And soon the final noices
of flails in town are dead.

And shadow stretches deep black
the church tow’r o’er the plain,
it sparkles in the snow crust
with silvery blue grain.

 

II.

It is the time when dark and chrimson red
it breaths against the window’s frosty snow
one final note of sunset’s glow is spread,
where calm it shines in evenings misty glow.

It is the time, when all shivers resound,
when tiniest branch of elm and ash we saw
by quiet rocking wind is touched on ground
and dragging rustling in the heaps of straw.

It is that silent time when smooth a stream
towards you comes when peace of evening reigns,
when everything is strange and waken dream
and rosy mists are over fields and plains.

Thanks David,

I don’t know how much they loose in translation but to me they are still very beautiful lyrics with powerful northern imagery. And obviously related to each other and to your very…  justice doing seting. :-)

Thanks for the effort and for sharing with us.

Thank you Fredrick!
I am glad the translation seams to works so well!
As a singer I have done quite a lot of translating into Swedish from foreign languages, but very little of the opposite. In neither case I think one can be sure of whether the traslation is truly working.

Socrates: very little is missing. A few words here and there are omitted (Swedish is a bit more direct), but nothing of importance to the understanding of the pictures painted or meanings of stanzas or phrases.

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