I decided that I needed to go "back to my roots" this spring before I started on the ballet and trumpet concerto, and it feels just like home. My compositional background is rooted in the traditions of concert bands, wind ensembles, drum and bugle corps, and marching bands. That's where I got my start, and I absolutely love writing for those ensembles. When I started composing the 2nd half of Fôret Enchantée my friends said that it would be perfect for a marching band show. It could be a warm-up, an opener, a production number, or even a closer if I changed the ending to a huge climax instead of dying away. So, I decided to finish it before marching band season and pass it out as a gift to some of my band director buddies as a thank you present. 

For marching band, the instrumentation is: 2 flute parts, 2 clarinet parts, 2 alto saxophone parts, tenor saxophone part, 2-3 trumpet parts, horn part, 2 trombone parts, baritone/ euphonium part, tuba part, and percussion.

The 1st version you hear includes percussion and an "ominous" low brass part. The second version you hear is simply horn soli with clarinets, alto saxophones, tenor saxophones, trombones, euphoniums, and tubas accompaniment. This is the section before the "wall of sound" fortissimo tutti part with melody in the trumpets and flutes.

So I am stuck on which timbre of sound I prefer. Please take a quick listen and tell me which one you like better and why. Thank you so much and happy composing, composers!

~Rod  

https://app.box.com/s/2b101hnoaexzv9yj2so5iqpym7hxyrpu            

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  • Hi Rod,

    First let me say, congratulations on both!

    They may both work as different sections the same piece.

    I listened to them twice and I preferred the first both as an opener or as a closer of a piece (with climax).

    I liked the added percussion on the first as it adds more depth/expansion and sound/color dimension to the sample imo, (ominous or not).

    The second could be used in a repetition of the idea somewhere, maybe in a different key?

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Funny; I expected I would prefer the second "traditional instrument " version but I am leaning towards the first because of its feel.

    I think the first is more emotional and better suited to a ballet.
  • Hey Rod, 

    I agree with Socrates and Michael.  The first one is just that much more dynamic and fun to listen to. You could do so many things with that theme.  It's so strong and so simple, and yes, I absolutely appreciate the second one for it's ability to stand alone without the other stuff.

    ~D 

  • I prefer the second version. The first one, with the low "ominous" brass part, sounds a bit too far down in the basement, and rather muddy because of that. The second version is in a more "comfortable" (to my ears) range, and the parts are clearer, and speak better.

    However, I did like the light, tinkling embellishment you put on top in the first version. I think that's quite effective. The overly muddy low register for the brass somewhat detracted from it, though. :-)  Maybe the best of both worlds might be to put that (is it celesta? or harp?) on top of the second version instead?

  • Thanks guys for responding and your suggestions! I have been busy preparing for a performance and writing the loud, second have of this marching band piece, but I will respond to each of you hopefully this weekend.

    Here's the update so far: I worked on the woodwind (flutes, clarinets, alto sax's, tenor sax's) and brass parts (trumpets, horns, trombones, euphoniums, tubas) for the loud section only, so you will not hear any percussion during it. Next will come the soft, dying away part, and adding colorful percussion to this entire short, little piece. Then I will compose the score. Let me know if this section works for you. Thanks again, guy and gals!
    ~Rod
    https://app.box.com/s/qsumbyqh6h3oi6cjj20chsazwsu7oc04
    Box
  • Thank ya Socrates for responding! I see exactly what you are saying. The second part could be a reprieve in a different key for either development or a recapulation of the original theme. I could possibly do that for the ballet version. For the marching band version I need to keep this piece under 2 minutes or so. I need to also work on the percussion since I just carelessly through it in there to get a basic on how it's going to sound, but thank u for reassuring me that I may be on the right track!

    Socrates Arvanitakis said:

    Hi Rod,

    First let me say, congratulations on both!

    They may both work as different sections the same piece.

    I listened to them twice and I preferred the first both as an opener or as a closer of a piece (with climax).

    I liked the added percussion on the first as it adds more depth/expansion and sound/color dimension to the sample imo, (ominous or not).

    The second could be used in a repetition of the idea somewhere, maybe in a different key?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Which One Do You Like Better and Why?
    I decided that I needed to go back to my roots this spring before I started on the ballet and trumpet concerto, and it feels just like home. My com…
  • I feel the exact same way, and that's exactly why I posted it here. I thought I would prefer the second one also, but the first one does give an impression of a more complex mix of emotions.

    Michael Lofting said:
    Funny; I expected I would prefer the second "traditional instrument " version but I am leaning towards the first because of its feel.

    I think the first is more emotional and better suited to a ballet.
    Which One Do You Like Better and Why?
    I decided that I needed to go back to my roots this spring before I started on the ballet and trumpet concerto, and it feels just like home. My com…
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