H. S. Teoh replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"I'm all game when it comes to musical jokes. My fugue in D, for example. :-)  Or the sordid joke in the scherzo movement of Shostakovich's 15th. Music that refuses to take itself seriously, even when it's being dead serious."
Aug 19
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Thank you, H.S.  I think you got out of the final movement what I was hoping listeners would.  For all the darkness and uncertainty, I wanted to end on a note of quiet resignation -- a sort of stoic acceptance of "what is."  
On the middle movement,…"
Aug 19
David Owen replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"your comment about the 2nd movement possibly being too light was something I had also considered when first listening to the symphony. Should there not somewhere be a hint of menace or danger? To be honest, I can't make up my mind"
Aug 19
H. S. Teoh replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"... at the very end of the first movement is a fugue of sorts, to close out the work -- something you might find interesting.
Ahahaha... you made me listen again just for that. :-D  It's rather short, and the theme isn't the easiest to pick out, but…"
Aug 18
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Thanks for giving it the old college try, David.  I'm new to SoundCloud myself, so not sure what you encountered but the last thing I want is for someone to be deterred from listening because of some unacceptable inconveniences.  I'll look into it."
Aug 18
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Thanks as always for your feedback, David.  This post was buried back there a ways and H.S. resurrected it.  I think all your criticisms are noteworthy and yes, once I have finished a piece I often think of a thousand ways I could've done things…"
Aug 18
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Thanks for your feedback.  I am still learning my way around NotePerformer and how to get the most out of Finale.  I'm sorry the performance aspect was not more satisfactory."
Aug 18
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Thanks for listening.  There is a lot of variation here, for sure.  The unifying factors are the first theme stated in the English horn at the very beginning, and the lyrical theme introduced about 3 minutes in.  I toy with these throughout.  The…"
Aug 18
David Owen replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"First of all, apologies for not writing sooner -- I only just noticed that the symphony had been posted as I was away when it first arrived. It has to be said at the outset that this is one of the most ambitious works I've come across on the forum.…"
Aug 18
David Jephrey Young replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Hi Gregory,
Stopped in to check your material but hitting the soundcloud infiltration forcing me to do things I
don't want to do caused me to abort.  Hope the 4th symphony went well!
David Jephrey Young"
Aug 17
Saul Gefen replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"You do realize that youre using non real orchestral sounds, so I think an effort has to be made so that they will sound ok for the listerner within reason.
I don't know how all these sounds blend together into a cohesive whole. It is difficult to…"
Aug 15
H. S. Teoh replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Symphony No. 4
"Only just got to this. Listened to the first mvmt.  Starts off like a blend between Bruckner and Rimsky-Korsakov, and then proceeded to throw in everything and the kitchen sink, in places reminiscient of Shostakovich's 4th and 11th symphonies.  I'm…"
Aug 15
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Sensuality: A Tone Poem for Orchestra
"Thanks for your feedback, David.  I did think about having one or more contrasting sections within the work, but I decided against it because I saw the piece more as a stream of consciousness meditation on a single subject, if you will, which to my…"
Jul 26
David Owen replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Sensuality: A Tone Poem for Orchestra
"Just a bit more on the music having had a chance to listen to it at home. The melodic material is really gorgeous and quickly establishes the mood. There are some nice developments in woodwind and with brass overlay and the final climax is most…"
Jul 25
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Sensuality: A Tone Poem for Orchestra
"Thanks, David.  You're right about Song of Songs -- I was partly influenced by that for the literary component.  I'll have to listen to your string quartet now!  By the way, the music alone is available on my SoundCloud page, if you'd like to just…"
Jul 23
Gregory Michael Hodges replied to Gregory Michael Hodges's discussion Sensuality: A Tone Poem for Orchestra
"Thanks, Ingo, for your kind words.  I don't mind discussing, but it's an older work of mine (from 2014) so it is pretty much set in stone at this point.  The video itself is new, though, and the poem is fairly new, too (2020).  I didn't originally…"
Jul 23
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  • Hi Greg -- not quite sure why you couldn't post under your introduction but I must admit that the technology used in this forum I don't always understand either. Looks like I should reply to your comment likewise with one on your profile so I'll try that.

    If you're looking for a virtual orchestra which can work with a score-writing programme then there are quite a lot of choices these days but for an all-in-one of good quality, the list is shorter and I'll try to do a short and objective as possible summary in case it might be useful.

    The two big long-established names are EastWest Quantum leap, usually shortened to EWQL, and VSL, Vienna Symphonic Library. The consensus is that these days, for a general purpose orchestra, VSL gets more plaudits and their brand new Synchron Prime orchestra can actually be currently downloaded and tried out for free with a reduced price for another week. A popular alternative is the Spitfire BBC orchestra. The more budget Core version has a warmer and fuller symphony orchestra sound but can be a bit harder to handle and has arguably more bugs. Berlin based Orchestral Tools have been in the business a while and their fairly recent Berlin Orchestra package is more expensive than the alternatives but has its admirers. My favourite is Cinematic Studio Strings where you need to buy separate strings, woodwinds and brass sections (percussion is not yet available but should be soon) and so it works out around twice the price of VSL but the warmth and expressiveness is for me unrivalled and it doesn't require a state-of-the art PC. You can hear this in my 14th symphony among other works. I also use the BBC and VSL Special Editions - VSL for me is better for chamber arrangements and solo strings.

    All of these libraries are designed to work primarily with DAW's but in fact they are also compatible with notation software. However in that respect, Dorico has the most DAW-like playback features and it's being quite rapidly developed being still relatively new. Indeed a new version 4.1 has just been released today. I moved from Sibelius a good couple of years ago and don't regret it in the least. Finale I tried but never got the hang of -- in Europe and especially the UK, Sibelius has always been much more popular and was at least almost universal within education.

    With Sibelius, I migrated to NotePerformer for symphonic works and I definitely think it has a place. Since then in Dorico, I've produced versions with other libraries for all but my 11th symphony which is particularly suited to the strengths of NP. You mention piano -- there are so many of these that you can easily find something to suit but I must admit I find the piano included in the VSL Synchronized Special Edition main volume (an alternative to the brand new Synchron Prime library) excellent. I find actually that the strings are probably the biggest issue with NP. Arne Wallander is working on a new version of NP which promises better sounds but it may still be quite a wait and how much will change is anyone's guess.

    In summary, NP is the easiest option for users of score-writing software but it has its limitations as the ear can easily tell. Only you can decide what provides you with an acceptable playback quality. Of course it you're someone who has a chance of works being played by a real orchestra then the whole thing becomes irrelevant but not many of us are so fortunate...
  • Hello, glad to be a member of this group. I'm looking to make connections with other composers, discuss musical topics, and give and receive feedback.
  • Welcome Gregory!
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