Author Topic: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete  (Read 2338 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sandalwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 688
  • Karma: 61
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2017, 05:01:44 AM »
+1 :)

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,249
  • Karma: 214
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #61 on: May 23, 2017, 03:05:25 PM »
Unfortunately, the recording is... lacking.
While the concert was a success, and the public reception for the symphony was extremely positive, let's just say the dress rehearsal was better. Sadly, I don't have a recording of that. Attribute the errors and whatnot to concert day nerves. It happens.

I'd rather not post the recording as it puts both my work, and the performers in a somewhat bad light. I know they are capable of so much more. So fingers crossed that we can get the budget to rerecord it.

Also, fingers crossed that I can convince a local conductor to take on the symphony. He conducts two ensembles: one a full symphony orchestra (some 70-odd members), the other a chamber orchestra generally consisting of a large core group of strings, to which they add woodwinds and brass for various concerts. Both groups are utmost professionals. The only difficulty here is that the text of the symphony is in English, and the audience for both ensembles is - to put it delicately - slightly hostile to anything English.
Anyway, fingers crossed.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

RJB54

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 844
  • Karma: 34
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #62 on: May 23, 2017, 04:49:59 PM »
I am disappointed that the recording was lacking.

Good luck with the other possible performance(s).

Periwink

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
  • Karma: 17
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2017, 02:52:22 AM »
Ah well a successful concert is the most important! Congrats on that, and hopefully it can get recorded another time. I would really love to hear it. Let's hope for another performance as well:)
Honesty doesn't serve the self; it serves the truth.
-Peter Ralston

tbmartin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 507
  • Karma: 45
    • TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2017, 06:12:57 AM »
Unfortunately, the recording is... lacking.
...
I'd rather not post the recording as it puts both my work, and the performers in a somewhat bad light. ...

I can now say I know exactly how you feel. (Granted, my work is much more modest...) I hope you will have a chance to get a better recording of your work. Having seen the process of completing it and the bits I've heard from your postings, it certainly deserves to be presented to the world with its best foot forward.
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Jamie Kowalski

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,431
  • Karma: 129
    • All Hands Music
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2017, 10:07:46 AM »
Hi Michel!

I took a long listen to this outstanding work today (without score). What a wonderful piece to add to your already impressive résumé! The four movements make up a perfectly whole piece. Here are a few thoughts I jotted down as I listened.

I: I am very much behind your push into the "not quite tonal," as you put it. The middle ground is a fun place to hang out :). This movement is quite striking in its energy and bold harmonies. Much of it reminded me of 40s and 50s film music... perhaps Korngold. I enjoyed the call and response in the brass.

II: Impressionism also suits you well. The more lush harmonies are in good contrast to the first movement. There seemed to be two harmonic worlds between which you were drifting back and forth, to nice effect.

III: Not all of this feels like a scherzo to me, but I certainly have no problem with the musical content. I especially like the second section (beginning around 2:20), which was very playful.

IV: I very much like the transition to the peaceful final section. It really feels like the lifting of a veil. Beautiful woodwind writing.
I wanted the final chord to hold longer.

Beautiful work, as always.

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,249
  • Karma: 214
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #66 on: June 20, 2017, 10:11:49 AM »
thank-you Jamie.

I hemmed and hawed over the final chord of the symphony: short, long, short, long...
I do find endings one of the most difficult things to write, always afraid to overstay a welcome or to too quickly close the door.

I really wish I could post the live recording, it makes such a huge difference to hear the soprano SING the words, rather than just hear it as a melodic line, particularly in the "Taps" section of the 2nd movement, and in the Finale's "the war is over".
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 10:13:52 AM by Michel.R.E »
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Jamie Kowalski

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,431
  • Karma: 129
    • All Hands Music
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #67 on: June 20, 2017, 10:43:31 AM »
I have trouble with endings too. I've got thousands of beginnings in me, but only a couple dozen endings.

Patrick O'Keefe

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: 7
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #68 on: June 20, 2017, 03:01:21 PM »
I'm in sort of an unusual situation.  The performance of the work happened before the end of my 5 year absence from the forum so I had no idea what to expect.  I was a completely naive listener.  Wrong notes and incorrect rhythms went by completely unnoticed since I didn't know right from wrong.  I've forgotten any obvious flubs and am left with with an overall positive memory of the performance.

The one major problem is that I could almost never tell whether the singer was singing words or just vocalizing.  While this did not destroy the sonic impact of the work, I knew Michel picked words and probably wanted those words heard.  Also, having a bit more amplification would have allowed the soprano to be more of a soloist rather than just another orchestral timbre. 

The Octava Chamber Orchestra sometimes has variable degrees of intonation - often spot on but sometimes offering interesting microtonal textures.  (Even one of the violinist soloists in the 3 violin concerto by Bach that preceded Michel's work had some unusual ideas about intonation.)  I don't actually remember any obvious problems with intonation when they were playing Michel's symphony, but I may have suppressed that.

As usual for the venue where Octava performs, street noise and the air conditioning were sometimes heard during quiet spots.  This was probably more evident to the audience than to someone listening to a recording of the performance.  And at least there were no motorcycles outside that sometimes add acoustic, um, interest to Octava performances.

Michel, I understand your reluctance to post the recording.  (NOBODY is going to hear a recording of a little sax quartet work of mine performed two days before the Octava concert.  And if they did hear the recording they would hearing little that I composed!)   

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,249
  • Karma: 214
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2017, 03:44:18 PM »
Hey Patrick,
I perfectly understand that people don't know a new work and won't actually hear the errors (unless it's like REALLY blatant, like the entire orchestra grinds to a halt). Doesn't mean I have to like it  ;)

I may post a few better fragments from the live recording.
If I have time I might make like 10-20 second comparison recordings between the live one and Finale playback.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Jamie Kowalski

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,431
  • Karma: 129
    • All Hands Music
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2017, 06:02:36 AM »
I perfectly understand that people don't know a new work and won't actually hear the errors (unless it's like REALLY blatant, like the entire orchestra grinds to a halt). Doesn't mean I have to like it
I've sometimes thought it was worse if the audience didn't know. The thought goes through my head "Oh my god, they're going to think I wrote it like that!"

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,249
  • Karma: 214
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2017, 06:39:51 AM »
exactly, Jamie!
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Jamie Kowalski

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,431
  • Karma: 129
    • All Hands Music
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2017, 07:47:08 AM »
This is my justification for telling myself it's a blessing to not be getting performances lately.

Patrick O'Keefe

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: 7
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2017, 09:00:19 AM »
I recently had a piece performed by a sax quartet where I could hear very little relationship between what was performed and what was written.  Luckily it was performed in front of a bunch of composers rather than the "general public".  And I will probably have a chance to present it again.  However, some of the composers will probably be disappointed to discover it was an aleatoric performance rather than an aleatoric composition. :)

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,249
  • Karma: 214
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: "A War Symphony" (Symphony no.3) complete
« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2017, 10:35:10 AM »
HAHAHAHA Patrick, good one.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"