Compose Forums

Music By Members => Works in Progress: Junior => Topic started by: mjf1947 on May 22, 2020, 12:55:39 PM

Title: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 22, 2020, 12:55:39 PM
As I am finishing up "The Home Coming" I began a new project.

This is my initial beginning sketch; so a new journey begins .... hopefully with a satisfying conclusion.

Feedback always welcome.

Mark

PS: Hopefully, I'll post the finished (if anything ever gets really finished) "The Home Coming" soon. 



Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 22, 2020, 01:49:13 PM
hey Mark,
a good start.

a few comments (yeah, yeah).
The left hand chord in measure 1, and the right hand chord in measure 3, are playable arpeggiated as written, but at that tempo, it will be uncomfortable.
the problem with both chords is that you are leaving the widest open space between the 4th and 5th fingers.
Normally, a comfortable chord is one where the widest space is between the 1st and 2nd fingers (thumb and index).
Add to the somewhat uncomfortable position (the chords are actually not playable without some arpeggiation) the tempo and the required smoothness  that would be desired on those arpeggiated chords... the result will probably not be what you're hoping for.
leaving out the F in the 1st chord, and the lower of the two Fs in the 2nd chord renders them perfectly playable.

I see a number of 10ths in both left and right hand. That already severely limits who can or cannot play the piano part. A 10th still remains a wide interval for the average pianist. avoid having rapid figurations that include a 10th interval.

Viola part:
an exercise for getting used to how bowing functions on a string instrument: mime the movement of your bow going down and up.
generally, and this is a very lax rule, but still, GENERALLY, string players will try to set down beats as down bows.
so you start on the first note with a down.
a note tied into the 1st beat of a next measure will also be down bow, since the 1st beat is a... you got it, down bow.

measure 9 there's a string crossing (the bow has to go over another string without actually playing it) between the low F and the high Bb. it's not impossible, but you have to be clear here. do you want the natural little break that would happen from that string crossing? if you really require that those two notes be played without a break between them, then add a slur. IF you add a slur, then I'd suggest also slurring the last two notes of that measure. This makes a nice even pair: down bow, then up bow.

This means that at measure 10 you'd slur together the two quarter notes. again, makes a nice even pair down bow, up bow.

at measure 12, I would suggest changing the bowing to something a bit shorter on beats 3 and 4. have the 16th notes go 4x4.
doing 8 notes in one bow will not place the bow in the correct position for the next measure's initial down bow.

NOW, the question.
measure 13, those staccato notes, do you really want them to be played spiccato/saltando? (a bouncing bow type of staccato)
if so, then Id modify the articulations a bit as well as the slurring.
If you really only want detached (which is what the notation implies, if the tempo is slower), no problem, leave as is.

However, if you want a bouncing saltando, then this requires that all saltando notes be up bow. So:
Add a staccato to the 1st 8th.
Slur the two 16ths together. (up bow)
Slur the Bb to the C, add a staccato to that C.
Slur the next two 16th notes.
Leave the first 16th note of the final group alone, but slur the last three 16th notes together.

Any slurred staccato notes will then be up bow, AND played saltando.

The same pattern more-or-less repeats at measure 17, so slur together the dotted 16th notes. leave the 8ths alone, but add a staccato dot to them.

Measure 14.... what exactly are you looking for as an effect here?
As written, the initial 8th note will be bowed, the bow will stop (cutting it short), then the bow will continue in the same direction to play the dotted quarter.

You could include it in the saltando grouping from the previous measure. (you'd then remove the slur on beat one of measure 14), the dotted quarter would be down bow.

I suspect you want it included in the saltando grouping, rather than bowed with the dotted quarter.


Musically:
I get the whole "independence of voices" thing going on, but, it's a bit much at times.
There are a LOT of triplets of different values set against regular, dotted, and syncopated rhythms.

How about a few spots where, rhythmically, the viola and piano actually play together?
Just because it's a piece for two instruments doesn't mean they cannot share some rhythmic material.

for example, measure 11 into 12, why not have the viola's notes match (more or less) the rhythms of the piano part?
that quarter note triplet that straddles the barline could, instead, be
two eighths, last one tied into measure 12.
then two eighths again in measure 12, followed by a quarter.
it's a nice regular rhythm,  but with JUST enough differentiation from the piano part to set it apart (due to the tied notes).

The last two beats of measure 12 would be a spot to include something in the viola part that has a freer, more cadential feel to it... so why not make it a very irregular passage? like a free upward then downward arpeggio/scalar passage, that takes up, I don't know, 11 or 13 notes? (you'd place a fermata in the piano part)
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: gogreen on May 22, 2020, 02:21:00 PM
Mark: This initial idea sounds promising. I would have preferred a much more pronounced slowing in measures 4-5, and the staccatos in measure 13 seem out of place. I like the dreamy fluid quality you created, and I hope you contrast this with a more staccato and more tutti section. And with only mp and mf dynamics (plus two hairpins), I hope you go for a much wider dynamic range when this piece is fleshed out.

I'll be interested to see where you take this piece.

What led you to start a duet for viola and piano? Just curious about the origins of works.

Art
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 22, 2020, 04:26:30 PM
Quote from: gogreen link=topic=2500.msg26835#msg26835

What led you to start a duet for viola and piano? Just curious about the origins of works.

Art

[/quote

Art,

This is how the piece started.  I played an Ab scale of the Oboe with a D natural.  I played about with it for a while - shifting melodies about.  I liked what I heard.

So I wanted to write something, first for Oboe with that tonal quality.   Then I added a piano  line.  There was something strangely inviting about the harmonies.

After a while ... I felt the Oboe didn't have the sonority that I wanted with the feeling of the piece so I first tried a solo violin....that didn't do it for me.  I needed something with more depth so I changed to a viola (maybe a cello?).

The music called to me - it has a mysterious foreign flavor. The strings felt more aligned with that metal image.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 22, 2020, 04:30:49 PM
Michel,

Thank you for providing such a wonderful critic of my initial undertaking.

You provided me with a great plan of action ...... something to dig my teeth into immediately. 

I look forward to working on this piece and sharing with other on the forum and with my mentor.

With such guidance and encouragement .... I will myself forward!

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 22, 2020, 05:01:33 PM
I made a quick and dirty "guide to bowing".
it doesn't contain everything, obviously.
I have 3 textbooks JUST on bowing, so it's actually a HUGE part of string technique.

just remember that the bow itself has a specific length, that how long a note is is partially dependent on its volume, that where you start a note on the bow (are you right at the heal? right at the frog? in the exact middle?) will affect how many notes can follow.

Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: sandalwood on May 22, 2020, 05:25:55 PM
Mark this sounds definitely worth pursuing. I don't know if you envisage this as the opening but I think it could be an inner section, as well. I imagine the other sections could be contrasting but not some triple, cheerful stuff contradicting with the solemn, pensive atmosphere here. Just some ideas! :)
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: gogreen on May 22, 2020, 05:53:17 PM
Quote
This is how the piece started.  I played an Ab scale of the Oboe with a D natural.  I played about with it for a while - shifting melodies about.  I liked what I heard.

So I wanted to write something, first for Oboe with that tonal quality.   Then I added a piano  line.  There was something strangely inviting about the harmonies.

After a while ... I felt the Oboe didn't have the sonority that I wanted with the feeling of the piece so I first tried a solo violin....that didn't do it for me.  I needed something with more depth so I changed to a viola (maybe a cello?).

The music called to me - it has a mysterious foreign flavor. The strings felt more aligned with that metal image.

Interesting Mark. Thanks.

Art
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on May 23, 2020, 09:08:35 AM
Mark,
 
I like your opening theme on the viola. It engages me immediately.
 
My full attention is on it, so I don't really notice all the detail in the piano. Maybe the latter could be simplified to (1) set up a rhythm against the viola, (2) coincide with the viola, and (3) do a call and response with the viola.
 
I was able to play the piano part with some difficulty (I'm not much of a sight reader, but I'm referring to the intervals). With a stretch in the left hand I can reach white note tenths and most minor tenths. With the right hand I can't go beyond a ninth, and that only with certain note combinations. Makes me wish I were Art Tatum. Measure 14 is particularly problematic.
 
Tenths do provide beautiful resonance underneath. Perhaps they could be distributed between the two hands.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: SallyS on May 23, 2020, 10:12:13 AM
An interesting start Mark. Good luck with it and I'll look forward to hearing more of it later. Michels comments are very in depth... and very interesting for me as well. Thanks for sharing the guide to bowing Michel.
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 23, 2020, 12:00:58 PM
Hi all .... thanks for the feedback which I take very seriously. 

Many of the suggestions are and will be incorporating in the piece.

I have some ideas for a mid-section ...which will be dance like.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: amdg on May 23, 2020, 01:53:33 PM
Hi, Mark:

I, too, will offer good wishes for a promising start.  The complexity of your material and handling of it seems to be developing quite a bit over the last few years.  I shouldn't be surprised, though, with the feedback you receive on this forum.  This piece seems to be well on its way.

As far as the tenths go, I can handle most of them pretty easily -- even with the onset of some good old arthritis setting in.  However, in measure 12, for example, the lower notes on the black keys and the upper notes on the white make me break the notes into two tones struck as quickly in succession as I can.  This is the problem I have when playing Schumann or Brahms.  But I'm only an amateur!

Good luck with this and all your other projects.  I do enjoy seeing and hearing what you're up to.
Brian
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: gogreen on May 23, 2020, 03:43:27 PM
Quote
I have some ideas for a mid-section ...which will be dance like.
That sounds like an engaging, pleasant contrast. Go for it!

Art
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 25, 2020, 10:02:43 AM
For those interested ... which I think is most   8).

Here's an improved initial section ---- plus some new ideas to be developed.

The last section(s) is still "throwing it on the wall".   I especially like the 9/8 section ... my aim in the 3/8 is create a nice counter balance and then bring back the 9/8.

The 9/8 section is NOT fully developed as yet.  It is a concept in melody/rhythm.

So these are my pondering at the moment. 

My muse is beginning to whisper in my ear.  :angel:

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: gogreen on May 25, 2020, 11:08:29 AM
Mark: In the 4th measure, bass clef, I was thinking it would be nicer if you continued the line down to the F in the 5th measure without repeating the Bb quarter note on the last beat of the 4th measure. You could make it flow more.

Measures 28-35 could be developed, but in its current position in the piece, the section seems static and out of place.

Measures 36-47 just don't do it for me. Sorry. I didn't care for the droning repeated dotted half-note Ds. Could use some variety there.

Measures 48... well, not enough there to say much about it.  :-\

Overall, the piece seems disjointed with unrelated sections. Do you have an overall plan, an outline, for this piece of where you want to go with it in terms of form and style?

Art
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 25, 2020, 11:28:32 AM
Art,

Thanks for review.

The 9/8 is my mind is a kind to a medieval dance. So I'll see what I can do with it.

The previously section is of course out of place.  Just another idea I jotted down for it appeal to be used here or there.

I took your suggestion and I changed the Bb to an A in the bass clef.

As for an overall plan .... I want to create an overall sound texture/fabric among he sections which communicates a single "emotional" idea/story.

Mark

Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on May 25, 2020, 02:59:58 PM
Mark,

You've made the piano part easier for us small-handed persons. I also like that you’ve simplified it, although it still seems a bit fussy to me. Block chords in some places maybe?

In bar 15 the LH 16ths on C-D clash with the RH D. Is that deliberate? It sounds like a mistake.

The 9/8 section is pretty nice, but with the viola and piano playing together as they are I think the D drone just adds clutter.

I wonder the call and response sections could use a stronger RH on the piano, perhaps in octaves.

The piece is progressing.

Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 25, 2020, 03:35:50 PM
Jerry,

I fixed the error in Bar 15.  I'll review the piano part again with my mentor.


Art,

In the 9/8 section I split the open D string in the Viola and gave it also to the piano.  It is less raucous. 

I like both themes ... let's see (if it works) how I can develop them into the initial tonal/programmatic  concept.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 26, 2020, 09:57:17 AM
I just had a meeting with my mentor.  Putting some finishing touches on "The Homing Coming" and I will post the finished version soon.

Furthermore I was challenged to do some interesting things with the Viola and Piano Duet.   Hope to share soon.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjw58 on May 27, 2020, 12:59:07 PM
Mark.

Interesting start and development. Definitely something to keep working on.

Morten
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 30, 2020, 08:18:47 AM
So for those that follow my progress.  Here's an updated version.

I improved the piano accompaniment .... simplifying the piano line as well as making it more supportive of the Viola. 

I also integrated the 2nd theme into the initial opening theme. 

Please note I kept the 9/8 dance ... you will hear it at the end.

Now the work is NOT completely sketched out. 

I still have to develop and integrate the 9/8 dance.

Now I usually have a story/picture in my head when I create a new piece.  In this instance I do not have one.

I am composing interesting morsels  ... to saunter away a lazy afternoon.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on May 30, 2020, 09:48:45 AM
Mark,

The dialogue between viola and piano is spectacular. I particularly like your using the same phrasing to alternate the two echoing each other with the two playing in unison.

Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on May 31, 2020, 11:05:37 AM
Mark,

The dialogue between viola and piano is spectacular. I particularly like your using the same phrasing to alternate the two echoing each other with the two playing in unison.

Cheers,
Jer

Jer,

Thank you for listening ..... and I pleased you enjoyed the improvements in the work

I completed the first full draft which I attached.  I still have to discuss it with my mentor next week.

You will notice changes here and there ... however, a major change in the 9/8 section.


Mark

PS:  I updated the files 6/2  .....  better transitions and a new ending.

        All suggestions/comments/advice etc ..... welcome~!

Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: RJB54 on June 07, 2020, 05:05:04 PM
Mark, I have listened to the most recent version.

I generally like the basic material and what you are doing with it. However, I find the accompaniment to be a bit four-square and 'samey'. You have nice syncopated figures in the viola and you could liven up the piano part by including some syncopation there as well. You could also add some arpeggiated figures as there is also a lot of 'block chord' work in the piano.

I think changing up the piano part in this manner would give the music a bit more energy.

All in all a nice piece, though. Keep working on it. 
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 07, 2020, 07:16:47 PM
Mark, I have listened to the most recent version.

I generally like the basic material and what you are doing with it. However, I find the accompaniment to be a bit four-square and 'samey'. You have nice syncopated figures in the viola and you could liven up the piano part by including some syncopation there as well. You could also add some arpeggiated figures as there is also a lot of 'block chord' work in the piano.

I think changing up the piano part in this manner would give the music a bit more energy.

All in all a nice piece, though. Keep working on it.

Thanks for the review.

I definitely will review the work with your suggestions in mind.

Are you referring to the entire work or the 9/8 section?

I still haven't met with my mentor on the new update as yet.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: RJB54 on June 08, 2020, 06:29:08 AM
I was referring to the 4/4 parts. The 9/8 section has a pretty good flow.
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on June 09, 2020, 08:35:56 AM
Mark,
 
After listening, I found that Robert already said what I wanted to say: The syncopations in the viola might benefit from more of the same in the piano, a kind of skipping rhythm maybe, and perhaps more percussive on the off beats.
 
I don't know exactly what you changed, but it gets better and better.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 15, 2020, 07:02:45 PM
Well I just had my mentoring session; and behold, he wondered why I made so many changes  :P.... ask me to go back to some original ideas.  :o 

Will post again at a later date.

Mark

PS: the one good thing is this ... although he felt some of the changes didn't fit well in the overall current work; we both agreed that those changes are really good and will be incorporated (my idea) in another ensemble ... a woodwind quintet?  at a later date.
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 23, 2020, 12:08:43 PM
Hi all,

I presenting my latest version of the Viola Piano Duet.

I plan to meet with my mentor sometime this week to discuss this version.

The work is still under construction.  So all comments/advice/suggestions ... "you know the drill" are welcome for consideration.

I removed the 9/8 section;  The work now has an ABA format.

My object here is to provide a smoother experience for the listener with less false stops and a more continuous line as well as to vary the material.

Mark

Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Michel.R.E on June 23, 2020, 12:52:49 PM
I'm bothered by one aspect of the piano part.
it has a very busy right hand, with lots of 16 note runs.
and the left hand is very heavy, with lots of low-lying chords, and still rather busy.
I was hoping for some respite from that texture.

I'd heartily recommend lightening the left hand accompaniment part, and even the right hand part.
As it stands, they are both so busy that they tend to drown out the viola part.

for the viola, watch out for runs that include cross-string leaps, I noticed one spot with a rising 16th note phrase that suddenly leaps to continue 16th notes descending.

it's one of the aspects I wanted to cover in the little composition guide I started posting.
be consistent with the sort of melodic movement.
if you have leaps, make sure to USE them, not have them appear once never to be heard from again.
it's sort of the equivalent of a character showing up in a movie, delivering a single impactful line, then disappearing for the rest of the film.

So if you have that rising/descending/leap motif, USE it. it's hard to play, and as such, will deserve to have the violist demonstrate that they can do it more than once.
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 25, 2020, 11:12:39 AM
I removed this posting ..... still not pleased with piano accompaniment.

Will re post at a later date.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: Timothy on June 25, 2020, 09:45:47 PM
I enjoyed this a lot. A couple of small things in terms of your score: some of the rests, where there are multiple voices, overlap with notes and dynamics, etc. Once or twice the dynamics also clash with note stems. That's what I picked up, but I'm sure you were going to clean it up already.
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 26, 2020, 05:35:56 AM
Thanks for the listen.  Glad you enjoyed the work.

I will attend to the engraving and clean it up.

Mark
Title: Re: Duet Viola Piano
Post by: mjf1947 on June 26, 2020, 09:07:12 AM
Okay ... I addressed those measures that "Irked Me".

I also cleaned up the engraving.

Mark

https://app.box.com/s/ey2b2oeout033ck64e1tw3fnf9wowpdz  mp3