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Music By Members => Works in Progress: Senior => Topic started by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 19, 2020, 08:01:16 PM

Title: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 19, 2020, 08:01:16 PM
Subtitled "A Mahleresque Fantasy".  A short (a bit over 5 minutes) caricature of a waltz for wind quintet + cello.

Audio - https://app.box.com/s/vn98rbc0j6087abzxrfe6xd354ntpnmu
Score - https://app.box.com/s/37tea3j44q805sv4g2kc43k8jtqw6pme
(Last updated Aug 31, 2020)

Superficially Mahleresque in that is it uses a lot of falling minor 2nds (especially major chords morphing into minor), minor 2nd grace notes, minor 2nd neighbor tones, etc.  More deeply Mahleresque in that there is usually 2 part counterpoint with background motifs emerging as foreground themes, thematic material being passed from between instruments mid theme, fragmentation of thematic material at the end of the movements (common in Mahler scherzi).

This is more tonal than my usual (modal) works and would almost be common practice if it weren't for the "wrong" notes, shifting phrase lengths, etc.

The origin:  A couple months ago I wrote a "Little Suite" for wind quintet.   I thought it could use another movement - a scherzo - and I immediately remembered a piece I had written 10 years ago (before getting any compositional instruction).  Most of the piece was absolute junk but  the trio section of the scherzo (which I had labeled "Waltz Burlesque") called to me.  It had possibility.

My teacher thought the suite didn't need another movement; I should do something else with the material.  So I added some contrasting material, added a cello part for some depth, re-"orchestrated" bits of it, stretched some phrases, and out popped this caricature of a waltz.

I changed the (more accurate) name "Waltz Burlesque" to "Waltz Pasquinade" because my wife new of only one, somewhat  disreputable meaning of "burlesque".   I figured she might not be alone in that.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: mjf1947 on August 20, 2020, 06:26:54 AM
Patrick - Absolutely delightful!

As per the "Pasquinade" I find it more "Playful" than satire.

The Cello is great addition to the quintet.

Mark
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: sandalwood on August 20, 2020, 08:31:26 AM
Welcome back Patrick and thanks for posting this very nice piece! I enjoyed listening to it and I think it is successful with pleasant melodies and a consistently light and effective orchestration. As to being evocative, it does evoke to me memories of a period when such lovely pieces, typically played by ensembles having accordion in the mix, were popular (e.g Sous le ciel de Paris). Perhaps the work could benefit from being somewhat shorter or having a couple of more salient milestones thrown in, though I never felt like complaining while listening to it.  Nice to have you back! :)
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: gogreen on August 20, 2020, 08:52:14 AM
Patrick: I agree with Mark. Delightful, and more playful than satiric.

What happened to the instrument names before each staff?? I found the score difficult to follow because the instrument names were missing. The harmony created by the Eb in measure 121 didn't seem to fit.

Again, this is very, very nice.

Art
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Michel.R.E on August 20, 2020, 09:02:54 AM
I'm also wondering about the reason for the first three instruments being bracketed together, but then the horn and bassoon not being included.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 20, 2020, 10:29:22 AM
Thanks to all for looking and commenting.

Perhaps the work could benefit from being somewhat shorter or having a couple of more salient milestones thrown in, though I never felt like complaining while listening to it.
I'll look into that.  I was actually thinking of adding rather than removing.  I'd better make sure anything I add is a salient milestone.  :)

Patrick: I agree with Mark. Delightful, and more playful than satiric.
I'll have to think about that.  If I had been writing a regular waltz - at least one to dance to - I would have (hopefully) written more balanced phrase lengths.  I purposefully stretched out some phrases.

I'll have to think of a better name.

What happened to the instrument names before each staff?? I found the score difficult to follow because the instrument names were missing.

Oops.   Names got lost when I messing with layout.  I've got them back now.

The harmony created by the Eb in measure 121 didn't seem to fit.

Hmm.  The Eb was quite purposeful.  I've now made a few minor tweaks to the harmonies outlined in mm 121-123, but maybe I need to work more on what I was trying to achieve.

I'm also wondering about the reason for the first three instruments being bracketed together, but then the horn and bassoon not being included.

Another "oops".  I really haven't spent any time cleaning up the score layout yet.  This bracket placement is an artifact of how I added instruments ... and I don't remember how I did that.  I obviously did not start with a pre-defined  wind quintet.  (I apparently did think of extending the bar lines through all staves but not messing with the bracket.)  Anyway, I'm not sure what the rules are for an ensemble like this, but I've extended the bracket to include the 5 winds.



Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: mjf1947 on August 20, 2020, 12:28:07 PM
PS: I agree with Sandalwood ................. maybe a bit of judicial editing to tighten it up a bit?

Mark
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on August 20, 2020, 03:20:26 PM
Patrick,

Lovely, lovely piece. The transparency of the orchestration allows each instrument to shine in its turn. The continual trading off of the lead between instruments and groups of instruments is marvelous.

I especially love the drama when the cello cuts through all the treble with its statement of the melody. I kept wishing for more of that. It's particularly nice early on when the bassoon takes over the ostinato from the cello and the cello briefly becomes the main voice.

Funny, though, I would not have thought there was much about Mahler in it if you hadn't suggested it.

Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 20, 2020, 04:45:24 PM
Thanks for your comments, Jer.  I'll look into giving more of the melodic material to the cello. 
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 21, 2020, 11:23:35 AM
The harmony created by the Eb in measure 121 didn't seem to fit.
I'm poor at harmonic theory, but I figured there must be a reason the Eb sounds right to me ... and there was.  I'm briefly modulating from D minor to G minor at that point.  I go through V6/4 vii° i6/4 V4/2 i.  The Eb is in the vii°.  At least I think that's what is happening.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on August 21, 2020, 12:34:39 PM
Patrick,
 
I didn't think about that Eb when I first heard it.
 
When I play it on the piano it also sounds to me a little odd, but in the context of the orchestration and tempo it just slides right in. I think it could have easily worked as an E natural as well.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 21, 2020, 02:06:51 PM
I made some small changes and updated the files pointer in the original posting.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 24, 2020, 11:51:29 AM
And again some small changes.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: NathanM on August 25, 2020, 08:07:27 AM
Wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this and observing the score. It has a delightfully "silly" feel to it, as the name suggests. I picture a group of fantastic creatures dancing together, like a scene out of Narnia--giddy fauns, jovial dwarves, austere centaurs. Each creature, like each instrument, offers his own unique contribution to the ritual, but each stays true to the rhythm, dancing like clockwork up and down, in and out, around and about.

Apologies for responding so long after the original post--it has been a busy few weeks moving into college for the first time, and I'm just now catching up on all the lovely music I missed :)

Nathan
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 26, 2020, 09:41:36 AM
Thank you for your comments. 

I rarely have images in mind when I compose and often don't even consciously have a mood in mind.  I think the original germ of the piece from 10 years ago had a darker, mocking feeling to it.  That obviously changed as I reworked it, added contrasting section and changing what was already there.  I knew it was a completely different piece now, but I hadn't realized how much it had changed until reading your (and others') comments.  Your "silly" and Marks "playful" were not terms that would have applied to the original.  (Neither would "enjoyable", now that I think about it,  :) )   I'm not sure when they crept in but I'm glad they did.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: mjf1947 on August 26, 2020, 01:39:47 PM

I rarely have images in mind when I compose and often don't even consciously have a mood in mind. 

When I compose I most often do have an image or theme in my mind.  8)

Very rarely is one of my composition just "music"!  :o

Mark
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: mjw58 on August 26, 2020, 02:13:20 PM

Patrick, this is very nice. Playful and nice orchestration.  :)

Morten
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 27, 2020, 01:09:47 PM
I've made a few small changes and updated the files pointed to in the initial post.  I think I'm close to calling this complete.

Of course, I've uploaded 3 changes since writing the above comment.  Anything to keep from score clean-up.  :)
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 28, 2020, 03:16:10 PM
I've started working on score preparation even though composition is not complete.  Feedback would be appreciated ... and dreaded.  (Don't bother telling me that the "Program Notes" section is a bit sparse.  I'll think of something eventually.)  I think the piece is straightforward enough that I don't need any comments for the performers.

In the list of instruments, what do I call the string instrument?  "Cello"?  "'Cello"?  "Violincello"?

Several of the past versions may have been in concert pitch.  I'll try to remember to upload only transposing scores from now on.

The latest version is a bit faster than previous versions.  I put an indication of dotted-half=72 instead of the quarter=208 I had before.  Hopefully that indicates a single beat per measure rather than 3 beats.  (I saw somewhere that a fast waltz is counted in one rather than three.)   Most scores I looked at weren't a help; they had tempo markings of "tempo di valse" or some such.  I guess that doesn't matter much in the chamber ensemble with no conductor.  My teacher/tutor/mentor could find nothing definitively helpful (but he liked the faster tempo).

Next I'm going to work on the too abrupt ending.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on August 29, 2020, 07:33:27 AM
Patrick,
 
I assumed that the Program Notes were in invisible ink.
 
I have nothing to add to my previous comments. I wasn't aware of the difference in tempo. I love the piece.
 
When I hear chamber works like this I always wish I played something more than just a little piano. In this case, cello.
 
I like "violoncello" because it abbreviates nicely to "vc." Ditto "double bass" to "db."
 
Cheers,
Jer
 
P.S. I'm lousy at transposing at sight and welcome scores in concert pitch.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 30, 2020, 02:18:15 PM
I've renamed the piece "Rustic Waltz", changed the end a bit, used visible ink when writing the program notes, and made a few compositional tweaks here and there.  I'm sticking with Violincello / Vc. in the actual score, but I'm going with "Cello" in the list of instruments.  (I saw that recommended somewhere on the web, and I always give extra weight to a recommendation for what I want to do in the first place.  :) )

The next time I have a comment to make about this piece, I think I'll make it in the "Completed Works" section.  I've still got some score cleanup to do (and I make some small changes every time I look at the piece), but I think I'm essentially done.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on August 30, 2020, 05:36:34 PM
Patrick,
 
Respectfully, please change the "i" to an "o" for "violoncello" before you publish the score.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 30, 2020, 05:41:16 PM
Respectfully, please change the "i" to an "o" for "violoncello" before you publish the score.
As near as I can tell, that misspelling was just in my comment in this forum, not in the score.  Do you see it in the score somewhere?  I'll certainly change it if I can find it.
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on August 31, 2020, 02:39:35 PM
Patrick,
 
No, I didn't see it in the score. Being a busybody, just in case.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Waltz Pasquinade
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on August 31, 2020, 03:24:42 PM
No, I didn't see it in the score.
Whew!  All the spelling in the score is software-generated.  I'm not sure what I would have done to fix it.  :)