Author Topic: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor  (Read 1218 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« on: January 23, 2017, 11:21:42 AM »
-Update- Moved the Sinfonietta discussion to the Completed Works section. No need to view or comment here any more.

My Sinfonietta in G minor is written for a small, classical type orchestra, with the only unusual additions being a snare drum and xylophone. I call it a Sinfonietta (instead of a symphony) because the work will only have 3 movements and uses more of a chamber- sizes orchestra.  The first movement is rather serious for a Sinfonietta, but the later movements are suitable light-hearted.

The first movement more or less follows the standard sonata form. The second movement  (andante - un poco scherzando) is a battle of wills between sections of the orchestra, some of whom just want to play some nice Beethoven.  It all comes out well in the end, however. I'm structuring the third movement as a sort of Rondo.

I created the score with Musescore (If you haven't checked lately, the 2.0 version of Musescore is greatly improved).  To generated the sound I exported the score to Sibelius with the NotePerformer add-on). Note that for some reason the xylophone refuses to respond to dynamic marking, so it can be a bit loud and crude sounding.

Comments welcome!

Jay


First Movement:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vlu2knmuyftxqnj/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%201%20v5.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rcve4clgegjmky2/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%201%20v5.pdf?dl=0


second movement:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kjml1i0duo1jv76/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%202%20v5.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o328v9j04ma1afi/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%202%20v5.pdf?dl=0

third movement:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mdzag13wt4iizb9/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%203%20v4.mp3?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5y1ymcipzf76cf/Sinfonietta%20in%20G%20mvt%203%20v4.pdf?dl=0


« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 06:40:46 PM by whitebark »

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 11:39:00 AM »
*gasp*

ok, I only have a moment to very quickly check the opening of the 1st movement.. but... two oboes in unison???
You're begging for disaster.

For a better effect, double one oboe with one flute, and one clarinet an octave lower.

Really, generally (almost always, actually) avoid any sort of unison in the woodwinds UNLESS it's for a very specific and well-understood effect.

For the opening section, rather than divide your 1st an 2nd violins like that, why not add a held note in a horn, that fills the missing harmony note of the violins? Have your violins play what's in the 1st violin part, divided between 1st and 2nd violins. have a horn play that D as a held note.
By doing this you're creating texture.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 11:41:04 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"

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 12:00:33 PM »
an engraving point: do not use curly brackets for instruments that require a single staff. For two flutes you use a square bracket. For a single harp written on two staves you use a curly bracket. And your violins need a square bracket.

At measure 31 that's starting to push comfortable limits for the flute, particularly in the sort of setting you have here.  Consider having 2nd flute switch to a piccolo instead. The piccolo in the same register (written like your 2nd flute is right now) has better control over tone, volume, etc. The flute as written will be a bit strident.

measure 38, explain that slur. it is actually illogical. Either the whole phrase is in one slur, or one of the slurred notes should be moved over by 1 note. I say just make it all one slur. (same goes for flute at 40-41)

again, at 47, this passage would benefit from a piccolo instead of strident flutes. I'd also include your 1st and 2nd violins there, on whichever of those three melodic lines is most important (either the flutes, or the clarinets, or the horns). You're missing out on a chance for a nice "big" orchestral sound there.

at measure 63, do not include a mid-way dynamic on the hairpin in the horns.
same goes for the violins a measure further.

before I forget: do not use 8va markings in an orchestral score. it's all ledger lines. The rare times you'll see 8va markings are either with instruments that regularly use them (piano, harp), or with really extreme notes on the violin.

Measure 84-86, you're asking for trouble there in your 1st flute. Again, piccolo in 2nd flute. That high C# is nigh impossible except for good soloists.


otherwise, there are a bunch of collisions that need to be corrected (dynamics with hairpins, or barlines). This seems to be a relatively major work. Depending on the "tone" of the music - is it dark and serious? very light and delicate? - the title "sinfonietta" might not be the best choice.
Many symphonies have only 3 movements. Some have far more. My 2nd has five movements, my 4th has two. Harris's 3rd has a single movement. Schostakowitch's 14th symphony is in eleven movements!

Sinfonietta, as a title, is generally reserved for either light or frivolous works, or works that really break from the established classical structure, but by being shorter, more condensed, leaving out repetitions of material.

it's up to you.
"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"

mjf1947

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,744
  • Karma: 111
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 01:43:14 PM »
Jay I very much enjoyed the second movement.  Your style is quite eclectic to say the least.  What struck me is at times I heard a bit of Mahler lurking about ... maybe even a bit of Korngold.  You're really a "turn of the century romantic kinda guy" and yet as the movement moves on I hear a bit a bit influence British too.  And at others times almost a bit of a "Jazzy" feel as well as .... Neo -Classical in flavor. 

What more can I say ...  ??? :angel: 8)

Very witty ............

Mark

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 04:04:36 PM »
I do like the music.
It doesn't feel at all like a "sinfonietta" to me. It's far too long for that. And the overall tone of the music is more serious.

I really feel that the orchestration could be spiced up. Right now it's functional, but not showing the music to its best advantage. it's a bit lacking in colour.

Don't rely on the use of an instrument to create colour (for example, the xylophone). Use your full orchestra to its maximum.

Also, orchestrate your dynamics. If the music is loud, there should technically be more instruments playing (a larger part of your orchestra) than in the soft intimate sections.
"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"

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 07:10:08 PM »
Thanks for all the detailed comments. I knew those "a 2" woodwind parts right at the start of the first movement would attract attention :)    Although I swear I see a lot of "a 2" sections during a quick glance through my copy of Brahms' 4 symphonies - mainly in loud sections where subtlety of sound is not so important.  I'll try reworking the orchestration using the hints.  I'm really new at orchestration and the help is appreciated!

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 07:13:28 PM »
By the way, there is a definite maturity in the musical ideas.
So while the work fits in the "junior" section of the forum mostly due to your lack of experience (orchestration, engraving, etc...), musically it borders on fitting in the "senior" section.
"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"

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 08:27:44 PM »
It doesn't feel at all like a "sinfonietta" to me. It's far too long for that. And the overall tone of the music is more serious.
Yes the first movement is a bit sombre in tone...a certain recent election was getting me a bit aggravated and it shows in the music.  The second movement is much lighter. I promise the third movement will similarly end on a happier note.

Sinfoniettas can be pretty large in scale.  The Moeran Sinfonietta (a piece I really enjoy) is about the same size as my piece will be - three movements and 20 minutes.


 

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 10:09:59 PM »
the title is entirely up to you.
but don't feel that you are limited by the nature of the music to have to use that title.
Schostakowitch's 9th symphony is as silly and frivolous as they come.

if it were me I wouldn't shy away from the title "Symphony", because to me the work feels strong enough to support the narrative.

What I'm saying is, don't be shy if you'd LIKE to call it "Symphony". I doubt anyone would object on any grounds.
If you still prefer "Sinfonietta" then it's all up to you  :)

Speaking of titles, I was commissioned to write a concertante work for three trombones and orchestra, and initially entitled it "Divertimento". But the more I listen to it, and look at it, the more it feels like "Concerto for three trombones and orchestra".
Who knows, you might eventually eel differently about the title.

But the choice of title is not important. What is is that you've written something good, despite correctable flaws. It is musically sound, and stylistically coherent.
"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"

Periwink

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
  • Karma: 17
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2017, 11:40:39 PM »
I like your musical style/language Jay, the classical form as well. Very approachable.
(I also listened to your fugue, awesome! You have done quite a lot already).
Honesty doesn't serve the self; it serves the truth.
-Peter Ralston

EdSharpe

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 0
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 10:25:28 AM »
Dear Jay,

I do not have anything I can add in the way of technical comments that have not already been made.  However I do want to say that I enjoyed the two movements, with the first being my favorite.  Sorry I have not technical advise, but I look forward to the third  (last?) movement. 

PS:  As for a title, why not consider something more non-traditional like "Triptych  for Orchestra"?  Or even something more off the wall . . . ?

Ed

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 10:30:38 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement, Periwink.  Looks like you rummaged through my Youtube channel - there is a lot of music there, the results of years of effort. My current composing skill level certainly did not suddenly arise from nowhere.  I may introduce the fugue to this forum in due time, after improving its orchestration and engraving. 

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2017, 11:49:07 AM »
Again, thanks to all for the encouragement and advice. I'm busy reworking the score, which may take several weeks.  Good news -the unison "a 2" woodwind parts are going to be history :)

I was wondering - do I post the new and improved score in this topic thread or create a new topic?

Michel.R.E

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,375
  • Karma: 217
  • B.FA (composition) M.Mus (composition)
    • Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2017, 12:05:23 PM »
you can update your initial post, and just add a new post at the bottom of the thread saying you've updated.
you can also modify the title of your thread with "updated"
"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"

whitebark

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Karma: 9
Re: Sinfonietta #2 in G Minor
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2017, 09:41:25 AM »
I updated the first movement with improvements to the orchestration and a cleaner engraving.