Author Topic: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)  (Read 1077 times)

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whitebark

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Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« on: July 16, 2018, 07:29:01 PM »
This second movement of my Classical Symphony borrows the idea of a slow, melancholy Sarabande from Britten's Simple Symphony - a slow, stately dance in 3/4 time. There's little in the way of modernism in this movement.  It is rather serious throughout, unlike the other movements.  The cellos introduce the main melody ala Brahms.

mp3:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7080j4hjuc8daw/Classical%20Symph%20mvt2%20v15.mp3?dl=0

Score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cle115aqtc2bqte/Sarabande%20v15.pdf?dl=0

Well, this completes the reworking of all of the Classical Symphony movements, except for the addition of an extended fugue in the last movement, something that Michel suggested.  Perhaps, I will take that fugue project up in the future. For your listening pleasure, I combined all of the movements into one big mp3 file, so you can listen to the whole 22 minute work uninterrupted:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0b89nsrx69c48nn/Classical%20Symphony.mp3?dl=0

-Jay

Emiliano

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 04:13:40 AM »
Wonderful work! I love the sober melancholy throughout, similar in vein to the 2nd movement of Paganini's First Concerto.

A quibble: I don't know if the voicing of the deceptive cadence in bars 15-16, especially in 2nd Violin, is totally correct: I usually realize it raising the two leading tones (bass and 7th degree) and moving down the two parts, resulting in a final triad with the doubling of the 3rd. Something like this:

Obviously it's a very minor thing and I loved the movement: I'm going to listen to the rest of the Symphony as soon as possible!

whitebark

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 09:43:14 AM »
Thanks for the comment and welcome to Compose Forums, Emiliano. I'll  look into your suggestion about the voice leading of the deceptive cadence.

-Jay

RJB54

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 05:19:25 PM »
Nice piece, good feel, and the handling of the forces was done well.


There are engraving issues however, particularly with slurs colliding with other components.
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Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2018, 07:35:00 AM »
Whew. What gorgeous melodies and harmonies.
 
I especially love the modulations and the powerful entry of the trumpets.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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whitebark

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 11:15:44 AM »
RJ, Musescore's placement of slurs is often messy. It doesn't have the score object "collision avoidance" feature like Sibelius, so it will take a lot of tweaking of the score to get it performance ready.  Musescore version 3 may have such a feature, but who knows when it will become available.

Jer, thanks for the nice comment!  This discussion board tends toward modern styles - but sometime you just gotta  write a nice melody and then accompany it in the best "common practice" fashion!  My next piece will be more modern, I promise. I'm experimenting with polytonal harmony.

-JAy

RJB54

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 06:35:31 AM »
That will interest Michael as polyharmony is his specialty.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
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Gillespie

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 04:05:29 AM »
I read along while listening.  I enjoyed this Sarabande.  The use of brass was quite nice and your subtle use of chromatics and the key changes made for some interesting twists and turns.
The fermatas need to be in all parts, including those where the fermata lands on a rest. Absolutely necessary if you will be printing parts, else the "resting" performers won't "stop."
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 04:16:49 AM by Gillespie »

whitebark

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 10:05:21 AM »
Good point about the fermatas and thanks for the input, Clay!

-Jay

Michel.R.E

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2018, 09:07:22 AM »
three remarks:
avoid using double-dotted notes. use ties instead. double-dotted notes are used less and less and considered archaic/outdated notation.

measures around 70, the clarinet solo: there are a LOT of parallel octaves with the bass there. it was enough to really draw me out of the moment. it goes quite against the musical style (parallel octaves are verboten in tonal music, AND in non-tonal music)

watch your chromatic passages: there are moments where you have a chromatic note in one voice that is not matched in another voice (for example an A# in the clarinet, while the oboe plays just an A). It causes some clashes that are out of character with the general harmonic colour of the movement.


additional comments:
only 1 trumpet? I recommend using a pair.
Timpani should not be bracketed with the other instruments (here you have them sharing a bracket with the brass). Barlines should break between timps and other non-percussion instruments.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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whitebark

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2018, 10:37:42 AM »
Thanks for taking a break from your busy schedule to look at the Sarabande, Michel!  I'll take a close look at the parallel octave problem and issues with clashing minor seconds soon.  Yes, adding a second trumpet would certainly create a richer-sounding brass choir with the ability to create four note chords.  Alas, none of the four movements have the second trumpet - it would be quite a bit of work to add one.

Update: I took a look at the measure 70 passage. The Clarinet line is frequently in parallel with the bass line, as you noted. Since this passage's texture is more of a melody + gentle accompaniment than one of a contrapuntal nature, I think the  parallels may be overlooked to a certain extent. That said, I did create a new version with the parallel octaves removed - it sounds a bit spicier than the original.

-Jay
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 10:30:06 AM by whitebark »

LA Dierker

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 09:10:52 AM »
Have really enjoyed listening Jay, to both the Sarabande and the entire symphony.  As a clarinetist, appreciate the lyrical passages for the clarinet, and all your writing for the woodwinds.  Thank you, LA

whitebark

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2018, 09:42:09 AM »
Thanks for listening, and for the positive review, LA  :)

Jay

Michel.R.E

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2018, 09:54:59 AM »
Update: I took a look at the measure 70 passage. The Clarinet line is frequently in parallel with the bass line, as you noted. Since this passage's texture is more of a melody + gentle accompaniment than one of a contrapuntal nature, I think the  parallels may be overlooked to a certain extent. That said, I did create a new version with the parallel octaves removed - it sounds a bit spicier than the original.

-Jay

Jay, to be clear here, parallel octaves are always an error, regardless of the type of writing.
It's not a question of "this not being contrapuntal". Simple 4-part chordal harmony also requires that you avoid parallel octaves.

The issue in this case is that the bass line and the clarinet line keep coinciding on parallel octaves, creating an effect of "partial unison" every few notes. Instead of having a melodic line in the clarinet with an accompaniment in the bass, the effect is of the bass constantly horning in on the clarinet part. It makes the passage continuously move from 2 parts to 1 part and back and forth. This is where the weakness of parallel octaves comes in: this displacement of the ear's attention.

I've seen a few parallel octaves in Bach that were very successfully camouflaged through the skillful use of suspensions and appoggiaturas. But we're talking about one pair of octaves in the midst of a far longer passage (notably in his Passacaglia in C minor).

Otherwise, parallel octaves invariably stick out like a sore thumb.
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perpetuo studens

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Re: Sarabande (Classical Symphony 2nd movement)
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2018, 12:43:53 PM »
Love piece Jay. Truly enjoyed everything about it: melodies, harmonies, orchestration.

This discussion board tends toward modern styles - but sometime you just gotta  write a nice melody and then accompany it in the best "common practice" fashion!

I agree, even though I throw away lot and lots of common practice based sketches and ideas because I feel like I should be working on expanding my vocabulary and exploring new (for me) sounds. Thanks for showing us that there's still lots that can be done in this genre.

Jamie
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