Author Topic: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece  (Read 359 times)

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Medievalwarfare

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Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« on: February 12, 2019, 09:01:13 AM »
Though this piece has "love" in the title, it's purely a coincidence that I'm finishing this right in time for Valentine's day. The goal of this piece was to make something beautiful for the viola because not many composers give it the love that it deserves, especially in its higher register. The format of the piece is based on the 24th Caprice from Paganini where each section had its own theme. It's not purely a copy and paste, but there will be some resemblances. Really, it's just beautiful and has some many different emotions.

*Note for Michael- Since you play viola, I would love to hear your personal thoughts on the piece.

Score:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6lq2xtm2wjorea/Love_Me.pdf?dl=0

Recording:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5cwp7xlmoanpv27/Love_Me.mp3?dl=0

Michel.R.E

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Re: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 09:25:36 AM »
have to correct something right away. I notice there's generous use of open strings... the only problem is, you've sort of taken the concept of doublestops with open strings and put it upside down. the open string must be above if the interval is to be smaller than a 5th.

for example, to use a G open string, you can play notes on either string directly below (C) or directly above (D).

On the C string, you can play upwards, toward the open G string, and even past it (for more advanced players, the distance you can cover is higher).

on the D string, however, you cannot go lower than that D string. therefore, only notes at or above D can be played at the same time as the open string G.

So in your piece, all those Gs and Ds will have to be fingered.

Look at measure 2 of your piece.
The repeated D will have to be played on the lower G string, meaning that the upper notes of the pairs will have to be played on the D string.
At measure 8 you have a major 2nd between E and D. It's a bit of a stretch.
Most of the doublestops, while not absolutely impossible (I haven't gone over the entire piece), are awkward to finger.
(beat 2 of measure 30 is a perfect use of a nice, clean, simple open-string doublestop, so that one is very good)

Measure 18 is incredibly awkward since that held G can't be played on an open string. (also, requires a single slur on all the notes above, not two slurs... which would be impossible to play with a held whole note underneath)

At 36 I wonder why you are specifying the open strings. The sounds of the open strings will be noticeably different, and most performers would choose to avoid them.
Also, why specify the bow direction at measure 43?

From a notation and performance standpoint, the final measure has the grace note and "real note" reversed. Normally, the 1st notes of a chord will be the grace notes, and the upper notes of the chord will be the "real" notes.
"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"

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 09:25:45 AM »
Medievalwarfare,
 
There are some interesting beginnings in the piece that suggest the start of a melody, that then turn into scalar runs that frankly, are not as interesting.
 
I would suggest trying to make the melodic ideas more definitive, with more rhythmic variation — including, perhaps, dotted notes — and more air around them. Notice how Paganini's 24th Caprice sets off the melodies in distinct phrases.
 
Remember that big jumps of an octave or more are not difficult on a stringed instrument. Your piece is rather constrained to close intervals.
 
I also tried playing the piece at double speed, which actually made it sound better, emphasizing its strengths as well as its need for more structure.
 
Cheers,
Jer
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 09:33:03 AM by Jerry Engelbach »
Finale 26
NP3
GPO 5
JABB 3
iMac Mojave

mjf1947

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Re: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 09:29:41 AM »
Hi,

I am not a violist; however, have you check to see if the the double stops at the beginning are playable?

Looking at a diagram of the viola fret board ... you have 2 notes on 1 string> an open D and F for example.

Maybe a string player can assist here?

Mark

Michel.R.E

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Re: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 10:02:30 AM »
here's a quick and dirty visual guide to what is basically possible/playable as doublestops.
I used the violin because it's in treble clef, just to make it easier reading for those not as adept with alto clef.

let me explain the final example and as best I can with words (this would be so easy in person).

The 4th D/G places the fingers basically a 2nd apart (as though playing a scale), just on different strings, with the upper G being closer to the scroll while the lower D is closer to the bridge of the instrument.

The 6th D/B places the fingers again, basically a 2nd apart but on different strings. However, this time, the higher note is a finger closer to the bridge, while the lower note is a finger closer to the scroll.

There's a bit of a shift in hand position between the two intervals (4th and 6th).
The real issue here is that open 5th between the two. Since the string instruments' strings are a 5th apart (except for the contrabass, where the distance is a 4th), playing a doublestopped 5th means both strings will have to be stopped by the same finger.
This means that the finger will have to shift slightly to cover two strings. A different part of the fingertip is used for a regular note and for this type of "between two strings" fingering.

It is by no means "impossible" by a brilliant string player, but it is VERY very uncomfortable and unidiomatic. It requires awkward hand and finger shifts, and the intonation has a very high risk of being insecure.

NOTE:

Remember that the viola is a larger instrument than the violin. Some things might be easier on the smaller instrument, such as wider doublestops and repeated patterns that require wider intervals, while others will be easier on the larger viola or cello (the distance between two notes is wider, so there is more room to "hit the right note" in a chromatic passage).

Take into account that doublestopped octaves, while playable on the violin in all positions (ie: from the lowest to the highest notes) are NOT comfortable in low positions (near the scroll) on the viola and basically impossible on the cello until you are at least in 5th position (the index placed much higher up on the string).
"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"

Ron

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Re: Love Me- Viola Solo Piece
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 11:10:11 AM »
Further on that final chord that Michel has already commented on. The usual practice for a 4-note chord on a stringed instrument is for the bow to begin on the lower two strings, then the player quickly rocks it across the other strings, sustaining the top two notes. (It can be done in reverse, but this is the common method.) It is often notated as a quarter note for the bottom two notes and a half note--or longer in the upper two notes. String players understand this. Another way is to notate the lower two notes as a grace note, then write out the top two for their full duration. Whether the initial notes sound on the beat or slightly before it depends on the style of the period.
Ron
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