Author Topic: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano  (Read 567 times)

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mjf1947

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Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« on: April 22, 2019, 11:54:26 AM »
Here's an old work ... which I am thinking to further develop.  I substituted a Clarinet for an Oboe - which I feel better suits the musical intent/mood; and I change the key for a better range for the Clarinet.

Think Great Gatsby ... two persons on the Veranda ..... overlooking the bay.

Enjoy ..... all comments most welcome.

Mark

« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 12:50:47 PM by mjf1947 »

RJB54

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 06:18:23 AM »
Nice piece. Quite evocative.

I think that you should seriously consider expanding on this basic material. You could have passages where the viola and/or piano takes the lead as well as exploring various color combinations. You are using instruments which have relatively large ranges so you could make use of them for some interesting effects.
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whitebark

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 11:30:16 AM »
Nice musical vignette, Mark.  It's worth improving and expanding.

Jay

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 08:59:11 AM »
Mark,
 
It's got some beautiful things in it.
 
I feel that the viola gets lost much of the time. The clarinet and viola could challenge and respond to each other with more one-to-the-other exchanges and more contrary motion.
 
Perhaps if (when?) you expand it each of the three instruments could have more of its own moments.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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Michel.R.E

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 01:15:39 PM »
It's quite lovely and evocative.
There are some places where dissonances between the viola and clarinet tend to muddle the harmony and direction a bit much. Be careful when you have the two instruments coming together in the same range and playing lots of 2nds in relation one to the other, or to the piano.

One thing to be careful when writing for strings is the use of 5ths melodically. Most times, using a 5th is playable through what is called "an extension" (where you stretch a finger a bit further than the normal fingering would suggest).
Something like last beat of measure 6 and 1st of measure 7 can be problematic. You have two 5ths in a row, which will have to be played on different strings and require shifts of hand position. It's not strictly speaking "impossible", but it's very clumsy and unidiomatic.

At measure 13, in the piano, and when that figure repeats, how about having the left hand NOT double the right hand at the octave? it seems this particular area would gain from perhaps the left hand being a 3rd higher? (the 8th notes, I mean. you can leave the actual bass note where it is).
Maybe have the left hand at measure 14 go up instead of playing that low C. Look at what's happening there. it's the end of a phrase, you are diminishing the volume. why not make it a rising "question" instead?
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mjf1947

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 01:42:43 PM »
It's quite lovely and evocative.
There are some places where dissonances between the viola and clarinet tend to muddle the harmony and direction a bit much. Be careful when you have the two instruments coming together in the same range and playing lots of 2nds in relation one to the other, or to the piano.

One thing to be careful when writing for strings is the use of 5ths melodically. Most times, using a 5th is playable through what is called "an extension" (where you stretch a finger a bit further than the normal fingering would suggest).
Something like last beat of measure 6 and 1st of measure 7 can be problematic. You have two 5ths in a row, which will have to be played on different strings and require shifts of hand position. It's not strictly speaking "impossible", but it's very clumsy and unidiomatic.

At measure 13, in the piano, and when that figure repeats, how about having the left hand NOT double the right hand at the octave? it seems this particular area would gain from perhaps the left hand being a 3rd higher? (the 8th notes, I mean. you can leave the actual bass note where it is).
Maybe have the left hand at measure 14 go up instead of playing that low C. Look at what's happening there. it's the end of a phrase, you are diminishing the volume. why not make it a rising "question" instead?

Michel thanks for the review:

I corrected measure 13. (see attached)

I have more difficulty understanding the problem with the strings ... since I am not a string player.
I didn't think that single notes played on a string would cause a problem vs. let's say double/triple stops.
So it's just the reach for the note that poses the difficulty when writing with 5th's.

Also could you please select a measure where the Clarinet and Viola lines pose a problem because of the 2nd's and/or proximity.



Thanks once more.


« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 01:52:43 PM by mjf1947 »

Michel.R.E

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 02:05:49 PM »
for example, measures 7 through 9. look at how much each line turns around the note of the other line.

as for 5ths:
since strings are tuned a 5th apart, this means that the interval, whether played as a double stop or melodically, requires a finger to be at the exact same position (for a double stop) or an extension (for a melodic leap that does not use open strings).

The effect of a leap by 5th can be quite beautiful, as there will be a tiny "gliss" effect, very subtle, but very dramatic. An leap on a single string that requires a shift in hand position will create this effect. And yes, it is beautiful and CAN be used to great effect.

But when you have two set of 5ths in a row you have to be conscious of which strings they will be played on. if the position for one note is too low on a string (for example, an A on the E string) then no shift can allow for that downward leap, a string crossing is required, or a much higher string position on the A string.

So in your piece (measures 6-7), you first have C down to F, which will require either a string crossing from the A string to the D, or the whole leap played on the D string (C to F). this will use 4th finger and 1st finger.
The issue now is the next pair of notes, which ALSO require 1st finger and 4th finger. But on the G string, and in a slightly higher position. So you have to let go the D string, switch to the G string with the same finger, then extend up for your 5th.
There's another fingering possibility, but it's harder on the viola because of the distance between strings, which is greater than on a violin. And this alternate fingering has its own set of difficulties, primary among them is intonation.

Anyway, all that to say that both melodic and doublestopped 5ths have their fair share of performance issues.

one way to avoid problems with 5ths is to play ANY intervening note in the interval, whether that means the 2nd or 3rd or 4th down (or up, depending on the direction of you 5th). You can also bypass the 5th by playing a 6th then coming back to the 5th.
It's surprising how a simple trick like this completely makes a performance issue vanish.
"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

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 02:23:54 PM »
Michel thanks for the quick response.

Here's a correction to the viola/clarinet lines.



If it's good I go over other parts of the work and review the lines.

The issue of 5th's is next on my list.

Once again much thanks.

Mark

mjf1947

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 10:38:27 AM »
For those who followed this thread.

Here is my "changes" to the piece as suggested by Michel:

The 5th's in Viola, musical lines crossing, and the left hand in the piano and a few note changes in other measures.

Again a big thanks to Michel.

I learned much from his suggestions.

Mark


amdg

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 12:07:50 PM »
Quite charming, Mark.  The lines flow very well with one another.  I especially like the ending -- Perhaps not Gatsby for me, but not far from that evocation.  The ending does an excellent job of bringing everything to a satisfying conclusion.

Brian

RJB54

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 01:46:24 PM »
The latest version is quite nice.

I still suggest that you can expand the pallet by having the instruments (particularly the clarinet) appear in other ranges. The bottom range of the clarinet is quite evocative and would work very well in this piece. For example, the opening bars of the clarinet part could be lowered an octave to good effect.
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.
Frank Zappa

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: Trio Clarinet Viola Piano
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 11:44:30 AM »
That's a very lovely piece.   You mentioned further development?  Are you imaging changes within the existing context?  Or expanding the piece?  Writing additional short pieces and making it part of a suite?  Or something else?  If you intend to either expand the existing piece or writing additional movements, I'd recommend following Jerry's suggestion: create some places where each of the instruments is center stage.  (I should take that advice, too.   :) )