Author Topic: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)  (Read 839 times)

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Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:21:59 PM »
Here is the second movement to "Yfirsést." (In case you care to hear the first, it's located here: This movement is much more lush and melancholic than the previous movement. It is hymn-like in its sorrowful passages, rich harmonies and brass chorales; hence the name, "Andante religioso."

There are three major themes in this movement: the first theme is bleak and despairing, the second theme is simple and hope-filled, and the third theme is dark and foreboding. The themes are interwoven to tell a story of heartache and loss—and eventual redemption. The viola's material is not terribly difficult here, lots of double stops but not much technical demand. (The violist needs all the rest he can get before the diabolic finale.) There are also some foreshadowings here into the final movement, as well as a few motivic borrowings from the first movement which you might notice.

This is meant to be a very emotional piece of music, so I do hope you all find it enjoyable. Feedback is very welcome!


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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 10:22:06 AM »
Another nicely composed movement in a romantic style...thanks for posting it.  Good use of themes and harmonies to create a nice musical flow and tragic mood. However, the harmonies were perhaps a bit too conservative - at times, I felt like I was listening to romantic-era music from the late 1800s.   Perhaps for this reason, Tthere was less of a "Sibelius" flavor in this movement. The viola solo part did not seem as prominent as it should be in a concerto.  This could be due to heavy orchestration covering the viola part, or lack of solo passages. A well-written concerto should create the feeling of a dialog between the soloist and orchestra.

Otherwise, good work!



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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 12:31:58 PM »

I really enjoyed your orchestration .... woodwind ensembles .... horns for that special mood/moment etc.  The inter change among the sections created a nice fabric of colors.

I really enjoyed the theme ..... a funeral/march tone similar to Chopin and Beethoven.

My only suggestion might be - a tiny weeny bit of editing to tighten up the work and increase the flow.  It's a long Funeral indeed~!

« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 01:02:12 PM by mjf1947 »

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 10:24:19 AM »
Absolutely gorgeous.
Compelling themes, well developed. Beautiful orchestration. The mood you establish is mesmerizing.
I have the same reservation I had about the opening movement: two movements in a row that are so slow might be asking too much of the audience.
Your sound is incredibly good. What sound set are you using?
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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 11:29:40 AM »
I liked this mvt even more. I enjoyed what I heard as beautiful themes, great mood and sound orchestration with many enchanted moments.

In a few instances when the going tended to get more dramatic and darker I noticed the music a bit too hastily -for my taste- turned to head towards the more agreeable. As to dearth of soloistic passages Jay mentions, I blasphemously thought to myself, perhaps Sibelius could use some of that, too. :)

That's, again, a very nice recording. Perhaps you care to say a thing or two when convenient, about the goodies in your toolbox and how you make use of them.

Thanks for posting this Jordan, I look forward to hearing more.


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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2019, 12:09:21 PM »
Thanks, all, for the kind comments and great feedback! I apologize for taking so long to respond... been out of town (and accidentally left my computer—all packed and ready to go—by the door).

Jay: Yes, the dearth of viola soloism in this movement has boded ill with me since I created this piece. I wanted to "tone" back from all the solos in the opening movement but I worried that I pulled back a little too far. At any rate, it will not be that difficult to write in some soaring viola passages above the orchestra obbligato. Based on your feedback, I think that's exactly what I'll do. :)

Mark: When I first described this movement to a friend who hadn't heard it, the words I used were something along the lines of "a Viking chief's funeral." The inspiration for the movement was the cold hand of winter, killing everything for a season—so, in a way, I would say it is a funeral march of sorts! I'm sorry it came across as long. Perhaps there are ways I can snip out some excess material to streamline things a bit!

Jay: You're right; I hadn't considered that the first two movements are slow, back to back. (Tempo-wise, they aren't. But the overall feel is still very similar, like you mentioned.) I'll look into creating a little more movement for the first, give it some contrast to this one.

Reha: I thought this movement would be more to your liking, so I'm glad you enjoyed it! As to darker themes... this is something I'm working on developing as a composer. My natural bend is to "redeem" all dark passages and I'm afraid I leaned a little too much into that here. There are still a lot of personal stylistic quirks I'm trying to figure out. For example, while creating a Romantic work like this concerto wasn't overly challenging and ended up sounding like I wanted it, it's not how I want my style to sound. I don't want to be some modern guy who writes Romantic-era music. This is one of the main reasons I haven't attempted a piano concerto yet—waiting to grow into my style. So, I'm very grateful for your patience and kind feedback as I slowly but surely crawl my way there!

The goodies in my toolbox, lol. I use the very pricey sound libraries from Spitfire Audio: This particular work used the Symphonic Winds library for all the woodwinds, Mural Strings for the tutti strings, Solo Strings for the solo viola, Symphonic Brass for the brass section, and Percussion for, you guessed it, the percussion instruments. Unless you have come into an inheritance, I recommend purchasing these over the span of several years (this is how I did it). All of these plug in to Kontakt, which I use directly with Sibelius.

I record each instrument separately, then combine them (I believe the kids call it 'mixing') in a software called Reaper. This is how I tweak the overall recording so that it sounds closer to how an orchestra would perform it. It's a painstaking process—and it's an additional pain to make any changes to the score and re-record everything—but it's the best way I've found to keep it sounding top-quality.

Let me know if you have further questions about that. Happy to help!!!


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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2019, 09:05:00 PM »
Really beautiful harmonies and the orchestral colors you're going for are really interesting. The viola also is a great soloist because of your balancing. Good work :)


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Re: Yfirsést: concerto for viola and orchestra (2º mvmt)
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2020, 06:21:14 AM »
I agree with the other comments.

The basic material is quite good in the late romantic style.

But, for me, that's a bit of a problem. This does sound like it was written in the 1880s rather than written now. I'm not saying everything must be wild and crazy avant-garde. As can be seen in my own pieces where I put a lot of effort into creating, to varying degrees, tonalist areas in a contemporary harmonic style. I guess I'm saying that there are plenty of composers of the contemporary music period (1900 to now) who worked out varying ways of writing tonal or tonalistic music which sounds more contemporary while still allowing for the excellent lush harmonies you have here.

The viola is definitely overshadowed in this movement. The viola doesn't project like the violin and the full bodied orchestration (while it works quite well) doesn't leave much room for the viola to shine.

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