Author Topic: Requiem  (Read 90 times)

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lschoonover

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Requiem
« on: August 01, 2020, 02:51:57 PM »
This is the latest piece that I have been working on and the first choral piece that I have written (I mostly write orchestral pieces).  There are 5 a capella choir pieces (SATB) with short string orchestral works between them.  The lyrics come from the requiem mass.  They are in order:  Introit, Pie Jesu, Kyrie, Dies Irae, and Angus Dei.  The string piece before Dies Irae is an instrumental interpretation of Mors et Natura from the mass.

As a beginner, student, and new to choral music, I welcome all comments and suggestions.

The score of the choral pieces are attached and the link to both choral and orchestral work is:

https://soundcloud.com/user-380220205/sets/lamento-et-requiem-tracks

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 03:22:10 PM »
It seems to be a quite skillfully written piece. It sounds like the words are being sung; was this a live recording?
 
Several things strike me that might be improved.
 
Each section has pretty much the same thick texture. Nothing stands out. It could use more air.
 
The piece is top-heavy, with the sopranos singing almost continuously, yet rarely delivering a punch by rising above the mass.
 
The tempos of the sections are about the same.
 
The upshot is that I think it would be more interesting with more variety.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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gogreen

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 04:00:44 PM »
I agree with Jer--skillfully done, and you chose some pleasant harmonies and judiciously placed chords. The different sections include similar chorale-like writing. I suggest including more variety by choosing different tempi, and changing up the chorale-like material with, for instance, each voice carrying the main line with rhythmic motifs or other accompaniment. More varied dynamics would help, too. You might also try contrapuntal techniques to contrast with the chorale material.

Sing each part yourself and think about where your singers will breathe! The music has to be pleasant to hear, sure, but it also should be pleasant to perform.

That said, I do think this work is on a successful path.

Are the voices real singers? How did you create the rendering?

Art

lschoonover

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 04:12:55 PM »
Thank you for your comments.  I will look to add more pieces of the mass with different tempi, style, and texture.  I'm not sure what I can do (with these pieces) to change the texture, particularly with the soprano but I'll try.

The pieces are rendered from Reaper using EW Hollywood Choir library which lets me input phonemes for each note.  It is difficult to get the pronunciation just right but since I don't have a choir it at least gives me a good idea of the sound.

lschoonover

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 04:47:33 PM »
As I look at the score, I think there are places that I could remove some of the voices to let more voices have solos (or duets) which would make the texture less thick and let the sopranos stand out on their own.  I'll experiment.

BTW - Art, I found this site from you book - thank you.  It was a very useful book.

Larry

gogreen

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 07:22:09 PM »
Quote
I found this site from you book - thank you.  It was a very useful book.

Great, Larry! I'm glad you found the book helpful. I sent you a PM.

Art

mjf1947

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2020, 07:51:41 AM »
I agree with all the above recommendations and observations.

Kudos to you for composing the work.  It is a significant endeavor.

And it would be lovely to have some solo or ensemble voices - it would definitely enrich the work.

Mark

Michel.R.E

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2020, 04:58:13 PM »
it would help to have the score of the orchestral parts as well.

I see a lot of problems in the vocal writing itself, other than the few criticisms that have already been brought up.

part A
The prosody is incorrect in many places. When you set a text to music you must set that text so that the music properly expresses both the intent of the text as well as the proper usage of that text.
If I were to accent a passage in the following manner: HELlo, how are YOU? are you doING well TOday
you would wonder about my capacity to speak English.
So every language has tonic accents or the equivalent. For example, in French the tonic accent is almost always on the final syllable of a word: "je suis al regarder les hippopotames dans les enclos."

You need to sit with someone who speaks Latin correctly and understands where those tonic accents go.

When setting a phrase you want to highpoint of that musical phrase to reflect the highpoint of the text as well. You wouldn't want to accentuate a musical phrase in a manner such as the following, for example: "I want a chocolate chip cookie for dessert." accentuating the word "a" wouldn't serve the phrase properly. Most times, in a text setting, there are multiple choices to be made as to where to place the emphasis in a phrase. it is up to you to choose the one that will create the emotional effect you want to achieve.

part B
I've included a sample page with some engraving errors in your score and what needs to be corrected.
"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"

lschoonover

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Re: Requiem
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2020, 12:12:02 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your comments and suggestions.