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About music in general => Members' own compositions => Topic started by: Ian Moore on July 25, 2014, 10:52:15 am



Title: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 25, 2014, 10:52:15 am
It is an honour to be the first member to post something on this new thread.  I hope it is a success. I have been a composer for many years now.  This piece of music was written some years ago, after a tragic incident.  However, I have come to understand it has a different meaning to me.  It is a duet for oboe and piano but the extract that I have chosen is so short you will only hear he oboe.  The look of the score is very complex but the sound of the music is much less difficult.  It is beautifully played by Christopher Redgate.  Please feel free to discuss any aspect of the work.

Adieu (http://youtu.be/tZ2NtcppXos?list=PLbbc_ag1cbWp9QkMuV7bb8r-_QGadgeMs)


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: ahinton on July 25, 2014, 12:27:18 pm
It is an honour to be the first member to post something on this new thread.  I hope it is a success. I have been a composer for many years now.  This piece of music was written some years ago, after a tragic incident.  However, I have come to understand it has a different meaning to me.  It is a duet for oboe and piano but the extract that I have chosen is so short you will only hear he oboe.  The look of the score is very complex but the sound of the music is much less difficult.  It is beautifully played by Christopher Redgate.  Please feel free to discuss any aspect of the work.

Adieu (http://"http://youtu.be/tZ2NtcppXos?list=PLbbc_ag1cbWp9QkMuV7bb8r-_QGadgeMs")
Sadly, this seems not to load; could you check its URL, please?


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 25, 2014, 05:41:46 pm
Sorry, it was working this morning.
http://youtu.be/tZ2NtcppXos


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 26, 2014, 07:42:57 am
Please give feedback.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Black on July 26, 2014, 08:33:05 pm
After listening a couple of times I found it rather intriguing and it made me wondering what would come next and what the piano part would be like. But looking at the score made me wondering why the notation should be so extremely complex and elaborate. Is it really necessary to put a dynamic sign under every note? Is it really necessary to give each bar a different lenght? You can not expect a musician play this as exact as the score suggests he should do. Only a computer can. So why won't you leave some to the performer?
If this sounds rather critical please note that it only concerns the notation and not the music itself.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 26, 2014, 11:05:16 pm
The rapid changes of dynamics subtly alters the instrumental colour. I don't think you're being critical. You're being curious which is a good thing because you are thinking deeply about what you are encountering.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2014, 07:13:59 am
It does seem as though you have been asking the same question on several other music forums, for example:-

http://www.talkclassical.com/33002-adieu-mon-frere.html

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=23364.0

http://www.mqcd-musique-classique.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7303

I imagine that Chris Redgate has already answered your question hasn't he? I'm intrigued as to why you're publicising the same brief extract in so many places.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 27, 2014, 08:06:02 pm
I don't understand what you mean about Christopher Redgate answering my question.  I made a suggestion to the administrator of this forum for there to be a 'members own composition thread'.  I would like to know how people feel about music. I would like everyone to explain their own music.  It is interesting to me and I hope to others. I am sure that you are a member of more than one forum. What does it matter?  Surely, everyone would like show their work to the biggest number of people possible so that I can gather information about my music and hopefully kind comments.  I don't think that this is strange. I am also a member of Facebook.
If you read the questions and the comments on those websites, you will see there is a different focus.  For example, the talk classical forum dissected the notation.  They talked about over using accidentals.  Whereas the French forum, concentrated on the emotional impact of the music. They called it humorous which I could understand at first. This is feedback from a small number of people. Obviously, the larger the group of people the better the feedback.  If I was plastering my music on every website possible day after day, I could understand your apparent indignation.  Forums are helpful to composers like me.  It is a real opportunity to directly speak to real people.  I am obviously keen to help people get involved in my music.  Sometimes, I may be too keen and I apologise for that.
The extract is so short because I want to protect my rights as a composer.  It also marks a natural break in the music- the piano starts immediately afterwards. Thirty seconds is very short and I will allow a longer viewing at a later stage when I get feedback I require. I have answered all of your questions can you answer mine, please.  What do you think of my piece?  I have received feedback about notational issues, title, emotions...the choice is yours.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on July 28, 2014, 12:18:42 pm
I don't understand what you mean about Christopher Redgate answering my question.  I made a suggestion to the administrator of this forum for there to be a 'members own composition thread'.  I would like to know how people feel about music. I would like everyone to explain their own music.  It is interesting to me and I hope to others. I am sure that you are a member of more than one forum. What does it matter?  Surely, everyone would like show their work to the biggest number of people possible so that I can gather information about my music and hopefully kind comments.  I don't think that this is strange. I am also a member of Facebook.
If you read the questions and the comments on those websites, you will see there is a different focus.  For example, the talk classical forum dissected the notation.  They talked about over using accidentals.  Whereas the French forum, concentrated on the emotional impact of the music. They called it humorous which I could understand at first. This is feedback from a small number of people. Obviously, the larger the group of people the better the feedback.  If I was plastering my music on every website possible day after day, I could understand your apparent indignation.  Forums are helpful to composers like me.  It is a real opportunity to directly speak to real people.  I am obviously keen to help people get involved in my music.  Sometimes, I may be too keen and I apologise for that.
The extract is so short because I want to protect my rights as a composer.  It also marks a natural break in the music- the piano starts immediately afterwards. Thirty seconds is very short and I will allow a longer viewing at a later stage when I get feedback I require. I have answered all of your questions can you answer mine, please.  What do you think of my piece?  I have received feedback about notational issues, title, emotions...the choice is yours.

Gosh, Ian, calm down! I am not indignant.
It's not really apt to comment on the music of such a short extract other than to note that it's an arresting and effective opening. However there are a number of technical matters, concerning both the notation itself and how the dots are to be performed.
For example, the recording that you posted seems to indicate that the dynamics you have written could be questioned by those whose comments you seek. Either because they may be impracticable, or as Black suggests, overwritten. Chris deviates considerably from them in any case. How do you feel about that? (He also plays a wrong note on line 3).
The oboe is less suitable for fluttertonguing than most other wind instruments - although there are some players who've managed to get round the problem - they tend to be people like Chris, but even he would find a fluttertongue at a quiet dynamic (p) a problem. Or would he? You would have to ask someone as good a player as he, hence my comment. Judging by his performance, I could confidently guess the answer to that and other questions.

Black has made some relevant points: I, and no doubt others, await your answers with interest. All those accidentals? Unnecessary surely? Some would argue that using the kind of notation that you do denies the player any freedom whatsoever - "anti-human" even (!): they would no doubt argue that it would be possible to use a simpler, freer-looking notation and still get an equally intense effect. What do you reckon?


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: ahinton on July 28, 2014, 01:43:46 pm
there are a number of technical matters, concerning both the notation itself and how the dots are to be performed...

...The oboe is less suitable for fluttertonguing than most other wind instruments - although there are some players who've managed to get round the problem - they tend to be people like Chris, but even he would find a fluttertongue at a quiet dynamic (p) a problem. Or would he? You would have to ask someone as good a player as he, hence my comment. Judging by his performance, I could confidently guess the answer to that and other questions.
It can be quite painful as well as difficult to do that effectively on a double reed instrument! - but yes, I'd happily defer to players such as Chris Redgate or Nick Daniel if they thought it perfectly acceptable (although I'd also counsel them as to what proportion of players they thought might be capable of executing such things).

All those accidentals? Unnecessary surely?
I agree. Cautionary accidentals might well be advisable in lengthy bars, but many of these are hardly even cautionary!

Some would argue that using the kind of notation that you do denies the player any freedom whatsoever - "anti-human" even (!): they would no doubt argue that it would be possible to use a simpler, freer-looking notation and still get an equally intense effect. What do you reckon?
This is what I call the Schönberg Op. 25 / Grainger Country Gardens issue; never write a note without it carrying some performance direction or other! It's all too easy to fall into such a trap in order to try to ensure that things don't go other than according to plan but it can sometimes either intimidate or even annoy the player...


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 28, 2014, 10:08:15 pm
A lot of people have talked about the over use of accidentals in this work but there are a few famous composers that do put accidentals on every note.  There are also many occasions where in one bar there would be a 'd' without a an accidental, a 'd' with a natural (a flattened note) and a d sharp or flat in close proximity.  It can be very confusing.  In the days when I  put accidentals only on the initial note, I once had a rehearsal when the musicians stop every few minutes because someone else had a different accidental for the same letter name(e.g. one person had a 'd' and another person had a 'd' flat later on in the bar).  It was very frustrating.  Since then, I put them on every note.  There can be no confusion (or stopping).

Thank you for taking an interest.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on July 28, 2014, 11:42:48 pm
That doesn't hold good here does it? This extract (which is all we have to comment on) contains comparatively few pitches which tend to repeat.
How about other points?


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 29, 2014, 10:59:59 am
Ahinton, I was really surprise when you mentioned Percy Grainger's name.  But have a look at this
(http://www.everynote.com/goods.pic/Grain_P_CouGard.gif)
I suppose he could have written 'sempre' after the first lot of accents and 'foot pedalling'.  However, that couldn't work if your changing the type of accents and the type of pedalling all of the time.  Is this what you mean?


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 30, 2014, 10:01:55 am
Ahinton, if I could save time by by using the term 'sempre', I would but a lot of the time it would create confusion rather than solve it.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on July 30, 2014, 10:03:39 am
I have to admit I do like the look of a 'busy' score.  It's nothing compared to a composer like Ferneyhough; he has his own unique style.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on July 30, 2014, 12:29:26 pm
It's all too easy to fall into such a trap in order to try to ensure that things don't go other than according to plan but it can sometimes either intimidate or even annoy the player...

Or - "to be played in the character of the horn solo in the 2nd movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan (1965 recording)".


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: ahinton on July 30, 2014, 03:37:03 pm
It's all too easy to fall into such a trap in order to try to ensure that things don't go other than according to plan but it can sometimes either intimidate or even annoy the player...

Or - "to be played in the character of the horn solo in the 2nd movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan (1965 recording)".
Is that a real performance direction?(!) - if so, what is its source?


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on August 07, 2014, 03:13:30 pm
I have just heard back from the pianist and he has given me permission to put the whole performance on Youtube. Hopefully, I can get a full recording up in the next few days.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on August 07, 2014, 11:02:16 pm
It's all too easy to fall into such a trap in order to try to ensure that things don't go other than according to plan but it can sometimes either intimidate or even annoy the player...

Or - "to be played in the character of the horn solo in the 2nd movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan (1965 recording)".
Is that a real performance direction?(!) - if so, what is its source?

Er - no it's not!


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: ahinton on August 08, 2014, 02:48:16 pm
It's all too easy to fall into such a trap in order to try to ensure that things don't go other than according to plan but it can sometimes either intimidate or even annoy the player...

Or - "to be played in the character of the horn solo in the 2nd movement of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan (1965 recording)".
Is that a real performance direction?(!) - if so, what is its source?

Er - no it's not!
Somehow I didn't think that it was, but you never know, I suppose! Perhaps that's a pity anyway, since it has an amusing ring to it...


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on August 13, 2014, 09:47:43 am
At last...Here is a whole performance of Adieu, rather than snippets.  This video has all of the music and most of the score.  It is a live recording.  I hope it shows you what I was trying to achieve. Please enjoy:

Adieu (http://youtu.be/76ozpdjMwL4)


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Neil McGowan on August 13, 2014, 12:48:58 pm
The pianist appears to have ignored the dynamic markings, throughout :(


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on August 13, 2014, 02:31:31 pm
Unfortunately, the recording emphasises the piano part. I was at the recording and the balance was great. It was recorded on one track therefore it is difficult to re-adjust the balance. Sorry.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: autoharp on August 13, 2014, 05:01:50 pm
We still await answers to the questions posed last month. It does seem that certain aspects (such as the dynamics) are overwritten and no excuses regarding the recording cover that up. Neither player obeys the dynamic markings: does that matter? The players on the recording are unquestionably committed and yet the complexities of the notation guarantee only an approximation of what you have written: does that matter? This raises other questions such as - is there a more efficient way to notate your intentions? Why is this notation so complex-looking anyway - is it down to a collision of systems? etc.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on August 13, 2014, 08:11:45 pm
I didn't put my music here to defend my notation.  I put it on this forum to share and ask for feedback. I like people to be honest. I thank you for your comments.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Neil McGowan on August 13, 2014, 08:18:31 pm
Unfortunately, the recording emphasises the piano part. I was at the recording and the balance was great. It was recorded on one track therefore it is difficult to re-adjust the balance. Sorry.

But it's not the balance. It's the relative dynamics within the piano part. pp is supposed to be quieter than p. f  should be louder than mf. But none of these carefully-notated markings are observed in the performance, which is played at a continuous mf.  It all conspires to denude the music of its characteristics and effect :(

This kind of happy-go-lucky approach to dynamic markings comes out of the "Tune-A-Day" approach - that dynamics are the icing on the cake, that "we might get round to once we've actually sorted out notes, and their durations". Yet a dynamic marking is just as much a part of the composition as the pitch-notations, and ignoring the dynamics is just as much as a mistake as playing F# instead of Ab.

I hope you don't perceive this as being negative. Ignoring the dynamic markings has reduced the effect your piece could make. It's a bit like showing a colour film in black-and-white.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: Ian Moore on August 13, 2014, 08:32:53 pm
I understand what you are saying. But on the whole, taking into account that it is a live performance, they do a great job.  This is one of my favourite pieces that I have written.


Title: Re: Adieu mon frère
Post by: ahinton on August 13, 2014, 09:20:06 pm
Unfortunately, the recording emphasises the piano part. I was at the recording and the balance was great. It was recorded on one track therefore it is difficult to re-adjust the balance. Sorry.

But it's not the balance. It's the relative dynamics within the piano part. pp is supposed to be quieter than p. f  should be louder than mf. But none of these carefully-notated markings are observed in the performance, which is played at a continuous mf.  It all conspires to denude the music of its characteristics and effect :(

This kind of happy-go-lucky approach to dynamic markings comes out of the "Tune-A-Day" approach - that dynamics are the icing on the cake, that "we might get round to once we've actually sorted out notes, and their durations". Yet a dynamic marking is just as much a part of the composition as the pitch-notations, and ignoring the dynamics is just as much as a mistake as playing F# instead of Ab.

I hope you don't perceive this as being negative. Ignoring the dynamic markings has reduced the effect your piece could make. It's a bit like showing a colour film in black-and-white.
I think that you make excellent sense here over all of these issues.