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Topic: Threnody

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  1. #1

    Threnody

    My Debussy demo back in April was very well received, I'm happy to say. I just hope this one is received half as well. It's an original piece this time, not a transcription.

    I offer Threnody, the second movement of my second symphony. Go to http://www.swanswingpress.com and click on "Listen!" (I've also posted a few non-GPO pieces. Hope you like them anyway)

    A little context first. My second symphony was written during the last few months of 2001, most of it immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11. It was premiered by the Indianaplis Chamber Orchestra in February 2002. "Threnody" is a greek word for a poem of lamentation.

    The symphony is in three movements, which are intended to be played without pause, so I think "Threnody" might seem to begin and end a little abruptly. Eventually I plan to realize the entire symphony, so the missing context will be supplied.

    The symphony existed as a Finale file, so I exported it from Finale as a MIDI file, opened it in Sonar, and went to work. 7 instances of GPO were used. Instruments include:

    Flute solo Vib, Flute ens 1 & 2, Oboe 2 modern solo, English horn 2 solo, Clarinet solo, Bass clarinet solo, Bassoon 2 solo, Bassoon 1 ens 1.

    Horn 1 solo, Horn 2 ens 1, horn mute ens 1, horn f overlay, Trumpet 1 ens 1, Trumpet 2 ens 1, Trumpet straight mute ens 1, trumpet overlay.

    Timpani, snare drum, vibraphone, harp 1

    Lush strings (violin 1/violin 2/viola/cello/bass) plus muted violin 1

    Sus/short strings (violin 1/violin 2/viola/cello/bass)

    Solo strings (2 solo vl, 2 solo vla, 2 solo cellos, 1 solo bass)

    Pizz strings (violin 1/violin 2/viola/cello/bass)

    That's it. I hope you all enjoy it.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  2. #2

    Re: Threnody

    The first word that comes to mind is stunning. The writing, the orchestration, the capturing of the lamentation you were afterÉall are great. It is just magnificent.

    Thank you,

    Karl

  3. #3
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    Re: Threnody

    Dan,

    This is really outstanding! I had my doubts that your Debussy could be topped but you outdid yourself with "Trenody".

    From a compositional point of view the work is extraordinary and reflects a high skill of writing for orchestra. The orchestral colors you portray in this lamentation are in a class of its own and the instrument mix is just right. I couldn't help wonder what this peice would sound like at a higher resolution than 128Kbps.

    If this is just the second movement of your second symphony, it would be nice to hear the rest. I hope you do realize the rest of the score.
    It must have been a wonderful experience to hear this performed by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

    I hope you don't mind if this is featured on the GPO demo page.

    Bravo!

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Re: Threnody

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Dan,

    It must have been a wonderful experience to hear this performed by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
    It was indeed! Couple of acquaintances of mine in the orch. also spoke highly of it.

    Dan Powers>The symphony existed as a Finale file, so I exported it from Finale as a MIDI file, opened it in Sonar, and went to work.

    Dan, could you elaborate on what you did when you "went to work," especially any humanization you might have done with the Finale file and how you used the overlay instruments?

    Dan, I hope we cross paths someday. I have couple acquaintances in the brass section of the TH Sym. Brian the tuba player plays in my quintet.

    Not sure how far back you go in Terre Haute, but Bob Reifsnyder was at IU same time I was.

    Great piece--live and in GPO!!

    Regards...Jim W.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  5. #5

    Re: Threnody

    Jim, when I "went to work," it mostly involved drawing in mod wheel curves, adjusting velocities, etc. I put in a lot of time drawing in tempo changes, such as slight ritards at the ends of certain phrases and so on. I didn't put in any EQ this time, but added some reverb.

    Bob Reifsnyder had left TH before I got here, but I've met him a couple of times. My wife Martha accompanied his recital in Chicago a couple of years ago.

    (And just in case you're interested, my new piano concerto will be premiered here in TH on April 5 next year, if you feel like making the trip.)

    Gary: Thanks for your thoughts. Of course you may put it on your website! It was indeed a thrilling experience to hear it performed by the ICO. They're as fine a group as anyone could have wished for. (Also thanks for the GOS. Still trying to get it to work in VSampler. I only seem to be able to import one instrument at a time, or it crashes. But once it's imported it seems to work OK.)
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Threnody

    Impressive. If you ever get the whole symphony recorded with GPO I'd really like to hear it.
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7

    Re: Threnody

    Good work
    Nicole Davis

  8. #8

    Re: Threnody

    Don't worry, Nicole, I wasn't offended!

    You asked, "Do you write for yourself or for others to hear?" I don't see it as an either/or situation. I feel it is possible, and in fact desirable, to do both. Anyway, that's what I tried for.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  9. #9

    Re: Threnody

    This is a really good work, Dan and you should be proud of it. I composed a 'threnody' myself from a different inspiration, a long while ago and realized it at that time on the early Vitous library. I have to say that GPO demands I go back and redo it! Your piece has inspired me to try it.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  10. #10

    Re: Threnody

    Quote Originally Posted by danpowers
    (And just in case you're interested, my new piano concerto will be premiered here in TH on April 5 next year, if you feel like making the trip.)
    My mistake! April 5 is the date of the first rehearsal! The concert actually is April 9.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

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