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Topic: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

  1. #1

    Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    This is one of my favourite pieces of music of all time. I have seen a few orchestras playing it and I usually feel they are in a hurry to get the first movement over with - I don't know why. So starting with M. A. Kesnevic's excellent midi file (on ClassicalArchives.com) about a year has been spent turning this into something I am now really pleased with and is how I'd present this piece if I were a conductor! (I can already hear people saying thank goodness he isn't one). OK there are a still a few AK47's in there, but its done with a sample library!

    The brass is SAM Brass (mostly the free demo samples), the rest of the Orchestra all GPO, and 'scoring noises' are the free Beladmedia ones posted here a while back.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Thumbs up Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Very Nice, L0W! The AK47s can be fixed, there is something in the tutorials here on how to do that by giving the notes to two different instruments, I think you set the var differently on each. There is also posted there somewhere, some script zip, i think it is called machinegun killer or something like that. I'm surely not really qualified to give advice here but the strings at the beginning sounded like they could be improved to me, the rest of it is absolutely Great with a capital G. Thanks for posting. I was not familiar with this piece, but after listening i can certainly see why it is a favorite of yours.


  3. #3

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    I agree with Leaf. The only down side to such a wonderful realization of a great work of art is the machine-gun problem with repeated notes. The tutorial is very good at helping remove that. It is tedious, though. However, anything worth doing is worth doing right. Right?

    Also the synthy sounds of the strings happened at the beginning but not later in the piece (to my old ears anyway). Did you put in solo instruments and string sections mixed together? That usually helps. You know what they say, "The more, the merrier". I know, enough with the adages!

    The above is all nit-picking, though. Overall, the piece was well done and it showed the amount of time and effort you spent on it. This is a great work rendered by you with style and finesse. Good Work! I really enjoyed listening to a work I hadn't heard in years. Thanks for sharing!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  4. #4

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement


    Excellent mock-up of this great piece of music. Listening made me aware of your successful effort in recreating this piece with a sample library. Just great.

    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  5. #5

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Thanks guys for listening and taking time to make such positive comments.

    As for the machine guns - believe me I did it all:
    • cc 22 and cc 23 (but doesn't have any effect on most string sections and sometimes sound a bit 'artificial' where it does work)
    • alternating patches (as you say very laborious - I used it where I could but no good if there is only one of a patch type - eg viola section, and even where it is possible - eg in solo flutes, I still can hear it machine-gunning between the two patches)
    • use alternating bow directions (still sounds like a machine gun in those rapid passages to me)
    • I also tried randomising or varying velocity and timing, substituting tremelo for rapid note repetition, and shaking the PC arhythmically while rendering with varying levels of success
    I finally came to the conclusion that I had done all I can until GPOA comes around [and hopefully removes this major workflow barrier] and on Friday it was time to call it 'job done' and share this presentation with anyone who was interested in this fantastic piece of music. You three were so it was well worth it and great to get your feedback - thanks!!

  6. #6

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Talk about a monumental undertaking! Fine job on this,
    L0W... it's a favorite of mine, too.

    I can well sympathize with the technical hurdles involved;
    but with time and experience, and a lot of head-
    scratching, I guess we all eventually learn to deal with
    them, somehow.

    In any event, I found the "performance" most engaging!


  7. #7

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Thanks very much David for taking the time and trouble to listen and comment.

    I was particularly going for the feel of a 'performance' above all while working on this piece so was very pleased you picked up on this. I think it could be reasonably argued that the piece has been 'over-egged' here (by me) but, apart from the machine guns, I have done what I set out to do!

  8. #8

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Ah, the Tchaikovsky 6th is also one of my favorites, probably my all time favorite.

    The piece is brilliant, but you're right that sometimes it doesn't work in performance. My theory is that the first movement is so compressed and intense, that sometimes the players aren't really "warmed" into the piece yet.

    I once attended a small university performance of the piece that left everyone devestated, nobody even clapped at the end. You could feel teh electricity. However, they didn't wuite pull the 1st movement off.

    The development section of the 1st movement is something else, isn't it?

    Another thing that bothers me is when people try to turn the awesome third movement into some kind of dainty ballet... WTF! It's a friggin robust march! Thrilling! Geeze!

  9. #9

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement

    Couldn't agree with you more VR.

    I started to wonder whether the historical necessity of trying to fit all 4 movements on a single vinyl LP influenced choices made (principally about pace) and this has in turn influenced live performances? My version of 1st movement would take almost the whole first side of a vinyl LP.

    I've read in other posts "why bother rendering 'classics' in GPO/sample library X?" and I see the point being made, but for me the reward of finally hearing my favourite piece of music how I wanted to hear it paced was well worth all the effort this time round.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 - 1st Movement


    Great rendering on this monumental work. Tchaikovsky has to be one of my favorite orchestral composers. It is good to hear others putting these works onto the forum.

    I posted the Scherzo from the 4th Symphony a few weeks ago;

    in case you would like to hear it too.



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