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Topic: Variations for Clarinet

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  1. #1
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    Variations for Clarinet

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, or even visited, for that matter. I’ve been very busy since I finished the piano sonata that I posted in January – I’ve barely had time to stick two notes together.

    To try to get the creative juices flowing I decided to write a set of variations for the clarinet. I might spend an evening working with a clarinetist later this spring, so I had some inspiration.

    Typically I make variations by adding ornaments to the theme, maybe changing the flow a little. This time I decided to go a little farther a field.

    Let me know what you think.

    Variations for Clarinet



    BTW – I spent a lot of time trying to get the trill to sound good and finally gave up. I’m much, much more concerned with writing music than rendering it and since I barely have time to write anything, I’m not going to spend hours trying to get every note to sound perfect in my rendering.
    Trent P. McDonald

  2. #2

    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Nice work, Mr. Trent. I like it.

    Go to the piano roll view of your sequencer and overlap the notes slightly in the trills. That will smooth it out.

    Your transitions from one note to the next don't sound natural and real. They have what I call the "fluff" factor. Say the word "fluff" and you will see what I mean. There is a "fluff" sound between the notes occasionally but not always.

    Regards,

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Hi, Trentpmcd--I like your Clarinet piece very much. The variations lend such a wonderful variety of moods. It's going to be great working with the Clarinetist you mentioned.

    I read your caveat about not wanting to spend hours on tweaking files which could be spent on composing music. A very understandable decision. Larry pointed out the lack of Garritan's legato tools on this which would remove the unnatural sound, but that is indeed a painstaking process--So I adjusted my expectations as I listened. No problem.

    Thank you!
    Randy
    (rbowser)

  4. #4
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    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander
    Nice work, Mr. Trent. I like it.

    Go to the piano roll view of your sequencer and overlap the notes slightly in the trills. That will smooth it out.

    Your transitions from one note to the next don't sound natural and real. They have what I call the "fluff" factor. Say the word "fluff" and you will see what I mean. There is a "fluff" sound between the notes occasionally but not always.

    Regards,

    Larry
    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for your comments and advice. I'll play around with it a little more to see if I can get a little more realistic sound.
    Trent P. McDonald

  5. #5
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    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Trentpmcd--I like your Clarinet piece very much. The variations lend such a wonderful variety of moods. It's going to be great working with the Clarinetist you mentioned.

    I read your caveat about not wanting to spend hours on tweaking files which could be spent on composing music. A very understandable decision. Larry pointed out the lack of Garritan's legato tools on this which would remove the unnatural sound, but that is indeed a painstaking process--So I adjusted my expectations as I listened. No problem.

    Thank you!
    Randy
    (rbowser)
    Hi Randy. Thanks for the comments.

    If I know the rendering job leaves something to be desired, I usually try to warn people – I hope I don’t scare too many off!

    I’m looking forward to working with the clarinetist. AT this point in my musical life I don’t get much of a chance to hear my works on “real” instruments. 2 years ago I had this same clarinetist play three short solos I wrote. It helped a lot hearing them live. Here are the GPO versions of those solos: solo1, solo2, solo3

    Thanks again for your comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6

    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    A fine grade of craftsmanship in these variations,
    Trent. Allowing a bit for the rendering (I'm not
    prone to spending days in an editor, either... lol),
    I think this would make a worthwhile concert piece.

    Nice job on the three "live" solos, as well -- the
    third one, especially.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    A fine grade of craftsmanship in these variations,
    Trent. Allowing a bit for the rendering (I'm not
    prone to spending days in an editor, either... lol),
    I think this would make a worthwhile concert piece.

    Nice job on the three "live" solos, as well -- the
    third one, especially.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    Hi David.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Funny thing about the thre older solos - number 3 was always my favorite, but most people seemed to like the first or second and think the third was the worst of the bunch. Happy to see somebody else agrees with me

    thanks again for the comments.
    Trent P. McDonald

  8. #8

    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Thank you for sharing these variations. Thanks, also, for the links to three other pieces of yours. I've taken the liberty of downloading them all for further listening.

    I listened to the variations. Larry's suggestions for "tweaking" are good ones, but I, too, heard you say you weren't concerned with the performance refinements at this point. From that perspective, I'd say you've made good use of your tools as a sketchpad. Moreover, knowing this, my listening ear interpolates articulations and phrasing.

    For many years clarinet was my principal instrument, so I'm always "on the ear" for clarinet pieces. I know when I hear a good piece, and I know when I've heard something I'd have "had a go at" when I was still playing. I would have played your variations.

    I'm listening to the other three pieces of yours as I write. Fascinating. All of them are playable. All of them stand well alone, which is perhaps the most significant point. I find very little literature for clarinet alone . . . most pieces for "solo" clarinet have piano accompaniment, and (in my view) most such modern pieces need that accompaniment. It's refreshing to hear your pieces. Please feel encouraged to write more of these.

    Joe

  9. #9
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    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by jmpaquette
    Thank you for sharing these variations. Thanks, also, for the links to three other pieces of yours. I've taken the liberty of downloading them all for further listening.

    I listened to the variations. Larry's suggestions for "tweaking" are good ones, but I, too, heard you say you weren't concerned with the performance refinements at this point. From that perspective, I'd say you've made good use of your tools as a sketchpad. Moreover, knowing this, my listening ear interpolates articulations and phrasing.

    For many years clarinet was my principal instrument, so I'm always "on the ear" for clarinet pieces. I know when I hear a good piece, and I know when I've heard something I'd have "had a go at" when I was still playing. I would have played your variations.

    I'm listening to the other three pieces of yours as I write. Fascinating. All of them are playable. All of them stand well alone, which is perhaps the most significant point. I find very little literature for clarinet alone . . . most pieces for "solo" clarinet have piano accompaniment, and (in my view) most such modern pieces need that accompaniment. It's refreshing to hear your pieces. Please feel encouraged to write more of these.

    Joe
    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for taking time to listen and for your kind comments. It helps to get comments from somebody who knows the instrument I’m trying to write for, and clarinet is a fun one to write for because of its range and flexibility.

    Last year I took up playing trumpet again after years of not playing (unfortunately I’m really not playing any more now) . I looked everywhere for trumpet only solos, but almost everything is written for trumpet with piano accompaniment. I often like to hear just an instrument by itself, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of music like that around.

    Maybe if I ever get to the point where somebody wants to publish my work I can specialize in unaccompanied solos.

    Thanks again for listening.
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: Variations for Clarinet

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    Maybe if I ever get to the point where somebody wants to publish my work I can specialize in unaccompanied solos.
    Not a bad thought, you know. Imagine the countless hours of "woodshedding" the literature unaccompanied . . . pre "MMO" . . . how disconcerting, those gaps . . . One needs a "reward" for all of that, in the form of "Just me, just my instrument" showing itself. Then, too, there's a need for study pieces for single instrument . . . performance perks that aren't (and don't sound like!) etudes!

    Joe

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