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Topic: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

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  1. #1

    "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    To clarify the nature of this MP3 I've posted:

    The music is from "H.M.S. Pinafore," one of the most beloved and famous light operettas from the 19th Century. Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan.

    The MP3 is a montage of small portions from ten different songs in Act One of "Pinafore." A few seconds of each song plays, then cross-fades with a clip from another song.

    I've recorded a "virtual orchestra" recording of the entire 2 hour piece, and thought rather than posting entire songs, that just a short demo of the work would be the best thing to post here.

    Previously I have posted the entire Overture from the show, as well as the first number which is "We Shall Sail The Ocean Blue" sung by a chorus of sailors.

    Here are links to the Overture, "We Shall Sail..." and the Montage:

    Overture

    http://www.box.net/shared/static/d5d5zzgdzi.mp3


    We Shall Sail

    http://www.box.net/public/static/ote5jcck2f.mp3


    Act One montage

    http://www.box.net/shared/static/sfzh083zzt.mp3


    And below this line is the post I put up yesterday, April 6, '07.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When I was finally able to get back on to the Forums towards the end of last year, the first thing I posted here in The Listening Room was my rendition of the Overture from "H.M.S. Pinafore."

    Some of you got a kick out of hearing Gilbert and Sullivan done with GPO, so later I posted the opening number from the show.

    It was a project of about a year's duration, doing a faithful "virtual orchestra" recording, using the Dover edition of the full score. It's all GPO.

    Previously my recordings of "The Mikado" and "The Pirates of Penzance" have been used throughout The States in school productions. I'm hoping either a school or little theatre will soon be making use of my "Pinafore."

    I think there should be a limit to how many "Pinafore" posts I put up here, so what I've done is concoct a short montage from the music of the first act, for the sole purpose of posting here in the Forum. I'll post a montage of Act Two later. I culled snippets from 10 different numbers which I felt do especially well in demonstrating how perfectly GPO works with this material.

    Here is the Box link to the Act One montage:

    http://www.box.net/shared/static/sfzh083zzt.mp3


    Enjoy!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)--happy winner of Orchestration Challenge #11
    Last edited by rbowser-; 04-07-2007 at 10:27 AM. Reason: to add links and clarify some details about the MP3

  2. #2

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    For the recordings that you use in schools, do you make them dry so that the "wetness" is added when they're played at the school's performance? Just curious...

    This sounds awesome! I am unfimiliar with Pinafore, but it sounds great, maybe I'll have to go look up recordings. Great rendition, the woodwinds sound especially real in my opinion.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  3. #3

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Thanks much for listening, Sean!

    Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas were the first light-classical pieces I remember hearing as a pre-schooler. I especially loved "Pinafore," wearing out a record of it my parents had. And I've had a soft spot for these shows ever since. All pretty whacky (precursors to "Monty Phython" is a common thing said about these works), very light, with occasional flashes of some really nice music, and always full of English, 19th Century charm. Sir Arthur Sullivan was the most prolific, successful and popular composer in England. Besides the "operas" as his collaborations with Gilbert are somewhat pompously referred to as by die-hard fans, Sir Arthur Sullivan penned many hymns, including "Onward Christian Soldiers" as well as "parlor songs" such as "The Lost Chord."

    Interesting question you raised about how "wet" I make the recordings to be used in productions. I've tried several different approaches over the years. At first I thought they should be very dry, with the venue providing the reverberant ambience--But in actuality, I've discovered it sounds better to have the recordings wetter than I used to do. My taste is for dryer recordings than the average, so I think I've hit a happy medium--and they work well in a theatre.

    Here--the link to my first Listening Room post when I joined last year--It has the full Overture to "Pinafore" on it--a great, robust comic oper(etta) piece.

    I appreciate your feedback!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Smile Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Thanks much for listening, Sean!

    Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas were the first light-classical pieces I remember hearing as a pre-schooler. I especially loved "Pinafore," wearing out a record of it my parents had. And I've had a soft spot for these shows ever since. All pretty whacky (precursors to "Monty Phython" is a common thing said about these works), very light, with occasional flashes of some really nice music, and always full of English, 19th Century charm. Sir Arthur Sullivan was the most prolific, successful and popular composer in England. Besides the "operas" as his collaborations with Gilbert are somewhat pompously referred to as by die-hard fans, Sir Arthur Sullivan penned many hymns, including "Onward Christian Soldiers" as well as "parlor songs" such as "The Lost Chord."

    Interesting question you raised about how "wet" I make the recordings to be used in productions. I've tried several different approaches over the years. At first I thought they should be very dry, with the venue providing the reverberant ambience--But in actuality, I've discovered it sounds better to have the recordings wetter than I used to do. My taste is for dryer recordings than the average, so I think I've hit a happy medium--and they work well in a theatre.

    Here--the link to my first Listening Room post when I joined last year--It has the full Overture to "Pinafore" on it--a great, robust comic oper(etta) piece.

    I appreciate your feedback!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

    I love it! Pefect mix of "pretty whacky" and "flashes of some really nice music," fantastic. Very well rendered, the realism of this work is convincing to my ears. Thanks for posting this delightful piece, i enjoyed (am enjoying) listening to this.

    David

  5. #5

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Wow, this is really cool! I really like it! You have some very nice chord progressions in here.

    One minor thing, though: Some of the transitions sound a bit rough to me. Or is that supposed to be that way? But this is really a nice piece of music!

    Keep it up!

    Extravaganza
    It's not who you are underneath.
    It's what you do that defines you.

  6. #6

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Leaf--Thank you so much! Glad you were enjoying the listen, and that the orchestra sounds convincing. Good ol GPO--with a little time and patience, it's one incredible program to work with.

    Extravaganza--Thank you also. BUT--um, take a look at the text of my first post on this thread, and the second one too actually. This recording is a montage of 10 different songs from the famous "H.M.S. Pinafore," an operetta written in the 19th Century. So the chord progressions aren't mine--My job was to do as good a "rendering" of the score as possible.

    And rather than posting a lot of individual songs from the 2 hours of music, I thought I would put together a montage of music, fading in and out of the selections. I'm sorry it was confusing--I was hoping it would be obvious when one song was ending and another was fading up out of it.

    I worked for a year on recording the entire score, and I've posted two pieces from it here in the Listening Room before. This time, I thought I would give just a taste of more from Act One rather than one or two complete songs.

    Also, if you look at my last reply, I have a link to the Overture for this stage musical which I've posted here, if you'd like to hear one of the most rousing sections of the score.

    Randy
    (rbowser)

  7. #7

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Extravaganza--Thank you also. BUT--um, take a look at the text of my first post on this thread, and the second one too actually. This recording is a montage of 10 different songs from the famous "H.M.S. Pinafore," an operetta written in the 19th Century. So the chord progressions aren't mine--My job was to do as good a "rendering" of the score as possible.

    And rather than posting a lot of individual songs from the 2 hours of music, I thought I would put together a montage of music, fading in and out of the selections. I'm sorry it was confusing--I was hoping it would be obvious when one song was ending and another was fading up out of it.
    That explains it! Very nice piece, anyway!
    It's not who you are underneath.
    It's what you do that defines you.

  8. #8

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Randy

    You certainly did an outstanding job. It's such a huge undertaking to do this kind of thing. I am not familiar with this work either, so it was all new to me. I have to admit too, that I feel it needs more space, but then I always like big interior spaces, at the moment it just feels like it's being played outside in the open air.....just personal taste.

    Great job ! Thank you.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  9. #9

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Hi Randy,

    the realism of this work is convincing to my ears, very goood work!

    Best regards
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  10. #10

    Re: "H.M.S. Pinafore"--Act One montage

    Thanks much, germancomponist!

    We all develop our own ways of working, to make the most out of the tools we have at hand. I use GPO in the Sonar environment, playing small sections at a time, since I feel I simply Must have those live components of mod wheel and natural velocity variations. Then I spend hours of hand editing in every work view available, to make the tracks more cohesive without being unnaturally quantized. I'm glad the results sound convincing--That's certainly my aim.

    And thanks to you also, LouisD, for the wonderful feedback!

    Sean was wondering about how much reverb works well for tracks meant to be played back as a "virtual orchestra." What you hear on these "Pinafore" tracks is the level I've found to be good for use in a live production, since the auditorium adds its natural ambience to the music just as with a live orchestra. More reverb makes the orchestra unnaturally distant and washy. My earlier theory of needing even drier tracks is debatable, so I've adjusted things to have the tracks more "wet"--as you hear on these MP3s.

    HOwever, I should add that the use of reverb in recordings is a compelling topic for me, beyond the question of what to do for live performance tracks. I've talked about it a number of times in Forum posts.

    Basically, I feel that it's been a fashion for too long for MIDI musicians to use large reverb programs in over-abundance. The idea, of course, is to simulate a live concert--But I've never understood why the simulation so often is creating the impression that the listener is sitting in the very back row of a balcony in an almost impossibly huge Opera House. Why so distant? I'd much rather have the impression that I'm on the main floor and fairly close to the band/orchestra.

    I really think the word "fashion" is well used here. Looking back, listening back to the use of reverb over the years, and you'll find times when people wanted things dry and intimate, periods when they wanted them huge and wet--I'm saying that I feel that for too long now there's been an exaggerated attempt to simulate large venues, and to my ears, the results can sound--well, pretentious, and certainly too HUUuuge.

    For me, if I push the reverb up much beyond what you hear on these "Pinafore" tracks, the detail starts blurring unacceptably. I am more interested in having the listener feel like perhaps they're even sitting right there On the stage, with a large panorama wrapping around them of instruments that aren't very far away.

    And so on!

    Thanks again, everyone who's listened to some "Pinafore" tracks. I appreciate it!

    Randy
    (rbowser)

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