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Topic: Serenade for Strings No 2

  1. #1

    Serenade for Strings No 2

    I wrote this over a year ago but never posted it... I don't know if I was displeased with it or just too lazy, but I just found it a few weeks ago. I had forgotten all about it. Poor little serenade, sitting there all alone and unheard...

    I hope you enjoy!

    Serenade for Strings No 2

    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  2. #2

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    This is a really pleasant light little piece Sean and I enjoyed listening to it.

    Just an observation, the spread (panning) sounded wide with the bass section set to the far right and the violin section to the far left (facing the stage). I am sure this was intentional and I'm trying to imagine a live performance and how the spread would sound.

    I hasten to add, this is not a ctiticism, it's just an observation

    Thank you for posting this.
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  3. #3
    Senior Member rayzalaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2


    Nice little string piece which in my opinion suffers from a lack of flow. It definitely has a start/stop sound. I’m sure you can fix that perhaps by just lengthening the last note in each phrase a little.
    I assume you’ve used the default pan position on the strings so therefore there is the feeling as Michael said of sitting between the violins and cellos rather than sitting in the middle of the hall.


  4. #4

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    Hi, Sean

    What a fun surprise, to find a piece you'd forgotten about! And what a nice one--I'm listening again, at the effective pizz section towards the end. There's a really pleasant freshness to the piece's peaceful mood, and it's really setting well with me today--I needed to mellow out, this helped me out!

    Commenting on other feedback you've had here:
    The gentle pulsations of the phrases seemed integral to me. Lengthening the notes would make it a different piece, but I don't see how that would be an improvement--It would just be a re-write.

    Interesting that there's comment on the stereo spread. It sounds like the standard default pan positions we hear all the time in GPO, as Ray said. Perhaps the wide pan is just more obvious when the rest of the orchestra isn't there, sitting in all the other pockets.

    Thanks for this, Sean.

    Randy B.

  5. #5

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    Really enjoyed this, Sean!

    Glad you posted..

    Not typical of your usual light hearted arrangements.. There's a darker undertone here....perhaps it's the characteristic of the rhythmic low viola/cello..

    Interesting, the melody is quite cheerful, yet there's an underlying sadness.
    I might suggest to explore this dichotomy a bit further..?

    Also, a piece such as this might even call for a bit more reverb.. could create a more surrealistic mood.

    Very nice work!


  6. #6

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    A rainy, foggy spring morning, here, Sean, and this
    piece blended well with the feel of the day; a gentle,
    thoughtful exploration.

    Material like this, with that tender, spaced opening
    theme, is more difficult to interpret, sometimes, than
    more complex work -- everything is so exposed; and
    those moments of silence between the repeated
    notes in the theme require a lot of delicacy.

    Although I think this performance is very successful
    as is, perhaps when you have time you might try
    a little more nuancing of tempi and dynamics... the
    material may be restrained in nature; but there's an
    emotional quality to it that, at least with my Romantic
    leanings, would seem to want a little more expression.

    The phrasing and shape of the theme, by the way,
    I would not touch. It really makes the piece!

    My best,


  7. #7

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    OK - I'm going to sound a bit nutty for saying this, but I hear this as an accompaniment to a solo instrument. Don't get me wrong, the work has merit on it's own, but for some reason I hear melodies in a solo piano or violin that would just work beautifully over your piece. Just a thought... It is certainly a beautiful calming scenario as is without need for adornment. I'm just hearing instruments in my head (if I wasn't a musician, it would be voices.)


    Remember to Play www.thepunkduck.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2


    I enjoyed this. Simple, but nice. Very relaxing.

    Nice touch going to the relative minor – no matter how pretty the melody, something of this length would get tiresome staying in the same key, particularly staying as diatonic as it does, so that touch of minor makes sure the ear doesn’t get tired.
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2


    It's nice to hear the more contemplative side of your work - it's an area worth exploring, as you have a nice knack for it. You do the swashbuckling (does anyone really use that word anymore...?) so well, this is a nice departure.

    There have been some comments about the panning - didn't bother me, but I got caught up in the piece. I do hear what they are saying, and they are saying with some eloquence, so listen to your elders

    Really nice work - perhaps extend, or add other movements? Wish we all had such nice pieces lying around like this! Sometimes they just need to sit for a while so we can hear them with fresh ears.

    Finals coming up soon, yes? Good luck!
    Ron Pearl





  10. #10

    Re: Serenade for Strings No 2

    Michael, yeah, I just kept the default GPO panning settings... hopefully it's not too annoying, it definitely puts the listener in the spot of a conductor rather farther out in the audience. Thanks for listening!

    Ray, thanks for your feedback! The start/stop sound was intentional... I can't remember why, but I was I actually striving for it. I think I had heard some live piece like that and I wanted to try it. Many thanks for your comments!

    Randy, many thanks for your kind words. "Pulsations" ... there's the word I was looking for. Thanks for listening!

    Jeff, thanks for listening. Yes, I think this is more somber than most of my pieces, but hopefully a "good" somber, if that makes any sense.

    David, thanks for your feedback! This piece could certainly use some "nuancing of tempi and dynamics" as you say, that's always been something that's been easy for me to completely ruin by attempting to edit too much, especially the tempi... sometimes hard to get it to sound natural. But I nice slow non-busy piece like this should at least be good practice.

    Paula, thanks for listening! It is rather tempting to add in that wonderful Oboe 2... And maybe a harp. And a flute. Actually maybe a solo violin would work very well with Strad... even if it didn't have it's own material, it could certainly aid the rest of the strings. Whenever I try to put a piano in my orchestral piece, it always sound out-of-place, unnatural... I really can't just click it in like many of the other instruments just because of how expressive it can be... which means I need to get back to practising my keyboard!

    Trent, many thanks! When I dug up this piece again, I thought to myself, "this really needs to go into the minor for a moment" right before it did, which I guess makes sense since I should remember writing it... but I part of me was completely clueless as to what I had written, I was pleasantly surprised by the pizzicato part. Thank you for your kind words!

    Ron, yes, finals next week... Argh. "Swashbuckling"! I like the word! I do sort of want to extend it, but I'm afraid I'd ruin it... plus I'd never get around to it anyway. I could just put it with my other string serenade though, maybe that'll work. Thanks for your comments!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

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