I spent some time listening to Haydn string quartets and was overwhelmed by his ability to make such great things happen with so few instruments. I was inspired to write a few string quartets. This is one of them. Please tell me what you think. It uses GPO violin, viola, and cello.
Very, very well done, Jay! Great clarity of line and
dialogue in this... and as Ron mentioned, I was struck
by the grace of motion in this, the flow and coherency
of it. Likewise, a first-rate rendering, too.
First impression: Delightful piece, certainly a "keeper" that I'll listen to often.
Second thoughts: Perhaps I'm being "fussy" about it, but I'd bring the Viola and Cello out just a bit more in a few places where they seem more accompaniment than contrapuntal. This may be merely my own way of hearing things, though . . . it takes nothing from the piece.
I'd really like to hear the other pieces you wrote.
I am so broad in my musical tastes that I sometimes scare myself. But what I enjoy most, and I think this is true of Everyone, is when I can sense that what I'm hearing came out of a true passion from the composer. I can certainly hear that with your Haydn Tribute. You were inspired by your listening to Haydn's quartets, you made yourself open to the experience of composing something in his style.
I'm often reminded of the lesson of how to appreciate the Cubism for which Picasso is most famous. Before he deconstructed the human face and form into his famous "two eyes on one side of the face" paintings, he was incredibly facile at rendering traditionally naturalistic pieces. Beautiful figures, people and animals. He was the master of tradition, then, truly Knowing The Rules, he intelligently but passionately went about exploding and re-constructing Art by his own rules.
And so it is for music. There's a reason Classical music is--well, Classic! There are masterfully crafted pieces of music which embody the Western theories of music, of harmony. And the best of post-modern atonal music comes from an appreciation and understanding, not an immature rejection, of that foundation on which post-primitive music is based.
So for you to return to Haydn and be so moved as to emulate him in a composition--I find that just wonderful. More exciting than a collection of bleeps and blops thrown together by someone who doesn't have the vaguest idea of what his "music" is branching from.
What a train of thought this elegant recording sent me off on. Thank you!
Ron, thanks for you kind words. I really like how haydn grouped instruments (by pairing etc.) to set up a sense of one grouping playing accompaniment, and another grouping playing a main theme and then switching this around.
David, I am glad that you heard a coherency in this. Sometimes,(for me) I lose control of the counterpoint, and parts can become unrelated and not flow smoothly.
jmpaquette, I am glad that you think my piece is a 'keeper'. I tried a lot of dynamic variation on individual instruments to find something that worked. I am sure there are spots that the dynamic relationship of the instruments could be improved. I will go back into it to improve this. Thanks for you suggestion.
Randy, thanks for taking time to listen and you valued feedback. I seem to find myself writing classical music in the style of the 'classical' or 'romantic' period. This is not to say that there is not fantastic music from the other periods, including contemporary music of today, but it seems that I fall into that sound.
Long, I appreciate the fact that you think my composition is 'smooth/seet'. Thank you for taking time to listen and comment.