I finally managed to render also my 4th movement of my string quartett with GPO. Like the former movements the main theme is based on a sketch for a stringquintett on which Beethoven was working in 1826.
I tried to elaborate Beethoven's theme (which reminds us of the Rondo from op.130) in several ways: with humorous parts, longer melodious cantabile parts and conflicting fugatos in the development (probably best part of the piece). The Coda has two parts: a slow expressive variation of the main theme in c minor and a furious Presto.
It's great to see you back with more music inspired by Beethoven.
This seems to be an especially inspired time for Forum members in The Listening Room, based on the current crop of delicate and thoughtful musical posts - your contribution being no exception.
Fascinating actually, what you've done with the sketch Ludwig left un-done. It's hard for me to imagine rolling up my sleeves to work on such a project - one you've done here with such concentration and confidence.
I enjoyed the hearing of this very much.
You asked if the first violin is sometimes too harsh. Perhaps - It's difficult making completely satisfying renderings using only the GPO solo strings. The full library can sound simply great in larger ensembles, but to have any of the solo instruments exposed this long in recordings, the necessary shortcomings become more obvious. The "harshness" of the violin could well be a way to describe one of the characteristics one hears when listening to a GPO solo violin for this long. Obviously, we all know that The Strad would serve a piece like this immensely well--but not everyone has that library yet. The same is true, of course, for the Cello - that the Gofriller would fill out the tonalities the GPO Cello can only suggest.
Another ambitious continuation of the work of the Master,
Gerd... great energy to this, overall; one certainly is taken
along by it.
On the rendering, as Randy outlines, the solo GPO strings
are able performers in many regards; yet, surely, they do
not have the depth and capability of the more sophisticated
Garritan solo strings... especially in so long a piece, so
continuously playing and so exposed...
Nonetheless, I would say you got quite good mileage out
of them in this. One trick I use with them to soften them
up a bit is to shave a little of the harshness off with EQ;
often, a shallow slope downward from 3K or so helps