• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Topic: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    121

    3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Greeting, all!
    The year is 1590. You and many of the elite of Venice have gathered at the San Marco Basilica for the premier offering of Maestro Giovanni Gabrieli's latest work - his Canzona #7. This may very well be the cultural highlight of the season. The Maestro has access to the finest musicians in the area, and he is also San Marco's organist and Music Director.

    Perhaps Gabrieli's favorite setting was to position brass choirs (typically 4 or 5 instruments per choir - 4 in this case) at far reaches of the building and let the sound linger and intermingle. This particular piece also features an organ (of course a majestic one befitting one of the finest cathedrals in Europe).

    Back in his day, the instruments of choice for this type of piece were Cornettos (curved and straight) and Sackbutts. Of course, these have evolved into what we know today as trumpets (or cornets) and trombones. There are 9 trumpets and 7 trombones in this work. I had to use all of the available trumpets and trombones from JBB and borrowed some from CMB. The organ uses Jeux2 soundfonts - Reeds, Bombarde and Regal. The Garritan Ambience reverb was used - Cathedral preset.

    As always, if you care to offer suggestions for improvement, I would appreciate your comments.

    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Canz7.mp3
    (This link is not working for some reason. Below is the link for the latest revision of this piece - from near the top of the thread - so that if you try to hear something, at least you will get the latest version, even if you can't compare it to the original).

    http://www.box.net/shared/740vi9kg8c
    THIS IS A GOOD LINK AS OF 1/05 @ 6PM (using Box.net, now)
    Frank

  2. #2

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Hi:
    If I'm not mistaken about the period of history refered to, the brass was used to augment the service and played a prominent role over and above the organ. In your rendering, for my ear, the brass is subordinate or nearly so to the organ. Also, the brass placed along the sides of the cathedral would have had less reflection time than the organ. Gabrielli wrote a number of brass pieces for the purpose of making a religious experience have impact on the congregation. Just some thoughts, best wishes,
    John

  3. #3
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    667

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Frank:
    As a former "sackbutist"(sp?) I would have loved to have been there playing in this group, however, as John mentioned, I would have no doubt told the organist to back off a bit, otherwise, four brass bells up for you.

    sos

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    As a cornetto player, as a Venetian area citizen, and as an early music researcher I really appreciate the fine introduction to your rendering.
    (only one remark: you present the event nearly like a concert, it had been more probably some state official event with religious ceremony, where the finest music was requested as the appropriate background).

    From a technical side, I would like more the central choir to be as far as the other, and less in face of the listener. The whole reverb is as wet as you expect it in a chathedral, but I find the direct sound a little too loud.
    You may probably enhance the effect of distance between the listener in the chathedral, and the choir in the "cantoria" with a lower direct sound level, and a good early reflection delay.

    Do you mind it's possible posting me (by e-mail) the MIDI file to play with it with my set up? I really like historical renderings ( I also published some one on the forum already)

    Thanks for sharing your love for ancient brass music!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    2,450

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    I really enjoyed this. The volume was bit high, but I could easily imagine myself in a large cathedral listening. I can’t say anything about the authenticity of the performance, only that I liked this.
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    121

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Hey, I really appreciate the comments. I think that they are quite valid. I have reworked the output of the piece. Here are some of the things that I have done to it:
    1. Less prominent organ - it mainly adds a sub-bass, now.
    2. The "center" brass choir was too dominant. I forgot that it will be equal loudness (spl) in both speakers, thus making it twice as loud as the choirs that come mainly from only one speaker (panned quite hard L or R). Each choir occupies about 40% of a L or R pan (or across center) with the Trombone 2s panned 100% L or R. So I reduced the level of the center group so that they sounded equal to the others. (I really hadn't noticed, but the R group was somewhat lower volume than the L group, so I equalized that, too).
    3. Volume lowered overall.
    4. I added a little more Pre-delay. It seems a little better, but I usually don't fool with the presets and I am not very familiar with all of the reverb controls.
    5. Actually, I had the FX control of the reverb set quite low, but I increased it to a more wet setting. With the lower volume, I think that it gives a better "cathedral" effect. But this was at the cost of a little more "muddiness". But I don't expect that cathedral acoustics will give as pristine response as Carnegie Hall.

    I'm not real familiar with church terminology, but the side naves at San Marco are about as deep as the main nave. So if the choirs are positioned to the rear of the naves, they will be about equidistant from the the crossing.

    From your comments, I have looked at some things and approached the preparation of the final output in ways that I have not done before (maybe because I am too lazy). But this has prompted me to make a better "product".

    Thanx for the input. I hope there is more to come.

    The link, below, is the revised version of the original posting. (It is really Canzona #17. I accidently left off the "1").

    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Canz17b.mp3
    (for some reason, this link is not working, but it doesn't make any difference, anyway - see my Reply, above. A good link to the latest version - as of 12/17 - of this piece is below.)

    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Canz17c2.mp3

    http://www.box.net/shared/740vi9kg8c
    THIS LINK IS WORKING AS OF 1/05 @ 6PM (I am now using Box.net)

    Frank

  7. #7

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    I have played parts of this with friends on cornettos and sackbutts. Fortunately for the world, these were never recorded. We have an avid enthusiasm for the music and the historical period, but our playing ability is ...(well let's just say we have fun and hurt no one elses ears).

    You brought back some fond memories and your presentation was interesting.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  8. #8

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    I enjoyed your piece very much thank you!

  9. #9
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    121

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Just to let ya'll know, my conversions from WAV to MP3 files are not working "as advertised". In the original WAV files (the revisions), there are very noticeable differences compared to my original post. All of the MP3's sound almost the same - way too loud.

    If anyone has ideas about why this is occurring, it would be very helpful to me so that I can post changes that you folks suggest. (I use the dBpowerAMP conversion program).

    Thanx for your patience.

    Frank

  10. #10

    Re: 3 Brass Choirs in a Cathedral

    Hi Frank,

    Regardless of your file conversion problems, this was still a delight to listen to. In my own sackbut-playin' days, I used to really look forward to performing pieces like these. Thanks for taking the time to create this rendering for us to enjoy!

    I've mainly used a very inexpensive conversion program called mp3-wav Converter available as a download form American Shareware. It seems to work just as effectively as the ones contained in my production programs (Sonar and Soundforge) -- sometimes even better. It might be worth a try; there's a demo version that allows about ten free conversions.

    Thanks again for posting this great piece of music!

    Danny

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •