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Topic: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

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  1. #1

    TCHAIKOVSKY Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Merry Christmas everybody.
    This is my present to the forum.


    This is a performance of the second movement in Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" Symphony No. 6 (the famous 5/4 waltz) using only GPO instruments 30 total) and the GPO version of Ambience for reverb.


    Read on for miscellany about how this was done.

    At first I was going to use a copy of the original score, but reading the transposed parts seemed a rather difficult task. So I downloaded a .MIDI file of the song from classicalarchive and converted it to concert pitch, hoping I could read that. But the .MIDI file had many wrong or missing notes and was overall quite unreliable. So in the end I just went back to the original and read all the transposed parts anyway, only using the .MIDI for some absolutely necessary error-checking. It was good practice... I think.

    Someone mentioned something about needing to approach GPO as a conductor so that's what I've tried to do. Namely, I tell the virtual instruments to do something and they try their best and if it doesn't work, I holler at them until it sort of does. I also mucked about with the score a bit for personal and practical reasons...

    --Tempo starts at q=147 (original is 144 but no one seems to respect that ).

    --Some slurs over scales are ignored (I tried to follow Fritz Reiner, my favorite conductor on this one, since his version has a lively contrast between legato and staccato phrases).

    --1st Violins play with mutes at rehearsal "A," rest inserted at the fourth bar of rehearsal "B" for removal of mute.

    --3rd Flute rests during all unisons (maybe it's just the hearing loss, but I find the flute a million times more overpowering than the oboe in this mix, sadly).

    --Alto Trombone part played by a Tenor Trombone (not like I had much of a choice on this one ).

    --Melody doubled an octave high by Solo Violin and 2nd Flute during repeats of the first phrase of section B (to add interest).

    --Most of section B carries a continuous subtle crescendo rather different from the dynamics indicated in the score (...which is rather dead when played as written).

    --Timpani added at Coda! (Not sure if anyone else has done this before but personally I couldn't resist )

    As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated! If anyone finds any glaring errors, I will surely fix them.
    -Chris Plorán
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  2. #2

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Hello, Chris - Let me cut right to:

    BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE!

    It's a fabulous composition, and I don't see how anyone could say you haven't done a top-notch job in your rendition of it.

    The notes you provided were interesting too, pointing out how the guide recordings you used ignore some of the original score instructions - I think that is more often the case than people like to mention. I know composers on the Forum can feel very strongly that the markings of their scores are to be followed precisely - but in the real world, they won't be. I think it's clear that conductors can't help but be interpretive artists when it comes to those fine details of working from scores - and I feel that's as it should be. It's at least somewhat analogous to a stage director using the playwright's detailed stage directions only as starting points--What the director actually does in the physical production may vary to a great extent from what's been written in those parenthetical stage directions by the writer.

    I also enjoyed the way you put the phrase "only GPO instruments" in bold. I think even those of us who have used GPO a great deal can still be newly delighted each time we finish a piece using the library - constantly impressed and even amazed at how well GPO helps us realize our musical projects.

    Beautiful job, Chris. THANK YOU!

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hello, Chris - Let me cut right to:

    BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE!

    It's a fabulous composition, and I don't see how anyone could say you haven't done a top-notch job in your rendition of it.


    THANKS for the enthusiastic response, Randy.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    The notes you provided were interesting too, pointing out how the guide recordings you used ignore some of the original score instructions - I think that is more often the case than people like to mention.
    It's *always* the case, because the score can't play itself. (If it could play itself, it would sound like a MIDI file on factory equipment ). Once you bring in an interpreter, which the conductor and orchestra certainly are, interpretation is inevitable. The only question is how much is too much. I tend to think that there are only two good reasons to knowingly alter what has been written: 1) to bring the rendition closer to what appears to be the artist's original intention (i.e. if something is implied in the score, but not notated), 2) to build or maintain interest during a part of the score rendered "weak" by the expectations of the audience.

    This is why, when looking for a commercial recording of some classical song, I always go to Fritz Reiner first, because he tends to take a straightforward approach to the music and lets it speak for itself, while someone like Lenny Berenstein always seems to be trying to write his own song using some other composer's notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    I know composers on the Forum can feel very strongly that the markings of their scores are to be followed precisely - but in the real world, they won't be. I think it's clear that conductors can't help but be interpretive artists when it comes to those fine details of working from scores - and I feel that's as it should be. It's at least somewhat analogous to a stage director using the playwright's detailed stage directions only as starting points--What the director actually does in the physical production may vary to a great extent from what's been written in those parenthetical stage directions by the writer.
    And again this is a good or bad thing (in my own nonbinding and subjective opinion!) based on what the intention is and what the final effect is. But it's true what you say that the performers will always add their own personal touch to the music, and that the composer shouldn't have any illusions about the performance being "letter perfect," (like I mentioned, if a score could play itself it would sound like a MIDI!).

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    I also enjoyed the way you put the phrase "only GPO instruments" in bold. I think even those of us who have used GPO a great deal can still be newly delighted each time we finish a piece using the library - constantly impressed and even amazed at how well GPO helps us realize our musical projects.
    Some of the long songs posted here use a mix of GPO and other instruments. I wanted to be clear this wasn't one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Beautiful job, Chris. THANK YOU!

    Randy B.

    Thanks again for your reply!

    -Chris Plorán
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  4. #4

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Oh crumbs I never thought I'd hear this and it brought a tear to my eye. Well done indeed.

    Not wishing to hijack the thread but my GPO & Sam Brass [yes sorry guilty exactly as charged for not being purist GPO] version of the 1st movement of this superb symphony is still available http://www.l-music.co.uk/Tchaikovsky6th.mp3 so the really keen can listen back to back if they wanted.

    Now who's up to do movements 3 and 4 (not me!)?

    Suspenlute this movement tolerates (demands) more pace so I agree completely with upping the tempo - a couple of more bpm here and there even wouldn't be too much. The first movement needs to be slowed compared to most interpretations in contrast I think. Were there many tempo markings on the second movement score? Precious few to go by on the 1st movement.

    I think a third motivation would be that you are entitled to bring your own emotion to a piece and make it your performance and while it may seem audacious to ignore a great master's instructions you are setting out your stall and people can either like it or lump it. I liked your take on movement 2 so put me in the first pile.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Sounds like it was an immense undertaking and the results show – this sounds great.

    People also often change from the prescribed tempo because everyone else before them has. This is particularly true with Beethoven, though most recent recordings seem closer to his tempos than many from 40 or 50 years ago.

    Anyway, great job with this!
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Very nice rendering. I think it sounds wonderful. This is one of my favorite classical pieces, and it sounds very good to me. Regarding changing the score a little, in my orchestra at school, we do that a lot to play more like others have played before us, like trentpmcd said. All in all, I like this a lot! This is always a good place to go to get good music! Keep it up.

    --Richard

  7. #7

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    Oh crumbs I never thought I'd hear this and it brought a tear to my eye. Well done indeed.
    Glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate you saying so here.

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    Not wishing to hijack the thread but my GPO & Sam Brass [yes sorry guilty exactly as charged for not being purist GPO] version of the 1st movement of this superb symphony is still available http://www.l-music.co.uk/Tchaikovsky6th.mp3 so the really keen can listen back to back if they wanted.
    I'll listen shortly. Dunno about the "guilty" comment though... I admire those who can actually afford multiple sample libraries and can thus treat GPO as only one weapon in their orchestral arsenal, but I'm not one of those people. I mention that I use only GPO because I think the limitations of my songs and/or renditions are part of what makes them what they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    Now who's up to do movements 3 and 4 (not me!)?
    I'd love to do 3. But I doubt my wife can handle it.

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    Suspenlute this movement tolerates (demands) more pace so I agree completely with upping the tempo - a couple of more bpm here and there even wouldn't be too much. The first movement needs to be slowed compared to most interpretations in contrast I think. Were there many tempo markings on the second movement score? Precious few to go by on the 1st movement.
    Just a "144" for the whole movement. Not even a "rit." here and there. I think any tempo is okay as long as it preserves the movement's character as an awkward dance. There's a completely undanceable performance on the Peabody site for contrast.

    Quote Originally Posted by L0W
    I liked your take on movement 2 so put me in the first pile.
    Thanks again.
    -Chris
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  8. #8

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    Sounds like it was an immense undertaking and the results show – this sounds great... Anyway, great job with this!
    Thank you! It's good to have it appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkbat
    All in all, I like this a lot! This is always a good place to go to get good music! Keep it up.
    I like all the "good music" posted here too. It inspires me to try harder.

    -Chris
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  9. #9

    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    Chris

    What a wonderful rendition of a timeless classic. Tchaikovsky has always been one of my favorites and yet I am amazed at the fact that he doesn't get as much recognition as he deserves for his works that do not include cannons being fired or swans dancing.

    Well done

    Ron

  10. #10
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Tchaikovsky Symph. 6, mvt. II (FINISHED)

    This was very nice. It's also one of my favorites. Years ago I had a lover listen to this and I think it scared her. Or should I say I had a partner.

    Well, she's long gone but this symphony will stay with me always.

    Thank You for the christmas present!



    Phil

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