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Topic: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

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  1. #1
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Well, maybe you have, but you are certainly the exception.

    I built a large harpsichord many years ago. I acquired a lot of the 'standard' music for it. Some of my favorite pieces are the works (actually student exercises - his students were mainly the princesses of the royal courts in Spain) of Domenico Scarlatti (a "man of the cloth").

    I don't have a 'compositional' bone in my body, so I borrow stuff from other people who do (or did) and make my own arrangements of it. Of course, this was originally written for harpsichord, but it makes for an interesting quartet piece. (I bet that you didn't think that Scarlatti could sound like this!). This is his Sonata (K. 113 - out of 527). (More of these to come in the future).

    So, since many of you are not working this week and have gobs of time on your hands, I thought that I would provide a little comparative study with this piece. I made the basic template, then gave different instrument groupings to that template. Very few changes were made between pieces. It is interesting - the varied results that come from this 'exercise'. For instance, the brass seem to be much more sensitive to velocity and expression controls than others; percussion are much less sensitive and only seems to respond to velocity, which makes it somewhat abrupt (so I left it with little velocity variation); different instrumentation shows different nuances of the music. The percussion instruments (because of their relatively limited range) had to be transposed and a few of their lowest notes moved up an octave.

    Just a side note - there are sections in the piece, when played on a keyboard, where the moving part is played with the right hand, and the left hand is rapidly bouncing between the lower and upper portions of the keyboard. This takes quite a bit a acrobatics on the part of the performer. This 'performance technique' is most notable (in this set of instrumentations) with the strings (pizz sections), although once you know what to look for, it is recognizable in all selections.

    Well, I'm getting diarhea of thought, so I will leave you to it. I hope that it provides some interest.

    Instrumentation:
    Brass - Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium
    Percussion - Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Marimba
    Saxes (a la Bricault) - Alto I & II, Tenor, Bari
    Strings - Violin I & II, Viola, Cello
    Winds - Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Sax, Bassoon

    Frank (ya, that's right - "crazy" Frank)

    THESE LINKS ARE WORKING AS OF 1/05 @ 7pm (I am now using Box.net)
    http://www.box.net/shared/jufwa6akgk
    http://www.box.net/shared/5dgcfoagw4 (for percussion)
    http://www.box.net/shared/u5c4bwqsgo (for saxes)
    http://www.box.net/shared/omkgb8vsww (for strings)
    http://www.box.net/shared/5c4r8ryw4c (for woodwinds)


    THE LINKS BELOW DO NOT WORK ANYMORE
    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Son113-Br.mp3
    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Son113-Perc.mp3
    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Son113-Sax.mp3
    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Son113-Str.mp3
    www.geocities.com/rg4209rg/audio/Son113-Winds.mp3

    (whew!) With the trouble I've been having with some of my links not working, this is certainly something to keep my fingers crossed about. I may be making "edits" for the next half hour trying to get them all to work, so if you try one and it doesn't work, don't give up because I'm not going to give up until they all do. (All of this will probably make my initial post of this fill the entire first page - ha, ha)
    Frank Newman - Houston, Texas, USA, Earth, Milky Way (for our 'extended' viewership)
    Vista Ult SP2, i7 chipset, 12Gb, 500Gb (int) + 1 & 1.5Tb ext., E-MU 1820, Sonar 8.5PE, VSampler, CME UF5, AcousModules (for 3D playback), GPO/JBB/CMB

  2. #2

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Nice job, Frank. Your strings rendition of the Scarlatti stands head and shoulders above the rest of your efforts. In my humble opinion, some instrument combinations just don't work with music of this type.

    Regards,

    Larry
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Larry -
    I just, now, got the Winds link to work.
    Frank
    Frank Newman - Houston, Texas, USA, Earth, Milky Way (for our 'extended' viewership)
    Vista Ult SP2, i7 chipset, 12Gb, 500Gb (int) + 1 & 1.5Tb ext., E-MU 1820, Sonar 8.5PE, VSampler, CME UF5, AcousModules (for 3D playback), GPO/JBB/CMB

  4. #4

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    I liked the BR's, the Sax, less the Strings, and more the winds.
    It definitely is Scarlatti unheard. But I liked it (to say most of it).

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Hi, Frank

    Quite an elaborate experiment and post! Thanks for showing us all you've done with this.

    So entertaining--all the versions! - My favorite is the Woodwinds. It sat most comfortably on my ears. The Brass version had an exaggerated pumping on the flow of volume which I found distracting. The Sax version was actually nice too. The Strings were fine. Percussion - interesting--lol.

    Perhaps you were inspired by Gary Bric's great arrangements for his Sax Quartet friends. Between those posts of his and this one from you, I think the object lesson is very clear, that compositions don't need to be restricted to their original instrumentation. Maybe some composers would roll over in their graves at some re-arrangements, but I think if they did, it would be mostly a knee-jerk reaction, objecting to anything they didn't think of and do on their own. It wouldn't necessarily be an authoritative and fair judgment on the process.

    Thanks - I was Very entertained!

    Randy B.

  6. #6

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    I've enjoyed Scarlatti's keyboard works since dropping out of music school so this was an enjoyable "experiment" for sure. It's hard to decide on a favorite but I do think the assorted timbres of the sax quartet best suit the music.

    Although if I may, can I suggest using more CC# 64? Sometimes it sounds like every note is soft-tongued, including trills.

    Keep'em coming!
    -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


  7. #7
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Hey, guys -
    Thanx for the feedback.
    This was sort of a 'fast' one. I did the initial template a couple of weeks ago and did 3 instrumentations to see how things were going. I would say that for a "finished" piece, the template is about 50% complete. I didn't do any cc64. That takes a lot of time and the piece is fairly fast moving.

    A couple of days ago I got the idea of making it a comparative work using all instrument groups. So it was sort of "thrown together" for demonstration purposes. I was quite surprised, though, at the significant differences based upon instrument selection, given that the template doesn't change - mainly just the volume adjustment for balance between instruments.

    I think my preference order is Strings and Saxes, then Winds, then Percussion (because to make percussion sound good by themselves takes an awful lot of work), and lastly, Brass because of the severe and abrupt changes in volume and expression (even though the cc's were drawn smoothly, with a few, purposeful exceptions). (I think that you will enjoy the Brass, though, in the pieces that I have lined up to submit).

    Thanx, again, for the comments.

    Frank
    Frank Newman - Houston, Texas, USA, Earth, Milky Way (for our 'extended' viewership)
    Vista Ult SP2, i7 chipset, 12Gb, 500Gb (int) + 1 & 1.5Tb ext., E-MU 1820, Sonar 8.5PE, VSampler, CME UF5, AcousModules (for 3D playback), GPO/JBB/CMB

  8. #8

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Frank

    I tried these before and couldn't get any of them to work. This time they all did and that was yto my benefit. A fun little experiment. I also enjoyed the winds the best, as a few of the others seemed a little hot for my tastes.

    As was mentioned, a little more on the legato might just help, but that isn't very significant.

    Ron

  9. #9

    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    Hi Frank,

    I had to swing back a few times today on this; the server kept
    barking "Sorry, Unable to process request at this time -- error 999."
    at me... lol. But I did eventually get to hear all of them.

    Excellent job on all of these -- interpretation, rendering, the works.

    But, the one I got the greatest kick out of was the percussion
    rendition -- just loved it!

    Fine job, across the board, Frank... keep it coming!

    My best,



    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  10. #10
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Re: Scarlatti Like You've Never Heard It Before!

    It appears that none of the links in any of my posts are currently working. When my website provider decides to reply to my inquiry, hopefully I can get back up and running.

    Frank
    Frank Newman - Houston, Texas, USA, Earth, Milky Way (for our 'extended' viewership)
    Vista Ult SP2, i7 chipset, 12Gb, 500Gb (int) + 1 & 1.5Tb ext., E-MU 1820, Sonar 8.5PE, VSampler, CME UF5, AcousModules (for 3D playback), GPO/JBB/CMB

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