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Topic: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

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  1. #1
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    I noticed that my last piece is now about to be on Page 4. I have been really consumed by auditioning 2 demo versions of notation programs. I have never used notation programs before.

    This Beethoven piece is one of my favorites in the literature. As the piece unfolded for me, I thought that it contained a "magical moment" in the second passage with the contrabass clarinet. The third note of its motif just seems to perfectly resonate with the other instruments.

    Critical comments, as always, are appreciated.

    Frank

    http://www.box.net/shared/5j7uh6h9ck
    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: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Hi, Frank - Very good to see you here with more music.

    OH my but the posts here in The Listening Room really can move on down the line quickly can't they though? It's great the Forum is so busy, even though it means a lot of pieces don't get all that much exposure.

    This is indeed a magnificent composition, and the work you've done adapting it for Concert Band I think is fairly successful. Amazing attention to detail.

    Please bear with what I think is an important technical note - This is completely FLoating with reverb--IMHO it's far too much. It's like the music is coming to me from a hazy dream--robbing the music of some of its power. I

    If I was out in the street, down the block from a concert hall--maybe this is what I'd hear as the music, already reverberating in the hall leaks outside and bounces around the empty streets even more. I really feel you should experiment with Much less reverb and hear for yourself how much more dynamic this could sound without this huge amount of reverb.

    Impressive work on this, Frank. Thanks for it.

    Randy B.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Frank,

    I am very familar with this work having arranged it myself. Somethings sound very wrong with this. The instruments sound out of tune with each other. I believe that part of the problem is that the bass instruments are playing almost out of their range not to mention the balance between voices. And I have to agree with Randy that the reverb is far to strong and long. Also, it is a relatively delicate work, not the thunderous setting that is presented here.

    Time to rethink it a bit.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Frank,

    As Randy said, perhaps too much reverb - at first it is great with the lowest sounds having a kind of halo around them, but as it progressed it wore out its welcome. It also made the articulations - staccati hard to hear. Also, the first big climax didn't work for me - but that may be that I am just so accustomed to the strings. Perhaps more instruments at the big climax?

    Criticisms aside, this was a fascinating new way to hear this piece. I think it could really work, and I appreciate your showing me another way to hear this favorite.

    And yes, things disappear from page one quite fast - yesterday's news, I suppose. We've all been there, so don't read too much into it. If you get 100 people to read your post, 30 will listen to it, and maybe 8 will post a comment. Just the way it is, so please don't let it discourage you from posting again in the future.

    All the best.
    Ron Pearl

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    ronaldmpearl.com

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  5. #5
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Gentlemen -
    I went back and looked at my reverb. I guess that I was concentrating on listening to particularities rather than how the whole ensemble sounded (the "can't see the forest for the trees" sort of thing). This was an older work that I had orchestrated with the usual strings, winds, etc. using a "concert hall" reverb. I remember experimenting with several reverb 'ambiences', including some fairly 'small room' ones that would have had a fairly wet setting. What I think happened was that I had a wet setting and went back to the original "concert hall" and didn't "turn it back down". Then went on to looking at the 'small stuff', not realizing that the reverb was "out of whack". I am typically using small to medium ambience presets that are toward the dry side, at that. I just slipped up on this one, even though I listened to the 'finished product' a half dozen times over the course of a couple of weeks before putting it on the forum.

    Interesting comments, Gary. I hadn't noticed a significant imbalance, but I will have to lend a critical ear in that direction. After the Faure piece (and I am sure many others of your's - I'm quite new to the forum), no one can argue with your meticulous attention to balance. I would have to say that if I approach the range limit for any instruments, it would likely be toward the upper end because that is where you find some of the more interesting and out-of-the-ordinary timbres (like a high tenor sax). Also, I prefer to have a wide dynamic range as opposed to a "kiddie-coaster" rambling around mf. The several recordings I have of this piece tend to be somewhat bland. Hmmm - "thunderous" - interesting choice of words for what I consider one of Beethoven's other funeral marches. This is possibly one of the artifacts of the reverb. I, too, belief that it should be approached as a "delicate" piece, but provides the opportunity for strong emotional swings. Maybe some new nuances can be found in ppp or fff sections of this piece, if they are adequately presented - quite possibly, mine did not meet the criteria of "adequacy".

    Thanx for the comments. I learn from almost everything that is posted and try to add new rendering techniques from them. I have a long way to go compared with most of the people presenting their work on this forum.

    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

  6. #6

    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Aside from the aforementioned issues with reverb and such I enjoyed the intent and bandstration. Leaning too heavily on the extreme bass woodwinds can be touchy - not many bands have a contrabass clarinet player these days, even most colleges. (I've run into the same problem with a band arrangement that really begs for strong low woodwinds - contrabass clarinet, contrabassoon, etc.)

  7. #7

    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    I have to agree with previous comments about reverb. But also, I think the lack of definition on the stacatti is in part due to the notation program. I always use a sequencer, playing instruments live, which enables me to shape the articulation as I want, so I'm not really familiar how you would more clearly define the articulation in a notation program. Maybe you can just write in some stacatto marks on the 8th notes?

    I think the arrangement on the whole would work very well, if you can manage to pull the band out of the cave!

    Please persevere with this - I know it will be well worth it.

    Owen

  8. #8

    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Frank

    I think that we all have the same problem when it comes to our music.

    When we listen to it, often we hear what we want it to sound like. Our minds play tricks on us and we get reality confused with our perception of what we want.

    When I play piano, in my mind's ear, I hit every note perfectly. When I listen to it, I can still see a lot of the perfection. When I look at the score and see all of the double notes and misskeys, I see the mistakes I have made (usually a lot of them).

    This is what makes this forum so helpful. Other listeners do not have the same preconceived notions and hear the true outcome of our music.

    This is still a very good rendition by the Master, Beethoven.

    Well Done

    Ron

  9. #9
    Senior Member 4209fr's Avatar
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    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Ron -
    I'm glad to hear that someone else has a bad case of "selective hearing". I battle with it constantly. That is one reason that I like to work with different arrangements - so I can tailor some of the inner voices to make them more distinctive. I have so many ineptitudes concerning musical ability. One of my worst is hearing inner parts. Using different timbres helps a lot with this.

    Owen -
    Sorry to disappoint, but I don't use notation programs. I got the demo versions of a couple of them a week ago, but, aside from some basic procedures, I'm no where close to being able to use them for putting something on this forum. I use Sonar.

    Everyone -
    Several of you have mentioned poor stacatti management. I'm not really sure what passages you are referring to. Sure, in the original, there is some string pizz, but I don't think that it necessarily should translate to stacatto notes when other instruments play those parts. I just listened to it, again, with the purpose of listening for where stacatto should have been used or inadequately used. I failed to find any point in the piece where this was the case. If you are referring to the moving part, like near the middle where the clarinets and tenor saxes alternate each phrase, it is about exactly what I wanted. My recollection from playing this piece is that it was a learning exercise in legato tonguing for winds. I didn't sequence this piece, but I did spent a little time checking it out and making a few alternations. Sorry, guys, I just don't see where the complaint about stacatto comes from. Maybe if you can give me some specific times (minutes and seconds) where such passages might benefit from a strict stacatto, I might have a better idea of what you are trying to tell me.

    Thanx loads for your comments. I take them seriously.

    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

  10. #10

    Re: Beethoven Sym. #7 - 2nd Mov. for Concert Band

    Oh, ok, I misunderstood your first post. I took it to mean this was your first completed work using the notation programs. Got ya!

    As far as the stacatti goes, I was referring to the rhythmic pattern that goes throughout the piece, starting at measure 3. Admittedly, they are slurred stacatti, but my ear cannot pick up any discernable gap between the two eighth notes. This might be a product of the reverb, though. And it might just be your interpretation - maybe that's what you were wanting to achieve.

    Anyway. that's just my point of view - everyone will hear this differently of course.

    Owen

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