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Topic: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

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  1. #1
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    Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Berlioz wrote the "Roman Carnival Overture" in approx. 1843, using themes from his two-act opera "Benvenuto Cellini", as a stand-alone piece to be performed in a concert promoting his own works. The work contains the love duet between Cellini and Teresa interspersed with quotations of the saltarello, a wild dance.

    In this arrangement I have used the piano reduction for four hands by Ferd. Wrede, further setting it for large saxophone ensemble of;
    1 X Sopranino
    2 X Soprano
    5 X Alto
    2 X Tenor
    2 X Baritone
    1 X Bass

    The entire work is entered into Finale 2008 and uses the CMB saxophones as well as the JABB Sopranino. This work certainly taxes the musicians to the maximum, as even with the large ensemble, there is not many opportunities to trade off. But in grand Berlioz style it also provides an exciting ride almost unparalleled in other orchestral works.

    http://www.garybricault.com/mp3/Berl...arnivalSax.mp3

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    I like this arrangement - it works well. Doing it must have been a massive undertaking. I do have one complaint - often the saxophones don't sound natural - this at times sounds like a giant accordion. Ok, another small complaint - the end came very abruptly - it seemed to cut off as soon as the last note was sounded. I hate to be all negative, but there is a typo - it should be 1848 not 1948.

    Anyway, despite the few little nit picks, I did like this. It is a great arrangement.
    Trent P. McDonald

  3. #3
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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd View Post
    I like this arrangement - it works well. Doing it must have been a massive undertaking. I do have one complaint - often the saxophones don't sound natural - this at times sounds like a giant accordion. Ok, another small complaint - the end came very abruptly - it seemed to cut off as soon as the last note was sounded. I hate to be all negative, but there is a typo - it should be 1848 not 1948.

    Anyway, despite the few little nit picks, I did like this. It is a great arrangement.
    Hi Trent,

    OK I fixed the year....yeah rather late to put Berlioz in the 1900's.

    The problem of the voicing is one where there are so many together it does give that effect sometimes. The last note is a cut off issue of the playback of the score and the only work around is to add an additional measure to allow the sound to decay before the recording ends.

    On the whole, glad that you enjoyed the work. I can't wait to hear it live.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4

    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Hi, Gary

    It's a wonderful piece, and as always with your posts, I enjoyed hearing your Sax adaptation. We can get at least some idea of what this would be like with a live ensemble playing.

    I'm glad the year was corrected--When I read the original posting of 1943 - I got confused, thinking maybe I was warped out in my my memory of when Berlioz lived. hehe--Thanks for fixing that.

    Trent's comment about the "giant accordion" is of course something that has come for a very long time now in connection with renderings that use so many CMB instruments. I know you and I have exchanged posts on that topic.

    It's the constant question a notation user has to ask--how important is it to make a more natural sounding recording? Your main concern is to create a written score of your adaptations, so I don't think you're interested in going through all the hoops it takes to make a more realistic recording also.

    Primarily the "accordion effect" is from the notes being played at literally the same split second, when in a live performance, the best band in the world will have timing variations which is responsible for much of what we recognize as a live, natural performance. And the instruments in CMB for several reasons more easily start approaching this accordion or organ effect than the instruments in JABB or GPO.

    In case it's of interest, combating these unnatural effects was the main topic on a recent thread here in the Listening Room - The specific topic was in how to create more natural sounding jazz recordings, but the principles apply to any genre.

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=67551

    But to take a Finale score of what you have here and try to make a more realistic recording would require a great deal more work, which I don't think you're interested in? - And that's a totally legitimate choice. It might be helpful for you to include something to that effect in your next posting, that you've produced a score, and that you aren't interested in doing more work to also make a realistic recording. It could avoid yet more references to the accordion or organ syndrome.

    Thanks, Gary.

    Randy

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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hi, Gary

    It's a wonderful piece, and as always with your posts, I enjoyed hearing your Sax adaptation. We can get at least some idea of what this would be like with a live ensemble playing.
    ......snip

    Thanks, Gary.

    Randy
    Yes that is the goal. My friend at Northwestern is anxious to read it when classes begin in the fall. Of course the quest continues for other challanging works.

    By the way, apparently Berlioz was an aquintance of Adolph Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. So this is a very fitting adaptation.

    Regarding the lecture on perceived sound, we have had this discussion in the past and I do not agree with you. The timbre of the instruments gives the organ-like sound quality as it is. I have also provided concrete examples in the past that it is possible for a human wind orchestra to produce such sounds. I am using a notation program to produce a production score and the output of that is what you hear. It is not intended to compete with a note-by-note altered sound file.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Gday,

    I have to agree with Gary when he says:

    “The timbre of the instruments gives the organ-like sound quality as it is”

    Perhaps one should not leave 13 saxophone players in one room by themselves. But this might not suit Gary.

    Soloists often have a lot of freedom for expression. Ensemble players and section players need to be accurate in every respect to the requirements of the conductor. Having for instance 12 violins play the same note is mostly to increase the sound level. Each player must ensure total uniformity with the other players.

    I would expect that a live recording of this arrangement would also sound like a giant accordion. The sound of a saxophone is created by means of a reed. The sound of an accordion is also created by a reed.

    Herbert
    GPO, JABB, CMB, GWI, GOFRILLER, HALION PLAYER, ACCORDIONS by E Tarilonte
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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Very nice!

    It was funny when i came across this thread as i am currently playing the Brass Band arrangement with my local band in rehursals.

    This is a great piece and arranged very nicely here!

    Good to hear from you again..


    Dan.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

  8. #8

    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    "Perhaps one should not leave 13 saxophone players in one room by themselves"--HAhahaha--pretty funny, Herbert.

    I hope you don't mind a continuation of the sub-topic on this thread, Gary. I want to catch Herbert up on a little history.

    The "accordion effect" and its close cousin, the "organ effect" have both been talked about numerous times over the years here on the Forum. Some people want to avoid the effect in their recordings, but Gary is arranging these pieces for a live group of musicians, and his main goal is producing sheet music for him. I don't think he's interested in taking his files and creating a different, more natural sounding version to record from.

    Since saxes are reed instruments like accordions, there can be a similarity in tone, as you pointed out, Herbert. And brass instruments generally have conical shaped bodies like the pipes of organs, and so can produce an organ-like sound.

    The other main ingredient to this keyboard effect (or culprit) is that when notes are played perfectly and impossibly, digitally accurately together, there's a cumulative effect which starts sounding similar to an accordion player or organist pressing down chords. That's why I earlier included the link to the thread where this topic is talked about, and the relative merits of making more realistic recordings is debated.

    One more cause for this effect, which is invariably brought up by listeners when the effect occurs, is that there is something in the nature of the CMB samples which make them more susceptible to making an accordion/organ sound. It's demonstrable by anyone who owns and uses CMB. It's been theorized that there's something about the loops starting at the same time in the samples, and its most noticeable if a number of Group instruments are used--with those the chorusing effect coupled with the quantized notes most quickly sounds unnatural.

    As Forum member Gunther showed us quite awhile ago, if one just makes sure that the Note On events in a CMB ensemble piece are never allowed to begin at precisely the same time (something even the "tightest" group of live musicians can never do) - then the effect doesn't happen. But renderings made straight from a notation program without some kind of humanization being added to the files won't sound natural - And, as I prefaced this - it's up to the user how important it is to either accept or combat the effect.

    Gary has blessed this Forum for some time now with his sax arrangements of pieces, and he has the pleasure of a live group playing them. What he plays for us here always makes for an exciting, pleasurable experience. He's made his choices regarding his recordings, and we all do the same according to our priorities.

    Randy B.

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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    "Perhaps one should not leave 13 saxophone players in one room by themselves"--HAhahaha--pretty funny, Herbert.

    I hope you don't mind a continuation of the sub-topic on this thread, Gary. I want to catch Herbert up on a little history.

    Randy B.
    Actually I do mind. Since I have clearly expressed the reasoning behind what I do and why I do it, I do not believe that it is necessary to use my postings as an endless forum for a topic that nothing to do with my work. I have provided by point of view with concrete examples of real world performances to back them up. In fact, the live performaces of these works with live, classically trained saxophonists have a very different sound apart from the CMB instruments themselves.

    Randy, I dearly enjoy that you should listen and comment on my postings, much as I have taken great pleasure is listening to yours. But I really want to end the discussion on this subject.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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    Re: Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture using CMB Sax ensemble

    Quote Originally Posted by sonata5920 View Post
    Gday,

    I have to agree with Gary when he says:

    “The timbre of the instruments gives the organ-like sound quality as it is”

    Perhaps one should not leave 13 saxophone players in one room by themselves. But this might not suit Gary.


    The need for such a large ensemble is necessitated by the need to cover so many voices and also to provide some relief by trading off parts when it is possible to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by sonata5920 View Post
    Soloists often have a lot of freedom for expression. Ensemble players and section players need to be accurate in every respect to the requirements of the conductor. Having for instance 12 violins play the same note is mostly to increase the sound level. Each player must ensure total uniformity with the other players.
    Yes and that is one of the real issues of ensemble playing. Not only staying together but blending into a single work, pitch, intonation, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by sonata5920 View Post
    I would expect that a live recording of this arrangement would also sound like a giant accordion. The sound of a saxophone is created by means of a reed. The sound of an accordion is also created by a reed.

    Herbert
    Actually the classically trained saxophonists produce a very organ-like sound. The purity of the sound leaves much of the reedy sound out. Sometimes the soprano sax sounds like a clarinet or flute. It is a sound that must be heard to be appreciated.

    The Garritan libraries have provided a wonderful means for me to demonstrate a work in a more real sounding way than would be possible using the standard midi sounds.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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