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Topic: String Quartett Adagio on the theme B-A-C-H

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Darmstadt, Germany

    String Quartett Adagio on the theme B-A-C-H

    I'd like to present to you a very meditative Adagio in g minor for a stringquartett on the famous 4-note pattern B-A-C-H.
    The atmosphere at first is of deep sadness and pain. A contrasting second theme in Eb Major, a kind of choral, rises up from this like a solemn prayer conveying the love of God.

    www.gerdprengel.de/b-a-c-h.pdf (score)


    I hope it speaks to you ...


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: String Quartett Adagio on the theme B-A-C-H

    A lot has been done with these 4 notes. Beyond Bach himself I think of Liszt's massive prelude and fugue for organ and transcription for piano (fantasy and fugue).

    Over all I think you did a pretty good job with this theme.
    Trent P. McDonald

  3. #3

    Re: String Quartett Adagio on the theme B-A-C-H

    Hi, Gerd

    I appreciate the stirring sounds your post brought in to my little home studio this morning. I closed my eyes and listened intently, and it was a very good experience.

    Thanks also for the very tidy looking score you provided - But I Do think you need to give yourself some credit. In the upper right hand corner it says [Composer]. Insert your name!

    Thanks much for this, Gerd.


  4. #4
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: String Quartett Adagio on the theme B-A-C-H

    Hello Gerd;
    I gave this piece a listen the other day, or at least tried to, but something interceded and I was thrown off my game and did not give it a fair hearing. So, I have returned and listened again today. You have carefully constructed the notes into the shape of the thing and on that, you have done enough work for now. It is meant to be a soothing, inspiring adagio, and it is important to retain those qualities, as a general nod to the thematic intent. And yet? So, I asked myself, if this was something I was working on, what other touches might I add?
    I would add a bit more "room", or reverberation. At a rehearsal, in a small room, you would have one sound. but in a recital hall, you would have another, and if a recording studio, for sure it would be slathered on, to best emulate the acoustics of the concert or recital hall. Most important though, is the dynamic mixing of the tracks, over time. With real live instruments, their apparent volume level, relative to each of the other instruments in the ensemble, keeps changing, second by second, because it can. When you enter the notes for the part using a keyboard or notation program (?), you make but one initial choice of volume in the velocity of the attack, and that's it. For some instruments, that's OK, but for strings, not so much. Some of this can be done while performing the part, by discretely moving the mod wheel, to emphasize what should be emphasized. But beyond that, the rest should be done with the automated mix. String players can and do play louder and softer, try remixing each track, so that on the playback, all the instruments vary their volume level, either together, if appropriate, or separately if that is what's required. Adagio that it is, still there is room for more dynamic variety. Again, I'm not sure how you are going about creating this, by notation software to start, or playing the parts on a keyboard. (or?). but, in any event, whenever two or more instruments are to sound at the same time, say if they were playing a chord for example, well, in real life, it would just not be spot on. I only recall one instance in your piece where this was obvious, I think a notation program working through a computer would place the notes perfectly at the same start time, and for a moment, the instruments lose their respective separation and meld together to become a new, single voiced instrument, playing a chord. Please accept or discard my remarks as you wish, knowing as you should, they are offered as both friendly and thoughtful advice. You most likely have done an automated mix and added reverberation already, just up the room a bit more and the dynamics in the mix and see how it sounds. And keep composing and posting!!
    Kind regards,
    sd cisco

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