• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Topic: My first Bach orchestration (BWV 641), comments welcome

  1. #1

    My first Bach orchestration (BWV 641), comments welcome


    Here is the result of my first Bach orchestration, using GPO of course. It's a reworking of BWV 641, Wenn wir in höchsten Noten sein, for organ. You can hear a good interpretation of the original at Youtube. My version can be heard at box.net.

    I used all string sections con sordino (and cello pizzicato), Violin Plr 1 to double the first violins, Flute plr 1, Clarinet plr 1&2, Oboe plr 1, English horn plr 1, Bassoon plr 1, Trumpet plr 1 KS, Horn plr 1&2, and Timpani KS, and a convolution reverb from Kontakt player.

    I'm not completely happy about the strings. I took out some of the harshness with EQ. Any advice on how to improve the sound (not only the strings) or the arrangement are welcome, as well as blatant flattering.

  2. #2

    Re: My first Bach orchestration (BWV 641), comments welcome

    Hi FLWrd & Welcome!

    A great rendition here. I enjoyed it very much. There is a smooth and natural flow and your instrument selection and use brings out the work beautifully.
    However, to my ears, the winds seemed to overpower the strings just a bit. Also, I would check the panning; it may be a contributing factor.

    Overall, a great job!
    Thanks for posting it.

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  3. #3

    Re: My first Bach orchestration (BWV 641), comments welcome

    Hello, FLWrd

    You've done wonderful, very effective things in your adaptation. I find the piece itself to be - well, an OK Bach piece, nothing especially interesting in it for me, but the musical effect you achieved, the dignity and the soul - they really shine through in your work.

    I think Michael's correct that the woodwinds are too loud in proportion to the strings. They also seem to be much closer, much less reverb making it seem they're directly in front of us, within a few feet, while the other musicians are sitting up into the stage.

    I notice in your instrumentation list they you've used the Player instruments rather than the soloists. ---I wonder why? There's another regularly contributing Forum member here who consistently uses the Players also. He feels they blend into an ensemble better. Is that your reasoning?

    For myself, I always use the soloists because their sample pools are much more complete and natural sounding. Notice when you load a player how quickly it loads?--they're small, very simple, vanilla flavored samples compared to the soloists. I think that's why some people feel that in theory at least they should blend better in an ensemble, while I've found that the soloists can blend just as well, but are ready to take the lead moments more effectively when needed - And that the naturalness of the whole ensemble benefits from their presence.

    In any case--It's a lovely rendition, and I appreciate you posting it here for us.


  4. #4

    Re: My first Bach orchestration (BWV 641), comments welcome

    Thanks for your kind words.

    You both are probably right about the panning and the balance. I found it hard to find, and your ears (in mean in general, ok, my ears) start to get accustomed to the sound and then can no longer listen the way other people

    The reverb is the same on all instruments (via a bus, identical post-fader send), and I used GPO's default settings (except for the panning, which I found too extreme), so that doesn't explain it. I did filter the strings, because in the first version they were very harsh.

    I used the player instruments out of economy. I'm running GPO on a laptop with Logic, and it tends to run out of memory, but I'll check to see if there is some mileage left in the thing. Or perhaps buy some extra memory and try to run Aria?

    About my choice: I find Bach an enormous source of inspiration, and I chose this piece because of its melancholic mood and its length (one of the shortest organ works). The text of the chorale on which it is based reads

    When in the hour of utmost need
    We know not where to look for aid;
    When days and nights of anxious thought
    Nor help nor counsel yet have brought,
    Then this our comfort is alone,
    That we may meet before Thy throne
    And cry, O faithful God, to Thee
    For rescue from our misery.

    I'm not religious, but it does express the profound sensation: when you are in despair, you can find tranquility in fate or faith, yet this is not a happy state, and the music reflects that for me. Anyway, my 2 cents.

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts