Pentador (Symphony for Strings in 3 movements) is a massive revision of Pentador String Quartet. It recently became very clear to me that it was a necessary step, particularly the first movement. Earlier today, I began having thoughts about a 4th movement, which may or may not come to fruition. Meanwhile, here is the symphony as it now exists.
This marvellous piece has me reachng for my PC keyboard because, over the last 2 days, it has caused two very rare occurrences:
1. I listened to it twice!
2. After about a minute of the first listening, I powered up my EMU system, set it as system default and started again over headphones (the normal default is the TV audio)!
Add to the above the fact that I actually logged in to post (as a newbie, I normally browse anonymously) and you know you must be on a winner.
The whole piece, but particularly the slow movement, has that "vastness" that I associate with recent American composition (something to do with the Redwoods perhaps? - or maybe that's just my Brit imagination working overtime)
If I may make so bold as to aid in your decision process, I definitely feel that a fourth movement would be the "icing on the cake" - the third movement, though conclusive, has a real scherzo feel to it that could just as easily serve as a penultimate section.
Please excuse my somewhat non-technical response but I've only just started taking my own formal musings seriously this year and I don't yet feel qualified to utter words like "neoromantic" and such! I've been wrestling with both writing and GPO now since February and have a couple of pieces nearing completion but both needing engineering - so I'm now notating and producing Haydn 45 to "sort out the workflow" - which reminds me that I must stop rambling and get on with "micro-srpeggiating" the first movement- Ughh!)
Er - I just thought of one question - did you use Section Strings for this ensemble or build it from Solo instruments?
Well, thank you Keith! I can not say much about the vastness, except that I avoid thirds, which is probably the source of what you term vastness. Also, I go to some trouble to spread the music over a wide range, low as possible, high as possible. I used the section strings in this. I have begun the fourth movement, but it is the slowest I have ever worked. I hope I live long enough to finish it.
Well, now, after much blood, sweat, and tears, I am now once again able to get some decent dynamics in audio files, thanks to some help from Markelford and Raymond 62. I have uploaded all new mp3's, and corrected the links in the first entry of this thread so that they now link to the new mp3's.
This is the first work for strings that I have ever heard of yours. I can tell the difference in these new files as well. I used to force Sib to do dynamics by using tons of hairpins with inflated markings at each end. That seemed to be the only way to actually hear any changes in the dynamics.
Although I have no problems with you using the Patches you have used for this, it might sound even better if you added copied staves for each of the instruments and used different patches for the copies. It should give the piece an added diversity in sounds. Pann them just a little differently and you would have a more realistic sound.
Nice work on these.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein
Well, Ron, I duplicated all parts with different instruments, and the results are much better than the previous version. They improved versions are now on line, using the original links. Thanks for your excellent suggestion. It is a technique which I use with organ, but did not think of it for orchestra!