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Topic: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

  1. #1

    Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    HI all, I posted the first draft of this -- a long time ago. Now it is "more or less" finished -- meaning I may still pick at it some, but not much. See what you think. I still struggle with the fact that my harmonies are very unsophisticated -- grappling with that will one day, I hope, produce something more advanced......

    Warm wishes to all of you,


    oops! forgot the link to it (duh). Here it is:
    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

  2. #2

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    Wow. That was powerful and moving. I enjoyed it very much. Typically Karen Peace, but this one seemed to have something else too.

    I didn't feel that your harmonies were too simplistic, although there were a couple of places where I felt I could offer a personal observation.

    Some passages seem to have a prefererence for a home chord to which we keep returning, such as between 0'47" and 1'37". Especially if that chord is presented in much the same way and lingered upon, it gave me the mental picture of a critter running out of its cave, looking at something, then running back into the safety of its cave again, rather than a purposeful journey. I was reminded of Cesar Franck's advice to his students - "Modulate, modulate!". Maybe that would help a little. Try coming back to a different, but related, chord, then set out again from there.

    A good example of where you acheived this very well begins at around 7'00". That progression fair took my breath away.

    I am by no means the world's expert on harmony, but perhaps my personal feelings might help in some way.

    I'm glad you shared this with us. I always look forward to hearing you work, and definitely count myself a fan. I enjoyed this one very much. Well done!


  3. #3

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    Karen, there's always so much potential in every piece of yours that I hear. Yes, as you say, you're missing a bit of the training that could release your FULL potential, but the underlying talent and creativity are there.

    I don't think you should see it as "unsophisticated harmony". Revel in the tonality. There's really nothing wrong with that. The only thing I'd suggest is allowing yourself to move a bit "further afield" when you are exploring your harmonic material.

    If you allow yourself to research a bit more, I know that the unique identity that is there, so near the surface, nearly allowed to break free, WILL do so.

    As a form of compositional exercise, you might consider writing shorter works and applying a few principles: avoid what would normally "come easily" to you (ie: by ear); force yourself to use some harmonic progressions that might NOT normally come to you; consider melodic material that is NOT supported by the harmony (in a manner you would normally associate it); consider harmonic material that pushes AWAY from your melodic material.

    And by the way, this Sinfonietta had some absolutely lovely moments in it.

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

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    Hi Karen;
    Your work is becoming stronger and more focused! I agree, in part, with some of the preceding comments, kindly presented as they were. I might add, I try to understand what is best in my own work, then attempt to step further in that direction if possible.
    But you have a great skill-set when it comes to arranging and I do hear you stretching out harmonically. So, an enjoyable excursion through your imagination, thank you for sharing and I look forward to more!!

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  5. #5

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    Wow, thanks you guys, not only for listening, but especially for listening closely enough to advise me -- as I think most of you know, I have very little formal training, so consider myself a perpetual student of the compositional craft. Michel, a special thanks to you for your suggestions on excercises. I shall do as you suggest.

    Wishing you all a happy Halloween, Thanksgiving (for those in the US).

    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

  6. #6

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)


    I like what I hear. I agree with the others here, but allow me to say: Very well done!

    My best,

    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  7. #7

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    I enjoyed listening to it, so what more do you want? Not that my opinion is of great significance, of course, but if it sounds ok to others, you can feel satisfied. There might have been a few points where the harmony was "simple", but overall I heard a rather consistent idea being composed out over paths that were not simple or trivial at all. To my ears, you took quite some trouble to avoid the beaten path.

    I didn't mind the return to the root chord, but perhaps that's what could sound "simple". The little 3 note theme that does this, however, does seem to return later. This didn't make me think of a critter returning to its cave, but rather of breathing.

    Just my 2 cents. Well done.

  8. #8

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    Thanks Gunther and Theo, much appreciated.

    I have a long way to go as a composer, but I do think that if one's music provides a measure of enjoyment for others' listening, then that is one step in th right direction.

    My self-critique is simply that for some time I have been struggling to branch out into other harmonic approaches, but it is slow going for me. For example, I love Stravinsky.... so I must hit the books and try some new things, as Michel says.

    Thanks again guys, and happy holidays, whatever yours may be.

    Best wishes,
    Listen at: www.soundclick.com/kepeaceusa
    Scores at: http://stores.lulu.com/ke_peace

  9. #9

    Re: Sinfonietta No. 5 in Eb (now more or less finished)

    In addition to the memorable entreaty of César Franck
    ("Modulate, modulate!") -- which has undoubtedly been
    muttered, shouted, and if possible monogrammed into
    the brains of every student by every composition teacher
    before and since -- I'd propose one thing further: Karen,
    you retreat too readily to "safe ground".

    Admonitions aside, there are many moments in this piece
    where I hear tremendous growth in the language and the
    thinking, both.

    This is solid work... and where you strip off the blinders
    and let the wings of conception override the inhibitions of
    common sense, I do believe you're pacing stride.

    Stay on the path.

    All my best,

    David Sosnowski

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