I am new here, so I hope one of you will take just a bit of your time to help me with a piece I wrote for full orchestra.
First the Audio File: http://calebwilliamsphotography.com/...-the-Horns.m4a. I am no mixing expert, so this is standard HP in Finale 2011 w/ GPO4 and JABB3 sounds. My laptop isn't the best sound production platform so please excuse a few errant sounds.
* Flutes (1 and 2)
* Oboes (1 and 2)
* English Horn
* Clarinets in Bb (1 and 2)
* Alto Sax (1 and 2)
* Tenor Sax (1 and 2)
* Baritone Sax
* Bassoons (1 and 2)
* Horns in F (1, 2, 3 and 4)
* Trumpets (1, 2, 3 and 4)
* Trombones (1, 2, 3)
* Bass Trombone
* Timpani (E, Eb, A, Ab)
* Cymbals -- mostly for the gong sound
* Snare Drum
* Basic Orch. Percussion -- mostly for bass drum and triangle
* Violin I
* Violin II
* D. Bass
1) Are the key changes too forced/unessecary? These occur at 0:22 (Ab major to Eb major), 1:24 (Eb major to Eb minor), 2:10 (Eb minor to Eb major), 2:53 (Eb major to E major, the one I have the most trouble with), 6:07 (E major to A major). There are a few temporary modulators to the dominant, such as a few seconds at 3:30 (E maj. to B maj.) and things like that, but other than that, it's pretty much in the given key.
2) Does the melody repeat too much in the Lento cantabile section (from 3:07 to 5:22). This is by far the longest uninterrupted melodic section. I tried to vary it as much as possible though orchestrating differently while maintaining the same feel:
a. Tonic. Violins I and II, with Violas in Unison, then Vln. I an octave above. Flute I and II, Ob. I counter melody
b. Dominant. Violins I with Violins II and Violas providing harmony. Ob. II, Clarinet I and II present same counter-melody as in section a.
c. Tonic. Vln. I melody with Vln. II and Vla providing a different harmony than before. Some counter-melody with Horns and later the glockenspiel and xylophone.
d. Tonic. Cello presents melody, though without the octave skip in the second part. D. Bass doubles one octave lower.
e. Dominant. Cellos in unison with no accompaniment.
f. Tonic. Repeat of section d.
All the tonics are played mp in the strings. All dominants are played piano in the strings. Also, in sections a, b and c, a triangle notes sounds on the third beat of every other measure.
3. I'm not sure the part at 2:39ish (muted trumpet) really fits into the larger piece, so I'd love some feedback on that bit of it and then immediately following at 2:49 the start of the first transition to E major in which the horns play a phrase and then again up half-a-step in E major with a conclusion to the section which leads into the Lento cantabile section described in question 2.
4. I'm not in love with the ending, so anything there would be helpful.
4a. In between the introduction and the strings playing playing chromatic runs up the scale, they do not play. Should I feel compelled to have them playing?
5. General feedback, questions, etc. are helpful too. I am in the middle of preparing a photography portfolio show, but I will try to reply to this thread as quickly as possible.
- Caleb Williams
PS: I will of course share the next revision of this work with you.
PPS: I started this on 11/8/11 and finished (length-wise on 11/21/11).