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Topic: For the festival - more blasting from the past

  1. #1

    For the festival - more blasting from the past

    this is entirely GPO.
    its from a projected musical theatre piece that fell through, based upon "Murder on the Orient Express".

    this is what would have been the overture.

    Overture to "Murder on the Orient Express"

    It's a musical style decidedly different from my normal output. A bit in the Sondheim tradition, mixing some elements of more "serious" contemporary classical music with a definite Broadway musical approach.

    it's scored for:
    flute (doubling on piccolo)
    two clarinets (2nd doubling on bass clarinet)
    2 horns
    1 timpanist
    2 percussionists
    and a small string section

    the instruments are all GPO, and there is a prominent cello solo played by the now-defunct Garritan Gofriller Solo Cello.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Suburban NYC

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Hi Michel,

    Yes, indeed, this is a little different than your usual works I've had the pleasure to hear over the years, but this is really a wonderful piece of music ... I thoroughly enjoyed this!

    I agree there's some Sondheim flavor and this sounds as good (or better!) as any of the 'classical' Broadway scores of the last couple of decades; if feels completely theatrical. Lloyd-Webber did a show a while back ... "Aspects of Love" ... that also had a very intimate pit with similar (a tad smaller) instrumentation than yours ... it was a fairly different show than his usual fare.

    I think you set-up all the mystique associated with the Orient Express; I thought there was a pensive, ominous undercurrent throughout ... I was ready for Act 1 Scene 1 when it ended!

    Did you end up scoring an entire show? Was it primarily a recitative (opera) score? Also, was this overture more like a prologue, or was it based on several of the numbers (or themes) from the show? Any way you slice it, it was a great piece of music.

    There's a few of us on this forum who love musical theater, so many thanks for sharing this great 'opener' with us.



  3. #3

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Hello Michel, the listening room is beginning to look quite like a war zone with all of these posts coming exploding from the past

    I enjoyed the general lightheartedness of this piece, though I agree with Frank that there was a nice bit of an ominous undercurrent that did will to bring in the title of the theatrical piece. I liked your use of the chimes as well, especially it's more rhythmical use towards the end. It reminded me of an improvised chimes solo I once heard while playing with a percussion ensemble (it was quite a memorable experience )

    Thanks for sharing!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  4. #4

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    this is entirely GPO.
    its from a projected musical theatre piece that fell through, based upon "Murder on the Orient Express".

    this is what would have been the overture...
    Thee Ah Taaaaah music! I knew you had it in you, Michel. hehe - Yes, oh yes, I'm ready to jump on that train now. Super mood setting for the mystery. Applause! - sorry the project fell through. Any more work from this?


  5. #5

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Thank-you Frank, Michael and Randy.

    Sadly, there is nothing more than the overture.
    The entire idea of a musical based on this story was shot down by the copyright holders before it could really get off the ground.
    And since I'm a VERY slow worker, well, this was it.

    I'm a huge fan of the more "classical" musical theatre... ie: Sondheim. Ok, I admit.. I'm a huge fan of Sondheim. Period.

    I do love the old classics, My Fair Lady, Sound of Music, etc...

    While I admit to enjoying some parts of a few of the more recent musicals (ie: Wicked comes to mind), I can't say I'm REALLY a fan of that blend of pop music with musical theatre. But I'm also just not a fan of popular music in general.

    The one exception to that assertion would be Mama Mia. I don't really think of that as "musical theatre". To my mind, it's more of a revue. And I hate to admit it.. but I just love the music of ABBA. Now if someone would make a musical out of songs of The Carpenters, I'd be a happy child of the 60's and 70's.

  6. #6

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Very interesting work. I really enjoyed it.
    You well managed the repated notes pattern not to turn out as a machine gun!
    I would like a little more ambience around... A little bit... enough...
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  7. #7

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    A fine start to my day...providing energy to face a day of mildly annoying academic administrivia.
    Much less ponderous than "Pacific 231."

    Thanx for posting!

    PS--Though my most preferred listening is in the realm of Bill Evans or Paul Desmond, I would also welcome a Carpenters medley or two...it took me a while to realize just how well-crafted those songs were, and I always liked her voice. I confess.

    PPS--On a much smaller scale, I understand the frustration of copyright owner refusal. I had asked to do several pieces in a brass quintet version. The responses ranged from flat rejection, to "we are sending armed guards to your office to beat you up," to "ok if you send us $3000 in anticipation of future revenues."
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  8. #8

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    thank-you Fabio and Jim

    regarding copyright issues, I can say that this ahs been the BIGGEST hindrance to my opera project.
    the story ideas that I feel strongly about tend to be relatively recent works, and those are ALWAYS in the hands of copyright lawyers.

    unfortunately, copyright lawyers are not in the business of advancing the state of the arts. They are there to advance the state of their own, and their client's, bank accounts.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Canyon, Texas, USA

    Re: For the festival - more blasting from the past

    Stravinsky had the solution to using material that was composed for a project that was dropped for one reason or another. Here is a quote from Wikipedia about his Symphony in Three Movements.

    "Material is drawn from projects that Stravinsky had abandoned or reorganized. The pianoforte's presence in the first movement stems from a piano concerto that was left incomplete. Music for harp is prominent in the second movement, using themes for a film adaptation of Franz Werfel's novel The Song of Bernadette. Stravinsky was considered for this project but it was later assigned to Alfred Newman."

    This music is too good to just let it go. Keep it in mind and use it when the opportunity arises.


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