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Topic: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

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  1. #1

    Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    I will probably be posting quite a few postings this year concerning my requiem "In Remembrance." Several parts of this huge composition have already been performed by various groups in the past and even some parts have been published, but now I am almost ready to put the pieces together.

    My very first issue is with the trombone feature in the 2nd movement entitled "Hymn." Originally the bass trombone was in the tuba range causing the harmonies not to be as tight as I probably wanted. The mp3 first starts with the live recording, then the Garritan trombones with closer harmony, and lastly you are going to hear a wind ensemble version (woodwinds and brass) version still in the low brass's tenor and bass registers.

    Please let me know what you think, and please tell me your suggestions! Thank you so very much. On the link you can find the mp3 and the 2 scores. The live score is called Hymn Brass Score 3-4 and the Garritan trombone version is simply called Hymn Trombone. The wind ensemble version uses the exact same scoring of the Garritan trombones but uses Instant Orchestra's Natural Brass and Winds.
    ~Rodney
    https://www.box.com/s/u7q8wossynckyrdga7kk
    Full Orchestra update https://www.box.com/s/nxsij3vyoktp5ak2fmgw

  2. #2
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Rodney,

    I listened to them and the sample version sound fine but it's not translating very well into a live performance. There's a lot of ambience with the sound bouncing around so it's a little difficult, at least for me, to offer advice with my limited knowledge.

    Are the musicians playing with good intonation and proper breath support?

    Have you tried changing the dynamics of the different brass parts?

    Is it feasible to take the whole thing up a half step or so and see if that makes a difference?




    Phil

  3. #3

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Hi Rodney,

    A superb composition. You asked for an opinion? Well you won't be a surprised that I prefer the last version with brass and woodwinds. The second version is nice, but lacks emotion and expression. The softer touch of the woodwinds make the colouring complete and goes wonderfully together with the harshness of the trombones. The ambience conditions seem better as well in the last recording.

    Max

  4. #4

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    Rodney,

    I listened to them and the sample version sound fine but it's not translating very well into a live performance. There's a lot of ambience with the sound bouncing around so it's a little difficult, at least for me, to offer advice with my limited knowledge.

    Are the musicians playing with good intonation and proper breath support?

    Have you tried changing the dynamics of the different brass parts?

    Is it feasible to take the whole thing up a half step or so and see if that makes a difference?




    Phil
    This ensemble that performed the work were playing in a concert hall that was designed for one purpose only, to make the pipe organ sound good. So that's probably the reason for the reverb. The performance could have been the reason. I hear what they were trying to do with the phrasing, but I wished they might have carried the breathe through the entire phrase. I noticed the intonation did sound a little off on beat 1 of measure 4 because the bass trombone did not play his low c until beat 2.

    If there were horns then they would be at a mf, but all of the low brass should be balanced at mp.

    I am a true believer that keys are everything, but changing the key would be a last resort because my ears are so used to hearing it in the key of G Major and then it modulates later in the next section, but wonderful suggestion and I may play with the notion.

    Thank you so much!
    ~Rodney

  5. #5

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Hi Rodney,

    A superb composition. You asked for an opinion? Well you won't be a surprised that I prefer the last version with brass and woodwinds. The second version is nice, but lacks emotion and expression. The softer touch of the woodwinds make the colouring complete and goes wonderfully together with the harshness of the trombones. The ambience conditions seem better as well in the last recording.

    Max
    Yep, I asked for an opinion and I thank you for giving me one! I am happy that you enjoyed the last one. I have been debating to leave this work for brass, brass and percussion, turn it into a band piece, or for full orchestra. Whatcha think? How would you and other score this section but still keeping the melody in this register?
    ~Rodney

  6. #6

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Quote Originally Posted by composingatnight View Post
    Yep, I asked for an opinion and I thank you for giving me one! I am happy that you enjoyed the last one. I have been debating to leave this work for brass, brass and percussion, turn it into a band piece, or for full orchestra. Whatcha think? How would you and other score this section but still keeping the melody in this register?
    ~Rodney
    What do you mean by 'orchestra'? Is it a full wind band or a symphonic orchestra? Of course, the more sections you add, the more possibilities you will have. But there is the danger of overdoing (overorchestrating). To bring the main theme or melody to the front, use the brighter instruments in combination with 8vabasso (horns, saxes) and colour them with a flute/piccolo. Be aware of variation. Combine to your ears the best suiting groups or instruments and avoid compiling too many voices at a time.

    These are just some pieces of advice, but of course (and that's exactly the advantage of digitally performed music, work with trial and error and let your good taste be your guide! In that way, your music will be a lot more than just a recipe, it will be personal and original.

    Max

  7. #7

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    What do you mean by 'orchestra'? Is it a full wind band or a symphonic orchestra? Of course, the more sections you add, the more possibilities you will have. But there is the danger of overdoing (overorchestrating). To bring the main theme or melody to the front, use the brighter instruments in combination with 8vabasso (horns, saxes) and colour them with a flute/piccolo. Be aware of variation. Combine to your ears the best suiting groups or instruments and avoid compiling too many voices at a time.

    These are just some pieces of advice, but of course (and that's exactly the advantage of digitally performed music, work with trial and error and let your good taste be your guide! In that way, your music will be a lot more than just a recipe, it will be personal and original.

    Max
    When it was performed originally, the work was only written for brass, but now I am debating (write it for band, orchestra, or keep it just for brass.) This is just a small 8 measure phrase in an hour long work. There is plenty of time for contast within the work but I want to feature this lower range of the ensemble. This will be for a live performance like all my music is written for.

  8. #8

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Hi, Rodney - I had a listen last night, and got curious to look at the wave form of the recording. After importing the MP3 into Sound Forge, it was as I suspected. The 3 sections have aspects in their recordings that are so different from each other that it's not really possible to make a fair call. The live version is much lower in volume, so I boosted its level so it better matched the second one. The second recording is extremely dry, making for a stark contrast to the overly-ambient live recording. The third one is the best recording, with a good amount of reverb and a healthy volume.

    To help me compare the 3, I not only boosted the volume on the live take, but added reverb to the 2nd one.

    After doing all that - it was still as I originally felt when I first listened: The 3rd one seems best.

    These kinds of passages are always tricky since everything is in the lower register. Aggravated by the deep reverberation in the live version, it does seem like the musicians didn't quite succeed with it. It's all a bit muddy, but hard to tell how much of that problem is because of the venue's ambience.

    Nonetheless, I concur with Max that what you have going on in the 3rd sample seems best.

    Randy

  9. #9

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Hey, Rodney!
    It is worth to wait an hour to listen to these eight bars.
    I agree with other members, version 3 is the better one, while no. 1 retains the spirit of live performance - maybe not a good one but at least is live.
    Fabio
    Arrigo Beyle / Milanese / Lived, wrote, loved -- Stendhal
    Being Italian is a full-time job -- B. Severgnini

  10. #10

    Re: Hymn from the Requiem "In Remembrance" (Need Low Brass Help!)

    Hello Rodney -

    First. . . compositionally. . .this is BEAUTIFUL!! I guess you've been posting sections of your larger composition. Listening to this except has certainly wetted my appetite to hear the final product in its entirety. Of course, if you're going to be piece-mealing your larger work section by section, that should be fun, too! It will be interesting to "witness" the thinking process in developing your work. But, DANG! This is beautiful!

    In order of preference, this is how I liked your excepts (of the same passage): 1st, 3rd, then 2nd. (The live recorded brass was gorgeous!).

    Best wishes to you as you continue to put your larger project together.

    Ted

    (By the way, I love your UserID: "Composingatnight". I'm a night-worker (ICU Nurse) and also tend to do most of my composing during the night when I'm off from work.)
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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