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Passacaglia
Last post Sat, Sep 25 2021 by tchampe, 4 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2021 01:46
by jsg
Joined on Thu, Jan 19 2006, San Francisco, CA USA, Posts 334

This piece is a passacaglia with one main difference, instead of being in 3, it's in 9/4.

It is scored for VSL full orchestra including software synths Dune, Z3TA, Massive and the Yamaha MODX.

Finally, this is the 4th movement to my 10th symphony for virtual orchestra. In this work I strive for, as I usually do, compositional clarity and balance, motivic and thematic development and textural variety. This work is a track on the album Earth Music.

PLAY

Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2021 16:20
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 89

Jerry, I like this the most of any work of yours that I have heard. It is complex and feels very logically developed but it never seems like an academic exercise; full of fun and always interesting. I was continually surprised and pleased when it turned a way that I didn't expect. If I could offer a small criticism: I wish the ending had just been the finish of that pizzicato line on the tonic; the chord felt tacked on. I've read that Strauss was going to end Ein Heldenleben with nothing but the solo horn and violin fading out on Eb 3 octaves apart...pretty unsatisfying for the audience after 45 minutes of snarling along with a gigantic orchestra! Fortunately, he was talked out of it and put on the coda. For your piece, though, simply tip-toeing out the room seems natural, especially if you are (I assume) moving right into the Finale. Just a thought; I am interested in what your thoughts were. Again, a very cool piece. Thanks for sharing it!

Tom 

Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2021 18:02
by jsg
Joined on Thu, Jan 19 2006, San Francisco, CA USA, Posts 334

Originally Posted by: tchampe Go to Quoted Post

Jerry, I like this the most of any work of yours that I have heard. It is complex and feels very logically developed but it never seems like an academic exercise; full of fun and always interesting. I was continually surprised and pleased when it turned a way that I didn't expect. If I could offer a small criticism: I wish the ending had just been the finish of that pizzicato line on the tonic; the chord felt tacked on. I've read that Strauss was going to end Ein Heldenleben with nothing but the solo horn and violin fading out on Eb 3 octaves apart...pretty unsatisfying for the audience after 45 minutes of snarling along with a gigantic orchestra! Fortunately, he was talked out of it and put on the coda. For your piece, though, simply tip-toeing out the room seems natural, especially if you are (I assume) moving right into the Finale. Just a thought; I am interested in what your thoughts were. Again, a very cool piece. Thanks for sharing it!

Tom 

Thanks for listening Tom.  

While working on the ending of this movement I tried exactly what you suggested for the ending and I decided against it. Letting the ostinato end without the last chord was certainly an option but I chose the larger ending with the full orchestra because this movement is the last movement of a 4-movement 35 minute work and felt this works better for the piece as a whole.

I am always curious as to how subjective listening to music really is. And composing it.  I like to tell myself that I am somewhat objective as a composer which implies that I imagine what I want the sound to be and then I employ the techniques to achieve that sound.  But what this really means is that I try out an idea, and if I like it I ask myself what I don't like about it and then I proceed to make it better. I don't stop improving it until I feel it's the best it can be.  Yet it's still subjective, just as the taste of food or the style of clothing one wears is.  Each listener brings a set of expectations to a piece of music and whether that music fulfills or fails the listener's expectations is not only going to be different for each listener, but it's so far out of my control that I don't focus on it.  I just try to follow my inner voice as closely as possible, that's how I measure my success and progress as a composer.  That's one of the chief differences (not artistically or aesthetically speaking, but socially) between getting paid to write music and art for art's sake: In the former role I am a craftsman, giving the paying client what they want and doing it in a way that give me some satisfaction (and money) for providing a service. But in writing serious music in order to give expression to something that is intangible, nebulous, abstract and non-material, it's a different game entirely.  I always assume that nothing I or anyone else writes is perfect (although Mozart's Symphony #40 comes damn close!) and that whatever I write is going to appreciated, hated, and ignored by somebody.  I've come to fully accept this and I am happier because of it.

Thanks again for taking 10 minutes of your time to listen to this piece.

Best,
Jerry

Posted on Sat, Sep 25 2021 20:35
by tchampe
Joined on Wed, Apr 25 2018, Posts 89

Originally Posted by: jsg Go to Quoted Post

While working on the ending of this movement I tried exactly what you suggested for the ending and I decided against it. Letting the ostinato end without the last chord was certainly an option but I chose the larger ending with the full orchestra because this movement is the last movement of a 4-movement 35 minute work and felt this works better for the piece as a whole.

Ah, I get it! My assumption that there was a Finale movement after this one was incorrect; you added that final chord for pretty much the same reason old Strauss put the coda on Hero's Life. It puts a satisfying finish on a long, large-scale work. Makes sense. Thanks for explaining and again, I really enjoyed the piece.

Regards,

Tom

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