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Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2012 06:02
by Popslaw
Joined on Wed, Jun 22 2011, Posts 138

This is my first serious attempt at rendering a real composer's work with VSL. It's a wonderful composition, and I hope I haven't completely butchered it with my remedial programming skills. I'm happy with how some of it turned out, while other parts sound little better than MIDI garbage to my ear. I would greatly appreciate any comments, criticism, or advice as to how I might improve it.

In a Village

I don't have access to Solo Strings II, so you'll have to pretend that the solo viola is muted. Also, I'm utterly clueless when it comes to mixing/mastering, so I would love to hear any tips anyone might have in that department as well.

Everything was written and performed in Sibelius using VI Pro, VE Pro, and MIR (Grosser).

Thanks for listening!


Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2012 10:52
by mcelvogue
Joined on Mon, Mar 14 2011, Posts 149

Hi Brian,

      I pretended the solo viola was muted and it worked perfectly fine for me. I'll leave it to others who may be more familiar with the composition as to whether or not it is a faithful representation of the original. For me anyway, I thought it was excellent and thought you got a great deal of expression from your arrangement. The mix also did not get in the way of my enjoyment of the piece so congratulations and thanks for posting. Is this a potential soundtrack for another game ? What would the composer think of that ! (only joking)


Posted on Thu, Aug 02 2012 15:59
by Popslaw
Joined on Wed, Jun 22 2011, Posts 138

Hi Tom,

Thanks for listening and for the comments. I'm glad you liked it.

No, this isn't for a game - just for fun:)


Posted on Sun, Aug 05 2012 01:20
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5497

 Wow!  I finally heard this, this is a great performance!  I am very impressed by this.  I love this music  - In the Village and Procession of the Sardar are two of my favorites of all orchestral showpieces.  The espressivo English Horn alternating with Viola is handled excellently.  Also, the orchestral vs. soloistic size is close to perfect.  You bring out the mystical emotion of this beautiful work.  Did you ever see Kurosawa's "Dreams"  ? He uses this in the last section of the film and it is mesmerizing.  I have the score of this masterpiece and want to do Procession of the Sardar.   It is a spectacular showpiece for orchestra that has rarely been matched.    Anyway, congratulations on this! 

Posted on Sun, Aug 05 2012 01:27
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5497

 One other thing I noticed on this that is really well done - the dynamics have many subtle shadings that capture the playing style of the English horn and strings in a truly expressive way.  And none of them are noted in the score.   That is what I was talking about on another thread - how much is never notated, and essential to do within MIDI.  One must feel the music and this particular performance has that quality.

Posted on Mon, Aug 06 2012 00:30
by Popslaw
Joined on Wed, Jun 22 2011, Posts 138


Thanks so much for your comment. It means a lot to me that you would like my performance.

I have seen Kurosawa's "Dreams". In fact, I think that scene may have been the first time I heard this piece, 20-some years ago. I remember being pleasantly surprised to discover the wonderful middle section (which isn't played in the movie) when I later listened to a full recording of the piece. I think the composer (Ikebe) also quoted some other parts of the first movement of Ippolitov-Ivanov's Caucasian Sketches in another scene (the peach orchard scene, I think).

I love the Procession of the Sardar, too. I considered giving that a try as well, but decided it would be beyond my abilities for now.

A appreciate your comment about the expressive lines in the English horn and viola. The cadenza parts at the beginning, middle and end took forever to do. I thought the second and third sections would go more quickly after finishing the first, but they ended up taking even longer, since the lines are completely different (in spite of being the exact same notes in the score). My Sibelius score looks pretty funny, actually - the standard accelerando and ritardando weren't satisfactory, so almost every note of the cadenza sections has its own metronome mark. I even ended up using a few samples from the second English horn when I couldn't find just the right one in the first English horn.

Again, thanks for taking the time to listen and share your thoughts.



Posted on Mon, Aug 06 2012 07:23
by Heike
Joined on Sat, Oct 15 2011, Posts 16

Hi Brian, great sound, very expressive. Nice job!

Intel i7-7820X, 32 GB, 3xSSD, Windows 10 pro 64 bit, Sibelius 2018, Cubase Pro 10, VSL Dimension Brass, Orchestral Strings + Woodwinds, solo strings I, Vienna Imperial, Drums&Toms, Timpani, Alto Saxophone, Contrabassoon, Solo Violin 2, Solo Cello 2, Piccolo, SE Percussion, Vienna Suite, VI Pro 2, VE Pro 7, Vienna Mir24, CFX Synchron standard, Steinway synchron extended; Synchron-ized dimension brass I
Posted on Mon, Aug 06 2012 15:55
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5497

I was thinking today how this particular work, Caucasian Sketches, has two movements - this one, In the Village, and Procession of the Sardar - that are as good or better than anything Rimsky Korsakov, Borodin or Mussorgsky ever did of the same length, and yet they are not well known at all. They are of course still played by orchestras once in a while, but it is interesting how a little known composer like Ippolitov Ivanov could create at least a few works the equivalent of the greatest composers.

This has inspired me to go ahead with the Procession of the Sardar.  It won't be easy but I am jazzed up by this thread and the other classical pieces that are being done here.   

Posted on Tue, Aug 07 2012 19:22
by Popslaw
Joined on Wed, Jun 22 2011, Posts 138

Thanks, Heike!

William, I'll look forward to hearing your Procession of the Sardar.

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