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Mahler, IX Symphony, Adagio
Last post Tue, Mar 13 2018 by PaoloT, 15 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Feb 11 2018 16:14
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Hi, this is a project I started one year ago to check the different libraries. It's just the beginning of the Adagio, with a slow, transparent polyphony of orchestral strings.

I could finally edit it and adapt it to the full VSL Orchestral and Chamber Strings (plus MIR and a couple effects from Logic). Does it work?

http://www.studio-magazine.com/music/test/Mahler-IX-Adagio-VSL_MIR.mp3

Paolo

Posted on Fri, Feb 16 2018 22:04
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 327

Hi Paolo,

to be honest I started listening with a lot of skepticism about whether its even possible to render Mahler IX.  But I was surprised when I started listening. Youve done a great job.

However there is room for improvement. Most important, you need more variation in dynamics, particularly in the long notes. Then this would sound really good. You need to make each note as expressive as possible...

Best

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sat, Feb 17 2018 16:51
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Flanders, Belgium, Posts 557

Hi Paolo,

You have achieved your goals: it is slow, transparent and the orchestral strings do sound lovely. The effects you've added function well, but I have to agree with Agitato that the long notes could have more life in them, realising however that this is one of the toughest things to realise with all string libraries. I've read that remark so often, that it looks like everybody is struggling with the same issue, counting in myself. I guess there is only one way to improve this and that is listening as often as possible to good real examples and then trying to imitate these as precisely as possible...

This was by all means a very decent attempt!

Jos

http://www.joswyl.be
compositions and sampling exercises
Posted on Mon, Feb 19 2018 16:56
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Anand and Jos, thank you very much for your ears and hints! Making long notes alive is really a challenge, and I've been too conservative with dynamic controls. I think the next revision would be trying with a breath controller, or just being a bit more expressive with the modulation wheel. Tempo changes will be another thing to check.

And, sure – a great recording of a great conductor with a great orchestra should serve as a model. This will be a much more challenging task, than simply entering notes and controls!

Paolo

Posted on Wed, Feb 21 2018 09:55
by stephen limbaugh
Joined on Tue, Feb 23 2016, Los Angeles, Posts 159

Not to totally butt in, I gave this a shot a while back as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcOor2_wKhM

I think one of the key aspects in mocking this up is to make us of sul G patches.  My rendition uses only the Dimension Strings, which is about 2/5 this size needed for this symphony.  It also falls short in transitions from note to note.  Once I have my Synchron strings updated with 2nds/violas legato, I may revisit and fix!

The transitions between the notes I think is very important, as is follow the score (the accents and bowing needs to be applied to the mockup).  

"lang gezogen"... drawn out... MOLTO expressivo... if our Vienna Instruments player is in fact an instrument, we should be riding those CC faders HARD through a piece from Mahler -- a composer who does intense soft, intense loud, intense everything.  "stets großer Ton" ....or if there is movement against held note, bring out the movement! "lang gezogen!" haha  You must read at least 4 languages!

Here is a cheat sheet:

https://quizlet.com/41089925/mahler-9-german-terms-flash-cards/

Posted on Thu, Feb 22 2018 10:54
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Stephen, very interesting insight on your work! I see how much you worked on all kind of nuances. By comparison, I did what can be considered a first reading of the score at a general rehearsal.

While Dimension Strings are a small ensemble, I would say that it can work, giving a sense of intimacy to the piece that is not philosophically wrong. Maderna did sometimes his Mahler with smaller ensembles.

This piece is really a test to try machine vs. human. Expression is not just an ornament, but the core to expose by perfecting one's technical perfection.

Paolo

Posted on Sun, Feb 25 2018 09:28
by Fabio Biolcati
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2013, Milano — Italy, Posts 132

Mahler on smaller ensembles is one of the most interesting way to approach his work. Absolutely.
Schoenberg's adaptation of "Das Lied von Der Erde" —maybe the Fourth Symphony, am I right?
Paolo, I agree on the mockup/rendering process as "first reading to performance" path. I'll follow you along it.

Fabio Biolcati
SE1 Bundle, SE2&3 Strings; Notion5; Tannoy Reveal 501a
Posted on Sun, Feb 25 2018 16:39
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Hi Fabio,

Originally Posted by: Fabio Biolcati Go to Quoted Post
"Das Lied von Der Erde" — maybe the Fourth Symphony

It should have been the ninth. But (as with Beethoven) nine symphonies was an insurmontable limit, after which each composer had to die. So, Mahler decided to change the title of the work.

Seeing he was not dying, and having grown less superstitious, he then decided to write a Ninth Symphony. And then he died.

Paolo

Posted on Sun, Feb 25 2018 17:24
by Fabio Biolcati
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2013, Milano — Italy, Posts 132

Thank you for clarification, Paolo,. I mean Schoenberg-Riehn reductions for chamber orchestra for theSociety for Private Musical Performances; I'm sure for "Das Lied", but I don't remember if any of the Symphonies (maybe 4th) was in the works. Anyway Mahler for chamber orchestra it's an interesting insight through the fabric of his music.

Fabio Biolcati
SE1 Bundle, SE2&3 Strings; Notion5; Tannoy Reveal 501a
Posted on Mon, Feb 26 2018 00:00
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Fabio, sorry, I misunderstood. Yes, I seem to remember it was the Fourth Symphony, but I can't find the story. I'll check in some of the books on Mahler and Schoenberg.

Paolo

Posted on Wed, Mar 07 2018 10:25
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

I was thinking to only use CC01 (Modulation) to control dynamics, and just reserve CC11 (Expression) to fine-tune crescendos/decrescendos.

I'm starting to change strategy: CC01 and CC11 seems to work well together even in the middle of a phrase. Modulation controls the velocity layers and timbre, in addition to volume. But you must be careful in extreme changes, to avoid abrupt timbral changes or phasing issues when going through the layers.

Expression helps in giving intensity a boost, by widening the dynamic range. It doesn't seem the same as acting on the Dynamic Range Slider, since this still makes the velocity layers change even faster. With Expression, you can stay in the same timbral layer, yet still changing volume/intensity.

Does this make sense?

Paolo

Posted on Wed, Mar 07 2018 11:27
by Fabio Biolcati
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2013, Milano — Italy, Posts 132

Do you mean Modulation and Expression follow the same automation path (eg are assigned to the same CC)?

This is mostly my own approach, but found that sometimes discrete CC profiles works better because, as you stated, timbral and and dynamic changes can be very rude. In few passages I resulted in literally invert Mod and Exp to each other (where one grows the other decreases). You know, "diversity it's world's beauty".

Fabio Biolcati
SE1 Bundle, SE2&3 Strings; Notion5; Tannoy Reveal 501a
Posted on Wed, Mar 07 2018 16:16
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311

Fabio, what I've seen is that you can copy the Modulation controls over the Expression's, and from there start adjusting the Expression. For example, in some case you may need a slight change in timbral quality, and in this case you'll leave the Expression value unchanged, and the Expression changing. But most of the time they will be nearly aligned, to let the Expression boost the Modulation values and let them work in the same direction.

In any case, the more finely you edit the separate curves, the more realistic the result will sound.

Paolo

Posted on Mon, Mar 12 2018 11:42
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 345

Originally Posted by: PaoloT Go to Quoted Post

Hi, this is a project I started one year ago to check the different libraries. It's just the beginning of the Adagio, with a slow, transparent polyphony of orchestral strings.

I could finally edit it and adapt it to the full VSL Orchestral and Chamber Strings (plus MIR and a couple effects from Logic). Does it work?

http://www.studio-magazine.com/music/test/Mahler-IX-Adagio-VSL_MIR.mp3

Paolo

It sounds wonderful. You did well.

Posted on Tue, Mar 13 2018 00:57
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 311
Thank you very much Paul! I hope to do even better with the next revision.

Paolo
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