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String Quartet No. 2 - Updated August 8
Last post Wed, Sep 05 2018 by Acclarion, 26 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Aug 10 2018 21:06
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 360

I just listened to the entire quartet, having not been on this site much during the past two months. 

I enjoyed your work, and as string quartets often leave me dissatisfied, this was no exception. You have written a lot of music in the past 6 months or so. Most of it is listenable and enjoyable. We all (living composers) have a tremendous weight on our shoulders. That weight is the burden of comparison with 250 years of outstanding composers. I struggle with this issue myself, constantly. What do I have to offer that will really contribute anything to the classical repertoire?

Ultimately, we just have to compose what we ourselves want to hear. And if that makes us famous, or if we just slave away in obscurity, that is still all we can do. If you find no joy in it, it is probably best to do something else.

I went through my own crises of confidence recently. But being 65 years old and retired, I suppose I will just keep trying. 

Anyway, it is a nice piece, and you can be proud of it.

Paul

Posted on Fri, Aug 10 2018 22:28
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5192

That is true.  Also I think anyone with the slightest talent and desire to create something in the arts has to always keep moving forward or die - like that shark metaphor.  And obviously Dave has a lot of talent.   Or like that universal trait of children that  when given paints, they just start painting. They don't think beforehand "Am I good enough?  Will my painting really add to the world of art, be genuinely significant and truly compete with Picasso?" 

I think one has to cultivate the childish enthusiasm always.  In other words, stop being an adult.  They are really depressing.  

Posted on Fri, Aug 31 2018 16:01
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Flanders, Belgium, Posts 575

Hi Dave (And Becky),

Finally I found the time to listen attentively to your second string quartet.

To put it in short: it's one of the best I heard during the last two years. The neo-classical language suites you so well and the mastery of the string techniques is getting better and better. Of course it's a little idiot to choose one part, but if I have to express a preference, I would choose the 4th one, because of its dense and strong story, pressed in an expressive short movement, still without losing any quality.

As a whole, this quartet carries undoubtedly your stamp, your signiture. I've noticed that you are developing an own style of writing, even in this small orchestral strength, which requires so much insight in technique, harmony, counterpoint to realise an almost intellectual tissue of construction, form, sound building, variation, expression, emotion... all of which you seem to control easily and perfectly. For sure, Dave, a great composition!

If you allow me a couple of observations. In the first part, you seem to struggle with the glissandi, which you absolutely want to practise. Maybe it's a little overdone here and they're not all performed as they should/could.
A second thought: in part 3 some of the bow attacks are out of synchronisation because they  are too slow or late, or the attack slider was too low (detache).
These being minor details that disappear in an overwhelming, great performance.

Many congrats!

Jos

http://www.joswyl.be
compositions and sampling exercises
Posted on Fri, Aug 31 2018 21:02
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 402

Hi Jos,

Your facility with words and your ability to describe in such vivid detail, your feelings and observations on everything you listen to on this forum is nothing short of amazing.  

Thank you for your response.  This string quartet was incredibly difficult in terms of getting the samples to respond as necessary, and the areas you outlined (especially in my own view, the point you raised about the 3rd movement) are examples of the challenges rendering a piece like this presents.  There's no room to hide anything, and the slower/more expressive the material, the more difficult it is to shape the lines and create a fluid, "ebb and flow" performance.

I've heard people mention that with things like string quartets, it's often easier to just hire a quartet to record the piece.  I don't think they're referring to this type of music, the complexities and technical challenges of which would require significant rehearsal time and what would likely still be a very long studio session with numerous takes/splicing to achieve the most cogent performance possible.  For this reason, I suck it up, and spend as much time as necessary doing the best I can with my limited array of virtual instruments (no extended libraries, for instance).  I'm grateful we have our VSL samples; they literally give composers a voice and a chance to express their musical ideas without being beholden to the almighty performers (even if getting performances is still a noble, just goal.)

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
Posted on Tue, Sep 04 2018 16:34
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Flanders, Belgium, Posts 575

Originally Posted by: Acclarion Go to Quoted Post

Your facility with words and your ability to describe in such vivid detail, your feelings and observations on everything you listen to on this forum is nothing short of amazing.  

Well Dave, I'm pleased with your answer, since English is not my mothertongue and it's not always easy to find the right words to express what I would want to say. Of course being a composer myself makes it a little more comfortable to find the correct way to deal with other compositions. But I have one basic rule: every composer tries to present the best of his/her abilities and skills here, so it's absolutely NOT my duty nor vocation to present myself as any better or to impose my vision/opinion in any way. Encouraging and being constructive with small pieces of advice suits me better. 

Jos

http://www.joswyl.be
compositions and sampling exercises
Posted on Wed, Sep 05 2018 16:15
by Acclarion
Joined on Sat, Aug 15 2015, Canada, Eh!, Posts 402

Originally Posted by: Jos Wylin Go to Quoted Post

But I have one basic rule: every composer tries to present the best of his/her abilities and skills here, so it's absolutely NOT my duty nor vocation to present myself as any better or to impose my vision/opinion in any way. Encouraging and being constructive with small pieces of advices suits me better. 

Jos

This is how you create a community in which more people would feel comfortable participating.  I suspect that a great deal of lurkers on this forum would start joining conversations, offering feedback on pieces shared by composers, and asking questions, if they didn't feel they'd be attacked for any number of reasons by those that think they know it all.  The old adage, "you get more bees with honey than with vinegar" sure holds true.  

All the best,

Dave

www.dearvillainmusic.com - music for live performance by David Carovillano

www.acclarion.ca - concert accordion & clarinet duo
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