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Vast (biggest ever?) Orchestra and Chorus mock up
Last post Wed, Jan 29 2020 by DaveTubaKing, 12 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Oct 16 2019 11:56
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757

I've been plugging away for years on a realisation of Sorabji's 2nd Symphony 'Jami' and have reached a milestone at the completion of the whole of the 3rd movement. This movement is a continuous stretch of music lasting just over 2 hours. The whole of the symphony is likely to come in at over 4.5 hours.

The performance is created using Sibelius and the symphonic cube with VEpro 6 and MIR, no keyboard just a plethora of midi instructions and bastardisation of the notation to make it sound half decent.

The orchestration is six of each wind, 8, 6, 4, 2 brass, a double size string section able to split into 30 parts, two sets of timpani, fairly standard tuned and untuned percussion, 2 harps, celesta, piano and organ and as massive a chorus as you can get able to split into 32 parts. There is also a Baritone solo in the last movement but he doesn't appear in the 3rd.

[complete performance now available - https://youtu.be/WEgNozDWagU ]

You can also read some disriptionof the music on my blog should you be so inclined.

I will release the whole movement over the next few months but realise that is a lot for most people to chew.

The music is often beautiful and wonderous and always extraordinary.

Constructive criticism of the production welcome.

If your curiosity about Sorabji has been tickled you can visit his official website here.

David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

W10 Pro (64bit), Z390 Aorus Pro wifi MB, Intel i7-8700K s.7 GHz, Corsair 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz, Samsung 970 EVO M.2, 2 x OCZ Agility 3 480GB SSDs, Sibelius 8.4.1, Symphonic cube, VEPro6, MIRPro, Focustite Scarlett Solo, Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5
Posted on Wed, Oct 16 2019 15:07
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5443

Wow, that is amazing.  Congratulations!   Can you list the VSL instruments you used?   Has this ever been played live?  What of his compositions have?  Did he write for normal orchestras as well as these huge ensembles?  It's interesting how this sort of sound becomes possible with samples much more practically than with live players.  The cost of putting such a piece on live would be next to impossible to pay.  

Posted on Wed, Oct 16 2019 15:58
by PaoloT
Joined on Tue, Dec 27 2016, Posts 550

Congratulation for the great project! This is the best way to go into majestic, yet less known masterworks. Thank you for letting me discover this piece!

Paolo

Posted on Wed, Oct 16 2019 18:10
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757

Thanks William & Paolo.

The instruments used were nearly all of them! But to be precise;

Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Alto Flute, Oboe 1, Oboe 2, English Horn 1, Hecklephone, Clarinet Eb, Clarinet Full, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet,  Bassoon, Bassoon 2, Contra Bassoon.

Horn Triple, Horn Stopped, Trumpet C, Trumpet C muted, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tenor Trombone mute A, Tuba, Contrabass Tuba, Tuba muted.

Vienna Choir (fortunately the chorus is wordless throughout)

Solo Violin, Orchestral Violins, Orchestral Violas, Orchestral Celli, Orchestral Bassi, Chamber violins, Chamber Violas, Chamber Celli, Chamber Bassi, Harp 1

Bosendorfer Imperial, KH Organ, Celesta, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Marimba, Gongs

Timpani A, Bass Drum, Snare Drums a4, Field Drum A, Castanets, Tambourines A-D, Triangles A-D, Cymbal A, Cymbal D, Tam - Series A+B.

The total loaded in RAM is 30GBs. I have 145 channels across 22 VEs. I use the Vienna Konzerthaus GrosserSal Stage with two microphones.

I'm lucky to have a monster PC which copes easily. Even at full pelt CPU usage doesn't get above 60% and CPU temperature just over 50 degrees.

Sorabji wrote a few other orchestral works and 11 piano concertos. The only orchestral piece performed live is his 5th Piano concerto which is for failry normal forces and is available on CD. It's a much earlier work than the 'Jami' Symphony and less approachable (he mellowed with age).

There is one even bigger work his 'Messa Alta Sinfonica' possible 30 minutes longer, similar orchestral and choral forces but also 8 vocal soloists.

David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

W10 Pro (64bit), Z390 Aorus Pro wifi MB, Intel i7-8700K s.7 GHz, Corsair 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz, Samsung 970 EVO M.2, 2 x OCZ Agility 3 480GB SSDs, Sibelius 8.4.1, Symphonic cube, VEPro6, MIRPro, Focustite Scarlett Solo, Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5
Posted on Wed, Oct 16 2019 21:19
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 355

WOW indeed. 

Its a 4-1/2 hour long symphony and you sequenced all of that? What an incredibly complex yet beautiful orchestration, and highly accurate rendering with VSL. I almost cant believe its not a live orchestra.

I had never heard of this composer. Thanks for introuducing me and for your rendition. Also turns out he is the first western classical composer of Indian origin that I have heard of.  His music sounds a lot like Messiaen to my naive ears, I wonder who influenced who.

Best

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Tue, Jan 21 2020 15:15
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757

Originally Posted by: agitato Go to Quoted Post
His music sounds a lot like Messiaen to my naive ears, I wonder who influenced who.

Anand

Interesting point Anand - Sorabji's dates are 1892-1988 Messiaen's are 1908-1992. Sorabji will have known of Messiaen's music but it is very unlikely the other way round particularly as there were virtually no performances of Sorabji's music between 1930s and 1990s as a result of Sorabji placing a moratorium on performances. There are certain aspects of Sorabji's use of non-tonal consonance that may sound familiar to Messiaen but in this, Sorabji was influenced more by the likes of Szymanovski.

The complete performance is now on my YouTube channel and this inlcudes a commentary throughout the whole 2 hours+ with descriptions of the music as it progresses as well as information on and quotes from Sorabji and some technical details about how the performance was created.

The link is: https://youtu.be/WEgNozDWagU

David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

W10 Pro (64bit), Z390 Aorus Pro wifi MB, Intel i7-8700K s.7 GHz, Corsair 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz, Samsung 970 EVO M.2, 2 x OCZ Agility 3 480GB SSDs, Sibelius 8.4.1, Symphonic cube, VEPro6, MIRPro, Focustite Scarlett Solo, Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5
Posted on Tue, Jan 21 2020 15:49
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7327

Monumental work, Dave. I didn't listen to the piece in its entireness yet, but at least I got an idea of how much time and effort went into this.

Congratulations!

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Jan 21 2020 23:12
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1030

This is the definition of labour of love, for the composer as well as the 'realizer'. Congratulations and thank you Dave!

You took me back to my student-days, when Sorabji's corpse was not too cold yet in its grave, and I remember our professor introducing this composer to us in class by playing about 15-20 minutes of the Opus Clavicembalisticum and us feeling hit by a jaggernaut of a sonic wave that was his music, as much as by his prohibition regarding performances of his works! All of us being young composers, wondering how we could possibly get most of the planet's population to hear our works, were dumbfounded by such isolationist behaviour coming from a creator of art - I wish a lot of other, more recent composers felt like Sorabji instead...

I smiled reading about the Szymanowski influences here, after having listened for about 20 minutes of Dave's rendition, during which I thought of Skryabin instead (who in turn influenced Szymanowski). It is interesting to see how these musical ideas are so bequeathed down the generations of masters.

Dave, I would love to hear this -and indeed the whole symphony- with the score if you care to share. If not, I understand of course, but would it be possible to take a look at the pages beginning at 6':48"-6':51", and 15':33"-16'? If it's not too much trouble and you feel so inclined.

Many congratulations again!

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Wed, Jan 22 2020 19:22
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757

Thanks Dietz and Errikos and everyone for your encouraging comments.

At the moment only a facsimile of the manuscript is available from the Sorabji Archive for £50 which is very reasonable for 823 pages of A3 miniature score. A critical typeset edition is in preperation but some way off.

Sorabji knew Skryabin's music very well and praised it highly early in his career but soured to it later in life. There is section of the video from about 50 minutes which has a lot of quotes from Sorabji about his favourite composers inlcuding Mahler, Busoni, Medtner, Skryabin and Szymanowski.

David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

W10 Pro (64bit), Z390 Aorus Pro wifi MB, Intel i7-8700K s.7 GHz, Corsair 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz, Samsung 970 EVO M.2, 2 x OCZ Agility 3 480GB SSDs, Sibelius 8.4.1, Symphonic cube, VEPro6, MIRPro, Focustite Scarlett Solo, Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5
Posted on Sun, Jan 26 2020 13:53
by lunar_28664
Joined on Wed, Jun 20 2007, Posts 51

to call this composer controversial would be the understatement of the year. I find it extraordinary that you've managed to bring something like this to the general public and can only be totally in awe. Whether he's just another in a line of English eccentrics I'm not sure. I've had this on for around half an hour and am not at all bored despite what initially at least seems like an enormous ramble. This language is like nothing I've ever heard despite some superficial resemblance to Szymanowski's central mystical phase ( I regard Krol Roger and the Litany to the Virgin Mary as containing some passages of the most beautiful music ever written) . I'm going to get all the way through in the next day or two.

David

Posted on Mon, Jan 27 2020 19:44
by lunar_28664
Joined on Wed, Jun 20 2007, Posts 51

just an update having listened to the whole thing. I found the technical explanations useful but the snippets of Sorabji's views and comments even more fascinating. From what I can gather, he (at any rate at one time) really didn't want his music to be peformed becuase he felt the results would probably be much worse than not hearing it at all. Exactly the opposite of most modern composers. This orchestra must be huge! I can scarcely imgine a more difficult task to take on in terms of rendering and of course, very few of us could even afford the hardware and software required, never mind the time. It must be a labour of love.

Also listened to The Rose Garden played by the composer himself. Like many others, I struggle to find a structure in either piece and wonder if I am going about things the wrong way. For some reason, both pieces are curiously compelling which for me is very rarely the case with contemporary music which relies mainly on a soundworld (or tedious minimalistic repetition) rather than a musical argument or at least an emotional one.

Posted on Wed, Jan 29 2020 08:59
by DaveTubaKing
Joined on Fri, Feb 27 2004, London, Posts 757

Hi lunar,

The Jami symphony is one long fantasy, especially the 1st and 3rd movements. There are no 'forms' to hang on to and that is very daunting. Sorabji wrote a lot of such pieces and they consist of a number of melodic/harmonic/textural ideas, ranging from quite long to very short, which are usually laid out early in the work and then ruthlessly developed alone and in every combination. The bigger the work the more of these ideas there are. In several works he actually identifies and numbers these ideas which can reach 30+. Sadly he didn't in the Jami although with familiarity many can be identified. And familiarity is key. Like so much great art, there is reward in study (although that sounds too academic). The more you put in, the more you get out.

The greater part of sorabji's output however, does involve formal procedures particulary baroque forms such as the fugue and the passacaglia but inevitably taken to extreme. Any day now the 7CD studio recording of Sequentia Cyclica, his variations on the Dies Irae, will be released and is available to stream and download now. It is possibly his best work and not least because in it's 27 movements it covers every facet of his style including a number of 'character' pieces around some of his favourite composers. Many of the movements are 10-20 minutes and all stand alone as well. There's also a monster passacaglia (100 iterations) and a massive 6 part fugue so everything you could possibly want.

There's a Quote from Krol Roger in the Jami Symphony.

David Carter (DaveTubaKing) http://www.davetubaking.com

W10 Pro (64bit), Z390 Aorus Pro wifi MB, Intel i7-8700K s.7 GHz, Corsair 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000MHz, Samsung 970 EVO M.2, 2 x OCZ Agility 3 480GB SSDs, Sibelius 8.4.1, Symphonic cube, VEPro6, MIRPro, Focustite Scarlett Solo, Nvidia GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5
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