Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

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IcedNote
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Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:32 pm

So as some of you know, I'm in the process of writing a 40-minute triple concerto for piano trio and orchestra. I've been working on it since February, and in preparation I've been devouring orchestral scores since December or so. So yeah...I've studied quite a few...but clearly not anywhere close to all of 'em! :mrgreen:

So...which pieces just grab you with their orchestration? And how about I narrow it to, say, 1850-present.

Here are some that have particularly "wowed" me for whatever reason:

-Stravinsky - The Firebird

-Ravel - Daphnis & Chloe

-Szymanowski - Violin Concerto No. 1

-Mennin - Symphony No. 7

-Bartok - Piano Concerto No. 1

-Debussy - Nocturnes

-Mahler - Symphony No. 6

-Scriabin - Prometheus

Curious!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Bro
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Bro » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:51 pm

How about Chopin's Piano Concerto # 2 (just kidding)


R Strauss : Don Juan

Hindemith: Sinfonia Serania

Ravel/Mussorgsky : Pictures at an Exhibition

Bartok : Concerto for Orchestra

Bernstein: Fancy Free ballet

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde



Bro

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Modernistfan » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:19 pm

Berlioz--Symphonie Fantastique

CharmNewton
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by CharmNewton » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:56 pm

Respighi: Pines of Rome
Prokofiev: Classical Symphony

John

johnQpublic
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by johnQpublic » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:19 am

I don't have time now for a list, but the orchestration of "Four Symphonic Quartets" by Tsontakis floored me the first time I heard them.
Image

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:14 am

Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by John F » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:42 am

If it's a concerto for piano, violin, and cello, maybe flashy orchestration isn't a good idea. Balancing the three soloists with each other and the orchestra might call for a more modest contribution from the orchestra - as with Beethoven's triple concerto, which of course you know. That piece doesn't fully succeed; the cello tends to hog the spotlight.

Rambling on: Berg scored his chamber concerto for piano and violin with an "orchestra" of 13 winds and brass: piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, E♭ clarinet, A clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, trumpet, two French horns, and trombone. The contrast in timbres certainly makes the soloists stand out. Stravinsky's piano concerto also has an all-winds accompaniment: two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, two bassoons (second bassoon doubling contrabassoon), four horns, four trumpets, three trombones and tuba. Well, not quite all-winds, as he adds timpani, cymbals, and 3 double basses. This is a big sound, the piano can stand up to it but maybe not the violin and certainly not the cello.
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by some guy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:57 am

Well, all these people are dead, long dead. Except for Tsonakis, who writes like people who have died a long time ago.

If that suits your purposes....

Otherwise, I would think you'd want some Lachenmann or André or Czernowin, too. Maybe some Klaus Huber or some Steen-Anderson if you can find any.

Gráinne Mulvey has written some orchestral pieces. Akanos is the one I've heard. And Lidia Zielińska's Nobody is Perfect, though only for 17 instruments (and tape) is still something that would be useful, I think. (I noticed a clip on youtube of that, but when I clicked on it, it turned out to be a clip of mine from the Musica Electronica Nova festival, done with my Canon SX10IS, so the sound is not all that great. You could easily get scores from any of the last three people I mentioned, I would think.

And maybe it would be worthwhile to look at some scores by even some only recently deceased but still pretty imaginative and useful people like Cage or Feldman or Luc Ferrari.
Last edited by some guy on Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
--Viennese critic (1843)

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
--Henry Miller

PJME
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by PJME » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:23 am

Pianotrio and large orchestra?

Most of these works can be (partially) seen/heard on You Tube

-Michael Tippett:Triple Concerto (violin, viola, cello and orchestra, 1978–79) ( the slow movement is extremely beautuful, IMO)
This work has a large orchestra with a big percussion section:
Orchestra instrumentation: 1(pic.afl).1.ca(bass ob).2(1.Acl).2bcl.1.cbsn-4.2.2.0-timp.7perc(glsp, vib, mar, tri, tub bells, clash cym, sus cym, 5gongs, s.d, small drum, b.dr, ten dr, cast, clav, 2wdbl)-hp.cel-str(8.8.6.4.4 minimum)
http://youtu.be/uqXFVi3G_to


-Frank Martin's Petite symphonie concertante: piano, harp, harpsichord and strings ( 2 groups).
http://youtu.be/hTkbjOzsLCI


-Ney Rosauro's Concerto for marimba & strings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQdrosJdVTg


- André Jolivet: celloconcerto nr 2 ( can be heard In Cardiff, next week, 111202!!): cello-solo, stringquintet and stringorchestra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YjojYKtUc0


-Jacques Charpentier (studied with Messiaen): Concertino "a la francese" for ondes Martenot,strings and 2 percussion : timpani, 4 tom toms, 3 tam tams, cymbals, maracas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WskMt4Ku7q0

I also think of: Honegger's Concertino da camera for flute, english horn & strings, Coplands Quiet city, Ives' Unanswered question, RVW's Flos campi & Tallis fantasia...

The very lovely Concerto grosso for stringquartet and orchestra by Julian Orbon: 3.2.2.2-4.3.0.0-timp.perc-cel-pft-solo string quartet-strings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5mz9_lMtsg




ps: Stravinsky's pianoconcerto has no cymbals, if Iremember correctly...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IefuB5meYOI

pps: and I agree with Someguy...
My compatriot Luc Brewaeys wrote recently a concerto for alto flute, horn ,10 instruments and electronics.
This works has not been posted on You Tube. "Oban ", for 9 instruments gives a good idea however of his music & style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhIg00b_6ao


P.
Last edited by PJME on Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Sator » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:48 am

Messiaen Turangalîla Symphony

Webern Sechs Orchesterstuecke Opus 6

Boulez Rituel: In Memoriam Bruno Maderna

Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra

Allen
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Allen » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:08 am

Ravel's Bolero

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Bro wrote:R Strauss : Don Juan

Hindemith: Sinfonia Serania

Bernstein: Fancy Free ballet
I actually just heard our university orchestra do Don Juan last weekend. :)

I looked at the Hindemith a while ago, but I'll revisit it. Don't know the Bernstein, though. Not really a fan of his music, but that's not to say I can't learn a thing or two!

Cheers,

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:07 pm

Modernistfan wrote:Berlioz--Symphonie Fantastique
Of course! Arguably the first composer to really "open up" the orchestra. I dig it.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:08 pm

CharmNewton wrote:Respighi: Pines of Rome
Prokofiev: Classical Symphony

John
I know the Prokofiev, but I haven't really spent time with any Respighi. Same as Bernstein: not a fan but will take a look anyway!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:32 pm

johnQpublic wrote:I don't have time now for a list, but the orchestration of "Four Symphonic Quartets" by Tsontakis floored me the first time I heard them.
Don't know that piece at all! Hopefully I can get a hold of it.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:32 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta
Great piece! I saw the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform it at the Sydney Opera House in 2009. Fantastic!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:37 pm

John F wrote:If it's a concerto for piano, violin, and cello, maybe flashy orchestration isn't a good idea. Balancing the three soloists with each other and the orchestra might call for a more modest contribution from the orchestra - as with Beethoven's triple concerto, which of course you know. That piece doesn't fully succeed; the cello tends to hog the spotlight.

Rambling on: Berg scored his chamber concerto for piano and violin with an "orchestra" of 13 winds and brass: piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, E♭ clarinet, A clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, trumpet, two French horns, and trombone. The contrast in timbres certainly makes the soloists stand out. Stravinsky's piano concerto also has an all-winds accompaniment: two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, two bassoons (second bassoon doubling contrabassoon), four horns, four trumpets, three trombones and tuba. Well, not quite all-winds, as he adds timpani, cymbals, and 3 double basses. This is a big sound, the piano can stand up to it but maybe not the violin and certainly not the cello.
Very true! So far my approach has been to exploit the idea that the piece can be a "Concerto for Piano Trio" and a "Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano." Know what I mean? So each instrument has moments where it's an individual concerto. These are the parts in which I truly get to dive into colorful orchestration (not to say I can't do it when all three are playing). But yeah...a piano trio takes up so much sonic space on its own that a lot of finesse is required to use the orchestra effectively.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:46 pm

some guy wrote:Otherwise, I would think you'd want some Lachenmann or André or Czernowin, too. Maybe some Klaus Huber or some Steen-Anderson if you can find any.

Gráinne Mulvey has written some orchestral pieces. Akanos is the one I've heard. And Lidia Zielińska's Nobody is Perfect, though only for 17 instruments (and tape) is still something that would be useful, I think. (I noticed a clip on youtube of that, but when I clicked on it, it turned out to be a clip of mine from the Musica Electronica Nova festival, done with my Canon SX10IS, so the sound is not all that great. You could easily get scores from any of the last three people I mentioned, I would think.

And maybe it would be worthwhile to look at some scores by even some only recently deceased but still pretty imaginative and useful people like Cage or Feldman or Luc Ferrari.
I don't know Czernowin's music, but I can say I'm simply not interested in Lachenmann and Andre. Same goes for Cage and Ferrari. Feldman has some intriguing ideas, though. Any pieces that you'd particularly recommend?

I know nothing of Mulvey, so I'll be sure to check him out.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:47 pm

PJME wrote:Pianotrio and large orchestra?

Most of these works can be (partially) seen/heard on You Tube

-Michael Tippett:Triple Concerto (violin, viola, cello and orchestra, 1978–79) ( the slow movement is extremely beautuful, IMO)
This work has a large orchestra with a big percussion section:
Orchestra instrumentation: 1(pic.afl).1.ca(bass ob).2(1.Acl).2bcl.1.cbsn-4.2.2.0-timp.7perc(glsp, vib, mar, tri, tub bells, clash cym, sus cym, 5gongs, s.d, small drum, b.dr, ten dr, cast, clav, 2wdbl)-hp.cel-str(8.8.6.4.4 minimum)
http://youtu.be/uqXFVi3G_to


-Frank Martin's Petite symphonie concertante: piano, harp, harpsichord and strings ( 2 groups).
http://youtu.be/hTkbjOzsLCI


-Ney Rosauro's Concerto for marimba & strings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQdrosJdVTg


- André Jolivet: celloconcerto nr 2 ( can be heard In Cardiff, next week, 111202!!): cello-solo, stringquintet and stringorchestra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YjojYKtUc0


-Jacques Charpentier (studied with Messiaen): Concertino "a la francese" for ondes Martenot,strings and 2 percussion : timpani, 4 tom toms, 3 tam tams, cymbals, maracas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WskMt4Ku7q0

I also think of: Honegger's Concertino da camera for flute, english horn & strings, Coplands Quiet city, Ives' Unanswered question, RVW's Flos campi & Tallis fantasia...

The very lovely Concerto grosso for stringquartet and orchestra by Julian Orbon: 3.2.2.2-4.3.0.0-timp.perc-cel-pft-solo string quartet-strings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5mz9_lMtsg




ps: Stravinsky's pianoconcerto has no cymbals, if Iremember correctly...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IefuB5meYOI

pps: and I agree with Someguy...
My compatriot Luc Brewaeys wrote recently a concerto for alto flute, horn ,10 instruments and electronics.
This works has not been posted on You Tube. "Oban ", for 9 instruments gives a good idea however of his music & style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhIg00b_6ao


P.
Wowza! I'll be getting back to you on most of these. (I know Copland, RVW, etc., of course.) And thanks a bunch for the links!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:48 pm

Allen wrote:Ravel's Bolero
:)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:49 pm

Sator wrote:Messiaen Turangalîla Symphony

Webern Sechs Orchesterstuecke Opus 6

Boulez Rituel: In Memoriam Bruno Maderna

Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra
I've spent time with the Messiaen, Webern, and Schoenberg but not the Boulez. I'll give it a go!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by diegobueno » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:04 pm

The biggest trouble with the Beethoven Triple Concerto is that he expended so much of his ingenuity on balancing all of the different instrumental permutations -- piano with orchestra, violin with orchestra, cello with orchestra, 3 soloists without orchestra, 2 soloists with orchestra, 3 soloists with orchestra -- that he forgot to write any interesting music. I think you're biggest challenge is getting a musical structure which flows logically as a satisfying whole, and yet has room for all these different textures. You've got to cover all the same bases that Beethoven did, but don't let the audience become aware of this systematic turn-taking by the various instruments and instrumental combinations.

It's a big challenge. Beethoven wasn't up to it. Good luck!
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:18 pm

A am appalled that two of our chief connoisseurs have rather gratuitously lent their voices to an extension of the recurrent and IMO unjustified belittling of the Triple Concerto. But I am not going to accuse Mark of only repeating an opinion he has heard from others, and John F. certainly did not get his opinion from the Wikipedia article. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by some guy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:22 pm

IcedNote wrote:I don't know Czernowin's music, but I can say I'm simply not interested in Lachenmann and Andre. Same goes for Cage and Ferrari. Feldman has some intriguing ideas, though. Any pieces that you'd particularly recommend?
I particularly recommend that you listen to some Lachenmann, André, Cage, and Ferrari. 8)
IcedNote wrote:I know nothing of Mulvey, so I'll be sure to check him out.
Gráinne's a female name. The composer with that name is a very nice woman.
"The public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best."
--Viennese critic (1843)

Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.
--Henry Miller

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:26 pm

jbuck919 wrote:A am appalled that two of our chief connoisseurs have rather gratuitously lent their voices to an extension of the recurrent and IMO unjustified belittling of the Triple Concerto. But I am not going to accuse Mark of only repeating an opinion he has heard from others, and John F. certainly did not get his opinion from the Wikipedia article. :wink:
I don't know. I find that work completely uninteresting and, more importantly, uninspiring.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:34 pm

diegobueno wrote:The biggest trouble with the Beethoven Triple Concerto is that he expended so much of his ingenuity on balancing all of the different instrumental permutations -- piano with orchestra, violin with orchestra, cello with orchestra, 3 soloists without orchestra, 2 soloists with orchestra, 3 soloists with orchestra -- that he forgot to write any interesting music. I think you're biggest challenge is getting a musical structure which flows logically as a satisfying whole, and yet has room for all these different textures. You've got to cover all the same bases that Beethoven did, but don't let the audience become aware of this systematic turn-taking by the various instruments and instrumental combinations.

It's a big challenge. Beethoven wasn't up to it. Good luck!
Oh, they're by no means "taking turns." And I'm doing it completely intuitively, so I highly doubt anyone will be able to anticipate when the textural changes occur. But who knows!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

bigshot
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by bigshot » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:42 pm

Ravel Daphnis and Chloe
Rimsky Korsakov Schehrezade
Stokowski's Bach Transcriptions

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:37 pm

bigshot wrote:Ravel Daphnis and Chloe
Rimsky Korsakov Schehrezade
Stokowski's Bach Transcriptions
The Ravel and Rimsky are both sitting near my bed. ;)

I've heard the Stokowski but haven't studied them. Perhaps it's time!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Seán » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:03 pm

some guy wrote:
IcedNote wrote:I don't know Czernowin's music, but I can say I'm simply not interested in Lachenmann and Andre. Same goes for Cage and Ferrari. Feldman has some intriguing ideas, though. Any pieces that you'd particularly recommend?
I particularly recommend that you listen to some Lachenmann, André, Cage, and Ferrari. 8)
IcedNote wrote:I know nothing of Mulvey, so I'll be sure to check him out.
Gráinne's a female name. The composer with that name is a very nice woman.
That is correct, Gráinne is an Irish name, it's the Irish for Grace.
Seán

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:17 pm

IcedNote wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:A am appalled that two of our chief connoisseurs have rather gratuitously lent their voices to an extension of the recurrent and IMO unjustified belittling of the Triple Concerto. But I am not going to accuse Mark of only repeating an opinion he has heard from others, and John F. certainly did not get his opinion from the Wikipedia article. :wink:
I don't know. I find that work completely uninteresting and, more importantly, uninspiring.

-G
Et tu, Brute? :mrgreen:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Guitarist » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:16 pm

I like Magnus Lindberg's orchestral works--give them a listen, especially these:

Image

Image

Image

Image

PJME
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by PJME » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:24 pm

I almost forgot this one:

Henri Dutilleux: Mystère de l'instant (for cymbalum, string orchestra and percussion, 1989), 10 brillantly orchestrated pieces .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf2zo6rFkFg

P.

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:14 pm

Guitarist wrote:I like Magnus Lindberg's orchestral works--give them a listen, especially these:
I've heard Feria and Arena. I thought they were pretty interesting. Thanks for reminding me of them!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:15 pm

PJME wrote:I almost forgot this one:

Henri Dutilleux: Mystère de l'instant (for cymbalum, string orchestra and percussion, 1989), 10 brillantly orchestrated pieces .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf2zo6rFkFg

P.
Ah, yes. I looked at some other Dutilleux, but not this one. Will add it to my list!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Janacek: Sinfonietta

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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Sator » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:47 am

IcedNote wrote:
I've spent time with the Messiaen, Webern, and Schoenberg but not the Boulez. I'll give it a go!

-G
The Boulez Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna is a bit like Bolero on shamanistic hallucinogens. It is written for eight groups of instruments spread out over a wide performance space with a very rich and prominent percussion section. Each group, except the brass, is conducted by a percussionist keeping the individual group in tempo. The separate groups each have a rhythmic independence of each other, while the larger scale organisation is maintained by the principle conductor. As with the Ravel, the main theme repeats obsessively over and over reaching an ultimate climax. It's quasi tonal character means that it should be very accessible to a much wider audience, and I am always surprised it isn't heard more often since it is an immeasurably more emotionally gripping and approachable work than, say, Berio's Sinfonia. Some aspects of the work remind me of Stravinsky's Rite, although this is a ritual not a rite - a kind of deliberately primitivistic ritual for the dead, an almost shamanistic sending off of a friend to the netherworld, with Boulez as chief shaman imploring the spirit world to receive the soul of his friend. Powerful stuff indeed!

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:59 pm

Sator wrote:The Boulez Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna is a bit like Bolero on shamanistic hallucinogens. It is written for eight groups of instruments spread out over a wide performance space with a very rich and prominent percussion section. Each group, except the brass, is conducted by a percussionist keeping the individual group in tempo. The separate groups each have a rhythmic independence of each other, while the larger scale organisation is maintained by the principle conductor. As with the Ravel, the main theme repeats obsessively over and over reaching an ultimate climax. It's quasi tonal character means that it should be very accessible to a much wider audience, and I am always surprised it isn't heard more often since it is an immeasurably more emotionally gripping and approachable work than, say, Berio's Sinfonia. Some aspects of the work remind me of Stravinsky's Rite, although this is a ritual not a rite - a kind of deliberately primitivistic ritual for the dead, an almost shamanistic sending off of a friend to the netherworld, with Boulez as chief shaman imploring the spirit world to receive the soul of his friend. Powerful stuff indeed!
Just listened, and I found it fairly captivating! For some reason I'm more sensitive to pacing in "modern" music, and I thought Boulez did a particularly wonderful job in this piece. That could be because the timbres he's using require more time to digest. I'd have to think more about it, but that seems about right. Hopefully I can get my hands on the score (haven't checked our library yet) and look at it in more detail.

Thanks!

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Sator
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Sator » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:11 pm

Yes, the sense of "time" in Boulez is particularly fascinating. I always find that his finest works remind me of Japanese Noh drama with its use of stick percussion and drums. Both share a Zen like sense of suspended animation. In this work, the primitively ritualised repetition of the main theme accompanied by what sounds like primitive tribal drumming, places the main focus of interest in the instrumentation, building up almost imperceptibly to both an instrumental and emotional climax of extraordinary power that only gains impact as the years go by. The extreme juxtaposition of ultra modern and ultra primitive elements in what is a meditation around the theme of death gives the work even more poignancy.

Of course, the division of the ensemble into groups spread out over a performance space is another 20th century theme, starting with antiphonal placement of instruments in Bartók, to Stockhausen's Gruppen. This makes Rituel interesting both spatially as well as temporally.

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:42 pm

Damn, I just listened to Ravel's orchestration of his piano piece "Alborada del Gracioso." Did that little man EVER run out of ideas?! :shock:

Jealous. :cry:

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

maestrob
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by maestrob » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:01 pm

IcedNote wrote:Damn, I just listened to Ravel's orchestration of his piano piece "Alborada del Gracioso." Did that little man EVER run out of ideas?! :shock:

Jealous. :cry:

-G
Try this set for some extraordinary playing of Ravel's music:

Image

Teresa B
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by Teresa B » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:42 am

Best of luck! I may be hopelessly stuck in the 18th century, but Mozart's Piano Concerto no 17 (K453) to me is one of the most beautifully orchestrated pieces ever.
:)
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

jbuck919
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:43 pm

Teresa B wrote:Best of luck! I may be hopelessly stuck in the 18th century, but Mozart's Piano Concerto no 17 (K453) to me is one of the most beautifully orchestrated pieces ever.
:)
Teresa
Yes, there's fantastic orchestration in the (very reasonable) sense that is usually emphasized, as in this thread, and then there is fantastic orchestration in the sense of the genius of fusing the disposition of instrumental parts with the structure of a great composition. In the latter sense, the most "fantastic" orchestrator of all time was Beethoven.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:59 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Yes, there's fantastic orchestration in the (very reasonable) sense that is usually emphasized, as in this thread, and then there is fantastic orchestration in the sense of the genius of fusing the disposition of instrumental parts with the structure of a great composition. In the latter sense, the most "fantastic" orchestrator of all time was Beethoven.
Guess you might say that I need to learn what my colors are before I can learn how to paint with them. :D

*awaits onslaught of snooty remarks about putting the cart before the horse*

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

jbuck919
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:02 pm

IcedNote wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: Yes, there's fantastic orchestration in the (very reasonable) sense that is usually emphasized, as in this thread, and then there is fantastic orchestration in the sense of the genius of fusing the disposition of instrumental parts with the structure of a great composition. In the latter sense, the most "fantastic" orchestrator of all time was Beethoven.
Guess you might say that I need to learn what my colors are before I can learn how to paint with them. :D

*awaits onslaught of snooty remarks about putting the cart before the horse*
My comment was not intended to put your interesting and fruitful inquiry in a bad light. And if it makes you feel any better, any real insight you may ever have into the depths of Beethoven will probably be more than I have ever been able to accomplish.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

IcedNote
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Re: Help me out! Suggest pieces with fantastic orchestration

Post by IcedNote » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:13 pm

jbuck919 wrote:My comment was not intended to put your interesting and fruitful inquiry in a bad light. And if it makes you feel any better, any real insight you may ever have into the depths of Beethoven will probably be more than I have ever been able to accomplish.
No, no, my friend! Not aimed at you. Others? Perhaps. ;)

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

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