Well first off, if I didn't know you played a woodwind instrument I would have known from this!Strings bore me
lol. My orchestra pieces tend to be more wind heavy than standard orchestral work, too. Giving the melody to a woodwind instrument sounds a lot better to me than to strings usually. Except for solo string instruments.
Very nice work overall. It's exciting and interesting. I particularly like how rhythmic it is, but I'm a percussionist so I'm kind of biased. Which leads me to Malson's comment about adding more percussion. It's ultimately up to you, of course, but it is strange hearing such a rhythmic and tense piece with so little percussion in it. There are a lot of opportunities for auxiliary percussion throughout the entire movement. I liked how you used the pitched percussion, though.
I think I really like using instruments other than percussion for intense rhythms and reserve percussion for more colourful and textural reasons. I do love percussion and how much it can add very easily - there were a lot of times I thought of using a ratchet here, or a triangle there, hell, let's throw a vibraphone over there. It turned out the way it did because I restricted my usage of it, and because it sounds really shit on Sibelius. I do see where a gong or a bass drum could be very effective, but as I've said the score is far from finished.
I sincerely believe that the timpani is the most powerful and effective instrument in an orchestra.[/quote]
Oh I missed the part where you said it wasn't finished. My bad.
Restriction can sometimes be good. And I don't think the "lack" of percussion is necessarily bad. I guess I just can't help but listen to something and think of all the different percussion that could be added.
The transition at ~3:25 from horns to woodwinds (or chaos to tranquility if that's your intention) is a bit confusing to me. I understand the idea but it feels like it's not executed in the best way. It seems like, again, extra percussion leading and building up to it would help a lot. Think cymbal, gong, bass drum, and/or timpani rolls (I don't know how extensive the percussion is in Sibelius Essentials) that end with the suspended note from the French Horn. It also seems that Sibelius might not be interpreting dynamics well (or at all - Sibelius can be dumb like that) there and if it were actually performed by musicians I'm sure they could smooth that out witch crescendos/dimenuendos. The way it is might be your intention, though, and that's certainly fine, but that was my impression when it got to that point.
The idea is that it grows louder and more chaotic until the horns stick out and suddenly the entire mood changes, and I firmly agree with you saying that this is where more percussion is needed. I love that tension hanging in the air followed by the ecstasy of tonality. Sibelius certainly doesn't interpret it perfectly - the oboe is actually supposed to come in under the horns instead of after, and the horns are supposed to hold the note in to the new section.
Okay that makes more sense, and I think that's an excellent choice musically. I figured it was something like that but I really wasn't sure. I love Sibelius but sometimes its playback really sucks unless you spend more time than it's arguably worth making it sound kind of almost decent.
Anyway, super good job. Now for the next movement!Thank you. The next movement is going to be an exercise in harmony more than anything else (a lecturer once told me that it's impossible to write a piece in the Locrian mode and I'm on a quest to prove him wrong). If you'll indulge me, I'm focused on using the full dim7 chord as a pivot between 4 different minor keys, because it's a symmetrical chord and can act as the dominant of all four keys, which is super interesting to me. Basically the piece is based around the chord of E, G, Bb and C# pivoting between B, D, F and G# minor. It's a weird concept but I'm hoping it's stable enough to hold together and still be called tonal.
Locrian mode, huh. That's certainly a big task ahead of you. I definitely wouldn't say it's impossible, especially if you just forgo tonality. Hmm interesting. You know, I've never actually given using Locrian mode much thought. I guess you've probably already realized it, but it seems to me the biggest problem in writing a tonal piece in Lorcian mode would be in keeping it from sounding like it isn't in Locrian mode (or another key). But that's part of the fun, right? I think your idea for it is really interesting, actually, and I look forward to hearing it, assuming it actually works lol. Good luck!