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View Full Version : Vivaldi Guitar Concerto, Finally Completed



Karl Garrett
06-05-2004, 03:03 AM
Spring is almost over, so our little plant nursery is calming down. My broken fingernail has grown back and so I was able to finally record the first movement of the Vivaldi Guitar Concerto in D. Here are the links to the three movements. Of course all is GPO except the guitar, which is yours truly, somewhat out of practice on my Oribe 10-String Guitar that is in the picture to the left.

I Allegro (http://www.mydocsonline.com/pub/larkg/Vivaldi%20Mov.1%20mix%206-4-04.mp3)
II Largp (http://www.mydocsonline.com/pub/larkg/Viv%20Con.%20for%20Gui.%20D.%20Move2%203-24-04.mp3)
III Allegro (http://www.mydocsonline.com/pub/larkg/Vivaldi%20Concerto%20for%20Guitar%20in%20D,%20Alle gro%202.mp3)

Thank you for listening,

Karl

guybrush threepwood
06-05-2004, 03:24 AM
congratulations! very nice work. mix is perfect imo

and the guitar playing in the first movement is extremely clean to be a 10 strings guitar. The flaw i always notice in people playing 8 or 10 strings guitars is that they don't take care of muting the harmonics of the extra low strings and it causes a muddy sound. But you did a good job with that.

about the performance, i would have been more aggresive in parts, but again, it's just a question of taste ;)

Nicole
06-05-2004, 06:04 AM
Very very neat! Guitar has always been a fascinating instrument to me:) I think this was very fun to listen to and it makes me want to go practice the Baroque keyboard stuff again! I havnt played a baroque peace in years! Literally. I have forgotten how fun a genre it can be.

Good job and I hope to hear more live stuff like that mixed in:) I wish I had the means to record my real pianos(though ill probably get shot for this, but I prefer uprights and always have).

Alan Lastufka
06-05-2004, 06:07 AM
Very nice indeed Karl!

I'm almost embarrassed to say I 'play' guitar after hearing that, seems now more like I try to play guitar... ;)

Thanks for posting this very cool piece...

Karl Garrett
06-05-2004, 02:49 PM
congratulations! very nice work. mix is perfect imo and the guitar playing in the first movement is extremely clean to be a 10 strings guitar. The flaw i always notice in people playing 8 or 10 strings guitars is that they don't take care of muting the harmonics of the extra low strings and it causes a muddy sound. But you did a good job with that.
Thanks, You're very kind. If you want to send a recording engineer to the loony bin real fast, just show up to a session with a 10-string guitar. In live performance, it doesnÕt seem to be quite the problem, but I still find myself constantly trying to mute strings. But for this little recording I cheated. I simply slipped a small piece of foam between the strings and fingerboard at about the 17th fret, under the extra strings. This does a good job without destroying the character of the instrument.



about the performance, i would have been more aggresive in parts, but again, it's just a question of taste ;)
I gave up trying to be the worldÕs greatest guitarist many years ago. I thought of taking the first movement at a slightly faster clip, but I just donÕt practice much any more and I actually would have had to go into the woodshed. So I backed it down some so that I didnÕt have to go and edit sloppy playing. I hate doing that. As it is IÕm not real happy with it, but IÕve got other things to fret about. I have a love/hate relationship with all this technology. On the one hand it gives us wonderful things like this forum and GPO, yet we seem to live in an age of such sterile recordings, because we can fuss with all the details. It may not be the best IÕve been in my life, but it is as I was at that moment.

There are other things that IÕd like to say, and questions I have to ask about tempoÕs when mixing midi and live playing, but I think since it relates to much more than this piece, It deserves its own thread.



I have forgotten how fun a genre it can be..
I have always loved baroque music just for that reason. One of the reasons that church choirs sing the Messiah so often is that, not only does the piece usually end up sounding so much better than any single person in the choir can sing, (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts), but itÕs just plain fun to sing. I have never gotten tired of singing the Halleluiah chorus even though IÕve sung it hundreds of times ever since my voice changed so many long years ago.



wish I had the means to record my real pianos(though ill probably get shot for this, but I prefer uprights and always have).
I can very much understand how you might feel that way. I think it is for the same reason I love to play the guitar. You are about as close to the music as you can get. You donÕt have quite the feeling that all the mechanics are isolating you from the sound source. I donÕt even like picks because I feel they just get in the way of me feeling the music.

Allen,
YouÕre probably much better than you think. Besides, another reason I love this instrument is because unlike the violin you donÕt have to spend 20 years of your life just to develop good intonation. The simplest things can be extremely rewarding, but if you want to reach for the stars, the further you reach, the further they seem to get. The challenges are endless. You have a remarkable artistic sense, as shown by the work youÕve done for Gary and Frank. I'm sure that what ever artistic endeavor you pursue, as long as you pursue it with great enthusiasm, you will excel.

Thank you all again, Karl

DPDAN
06-05-2004, 03:48 PM
WOW Karl, really neat stuff. Your guitar playing is beautiful and the way that you have the Harpsichord (not in your face) makes the rest of the instruments pretty believable. How can anyone listen to that last piece and not weave your head back and forth? Great Job !!!

Garritan
06-05-2004, 06:00 PM
Karl,

You keep outdoing yourself. I listened to all three movements and am amazed. Outstanding performance on guitar and GPO. The mix is well balanced between guitar and instrumentation.

The Oribe is one fantastic sounding guitar and perhaps you'll consider sampling it. Being a harpist I can sympathize about broken fingernails.

Thanks for posting these. Bravo Maestro!

Gary Garritan

KingIdiot
06-05-2004, 06:06 PM
niec work!

The low strings especially seem to have alot of character.

Karl Garrett
06-05-2004, 08:35 PM
Dan, Any words of praise like that from an engineer of your caliber go straight to my heart. It has only been recently that IÕve started to take this recording thing at all seriously. The encouragement that all of you offer is deeply appreciated. But of course please offer any suggestions that you think might improve these recordings. I'm learning more each day.

KingIdiot, Thanks for the remarks about the low strings. Although there were not too many low notes in these pieces, I feel also, that they are one of this instruments best features. The bass notes have a clarity about them that other guitars just donÕt seem to possess. I hope to do other things with GPO and this guitar that will show its full range.

And Gary, Gosh, I am so flattered. IÕve been called a lot of things in my life, many of which the now fixed sensor software on this forum certainly would not allow, but IÕve never been called maestro. You really know how to get a guy to practice, donÕt you.

Of course, my guitar and I would be more than honored to have its sound captured. You know how to reach us.

Thank you all again,

Karl

DarwinKopp
06-05-2004, 11:49 PM
Karl, this sounds just great! It just knocks me out how good the nylon string guitar sounds on these and I love the way you dig into the parts.

Have you considered doing any Rodrigo? The second movement of Concierto de Aranjuez would be a great pairing between GPO and your playing.

Karl Garrett
06-06-2004, 02:48 AM
Have you considered doing any Rodrigo? The second movement of Concierto de Aranjuez would be a great pairing between GPO and your playing.

ItÕs funny that you should ask about the Rodrigo. This is probably the most recorded guitar concerto. Parts of the second movement have been stolen, trampled on, run through the Hollywood blast furnace and molded into car commercials, movie and TV scores. Most all of the big kids of the guitar world have recorded it with many of the major and not so major orchestras. It seems like it is a rite of passage to stardom for classical guitarists. To be its best, it requires a very large orchestra. The dynamics, emotional tension, subtle and not so subtle tempo shifts would be a monumental task for sequencing software, little old GPO, not to mention little old me. To capture this piece properly would indeed be challenging.

IÕve been asked several times in my life if I play this piece. My words say ŅNo, but it is quite beautiful isnÕt it?Ó My mind says, ŅAnd just what 100 piece orchestra would you like to hear me play it with?Ó

So, to answer your question, the answer is yes, IÕve considered it. Right now, however, IÕm using only a single cpu Mack G4. IÕm severely limited in the number of instruments I can get under midi control at one time. When I wrote the Humbling of Job which lurks somewhere on that famous Garritan demo page, The shear passion of hearing a piece that I composed as it was meant to sound drove me to work on it for many days, leaving the rest of my lifeÕs pursuits to suffer. I realize now, after playing with GPO for several months, that if I could have had it all playing without having to freeze tracks etc., I could have done a far better job on it than I did. Someday when I get my G5 or G6, I think IÕll certainly try the Aranjuez. But for now, it will have to remain a dream as it always has been, but a dream that I can almost grasp and will make real before too long.

PianoMan
06-06-2004, 11:39 PM
Karl,
Your music is simply wonderful. I just wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed listening.
Thanks!
Dennis

Hardy Heern
06-07-2004, 04:59 PM
Karl,

I would have been one of the first posters here but I had written quite a bit and then I lost it all some time back! This happens very occasionally and it is incredibly irritating!

Now down to the music.

I haven’t heard the piece before but I am pleased to tell you that I just loved this and my jaw drops with admiration at your playing skills. Your GPO skills are also equal to your guitar playing. I am always a sucker for the slow Largo pieces and I just loved the little sensitive details like the little string bends at 1:08 and 2:40 for example. Such beauty. This is the level of work you have to try to achieve with MIDI tweaking but it would take a great deal of time.

The allegros are also very pretty and again your guitar playing is just terrific. If I’d bought this on a classic CD, I would have been well pleased. (for all I know you may have already done this without me knowing it….if so apologies. I can’t imagine that you have kept these skills locked away in your nursery) I bet some of your customers would be shocked if you ever demonstrated your musical skills to them? That would actually be most charming and would be one of your best adverts I would think! It would certainly get people talking!

These driving Vivaldi Allegros always make me think that they could in some way be adapted to interesting pop music. Sorry if you find that sacrilege!
Thanks for introducing me to this Vivaldi piece and also your great musicianship.

I am in awe!

Frank

I was just saying to Nicole that she should get together with you on your Joplinesque piece for Bert. I had no idea at that time that you had this great guitar playing ability too. You folk make me sick!!!:)

fmfgs
06-07-2004, 10:29 PM
Hi Karl
I really enjoyed listening to your performance. I would have liked the guitar sometimes a bit more in front and less hights on the orchestra - but this is just my 2 cents.
Maybe I can help you a bit to make your dream come true earlier:
ftp://213.189.138.53/Rodrigo_Concierto_de_Aranjuez_Adagio.mid
Just a quick and dirty mockup of the beginning (with GPO Harp)
ftp://213.189.138.53/KarlTeaser.mp3
It sounds lousy - but its past 5 in the morning and I have to get some sleep. Maybe some people here are up to the challenge and do a collaboration in mocking it up properly. Its shure worth the effort.
fmfgs

Houston Haynes
06-07-2004, 10:48 PM
We had an Abyssenian cat who LOVED this kind of music - when it was playing she would come to my lap and listen, or if it was playing in the living room she would curl up in front of the speaker on a floor pillow and that, as they say, would be that... so we call it "kitty music". She passed away with cancer in September of last year and her absense is still felt in our family.

You music brings her back to sit and listen.

G Rudolph
06-08-2004, 07:36 AM
Bravo, Karl!

My youngest son just grauated with a bachelors degree in guitar and sound recording technology...he will love this. I have been considering mocking up the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Trumpets. I played it in high school and college, but the trumpets will be GPO this time around. Don't have the chops for Vivaldi anymore. I might sing some Schumann or Strauss songs, though...that would be fun!

Anyway, your execution of the orchestra in GPO is spot on...beautiful continuo...and great guitar work.

Thanks!

Karl Garrett
06-08-2004, 10:31 AM
Oh dear, I just previewed this post. I didnÕt mean to write a book. Feel free to ignore my propensity for verbose pomposity. :)

Thank you Denis for your kind remarks, and thank you Glen. What a time to be just starting out in music. Please tell your son that I wish him all the success in the world. Come on now, Glen, let's hear a little Schumann. Be brave. :)

Houston,

The loss of a family pet can leave a lasting emptiness that will never be quite filled, even with the addition of another pet. IÕm truly sorry for your loss, and am so glad that in this small way we can help unite your spirits. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Music has such wonderful powers, doesnÕt it?


Karl,
These driving Vivaldi Allegros always make me think that they could in some way be adapted to interesting pop music. Sorry if you find that sacrilege!
Many years ago when I was young and midi was younger, I took a Bach prelude and simply added a drum part to it. It really cooked. Mixing musical styles is often how great ideas emerge. I would like to call your attention to the Swingle Singers. During the Ō60s they produced a few albums of Bach and other baroque composers works. They sang the parts copied the original bass line for an acoustic bass and added some drums. The music was wonderful. Many of these tunes have been re-released. Look for a CD called ŅJazz Sebastian Bach.Ó I think you might get a charge out of it. I canÕt help but feel that Bach would have loved all of our new toys for making music.

Karl,
I can’t imagine that you have kept these skills locked away in your nursery) I bet some of your customers would be shocked if you ever demonstrated your musical skills to them? That would actually be most charming and would be one of your best adverts I would think! It would certainly get people talking!

Our nursery business might just come to a screeching halt this year. I have lost a ton of money with it over the last few years, and although I do enjoy working with plants and people, it has also been an enormous drain on my music time. After this season is over, IÕm going to sit down with a sharp pencil and see if it has really been worth it. I have a feeling that by this time next year, I will have spent a lot more time with GPO and my guitar than I will have spent in my greenhouse.

Karl,
I was just saying to Nicole that she should get together with you on your Joplinesque piece for Bert. I had no idea at that time that you had this great guitar playing ability too. You folk make me sick!!!

Frank, by the way thatÕs my first name and the name of my dad and son, please remember that I have had almost a lifetime of listening to, and playing music. Often you learn musical skills by osmosis. For instance you might have heard a little something that you liked in this concerto. Well, youÕll store that away somewhere and someday it will come out in your playing or writing. Hopefully, you wonÕt remember where you got it. Be kind to yourself. Grow with each new work you hear. Open up and let the music become a part of you. You will be all the richer for it.

Hi fmfgs,

Thanks for the mp3s and your concern about my dream (seriously). At the moment my main use for GPO is for my students. I wanted to give them an opportunity to play with other instruments. Since at this time in my life, IÕm not affiliated with a conservatory or university, I have no way of easily creating ensembles so that they can gain this experience. So when GPO came along I felt this just might be what I had hoped for. Guitarists rarely get the opportunity to play with other instruments like orchestral instruments do. The first one of these little projects was the 2nd movement (Largo) from this little Vivaldi concerto. Of course, I had to try it out myself. I was so pleased with GPO in this regard that I felt compelled to share it.

Digital Performer, which is my sequencer of choice, is capable of slaving to just about anything that can be tapped, including my beer cooler, so that one can play or record tempo changes on the fly. I can play the midi tracks as the students perform the piece and to a large extent I can conduct the virtual orchestra to their needs. The only problem has been that the amount of mod wheel action that is needed to pull off a relatively realistic performance chokes the life out of my little MacÕs cpu, especially if there is a lot of orchestral activity and if I use a hungry reverb like Altiverb.

I always record a concert from each student as they move from level to level, kind of like a final exam, and then when they have accumulated a reasonable amount of music, burn them a CD. We put a fancy label on it, put it in a jewel box, and give it to them as a reward for achievement. If the student is young, the parents just suck it up. They love to get these little treasures as Christmas presents. I would have too when my son was young.

Right now I want to use GPO for these little tasks, even though I canÕt do exactly what I want to do with it. Which brings me back to the Concerto de Orangejuice. I hope to have scraped up enough money by the Fall to get a new G5. Once I have done this, itÕs Ņlook out Rodrigo, Orange Juice will have never tasted so good.Ó

Hi Karl
I really enjoyed listening to your performance. I would have liked the guitar sometimes a bit more in front and less hights on the orchestra - but this is just my 2 cents.
fmfgs

I thought of doing this, but chose not to. I did boost some mid range and eq a little of the highs off the violins. The violins used during VivaldiÕs time were, dare I say a little more screechy than the modern violin. I wanted to keep a little edge on them to help kick along the pieces. Notice, that in the Largo, the highs in the violins are more attenuated, as their purpose then is to mostly lie sweetly in the background. The score, if you can even call it that, was written for lute, 2 violins, cello and continuo. The lute is a more delicate instrument than the classical guitar, with a thinner sound. I feel that to push the guitar too much to the front would destroy the original concept of the piece. We live in a time when since it is so easy to control all the elements of a recording, that we feel we must have it all. If one would go to a concert hall and hear a guitar concerto played live, before electronics, the guitar was barely heard during tutti passages. I might want to mix the guitar louder for a CD, but for this forum itÕs about GPO, not my playing. I really wanted to create an ensemble effect rather than the guitar with a little bit of chamber orchestra somewhere in the background to fill up the empty spaces. Anyhow, itÕs time to move on to other ventures. I can only hope that all of you are having half the fun with GPO as I am having. Bless you Gary for bringing us this, and bless you all for being such a great bunch of people.

trentpmcd
06-08-2004, 03:30 PM
Very nice. Having the acoustic guitar makes the whole think seem more "real". One very, very small quibble - the violins on the first movement seem a little thin to me. I wouldn't mention it except that they are perfect in the other two movements. The guitar playing throughout is great.

Did you improvise the harpsichord throughout? A few months ago I played with the 4 Seasons and, even though I call myself a keyboardist, I could never get the harpsichord to sound convincing. You did a great job with it.

Karl Garrett
06-08-2004, 06:12 PM
Very nice. Having the acoustic guitar makes the whole think seem more "real". One very, very small quibble - the violins on the first movement seem a little thin to me. I wouldn't mention it except that they are perfect in the other two movements. The guitar playing throughout is great. .
Actually, I used the exact same setup for the first and third movements. I could have EQed them slightly different or there might have been a slight difference in the reverb settings. The violins were a mix of ensembles and solo instruments. I even added a viola to them to try and thicken them up a little. I have GOS light now and someday if I have nothing better to do, I was thinking of perhaps trying it with those strings to compare. But IÕm not holding my breath while I wait for myself to do it.



Did you improvise the harpsichord throughout? A few months ago I played with the 4 Seasons and, even though I call myself a keyboardist, I could never get the harpsichord to sound convincing. You did a great job with it.
IÕm so glad you asked about the harpsichord. I meant to include these details in my first post, but with the excitement that it was finely finished, I forgot. My friend Peter Segal is responsible for the research and transcript of the work exactly as Vivaldi wrote it. It is bare bones with thankfully no additions. As you probably know, Vivaldi didnÕt write out a basso continuo part as this was often improvised. There have been very complicated harpsichord parts written for this piece. Peter chose Jan Krzywicki to do the realization. The cello and harpsichord left hand play the same bass line. The right hand plays basically the harmonies with a few reflections of the melody or supporting lines. In my opinion, it is brilliant in its simplicity. IÕve played this piece for a long, long time now, Mostly it is as Vivaldi wrote it with a few little additions in the repeat sections. Some of these are my own and some I believe I stole from a very early John Williams recording. I tend to play it a little differently each time. If anyone is interested, he/she can order this addition from Guitar Solo Publications (http://www.gspguitar.com/) Here is a link to a picture of part of the 2nd movement in VivaldiÕs own hand. Vivaldi Score (http://www.mydocsonline.com/pub/larkg/Vivaldi%20Script.jpg) It's too bad that he didn't have a computer.

Hardy Heern
06-20-2004, 04:38 PM
Many years ago when I was young and midi was younger, I took a Bach prelude and simply added a drum part to it. It really cooked. Mixing musical styles is often how great ideas emerge. I would like to call your attention to the Swingle Singers. During the Ō60s they produced a few albums of Bach and other baroque composers works. They sang the parts copied the original bass line for an acoustic bass and added some drums. The music was wonderful. Many of these tunes have been re-released. Look for a CD called ŅJazz Sebastian Bach.Ó I think you might get a charge out of it. I canÕt help but feel that Bach would have loved all of our new toys for making music.

Frank, by the way thatÕs my first name and the name of my dad and son, please remember that I have had almost a lifetime of listening to, and playing music. Often you learn musical skills by osmosis. For instance you might have heard a little something that you liked in this concerto. Well, youÕll store that away somewhere and someday it will come out in your playing or writing. Hopefully, you wonÕt remember where you got it. Be kind to yourself. Grow with each new work you hear. Open up and let the music become a part of you. You will be all the richer for it.


Karl,

Sorry for the delay in replying (and I don't want you to go to the trouble to reply) as I'm sure you have something better to do!:)

I don't know how many years you have on me but I'm 59. Yes I remember the Swingle singers very well, but I was actually keener on the Jaques Loussier Trio who played Bach using a Jazz trio....it was great stuff and I bought at least one of his LPs. They were very popular and were extremely well known in the UK as one of their Bach pieces was used in a popular television advert (Hamlet Cigars) which ran for years. The piece was Bach's Air on a G String.

Funny enough I just typed their name into Google and I was surprised to see that they are still going and have a concert on 27th of June at Barnstable, only around 80miles from here on the North Devon coast! Now that's what I call serendipity!!:) I might just go!

Regards

Frank

PS I enjoyed the insight into your interesting life....thanks for that.

Karl Garrett
06-20-2004, 06:16 PM
Hi Hardy,

Hope you can go see them. I can imagine that Ward Swingle is still doing great stuff and has great people working with him. If you do go, let us know how the concert was.

Well IÕm still a few years ahead of you, but IÕll keep looking back to make sure that you arenÕt gaining on me. :D

Karl

Dr. Grace
06-21-2004, 03:20 PM
I thought of doing this, but chose not to. I did boost some mid range and eq a little of the highs off the violins. The violins used during Vivaldi?s time were, dare I say a little more screechy than the modern violin. I wanted to keep a little edge on them to help kick along the pieces. Notice, that in the Largo, the highs in the violins are more attenuated, as their purpose then is to mostly lie sweetly in the background. The score, if you can even call it that, was written for lute, 2 violins, cello and continuo. The lute is a more delicate instrument than the classical guitar, with a thinner sound. I feel that to push the guitar too much to the front would destroy the original concept of the piece. We live in a time when since it is so easy to control all the elements of a recording, that we feel we must have it all. If one would go to a concert hall and hear a guitar concerto played live, before electronics, the guitar was barely heard during tutti passages. I might want to mix the guitar louder for a CD, but for this forum it?s about GPO, not my playing. I really wanted to create an ensemble effect rather than the guitar with a little bit of chamber orchestra somewhere in the background to fill up the empty spaces. Anyhow, it?s time to move on to other ventures. I can only hope that all of you are having half the fun with GPO as I am having. Bless you Gary for bringing us this, and bless you all for being such a great bunch of people.


Wow, extraordinary job, Karl! I think it's remarkable (and remarkably humble) that you made the guitar sit so well with the accompaniment, rather than pushing it forward as most people would do.

By the way, what mics/recording gear did you use to capture the guitar? It's a lovely sound.

Don Newmeyer

Karl Garrett
06-21-2004, 07:28 PM
Just noticed that the apostrophes in my post were turned into question marks in the quote aboveÉrather strange. Anyway, thanks Don. The quote you copied says exactly how I feel about the recording process

The equipment I use is really nothing special. A pair of Neumann KM184s mics pointed about 20Ó or so from the front of the guitar, the right one between the sound hole and the bridge, and the left at about the 12th fret or so.

The signal was fed into a DBX 366 preamp, then into a MOTU 1224. I used the converters of the 1224. I feel that they are the best converters IÕve heard without spending the money on a pair of Rosettas. Then it goes into my Mac with DP as the DAW. Everything was mixed in DP with some EQ on the guitar and violins and a splash of one of AltiverbÕs castles or cathedrals in Neverland for a reverb. ThatÕs it, nothing special,

Thanks much again,

Karl

mistahamma
06-22-2004, 11:54 AM
Very beautiful, Karl! And a perfect illustration of what I think is one of the best uses for GPO -- blending the sampled orchestra with one or more "real" instruments. Having the added human element mixed in kicks the whole thing up a notch to further the "illusion" of a real orchestra. Well done!

Jim