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Topic: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

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  1. #1

    Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Dear friends,

    after working on Kodaly's Dances of Galanta, I got some more appetite for Hungarian music. So I took out the MIDI file (actually this is the Cakewalk file) for the rendition of Bela Bartok's Rhapsody #1, which I had created in 2001, and began re-working it for the Garritan Personal Orchestra.

    Since there is no Cimbalom in GPO, I did use the Sonar Cakewalk TTS-1 General MIDI soft synth and used the "Santur" instrument instead.

    I did rework the timings slightly, but mostly left intact the notes. When I had recorded this piece in 2001, it was mostly done in "live play". Therefore, there is almost no quantization. Some of the playing may need to be re-recorded, as I feel that not everything is right up to the standards which I have now, but I am too lazy to change that now.

    So here it is, the first part of Bela Bartok's Rhapsody #1, composed in 1928:


    https://virtualphilharmonic.bandcamp...ody-no-1-lassu


    I hope you enjoy this music, and I am looking forward to your feedback and criticism!

  2. #2

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Hello Reinhold!

    I'm not the best person to give you advice about how to improve your recording (if it needs it), so I'll just pass that responsibility on to others.

    I've not heard this piece by Bartok before, in fact, I can't remember the last piece of his I've heard - it's been a while for sure. Either way, I found this interesting! Having no previous experience of this piece with which to compare it, I can't even say how faithful it may or may not be to the original! To me it sounds a bit quiet overall, but perhaps I have my volume down a bit from listening to Richard's (rwayland's) organ piece.

    Oh my! I feel like I haven't helped at all, but for what it's worth, I enjoyed listening! Had you planned on posting the second part on the forum as well? I'd love to hear it!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  3. #3
    Senior Member tedvanya's Avatar
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    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Reinhold, are you sure you don't have some Hungarian blood in you? After the Galanta, this? ( You know, the Hungarians traveled west around 980 and they were handsome guys!) Kidding aside, very nicely done, as always, I can't wait for the rest.
    Lassu means slow, some of the dances of ours were done as "solo"s, by men only, and the lassu was a dignified, but full of pride dance to show off your skill.
    Thanks for your wonderful work.

    Ted

  4. #4

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Quote Originally Posted by sanyarem View Post
    Hello Reinhold!

    To me it sounds a bit quiet overall, but perhaps I have my volume down a bit from listening to Richard's (rwayland's) organ piece.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Thank you very much, Michael, for listening and commenting!
    Yes, the volume stays a few db below the limit, I can slightly crank that up in the next version. The music does have some quieter parts, which should be that way, but the Forte parts could be a but more louder.

    The second part will take a while, probably a few months, and I will post it here two. This Rhapsody is written in two parts, which can performed independently.

  5. #5

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Quote Originally Posted by tedvanya View Post
    Reinhold, are you sure you don't have some Hungarian blood in you? After the Galanta, this? ( You know, the Hungarians traveled west around 980 and they were handsome guys!) Kidding aside, very nicely done, as always, I can't wait for the rest.

    Ted
    Hi Ted,

    thank you for listening! I am glad you like the recording.

    well, maybe there is some Eastern blood in me My ancestors come from what is now the Czech Republic, so there is the possibility that there is some Hungarian in there somewhere. For some reason, Hungarian music always appealed to me very much. And also Czech music.

    The 2nd part ("Friss") will take a while, as I have to start from scratch on this one. Probably in a few months I can have it ready; if I devote more time (evenings, night) to it, then possibly some time earlier.

  6. #6

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Hi Reinhold,

    Thanks for commenting on my work!

    Now about yours. This is a wonderful piece, not so obvious and common, but musically very interesting. There's a clear hint to the Hungarian popular music (as nearly always with Bartok), but still it cannot be considered as folk music. The dance rhythm is a constant pulse showing up during the whole part. You did well bringing this to the front.
    As to the overall volume: it's pretty simple. When finished the final mix, bring the score to a normaliser (Audacity or the like, which is free). This will boost your volume to the limits with respect for the dynamic flow.

    Thanks for sharing that splendid music!

    Max

  7. #7

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Hamburg View Post
    Hi Reinhold,

    As to the overall volume: it's pretty simple. When finished the final mix, bring the score to a normaliser (Audacity or the like, which is free). This will boost your volume to the limits with respect for the dynamic flow.

    Max

    Hi Max,

    thank you for the listen and for your suggestion! Yes, I am aware of the normalization with Audacity, and I could do that as a last resort, but instead I do prefer first to tinker a bit with the "source" volume, that is at the instrumentation level in the sequencer. Because it could be that a music piece generally may have to be played in p or pp, and then a normalization would bring up the volume too high.

    I did now revise the version and did overall increase the volume, although not to the very top - the highest volume is at -1.5 dB.
    I also did revise the tempo a bit: reduced it to be more "Lassu"-appropriate

    The file is still at the same link, I just overwrote the previous version:
    https://virtualphilharmonic.bandcamp...no-1-1-2-lassu

  8. #8

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    I never was very fond of Bartok. This piece doesn't change it. I don't have any suffiecient previous experience with him. But what you did with it sounded so good that I listened all the way to the end. For me a bit more on the dynamics and rhythm. It is not a dance, but knowing from literature and the very few pieces I've hear of Bartok, he emphasizes on a very steady rhythm all the time (if not forgive my ignorance).

    Send me the midi track Cimbalon and I'll return you the wave file for it to import it in SONAR. I have one(four different types including the Cimbalon Tzigane), you know. I am no going to look at Youtube for the same piece, getting to know it better.

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    Send me the midi track Cimbalon and I'll return you the wave file for it to import it in SONAR. I have one(four different types including the Cimbalon Tzigane), you know. I am no going to look at Youtube for the same piece, getting to know it better.

    Raymond


    Hi Raymond,

    thank you for listening, despite that you do not like Bartok's music in general. This is a great attitude, to give a music a listen, despite a personal preference, and I do appreciate this!

    For me this music piece was the very first music of 20th century compositions that I really liked - so it kind of opened the door for me to 20th century music when I heard it first on the radio in 1980.

    Thank you very much for your kind offer to record the Cimbalom! There is only the one problem that I keep constantly changing the tempo... now when I listen to it, I hear that it is still a tad too fast, especially comparing to other recordings on YouTube. So as long as I will change the tempo, a wave file will not be of good use. Also, my MIDI is now attuned to the sample that I am using. For your sample, it would actually have to be adjusted, so that properly the velocity-to-loudness-balance is considered. Also, I am not yet satisfied with the MIDI of the Cimbalom track as it is now - so I may also need to to some changes there. The work is never done....

    But when I will have a more or less stable version, I will come back and take you up on your offer!

  10. #10

    Re: Bela Bartok: Rhapsody #1, "Lassu" (first part of two)

    Very impressive, Reinhold! - For one thing, you did something which I find rare. Even though those weak GPO solo strings are always annoying for me to hear in any kind of spotlight, you made me overlook their shortcomings more than I usually am able to.

    Note on normalizing, and your adversity to "resorting" to it - Normalizing doesn't change your dynamics at all. Max's point was only that the overall level was a bit low, with more headroom available. That's not a shortcoming of your work - If you normalized, you'd have exactly the same thing except the general level would be up more in the professional area.

    Loved hearing this. Thanks.

    Randy

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