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Topic: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

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  1. #1
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    Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    After presenting the first movement of Mendelssohn's unfinished symphony a few months ago, I finally made it to complete also the beautiful second movement sketch from Mendelssohn to a whole Andante movement of about 14 minutes.
    The first 2:50 minutes are based on a full melody sketch with various hints to the accompaniement by Mendelssohn.After orchestrating this I continued with a new middle part with various themes with each increasing in strength and coming to a dramatic climax with an appassionate fugato.
    After this various variations of Mendelssohn's beautiful Andante theme follow until a recapitulation of the beginning. The movement ends with a most tender final variation.

    I.Allegro

    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh..._symphony1.mp3
    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Symphony_in_C_Allegro.pdf

    II. Andante cantabile

    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh...ny_Andante.mp3
    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh...ny_Andante.pdf

    Enjoy - it means very much to me!

    Gerd

  2. #2

    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Quote Originally Posted by gprengel View Post
    After presenting the first movement of Mendelssohn's unfinished symphony a few months ago, I finally made it to complete also the beautiful second movement sketch from Mendelssohn to a whole Andante movement of about 14 minutes.
    The first 2:50 minutes are based on a full melody sketch with various hints to the accompaniement by Mendelssohn.After orchestrating this I continued with a new middle part with various themes with each increasing in strength and coming to a dramatic climax with an appassionate fugato.
    After this various variations of Mendelssohn's beautiful Andante theme follow until a recapitulation of the beginning. The movement ends with a most tender final variation.

    I.Allegro

    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh..._symphony1.mp3
    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Symphony_in_C_Allegro.pdf

    II. Andante cantabile

    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh...ny_Andante.mp3
    http://www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssoh...ny_Andante.pdf

    Enjoy - it means very much to me!

    Gerd


    Thank you, Gerd, for sharing this your work!

    Great that you uphold the art of recording classical music with MIDI!
    Am just listening to the first movement - very expressive and impressive! Well done tempi and overall balance! And very nice contrasts in the dynamic flow.

    --- I just also saw your earlier post about this. So you did then the completion of these "fragments"? Great job!


    Regarding the "machine gun" effect which was also mentioned with regard to an earlier post: this appears mostly when there are several consecutive same notes, e.g. many 16th; they sound largely the same, even though the expression is creating crescendo and diminuendo. So in addition to applying expression you might also change the velocity of these notes, e.g. pronounce the first of four 16th stronger. The velocity is in most of the string samples linked to the attack - so a higher velocity will create a stronger / faster bow movement, creating a more "edgy" sound which is just what makes those 16th notes more distinguished.

    But this is just a minor thing - the overall musical expression is well done!

    I assume that you use this NotePerformer software and not GPO?


    Very enjoyable listening to your rendition!

    Cheers,
    Reinhold

  3. #3
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    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Thank you, Reinhold, for your kind words about my completion. Regarding the "machine Gun effect" - I will try your advice eventhough I was already quite satisfied about the way it sounds right now.

    yes, I did both movements with NotePerformer. I find it very easy to do everything regarding expression and articulation only in the way of editing dynamics and articulation in the score and nowhere else...

    Gerd

  4. #4

    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Quote Originally Posted by gprengel View Post
    Thank you, Reinhold, for your kind words about my completion. Regarding the "machine Gun effect" - I will try your advice eventhough I was already quite satisfied about the way it sounds right now.

    yes, I did both movements with NotePerformer. I find it very easy to do everything regarding expression and articulation only in the way of editing dynamics and articulation in the score and nowhere else...

    Gerd

    Dear Gerd,
    I only had mentioned this because it was also discussed in that other thread here, where you had originally posted about this project. You are right, it is almost not noticeable, and you may not bother. It would take quite a while to adjust this, unless NotePerformer has some way of automating this and placing a kind of accent onto the first bow. What also could be used: to explicitly set updow and downbow, which several string samples in GPO allow to set.

    Cheers,
    Reinhold

  5. #5

    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Man you are REALLY EXCELLENT at this.. reinholdbehringer has a small but valid point.. But is easily dismissed by the total excellence you have accomplished here.

    You make excellent use of dynamic range. more so than many.

    Great

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Gerd,

    It sounded pretty accurate and expressive to me. I checked out NotePerformer and it looks to be break through software for playing back notation at a quite reasonable price. For what you’re trying to accomplish I think it’s a great tool. Now if only someone could develope software that could instantly turn performance piano roll into good notation.

    I commend the effort you put into this music.




    Phil

  7. #7

    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    A note to the machine gun effect. Probably a lot here realize. Repeated same note attacks are best handled by software libraries that have a 'sample pool' of the same note. Original and older software (to my knowledge, did not make use of that), Newer libraries will have a number of samples of the same note, and cycle thru them to avoid 'human recognition'.

    Virtual drum libraries and instruments were probably first to jump on this bandwagon. I know very little about orchestral libraries and hence no idea of how some companies handle it. An experiment to try might be to incorporate two libraries, and have some notes come from them, either replace or 'under' the first library. Not sure if this would give a useable sound.

    I sometimes do it with virtual instruments, I make a duplicate of instrument, and change some paramaters very slightly, and split repeated notes between the two instruments. Since the sound is only 'slightly' different, the brain accepts it as 'normal'. In my DAW I spend a fair amount of time 'massaging notes' that is changing ADSRs, velocity, duration, sample start time if applicable. It's a lot of work, But does pay off in subtlety, and not setting off the 'artificial alarm in the brain. Sometimes I use only one instrument, and use a lot of CC events to alter individual notes. You can also use CC events, to introduce slight varying amounts of detune, chorusing, reverb, effect send etc. This applies mostly to virtual synth type instruments. Not sure if orchestral libraries will deal with it. These libraries of course, would be HUGE because there would have to be different samples to be played. Bohemiem makes a nice cello and violin instrument. where it adds parameters, behind the scenes (you not having to consciously do this). Of course using different libraries, especially strings, becomes a big juggling act, so that the strings come out sounding cohesive.

    I still greatly like you piece, and the machine gun effect did not trigger a response in me. I think as listeners, we have become more or less accustomed to it.. because almost all sample libraries, suffer from it.

  8. #8

    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Hi Gerd,

    This is indeed a fantastic realisation and quite an accomplishment. Many congrats for your effort and perseverance to complete such a huge task!

    Some comments speak about the machine gun effect as means to improve your virtual rendition. I can agree with that, but there's a lot more to it than just that. It doesn't diminish your work by any means, but you did such a great job musically, that it is a pity that the virtual part (performance) is the least of it. The dynamic evolution however is brilliant, just like your writing.

    If you allow me:

    The strings sound very synthy and give the impression that you only used some kind of sustain. I don't know the library you've used, but the woods (mainly the flute) sound a lot better and more distinct. A string sound has an attack, a dynamic evolution within each note and a release. I miss that completely here.
    Some passages sound like sound clusters because there isn't enough room to play in (balance, depth, reflections...)
    Strings and woods play more or less in the same depth.
    Most virtual instruments produce too many frequencies, in which you have to cut in order to make room for other instruments (e.g. the basses can only function well when the lower ranges of the other strings and winds leave the frequency room to do so, since everything plays in a 'virtual space'. Therefore you have to create space and acoustic room.
    The machine gun effect can easily be avoided by humanising all the (same) notes in a passage. That's the first step. As mentioned earlier, different attacks and durations per note can help a lot too. But that requires an enormous amount of tweaking on per note basis!

    I understand you did everything in NotePerformer and that is of course the explanation for the weaker points. Whether you use NotePerformer, Finale, Sibelius, Notion..., it's hardly possible to create a natural sounding performance. As far as I know, only Overture has the possibility to tweak the notes enough. Most are simply not designed to do so. That's where the DAWs come in. Maybe you should consider using one of those in the future. Your high quality music deserves it!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful realisation!
    Jos

  9. #9
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    Re: Mendelssohn's "Unfinished" symphony No. 6 I. Allegro + II. Andante cantabile

    Dear Jos,
    thank you for your kind words regarding my work!

    Regarding the "machine gun effect" I asked the support from NotePerformer. Unfortuneately there is no "humanise"-function which could solve this problem, so I just could reduce now the volume of these instances where the problem is too obvious. I think this helped a bit ...

    Regarding the "depth" sound of my orchestra I now understand that in the front part of the orchestra (strings and celli) the reverb must be low and the instruments in the back part of the orchestra (wood winds and brass and Contrabass) it should be high. Is this correct? I found out that all instruments had a default reverb of 50. So I changed this to about 30 for the front section amd about 75 for the back section:

    www.gerdprengel.de/Mixer.JPG

    Is this the way you would do it?

    I am not so sure whether the improvement now is so singnificant but I think so.

    Here the whole new version: www.gerdprengel.de/Mendelssohn_unfinished_symphony1.mp3

    and here 2 loud tutti passages in one file put together with old version: www.gerdprengel.de/test3_NP_all50.wav

    and new version: www.gerdprengel.de/test2_NP_diff_reverb.wav

    Is the new one significantly better?

    I also tried the DAW tool "Studio One" from Presonus but had problems to synchronise the wave files of the various instruments, so I still hope to get the depth also with NotePerformer ...

    Gerd

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