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Topic: Bach's Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Here is a demo of Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto performed and arranged by Richard Smith. This is quite an undertaking as the piece is over 16 minutes in length (15MB download)


    Richard did this peice using GPO with Sibelius, Sonar and Sonitus FX reverb.

    The double concerto was written circa 1720 and can still be difficult for violinists today. An suggestions for improvement are welcome.

    Outstanding job Richard! This was a treat for a Bach aficionadi. Thanks for sending this.

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    This is very beautiful .. im almost falling asleep on my on my keyboard .. Zzz lovely

    improvements? im no expert at this, but sometimes it feels like some strings go / and then suddenly |. Kinda lika a gunshot backwards

    Once again.. Lovely!

  3. #3

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Are you serious, Gary? Is this a kind of preview tune? And the rest of the envelopes we may hear when we get an update - even with included bow attacks then....?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Terrific effort. When you say he wrote it around 17:20 is that Eastern time.....ie. just before tea? How he did this in 16minutes beats me.

    Very impressed


  5. #5

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    I love this music and the rendition. Can you tell us more about how it\'s done, the instruments used e.g.? There is NO WAY it was done in 16 minutes though, even if he used multiple MIDI keyboards, playing with both hands and feet! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
    Thanks in advance,

  6. #6

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Pretty good.

    I was trying to figure out what I was missing. Somehow the sound was too smooth. Ah! The continuo. Didn\'t the score have a figured bass? Anything up to and including CPE Bach had a continuo.

    Also I think that the cello line should be doubled by a double bass.

    The solo violins should be center stage, not panned left.

    Finally, I believe that in the baroque orchestra the 1st and 2nd violins were seated on opposite sides of teh conductor, not next to each other on left side of the stage. (I\'m listening to the recording by Midori and Pinchas Zukerman, which is far from HIP, and they have it that way.)

    The middle movement is good, but I\'m trying to figure out what bothers me about the first movement. In that theme (low-hi-low-hi note, little run) the high notes lack a certain intensity that every recording that I have has. Not being a violin player I can\'t tell what is missing, but something\'s definitely missing.

    But I must say that it\'s pretty amazing that a $250 piece of software can be this close to realistic.


  7. #7

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Hi guys,
    strange thing to hear something you actually are playing at the moment... well at least trying to... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    First of all, if anyone is interested in the score, http://www.mutopiaproject.org/ is a project which uses lilypond (which is quite an impressive note engraving tool if I might say so, www.lilypond.org) to transcribe old scores pre 1923 or something which have their copyright expired. I currently use the score found there and am trying to do a revision of it with dynamics, fingering and such...

    I agree in the fact that the second movement is nicely done, but all three movements could use some more expressiveness and dynamics. The beginning of the third movement for example is much too mezzo forte for my taste, I would try to start with a forte or ff and do a decrescendo down to mf or mp, which brings out the character of this down-streaming line nicely. Expressiveness is very important when sequencing for a violin (especially when doing a solo violin), as even an intermediate violin player will try to see \"lines\" and \"motives\" and use little cresc./decresc. to emphasis the flow of the melody.
    For both the first and third movement, I would advice to reduce the intensity of the accents. Especially at the first movement, the long notes come to much up in front, almost as if there was one extra player who would play only the long notes and strike everyone of it in ff ... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Besides that, nicely done, although I personally don\'t like the sound of the solo violin. It somehow has a \"high-noise-like-metallic-shringing-after\"-sound to my ears, like someone used steal strings (and cheap ones)... but I guess that\'s probably just the type of violin used, I\'m currently playing on (a real) one that has a very smooth sound for a violin...

    As always, the length of critisism is directly related to the quality of the work. It\'s when you get no critisism at all when you have to worry... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]


  8. #8

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Nice - but too nice (soft) for me.
    Here is the first movement played with GPO Harpsichord -
    You see what I mean?

  9. #9

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    Hrm, some trills still stick out to my ear (which is made of something close to tin!). But otherwise it\'s quite a job!

    - m

  10. #10

    Re: Bach\'s Double Violin Concerto - Richard Smith

    The Harpsichord for this interpretation was intended to be very close and with \"unnatural\" dynamic range. I like doing things with my computers that are not possible with real performance (one of the reasens why I use computers).

    To give You a example: You can drastically change this performance by doing the following:

    1. Double the Harpsichord Track with low volume Harp to create a different room ambience and change the \"size\" of the harpsichord --> creating space.

    2. Double with Pizzicato solo violin to give it a less metallic and still percussive attack.

    And this is what you get (direct to wave without postprocessing):

    These \"tricks\" come from the time, where the source material was so bad, that you had to combine several sources to get something decent. Now with much better material, you can do things bigger then real -something hollywood is doing all the time.
    One note to the purists out there: My aim is not to be as realistic as possible - I modified accoustic instruments in the past to get the sound I was looking for.

    So take the midi file below and create the sound YOU feel is right!

    have fun

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