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Topic: Good pieces for section study...

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  1. #1

    Post Good pieces for section study...

    Hi folks,

    Posted a couple of questions in the other forum areas, but thought I'd stop by and say a proper "hello" here. Firstly, I have to say GPO is a fantastic piece of work and completely exceeds all my expectations. The first time I loaded up some of the demos in Overture, I was gobsmacked!

    Anyway, I principally purchased GPO because I wanted to learn the rudiments of orchestration. I guess there is no better way than to study what's been done before by the masters, so I thought I'd share some of the pieces that I've found particularly useful in studying the way the main sections are organized and how they work together to construct the orchestra's timbre. Hopefully, people will add to this list.

    Strings
    Spoilt for choice really!
    Pieces that for me particularly showcase each instrument's unique singing abilities include Borodin's String Quartet no 2 in D (the 'Nocturne' second movement will be familiar to people) and Schumann's String Quartet no 1 in A minor. For orchestral pieces, my highlights include the conclusion to Mozart's Jupiter symphony (insane polyphony and contrapuntal writing - I think he must have got his hands on a copy of Cubase Renaissance Edition to cope )

    Woodwind
    As Terry Dwyer already sagely pointed out in his tutorial, it goesn't get much better than Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. I also love the interplay between the winds in Mozart's Serenade for Winds, K. 361.
    For some heart-rending phrases skilfully assigned to individual woodwind instruments, the second agonizingly beautiful movement of Ravel's G major piano concerto does it for me.

    Brass
    Mars from the Planets is a tour de force for the brass section. I've learnt a great deal about brass scoring from that piece alone. Bach illustrates the opposite poles of the brass instrument's characters well for me, going from brash and plangent (e.g., the 2nd Brandenburg concerto) to gentle and almost pious (e.g., the unostentatious trumpet scoring in Gratias Agimus Tibi - so good I have to link to it, hope that isn't a no-no here.
    http://www.streamload.com/splo0gie/m...gimus_tibi.mp3 )

    General
    Pieces that to my mind use the distinctive characters of each section in order to create moods supremely well include: Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (especially the comical 3rd movement), Borodin's symphonies 1 and 2 (a cellist friend of mine pointed these out; she reckons Borodin was second-to-none for depicting the most vivid moods using the full orchestral palette), and I guess I'd have to put the entire Planets Suite of Holst's in this section.

    Any other recommendations/highlights from other people?

  2. #2

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    I will have more suggestions for your list just as soon as I check my handy-dandy dictionary for "gobsmacked".

    Larry A.

  3. #3

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander
    I will have more suggestions for your list just as soon as I check my handy-dandy dictionary for "gobsmacked".

    Larry A.
    Thanks Larry

    Not sure you'll find gobsmacked though, unless you've a dictionary of British euphemisms!

    It's synonymous with flabbergasted, if that helps any

  4. #4

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    Quote Originally Posted by etincelles
    Thanks Larry

    Not sure you'll find gobsmacked though, unless you've a dictionary of British euphemisms!

    It's synonymous with flabbergasted, if that helps any
    Ooooooh...THAT gobsmacked. Of course, I knew it all along.

    By Jove, you Brits use such strange words. I suppose that we United Staters will have to teach you how to speak English.

    In regards to your list, almost anything by Mendelssohn is a study unto itself. He was a master of writing for almost every section with the exception of brass. His oboe and flute work in the "Italian" symphony is just superb.

    Regards,

    Larry A.

  5. #5

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    Thank you for the recommendations! I need to study as much as I can, and it's good to know what to take note of in selected pieces. And yes, GPO can be very gobsmacking Thanks again, and welcome to the forum!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander
    Ooooooh...THAT gobsmacked. Of course, I knew it all along.

    By Jove, you Brits use such strange words. I suppose that we United Staters will have to teach you how to speak English.

    In regards to your list, almost anything by Mendelssohn is a study unto itself. He was a master of writing for almost every section with the exception of brass. His oboe and flute work in the "Italian" symphony is just superb.

    Regards,

    Larry A.

    Ah, Mendelssohn. I need to better acquaint myself with him. Isn't there some great brass writing in parts of his A Midsummer Night's Dream? I forget which. I'll definitely check out "Italian" symphony anyhow.

    Strange words? Us Brits use strange words? Don't know what language-related shenanigans you're suggesting there sir. Gobsmacked and flabbergasted are all bog-standard expressions I'm sure

  7. #7

    Re: Good pieces for section study...

    Quote Originally Posted by etincelles

    Strange words? Us Brits use strange words? Don't know what language-related shenanigans you're suggesting there sir. Gobsmacked and flabbergasted are all bog-standard expressions I'm sure

    "Bog-standard" ? Crikey!! I rest my case.

    My best,

    Larry A.

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