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Topic: La Valse (Ravel)

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  1. #1
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    La Valse (Ravel)


  2. #2
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    What an amazing piece! I will be honest, I have not heard much Ravel. But after hearing this, I definitely want to hear more. It's stunning. There's so much going on on this piece it boggles my mind.

    My only comments to you are that it still sounds a bit "electronic" and sometimes feels a little like it was entered in via computer. It doesn't always sound particularly organic. It could use some editing of the contollers to give it a little bit more life. Also, it could use a bit more reverb, or perhaps the correct reverbs to make it sound like it was recorded in a symphony hall .

    Really excellent job on this, though. I don't have the nerve to attempt anything this complex. While I've just about come to grips with the controller aspect, I still have problems with the final mix and adding reverb.

    Speaking of mix, I feel the mix is very good. So you're already ahead of me .

    Thanks for sharing this. Now it's time for me to look up Ravel on the Internet.

    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  3. #3

    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    this is just one of those pieces that can never be rendered with samples, I don't care which sample set they use.
    La Valse is a study in glissandi, and contains some of the most advanced orchestration ever set to paper.
    I find that your realization clips too many of the notes (the legatos are too broken), and the articulations aren't really all there. Sorry to sound critical, but this is one of my favourite pieces of music.

    Anyone who doesn't know this piece should immediately go out and buy both the score and the Montreal Symphony recording with Charles Dutoit on Decca (recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Ravel).

  4. #4
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Hi Michael and Michel,

    I would like to thank both of you for your comments and criticisms.

    I confess that I did not include the many glissandi in the score. This was mainly because the GPO system (to the best of my knowledge) doesn't provide for glissandi greater than the interval of a tone or so. I did experiment with trying to incorporate glissandi using soundfonts, but the results weren't too satisfactory.

    I used some reverb (Concert hall light) from Cool Edit. I have difficulty in deciding on what reverb to use without blurring too much of the details. I also used some editing to try to expand the dynamic range, but as you suggested, I should probably try to do that with the controllers.

    I have listened to a performance (on tape) with Osawa and the Boston Symphony, and his tempos are generally a bit faster, and I still haven't been able to achieve the Viennese 'lilt' that he incorporates.

    At some point, I will try to do more work on this, but it may be an impossible task for me.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Jack

  5. #5
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Quote Originally Posted by mfortunato
    What an amazing piece! I will be honest, I have not heard much Ravel. But after hearing this, I definitely want to hear more. It's stunning. There's so much going on on this piece it boggles my mind.


    - Michael
    In my opinion, Maurice Ravel was one of the finest orchestrators who ever lived. Some of his original compositions were spectacular, too.

    Keith Walls

  6. #6

    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithW
    In my opinion, Maurice Ravel was one of the finest orchestrators who ever lived. Some of his original compositions were spectacular, too.

    Keith Walls
    I find this comment.. well... confusing.
    Ravel actually orchestrated very little music by others, so, technically, doesn't that make all of his compositions original? Off the top of my head, the only piece that comes to mind as an "orchestration by Ravel" but composed by someone else is Pictures at an Exhibition.

    As professor Belkin would point out, what made Ravel's orchestration so brilliant was that to him (as it should be to us as well) "orchestration" was an intrinsique part of the compositional process.

  7. #7
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy
    I find this comment.. well... confusing.
    Ravel actually orchestrated very little music by others, so, technically, doesn't that make all of his compositions original? Off the top of my head, the only piece that comes to mind as an "orchestration by Ravel" but composed by someone else is Pictures at an Exhibition.

    As professor Belkin would point out, what made Ravel's orchestration so brilliant was that to him (as it should be to us as well) "orchestration" was an intrinsique part of the compositional process.
    Sorry, what I should have said was his original orchestral compositions were spectacular, too. "Pavane pour infante défunte" was originally a piano solo (that he had written at 1899 and orchestrated in 1910.) "Alboada del gracioso" was also originally written for Piano. Other piano to orchestral works:
    * Menuet antique (piano, 1895, orchestrated in 1929
    * Miroirs (Mirrors)
    * Une barque sur l'océan ("A Boat on the Ocean" solo piano 1905, orchestra 1906)
    * Alborada del gracioso ("Aubade of the Clown") (piano 1905, orchestra 1918)
    * Pavane pour une infante défunte ("Pavane for a Dead Princess") (piano 1899, orchestra 1910)
    * Ma Mère l'Oye ("Mother Goose") (piano duet 1908–1910, ballet 1911)
    * Valses nobles et sentimentales ("Noble and Sentimental Waltzes") (piano 1911, orchestra 1912)
    * Le Tombeau de Couperin ("The Tomb of Couperin") (piano 1914–1917, orchestra 1919)



    "The Boléro," in his own words to Honegger "Yes, it is my masterpiece, but it contains no music." That was an orchestration masterpiece.

    "Rapsodie espagnole" again proved his mastery of orchestration.
    "Daphnis and Chloe" was also a masterpiece.

    But I completely agree "orchestration" is an intrinsic part of the compositional process. The best "orchestrators" also have the most memorable music, e.g. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Wagner, and, of course, Ravel.

  8. #8
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Jack,

    I think part of the problem is that the attack and decay of each note is unnatural. I use Finale 2006 and I alway turn on the Ambience Reverb and adjust to taste. Without this enabled the whole piece will sound like its being performed in an anechoic chamber, that is the notes have no attack and decay to them. And passing through an outside reverb will not solve this problem and probably make it more pronounced.

    I know that you have a great deal of work in this and I congratulate your effort and dilligence in doing this. I am not sure if there is an interface to Cakewalk that is equivalent to the Ambience Reverb. It is a part of the VST control panel supplied with Finale 2006.

    Anyhow, something to think about.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  9. #9
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    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Gary,

    I'm using Garritan Studio, so I have access to Ambience. I'll try what you suggest. I have used it occasionally, but in most cases, including 'La Valse', I've found it necessary to split the tracks, and record in sections. I would then apply reverb after I put the whole thing together again.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jack

  10. #10

    Re: La Valse (Ravel)

    Jack, you've done a heck of a job getting all the
    nuts, bolts, hinges, and screws of this difficult-
    to-render piece in place and working... it has
    the potential for a fine interpretation.

    In league with comments above, I hope you'll
    get in there and work over the sound treatment
    to bring it all to life and do your work justice.

    I'm looking forward to hearing more on this!

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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