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Topic: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

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  1. #1

    John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    I'm back with another one of my compositions. I hope you enjoy it!

    Symphony No. 2
    Dedicated to Catriona Calo

    Introduction to the Work:

    This was written actually much later than the Piano Concerto No. 1 (which is also available on my website), and was originally given the title "Symphony No. 3". There was one other symphony written before it, which, incidentally, was actually originally a suite, as well as my first attempt at writing a symphonic work. However, dissatisfaction with this piece caused me to reject it, so to speak, and give the title of Symphony No. 2 to this piece instead, a significantly better piece.

    It is in four movements, like the first symphony. It is very different than the first symphony, however, expanding on the much richer harmonic language introduced in the first piano concerto. This piece would actually be the beginning of a style that I would later carry into my latest works; a much dreamier, Neoromantic atmosphere. More tonal ambiguities found their way into this work, causing me to finally abandon the practice of using key signatures in most sections. The melodies were much more dramatic, sweeping, and rather chromatic. The opening bars move through a seemingly bizarre succession of meter changes (7/4, 8/4, 4/4, 6/4, 7/4, 8/4, 10/4, 8/4), all within the space of ten measures.

    There is a concept behind this piece. The melody introduced in the very first minute of the first movement is the main theme of the symphony, which reappears in pieces in various, sometimes discreet, ways in each of the movements, but actually is only played in its entirety twice in the whole work: once at the beginning and once at the end of the first movement. The first movement's final climax on a C Major chord is interrupted and left unresolved as the bass strings quickly modulate to another key and die away.

    The second movement is primarily based around two melodies, of which one will briefly return toward the very end of the final movement. The third movement is more of an interlude between movements two and three, which develops the themes from the previous two movements briefly before building up to a crescendo that leads to the fourth movement.

    The final movement is rather violent and fast, but this, too, is interrupted rather suddenly. There is a slow, lyrical moment that is based on motifs from the second movement, that later builds up to a climax where the symphony's "theme" once again returns and brings us to the work's conclusion.

    Originally the piano was going to play an essential part in the piece, but I later decided to replace it with harp.

    Downloads:

    Movement 1 - http://www.johncareycompositions.com...ymphony2-1.mp3

    Movement 2 - http://www.johncareycompositions.com...ymphony2-2.mp3

    Movement 3 - http://www.johncareycompositions.com...ymphony2-3.mp3

    Movement 4 - http://www.johncareycompositions.com...ymphony2-4.mp3
    Please visit my website - www.johncareycomposer.com

  2. #2

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Hi John,

    it is too late now to listen to all of your symphony... I heard the first part and felt very humble. Tomorrow I start again and will listen to the whole symphony. I think I like it very much.....

    And I always wonder which equipment you all are using. The things I've heard have better strings than what I can make and I keep wondering why this is. I tried so many different settings... and still it is NOT what I wanted (I only have GPO).

    But that is another story... for now thanks for letting me listen to your compositions.

    Raymond

  3. #3

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Hey John, ... absolutely lush and chromaticly balanced. The opening is superb and reminds me of the "golden era" of movie scoring. Your chromatic descent after the opening is very Mahler, I hope that's a good thing, and then your unique voice starts to appear. Enjoyed the heavy melodic stings and playful winds balanced with the powerful timpani and crash following the snare crescendo. The time and effort you put into your work is very apparent. The only semi-negative thing I noticed based on my own tastes and opinions is that the violins seem to "stay in the ear" for a while to long in the same register. But that's just me... We definitely have compositional similarities. If you have time please check out my site... Anyway, this is a great first movement; looking forward to listening the the second tomorrow.

    Michael
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com

  4. #4

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    I'm listening to the first movement as I type--needing to fly out on errands as soon as I can, returning tomorrow to continue on with your symphony.

    Let me use a much over-used word--I Love the experience of hearing this. Wonderful textures and moods, all superbly realized--How could a "virtual orchestra" get better than this? I submit that it can't.

    Aaaaah---must stop typing to continue listneing.

    Thank you much John for this inspiring post.

    rbowser

  5. #5

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Thank you, all of you, for your time. I appreciate your comments greatly!

    And I always wonder which equipment you all are using. The things I've heard have better strings than what I can make and I keep wondering why this is. I tried so many different settings... and still it is NOT what I wanted (I only have GPO).
    I'm using nothing more than what I received when I ordered GPO two years ago. I have been asked on numerous occasions about what my "secret" is with the string samples, and frankly, I don't know! If it helps at all, I use Concert Hall 1 as my reverb setting.

    Hey John, ... absolutely lush and chromaticly balanced. The opening is superb and reminds me of the "golden era" of movie scoring.Your chromatic descent after the opening is very Mahler, I hope that's a good thing, and then your unique voice starts to appear.
    It is most certainly a good thing, as Mahler is not only my favorite composer, but he has long been my greatest musical influence. As for my unique voice, I am very happy that it came across, because I prefer to think that I have my own style, as opposed to a mixture of styles of composers before me.

    The only semi-negative thing I noticed based on my own tastes and opinions is that the violins seem to "stay in the ear" for a while to long in the same register. But that's just me...
    I think I understand you, in which case I agree. I did, however, explore their range a bit more in the slower section.

    We definitely have compositional similarities. If you have time please check out my site...
    I have just listened to your music, and I can say with pleasure that I enjoyed it immensely. Well done!

    Anyway, this is a great first movement; looking forward to listening the the second tomorrow.
    I await your feedback with anticipation! Thank you for your kind comments.

    Let me use a much over-used word--I Love the experience of hearing this. Wonderful textures and moods, all superbly realized--How could a "virtual orchestra" get better than this? I submit that it can't.
    I absolutely agree. GPO is a wonderful tool!

    Best regards,
    John
    Please visit my website - www.johncareycomposer.com

  6. #6

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    OK John, Movement 2. Well, I definitely hear your voice. Like the use of chromatic descent in the bass line... Was happy to hear that in the end. Again, your use of sweeping strings to carry the melody is wonderful; huge walls of sound filled by the brass with some sudden percussive brass moments. Was this movement in ABA form? I don't remember hearing a contrasting part in length... Please correct me if I'm wrong. Overall stunning rendering of the orchestra. If I could add to the discussion about your realism with your strings...; it's not just the settings but how you orchestrate them that can make a difference in quality. Well, looking forward to hearing movement 3... Be back soon...Michael
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com

  7. #7

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    I just finished listening to the first movement.
    Quite a talent Sir!

    Dan

  8. #8

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Wiktor
    If I could add to the discussion about your realism with your strings...; it's not just the settings but how you orchestrate them that can make a difference in quality.
    Good morning Michael,
    A good composition can sound awful with poor settings for the virtual orchestra and a bad composition can be awsome because of the quality of the given sounds. I am not listening to the composition but to the sounds produced per individual instrument (as far as they stand out alone and are recognizable).

    I input a short piece of one of the pianoconcerts of Mendelssohn and tried to get the sound to a certain quality and didn't succeed, I didn't like the sound of the violins and they were far off the "sound" heard on my CD collection. But this is not the place (thread) to discuss the settings... so when I am finished I will put some ideas in "tips, tricks and other stuff" . Thank you for sharing your knowledge, John.

    I bookmarked your composition (all movements) for further listening and again I listened to the first part with great joy.......!

    Raymond

  9. #9

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Thank you, everyone!
    Please visit my website - www.johncareycomposer.com

  10. #10

    Re: John Carey - Symphony No. 2

    Wonderful writing John and so well prepared with GPO. It was well worth my time listening. Very enjoyable. You have an orchestral talent, so keep on writing............

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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