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Topic: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

  1. #1

    Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    For the first time, the freshly finished, final Finale 2010 version of my sonata... phew. (I WAS going to call it a "fiolin sonata", just for alliterative porpoises)

    I made such massive changes to this work over the last six months that it is, for all intents and purposes, a completely new work.

    I really love the Strad, and hope that at some point, the orchestral strings for Garritan libraries will have the same expressive capabilities.

    I've divided the piece into 6 chunks, much easier to DL, and easier to skip over parts if you so wish. So each "movement" is around 3-4 minutes in length, which is an easier swallow than the 24 minutes the entire thing takes.

    Technically, each movement "flows" into the next. There are even places where there is a held note from one movement into the next, but these "musical links" are missing from the "chopped up" version I'm posting here.

    1st movement: Prélude
    presents the main themes of the sonata, in an improvisatory manner.
    2nd movement: Scherzo
    classic scherzo structure, with a VERY contrasting Trio section (which alternates slow and VERY rapid sections)
    3rd movement: Nocturne
    a slow movement, with lots of "violinistic" fireworks.. here the Strad REALLY shines, in my opinion. Chords, appogiaturas, and rapid arpeggiated passages delicately flying across the strings... being able to write this AND hear it has been a real pleasure.
    4th movement: Tiento (fugal March)
    basically a fugue... with a march. title says it all!
    5th movement: Arioso
    a slow movement, which REALLY lets the Strad shine. it was fun making judicious use of the Strad's ability to vary the depth of the portamento (achieved in Finale with a set of articulations which set the velocities of notes to various settings... big velocity difference = big portamento)
    6th movement: Ronde
    a backwards restatement of the material of the sonata, starting with an up-tempo version of the preceding slow movement! More fireworks as the movement concludes, with lots of multiple stops (chords) in the solo part. I had to rewrite the ending completely for it to be more suitable to the violin (originally for clarinet).
    I'm very proud of this work. I know some of you may have heard it in its "previous life" as a clarinet sonata. I think there are enough major structural changes to it to warrant a new hearing, and consideration as an actual independent piece of music from that earlier work.

    Next, I finish that darned pesky viola sonata I started. (now that I can transpose the Strad down a 5th and make a "Strad viola")

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    Hello Michel!
    Well I listened all the way through and very much enjoyed it. The Strad and piano sound terrific and the overall impression is one of skillful and well considered execution, with a wonderful result! You are inventive and resourceful and it is a pleasure to hear it first hand, hot off grill, so to speak, this is an exciting and virtuoso piece yet the delivery is a smooth as can be.
    Really, it is very good Michel, thank you for sharing!!!
    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  3. #3
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)


    And proud you should be! This is a superb work, from start to finish. There is much that is connected and organic, yet it also has great range and variety.

    There is something of Hindemith and neo-classicism that I hear in this work - I hope you take that as a compliment, as that is the intention. Perhaps that remark is too generic, but the motoric figures and modulations put him in mind. Still, it is not derivative or imitative - we all have to come from somewhere!

    Are there plans for performances of this piece? It certainly deserves it, and it would be a delight to hear it interpreted by fine performers.

    Thanks for posting this - and writing it as well!

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl





  4. #4

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    Thank-you cisco and Ron.

    I'm hoping that we can program the sonata into one of the music festival's concerts this coming May.

    A symphony violinist I know has expressed interest in performing it.

  5. #5

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)


    Loved your Clarinet/Violin Sonata the first time, but this is even
    better. Really great detail in this production and the Stradivarius
    sounds wonderful.

    This an awesome contermporary piece of music.


    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  6. #6

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)


    I listened to this last night in its entirety and as always with your music, I enjoyed it very much.

    My favorite movements were the Scherzo and the Ronde but each movement had its own distinct character.

    If you do get a live performance, please do post it as well.

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  7. #7

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    thank-you both Ron and Jack.

    I hope to record it, even if it's just a read through with the violinist.
    This sonata is actually the first piece I am "depositing" at the Canadian Music Center (I only recently became a member). Meaning, it will be available throughout the country at all branches of the CMC. Hopefully, it will attract a few violinists.

  8. #8

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    Michel - getting caught up again with all you people on the forum. I hope you will understand if I comment in stages as this is a lot to listen to in one sitting or who knows, I might get through.

    First of all - this is huge -you are the Father of a sextuplet composition - the amount of time, sweat and tears that went into this only you will appreciate. I must say that you never cease to amaze me with your writing talents. And such passion in your playing - and all this through notation! Very dynamic which I love. I especially liked the Nocturne - probably because that is closer to my taste. I always try to appreciate fully what is being done even though it does not fit my taste. As you well know, some things are an acquired taste and take time. All that said, the whole thing is growing on me - Ariosa is lovely! The more I listen the more I like!

    I see what you mean about the disconnection between the parts - but I think you made the right decision to cut it up for the forum.

    This recording has a very live feel to it which is very well done. As a listener and a sound quality nut who wishes I was a much better mixer/engineer, however, I do prefer a closer feel to the sound but that is just me again.

    Made it all the way through after all! Thanks for sharing - interested in what you have done with your Strad viola - maybe a short "how-to" is in order.

    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


  9. #9

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by DelCarry View Post
    ...interested in what you have done with your Strad viola - maybe a short "how-to" is in order.


    Thank-you so much for your comments Del.

    For the Strad "viola", that's a completely different piece of music (also posted to the forum).

    It was pretty easy to achieve, in a "quick and dirty" way... I simply detuned the violin directly from within the Kontakt Player to turn it into a "viola".
    however, for playback, I then had to transpose the viola part UP a 5th within Finale... so unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to make the part both LOOK and SOUND right.

    I've tried a number of work-arounds, but none seem to give an ideal end result (one work-around ALMOST got a perfect printer score with perfect playback.. except for some reason, acccidentals were screwy).

    So for the time being, I have a sub-directory that is "playback files" for the "Strad viola". I just have to make sure I don't accidentally print those and send them off to a violist who will wonder about the awkward high notes!

  10. #10

    Re: Violin sonata (Strad and GPO piano)

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy View Post
    Thank-you so much for your comments Del.

    For the Strad "viola", that's a completely different piece of music (also posted to the forum).
    Michel - yes, I was aware that the viola piece was a newer one. Have listened to only one part of it so far. I am just way behind on my listening. Thanks so much for your advice on the hacked Strad viola - I will have to try it as I love the viola. The sample modeling people are supposed to be doing solo strings in the near future so I cannot wait to see what they come up with.

    Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. - Herbie Hancock


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