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Topic: Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

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  1. #1
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Seasons Greetings!

    Here we have Dance of the Hours. Dance of the Hours (Italian, Danza Delle Ore) is a short ballet depicting the passage of time which occurs in Act III Scene 2 of the opera La Gioconda composed by Amilcare Ponchielli. It was first performed in 1876 and revised in 1880. The “Dance of the Hours” is considered one of the most popular ballet pieces in history. It was made widely recognizable by its use in Disney's 1940 film Fantasia to accompany the dance of the ostriches, and later Allen Sherman had a hit in the '60's, using a snippet from the original. Although it gets off to a slow start, the piece eventually builds to a powerful and well-reasoned finale. I used only GPO4.

    Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  2. #2

    Re: Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Nicely done. May I ask how you assemble the piece? For example, do you use Finale or other software to compose individual parts? I also would like to know how you make use of reverb, etc.

    Thanks for posting.

    I remember hearing this a lot when I was a kid on Bugs Bunny cartoons.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Quote Originally Posted by jdsnyderii View Post
    Nicely done. May I ask how you assemble the piece? For example, do you use Finale or other software to compose individual parts? I also would like to know how you make use of reverb, etc.

    Thanks for posting.

    I remember hearing this a lot when I was a kid on Bugs Bunny cartoons.
    Thank you for listening and commenting! I use Cubase v4.3 on a PC. I found several versions of this music as midi files. This rendition is one of two I have produced, however, of the two, this is by far more representative of the music, as well as more complicated. There are a lot of pizzicato strings in the first half of the piece, so I had duplicate tracks in Cubase, one for the lush Violins and the other for the pizzicato strings. I then eliminated the portions of the track I wasn't going to use, so that it was easier to work with and mix. I know the same thing can be achieved using the KS function but I prefer this method. I used primarily the Concert Hall 1 reverb in Aria, but also used a bit of EQ on the first Violins and also some of the Cubase "Additional Content" reverberation in the Cello and Bass string parts. I used the Cubase "track automation" for the levels, as required. The dynamic range of the piece goes to near the extremes in both directions pp > fff. The mixing of the whole is the tricky part, once the orchestration thickens, past the mid-way point. The piece builds and in so doing, presents ongoing new challenges of integrating all the additional voices and volume levels into the mix. In this music, being meant for use as a ballet sequence, inside an Opera, it is a dramatic, theatrical setting and thus, it is very dramatic and forthright. So, the difficulty lies in leaving enough head room as the music builds to the end, while trying to keep individual sections and players from being buried. I fiddled with the tempo changes a little and also added the cymbal part by hand as it appeared to be missing. As I also compose music, producing a rendition of a classical piece like this, acts as a temporary diversion and distraction, as well as an educational venture. I also like arranging well-known piano music, so that it is played by orchestral instruments.

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

  4. #4

    Re: Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Sd,


    What a treat this was. I can't believe you did the whole piece. What an endeavor. For whatever reason, I haven't heard this piece in years and hearing it today really brought a much needed smile to my face. Your orchestration/rendering here sparkles. You really achieve some incredible moments out of those samples. Really well done, thanks for posting. And the hippos and ostriches thank you for the encore too!

    Cass

  5. #5
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
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    Re: Ponchielli - Dance of the Hours

    Quote Originally Posted by Cass Hansen View Post
    Sd,


    What a treat this was. I can't believe you did the whole piece. What an endeavor. For whatever reason, I haven't heard this piece in years and hearing it today really brought a much needed smile to my face. Your orchestration/rendering here sparkles. You really achieve some incredible moments out of those samples. Really well done, thanks for posting. And the hippos and ostriches thank you for the encore too!

    Cass
    Hey Cass!
    I hope you are having a great Holiday season and getting some time off! Thank you for listening and commenting on the Dance of the Hours. I was able to take on this larger piece due to having some time myself. I have learned over the past couple of years, both from listening and from doing. I recall Dan Kury's advice to crank up the volume to a much higher than normal level and listen for what irritates and/or goes over the top and dampen those spots and save the listener from sonic abuse. Those are not Dan's words exactly, but I think that's what he meant. I am glad you enjoyed my efforts; since learning this music in considerable detail I too am appreciative of what the composer created, exciting music in the best tradition of Italian Opera.

    Best regards,
    sd cisco

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