Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Show off original scores and recordings made with Linux!

Moderators: MattKingUSA, khz

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

Hi all,

as I was saying in a few other posts, I've been working a lot on classical pieces lately, like the Waltz I shared last month. About a week ago, in the morning, a small seed of an idea came to me, which I quickly noted down with Lilypond; yesterday, with some more time on my mind, I decided to work on it, ad that's how this short Elegy for cello and piano came to life:

https://soundcloud.com/lminiero/elegy-in-b-minor

The way I "heard" it in my mind initially, actually, was for cello and harp: I had the main theme (the one the piece starts with) for cello, and then I had an arpeggiated chord for harp (the one you can hear both piano and cello play at times here). When I started working on it, though, it made much more sense for a piano to accompany it instead: the main and most obvious inspiration definitely was the gorgeous Elegy by Fauré, which is for cello and piano too, but I think I can hear some of Rachmaninov's Vocalise influence too (hopefully there was no unconscious plagiarism from either!).

I wrote the whole thing with MuseScore, which I'm starting to get more familiar with, and I liked the way it went on. I liked playing with variations, bouncing themes and chords from one instrument to the other, which I feel made it more interesting especially considering there really are only two themes in there. The hardest part definitely was figuring out the right dynamics for both instruments across the piece, since of course I have no idea how loud they *really* both sound, and how to properly balance them: I tried to refer to Fauré's score for that, so hopefully I did a good job, but of course there's no way of knowing until two players play it for real, which might never happen. I finished the piece pretty quickly, actually, and then I spent a lot of time refining it, trying to balance it better, adjust some parts, and so on. I asked for some friends for feedback, including a cello player who gave some helpful tips: one was related to a part that may be a bit tricky to play, but one possible solution (apart rewriting the notes that I wasn't comfortable doing) was transposing from B minor to A minor, which I eventually decided not to do at this stage. Hopefully the end result is something that's as somber and emotional as it's supposed to be, and not cheesy.

The file I posted on Soundcloud is the audio exported from MuseScore directly, which means I didn't go through Ardour, other sound banks, etc. this time. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, I think it sounds pretty good the way it is already: I mean, the cello is obviously super-fake, especially on longer notes, but to be honest that's probably one of the hardest instruments to emulate right, and I honestly didn't want to spend days on that and then not get a better result than this anyway... I actually tried importing the MIDI in Ardour, and it wasn't the same thing: some dynamics (e.g., crescendos and diminuendos) were lost in the process, and better soundfonts didn't seem to give me better result. Rather than spend too much time on that part, I decided to just focus on the music, and share that instead, as this time I was more interested in feedback on the writing than on the output. If you'd like to experiment with the file, please just let me know: I'm planning to put the MuseScore file on their site anyway (as I did with the waltz already).

PS: While I didn't conceive the piece because of that, I decided to dedicate the piece to the memory of Fuji, my sister's 7 years old cat, who unfortunately had a sudden and aggressive disease that took her away in a matter of days. Living with three cats myself, I strongly felt her pain, and thought the mood of the Elegy was appropriate for that.

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

FYI, the score is available here: https://musescore.com/lminiero/elegy-in-b-minor

User avatar
davephillips
Established Member
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by davephillips »

Greetings,

Nicely done throughout. The composition is solid and the realization is convincing enough. Very good work.

Best,

dp

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

davephillips wrote:Greetings,

Nicely done throughout. The composition is solid and the realization is convincing enough. Very good work.

Best,

dp
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

User avatar
davephillips
Established Member
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by davephillips »

Rainmak3r wrote:FYI, the score is available here: https://musescore.com/lminiero/elegy-in-b-minor
Thank you for this. I'm teaching a 13-year old student how to use MuseScore, I'm sure he'll enjoy seeing and hearing your work.

Best,

dp

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

davephillips wrote:
Rainmak3r wrote:FYI, the score is available here: https://musescore.com/lminiero/elegy-in-b-minor
Thank you for this. I'm teaching a 13-year old student how to use MuseScore, I'm sure he'll enjoy seeing and hearing your work.

Best,

dp
I'm very much a beginner with it myself, so I'm pretty sure I'm not doing everything right... :lol: But it's a really nice tool!

Basslint
Established Member
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:25 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Basslint »

A very good and moving piece, it's good to hear different kinds of music!

RE: the loss of MIDI data when importing into Ardour, I stumble into that as well. Have you tried loading it into Qtractor?
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. [Acts 4:32]

Wanna make music on openSUSE? Check out Geekos DAW!

folderol
Established Member
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:06 pm
Location: Here, of course!
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by folderol »

Very impressed with this. Instrument combination works well, and the piece as a whole is very expressive.

tavasti
Established Member
Posts: 969
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:56 am
Location: Kangasala, Finland
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by tavasti »

Very nice! What soundfonts / sample libraries you used to make it?
Linux veteran & Novice musician

Hear my music at https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

Basslint wrote:A very good and moving piece, it's good to hear different kinds of music!
Thanks, it's definitely fun to experiment with different kinds of music!
Basslint wrote:RE: the loss of MIDI data when importing into Ardour, I stumble into that as well. Have you tried loading it into Qtractor?
Actually, dynamics weren't the only things missing IIRC, as I noticed some missing notes as well, but I haven't tried with Qtractor or other tools yet. I should first check if the MuseScore exporter is to blame here, maybe trying to play the MIDI file with Timidity and see if the same happens there. I'll also have to check if the cause is how I exported in the first place: rather than exporting a single MIDI file, I exported the separate parts, because that makes it easier to import the different instruments in existing tracks in Ardour.

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

folderol wrote:Very impressed with this. Instrument combination works well, and the piece as a whole is very expressive.
Thanks, this is very appreciated! I tried to use dynamics to make it a bit more expressive, and I feel I only half hit the mark, but it's good to know that in part this worked.

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

tavasti wrote:Very nice! What soundfonts / sample libraries you used to make it?
Thanks! This was exported to audio directly from MuseScore: they support using different soundfonts and even SFZ files (you ca find more info here), but I kept it simple and just used the soundfont MuseScore comes with out of the box. Initially I thought that file was basically the same as the Fluidsynth one, but it's actually a different one, and much smaller too: for being just ~40mb, I think it doesn't sound that bad at all, and that applies to many instruments in the orchestra.

User avatar
Rainmak3r
Established Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by Rainmak3r »

Rainmak3r wrote:
Basslint wrote:RE: the loss of MIDI data when importing into Ardour, I stumble into that as well. Have you tried loading it into Qtractor?
Actually, dynamics weren't the only things missing IIRC, as I noticed some missing notes as well, but I haven't tried with Qtractor or other tools yet. I should first check if the MuseScore exporter is to blame here, maybe trying to play the MIDI file with Timidity and see if the same happens there. I'll also have to check if the cause is how I exported in the first place: rather than exporting a single MIDI file, I exported the separate parts, because that makes it easier to import the different instruments in existing tracks in Ardour.
While simple dynamics work everywhere, it looks like all crescendos and diminuendos are not there... I tried with Ardour, Timidity and QTractor, and all of them are not rendering them properly. Not sure how MuseScore implements them: my guess is that it plays with MIDI volumes, since it can't do it on velocities (it's the same note that goes up and down, see for instance 1:46-1:48), but why other software ignore the control I wouldn't know. Maybe they're (ab)using a non-standard property that only they can take advantage of in their own players? I'll try asking on their forum to see what that might be.

folderol
Established Member
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:06 pm
Location: Here, of course!
Contact:

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by folderol »

Have you tried Rosegarden?
For all its faults it gets quite a lot right that others don't.

User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1502
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Elegy in B minor for cello and piano (classical)

Post by GMaq »

Hi,

This sounds great, very well done! I'm very impressed at the sounds coming from the SF2 in MuseScore. I think your composition plays to the strengths of the sounds and doesn't try a lot of stuff that might show their limitations.

Post Reply