Samuel Barber -- String Quartet, Op. 11: II. Molto adagio; molto allegro

June 18, 2009 4:57 AM

Another personal homework assignment to prepare for writing a string quartet -- this time, it's Samuel Barber's String Quartet, Op. 11. The second movement was extracted to become Barber's one-hit wonder, the Adagio for Strings.

For this recording, I opted to include the rest of the quartet's second movement, which is a reprise of its first. I uploaded this movement first because it's more recognizable.

Once again, I'm using the Reason Orkester library, with a little help from the Garritan Personal Orchestra Refill.

posted by NemesisVex (5 comments total)

It's really pretty interesting to listen to this stuff and suss out what works vs. what doesn't as far as the synth instrumentation goes. I remember think Switched On Bach was just silly and corny when I first heard it as kid, having no context for it's place in recording history.

How far this stuff has come in the mean time, and yet how hard it is to sort of close that gap and get out of the uncanny valley, if you will, is pretty interesting to me.

Anyway, nice work. Smart of you to exercise first like this; I'm really looking forward to hear what you end up writing when you get down to the actual quartet.
posted by cortex at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2009

This is great, thanks for sharing with metailfer.
posted by acro at 12:30 PM on June 19, 2009

(and MetaFilter) Oh pre-view.
posted by acro at 12:30 PM on June 19, 2009

At the very least, it's been a great exercise in reading alto and tenor clef, but I have to admit, I still have no idea what I want to do with my own quartet. I just know I don't want the one I wrote right before college to be the only one.

My eyes were playing tricks on me -- I read acro's username as arco.
posted by NemesisVex at 1:06 PM on June 19, 2009

I thought I was the only person who ever did this. I did similar transcriptions of some pieces while in school to help me with my harmonic analysis and before composing some ensemble pieces.

Keep in mind that real string players will stretch the tuning a bit to sweeten dissonances that sound a bit sour when played back through an equal tempered (or even stretch tuned) synthesizer. I wrote my first string quartet using this method and found myself being a bit more conservative with harmonies than I wanted to be.
posted by dagosto at 9:51 AM on June 23, 2009

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