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Christopher Schlegel Symphony 6

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ChristopherSchlegel
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I am a musical composer of Objectivist convictions.

For anyone interested, I have made available my Symphony No. 6 "The Values of Man" on my website.

The 3 movements of the piece are named in tribute to Rand: Reason, Purpose & Self Esteem.

You can access it here: Symphony 6 "The Values of Man"

Thank you. Enjoy the music.

Christopher Schlegel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for making this available!

I enjoyed your symphony. I found several of the themes quite striking. I'm sure it embodies many musical values that I (unfortunately) am too unschooled a listener to detect. I do plan to listen to it several more times.

I hope many more people listen to it, and offer more educated appreciation than I am able to.

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You are welcome & thank you for taking the time to listen & post a comment.

I am glad you enjoyed it. As far as more "musically schooled people" listening...Yes there are in fact many fascinating levels of integration in the music. Reducing the context to only musical elements is a topic I could talk about for years! I worked very long & hard on it so as to produce pieces that were of the highest quality representing the highest values.

But it is not necessary to be completely versed in specialized musical knowledge in order to sincerely appreciate & enjoy my or any good music.

I also hope many more people listen.

Christopher Schlegel

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I'm a music listener not a musician. Thanks for making this available. I listened to it and liked certain parts of it. I thought the ending of the first movement was quite interesting in the way it brought together the earlier themes.

I mostly listen to classical symphonies, concertos and solo piano pieces, mostly Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. In pop, I occasionally listen to some music from my teenage years - Devo, King Crimson.

I wonder did you compose this with synthesizer in mind, or would it be playable by orchestra? I can enjoy some synthesized pop (see above) but I really don't enjoy synthesized classical or new age type music, in general. Sometimes I think the synthesizer leads to musical choices that I don't like (e.g. the ease of repetition of sequences, the ease of repeating rhythms.) It sounds to me that this piece could be transferred to organ more readily than orchestra.

I noticed that the symphony tends to have many short notes rather than long sustained ones. (Forgive me for expressing myself as a listener rather than using musical terms that I don't know). Listening, I thought there was a bit of a monotony of pace, with everything going at a pretty rapid pace. Thinking of Rach's Second Symphony, there are some rapid parts, and then there are also slow long undercurrents, such as its very slow beginning.

Have you heard Alkan? The approach I heard in your music reminded me a bit of his Concerto for Solo Piano. Lots of notes and rhythm, not much sweep.

Perhaps if I listened multiple times, I'd be able to catch the big picture of your symphony. But on first listen, I really couldn't integrate it into a whole.

Anyway, every music has people attracted to it and not. I'm not suggesting you change something. I'm just trying to examine what I like about certain kinds of music and not others.

Do you have something like a listener's guide to this music, suggesting what the audience should in particular listen for? E.g. did you introduce conflict into the music, and if so, how would you say it's resolved?

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You are welcome & thank you for listening & posting.

I wrote this piece with an orchestra in mind; most of it either at a piano or on score paper, then entered the info into my computer. The music is fully within the scope of real-world instruments (range, playability). Unfortunately, I do not (yet) have access to an orchestra that is willing to play my music. Therefore, I have to rely on my studio gear (MIDI sequencer, Korg synth, processors, etc.) in order to create an audio object.

The results are not always completely satisfying.

Your suggestion that it "could be transferred to organ more readily than orchestra" is an interesting one I had not yet thought of.

Your observation that the "symphony tends to have many short notes rather than long sustained ones" is in some ways a result of the nature of the synth & sequencer not being as expressive as an actual musician performing. It is also a result of how I like to write (my "style").

I have not heard Alkan. I will find & listen, though; thanks for the suggestion.

Perhaps if I listened multiple times, I'd be able to catch the big picture of your symphony. But on first listen, I really couldn't integrate it into a whole.

Perhaps. But perhaps you may find that it only annoys the more you listen! I sincerely appreciate your honest criticism. The fact that you listened & commented is more than I could ask for.

I have this to say on my site about the music:

The three movements (Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem) are, of course, integrated but, I did create each one to stand entirely on it’s own terms; as if each movement was a self-contained symphonic piece. The primary structure of each is: Introduction statements foreshadowing the two main issues to come later in the piece, which then follow, Struggle to attain the Value and Victory of the Value achieved. Thus, each movement’s Struggle section and themes are very dark, use minor-modes and chord progressions, and at times are so brutally intense they are mentally and physically exhaustive listening. The Victory sections and themes are, of course, a great contrast with their bright, glorious, open sounding major-modes and chord progressions. At times they are peaceful and serene, but more often they are pure hard-charging glory and thunder...

Obviously, whether or not I achieve these goals is up to every individual listener.

Thanks again, very much, for your time & thoughts.

Christopher Schlegel

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Thanks for the comments. Sometimes I can listen to a work and find it difficult to listen to, then come back to it a year later, possibly with a different performance, and enjoy it more. That happened to me with Rachmaninoff's Etudes, which at first sounded chaotic to me, then after listening to some of his easier to listen to works for a while, the Etudes made sense to me a year later.

My view on Alkan is positive, some of his works are very interesting, embracing melody and tonality yet being extremely different from peers like Chopin or Liszt.

It's too bad you can't get some of the orchestra time allocated to modern garbage up here in NY.

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Thanks for the comments. Sometimes I can listen to a work and find it difficult to listen to, then come back to it a year later, possibly with a different performance, and enjoy it more.

My pleasure. If you haven't already, you are welcome to download the music for future consumption. I might be taking it down in the near future (& possibly replacing it with another piece).

Found & listened to some Alkan (especially Concerto for Solo Piano); very good stuff, late classical, early romantic. I am assuming you are comparing my piece to his because of the hyper-kinetic-over-active-ness found in both! I had no idea this guy's music even existed; thanks very much. Melodically & harmonically, he's closer to Beethoven & Chopin; I've always thought my music closer to Liszt in that regard (angular, wide melodic scope & completely tonal, but more extened, complex harmonic structures). Although, Beethoven is my absolute favorite.

It's too bad you can't get some of the orchestra time allocated to modern garbage up here in NY.

Wow; thanks for the compliment. I would like that, too. So far, I have an impressive list of rejection letters from some of the finest orchestras in the US. I am currently finishing up a degree in music, hopefully with the "right credentials" I can get my foot in the door somewhere in the future.

Christopher Schlegel

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You are welcome. Thanks for listening & posting.

As I mentioned earlier, everyone is welcome to download the music for future consumption because I might be taking it down in the near future. I have hundreds of other pieces; some stylistcally similar & many others in a wide variety of differing genres.

I will probably make different pieces available in the future for free download to any interested Objectivists here on the forum.

Thanks again to everyone that replied. It is satisfying to be appreciated by people that sincerely share my values.

Christopher Schlegel

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  • 3 months later...

I've listened to all three movements. It is quite different from anything I have heard before, but this computer rendering limits its potential. I would like to hear it performed on state of the art orchestral samplers, or, if possible, a real symphony orchestra. Too much nuance is lost in this computer synthesizer version.

I know, "picky, picky, picky," but as an audiophile with an intense love of music that drove me to get involved with performing music for my own pleasure, I have lost the ability to simply enjoy without analyzing the technical aspects. Or perhaps I am spoiled by the Kurzweil K-series. :santa:

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Christopher Schlegel wrote:

"Wow; thanks for the compliment. I would like that, too. So far, I have an impressive list of rejection letters from some of the finest orchestras in the US. I am currently finishing up a degree in music, hopefully with the "right credentials" I can get my foot in the door somewhere in the future."

At last year's Objectivist conference in Wintergreen, I learned a very helpful little tidbit from David Berry (in private conversation -- I was unable to attend his classes):

For a relatively small amount of money, you can hire an orchestra to perform and record your work. But there's a catch: most US orchestras would charge a huge amount; but if you contract with an eastern European orchestra, many will do it cheaply. They're glutted with excellent talent from the days of Soviet state-supported arts, but without Soviet funding, many are cash-hungry.

I don't know what constitutes "relatively cheap", but I plan to look into this myself.

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I've listened to all three movements. It is quite different from anything I have heard before, but this computer rendering limits its potential. I would like to hear it performed on state of the art orchestral samplers, or, if possible, a real symphony orchestra. Too much nuance is lost in this computer synthesizer version.

I know, "picky, picky, picky," but as an audiophile with an intense love of music that drove me to get involved with performing music for my own pleasure, I have lost the ability to simply enjoy without analyzing the technical aspects. Or perhaps I am spoiled by the Kurzweil K-series. :confused:

I am well aware of the limitations of those current renderings. It was however the best I could do at the time. I recently purchased the Garritan Personal Orchestra Software. It uses high bit rate samples of real instruments; very impressive sounding!

I am currently at work converting all of my orchestral compositions. So, in the near future I should have audio objects that sound much better.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen & comment. I see you have links in your signature. I will listen soon during free time. I look forward to hearing your music.

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At last year's Objectivist conference in Wintergreen, I learned a very helpful little tidbit from David Berry (in private conversation -- I was unable to attend his classes):

For a relatively small amount of money, you can hire an orchestra to perform and record your work. But there's a catch: most US orchestras would charge a huge amount; but if you contract with an eastern European orchestra, many will do it cheaply. They're glutted with excellent talent from the days of Soviet state-supported arts, but without Soviet funding, many are cash-hungry.

I don't know what constitutes "relatively cheap", but I plan to look into this myself.

Thanks for the info. I have been in contact with several composers & musicians about these options myself. One excellent possible resource similar to what you mentioned is www.orchestra.net

They are cheap! $1695 per hour. That's quite amazing really compared to the amounts of $10-20K I have been quoted here in the states. But that still would leave me with only ONE recorded work. & for less than that price I have purchased the Garritan software & a huge, powerful new PC in order to run it. So now I can do all my works.

The orchestra.net option is one I will definitely consider in the future when I am ready to spend that kind of cash for one audio object. They do come well recommended from at least 2 people I have talked to that used them.

Thanks for your comments.

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I am well aware of the limitations of those current renderings.  It was however the best I could do at the time. I recently purchased the Garritan Personal Orchestra Software.  It uses high bit rate samples of real instruments; very impressive sounding!

I am currently at work converting all of my orchestral compositions.  So, in the near future I should have audio objects that sound much better.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen & comment.  I see you have links in your signature.  I will listen soon during free time.  I look forward to hearing your music.

I understand. And the work is quite impressive, despite the tools you had at your disposal.

Garritan is a good choice for orchestral work. However, it seems desceptively-inexpensive at first, until you start working on a project and find that you need to purchase additional libraries to obtain certain instruments you may need.

Garritan, and other Giga Sampler type libraries rely on large recorded samples of whole phrases in many instances, so you have to buy a large number of expressions to get the kind of performance you want, as opposed to the better hardware samplers which allow you to imbue the performance styles by modulating the samples in complex ways. It's challenging to work with software samplers for this reason; you have to string together the correct type of recordings, rather than perform it directly. It's a different approach. When done correctly, it can sound very good.

All of the music I have recorded so far on my own was done on hardware samplers with an extremely advanced set of algorithms for controlling expression. Creating music, and arranging music is a very deep pleasure!

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I understand. And the work is quite impressive, despite the tools you had at your disposal.

Thanks for the compliment. I squeezed all I could out of my old Korg X5 (& a small mountain of outboard FX!). Several people have said, "Get better sounds happening, man!" after noticing that my compositions are interesting & original BUT my equipment wasn't doing it much justice.

Garritan is a good choice for orchestral work. However, it seems desceptively-inexpensive at first, until you start working on a project and find that you need to purchase additional libraries to obtain certain instruments you may need.

Well, so far so good. I am still climbing the program's learning curve. Mostly, it fit in my budget more than any other package. & no matter what happens, it's still better than what I had!

It's challenging to work with software samplers for this reason; you have to string together the correct type of recordings, rather than perform it directly. It's a different approach. When done correctly, it can sound very good.

It's tricky, that much is true. But to me learning this stuff is more of a means than an end. I want to HEAR the orchestral stuff I write. So I have to toy around with all this nifty gear. LOL.

Creating music, and arranging music is a very deep pleasure!

Ain't that the truth?!

Also, your line about it being "quite different from anything" you've heard before was interesting. I regard my music as stylistically original. I am influenced by Classical/Romantic composers (Beethoven is my personal fave/hero for example). But I have tried to strike out a new path of my own. Thanks for noticing.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks again to everyone that responded (on this thread & privately) concerning my music. I intended to take the current symphony down, but I am still getting hits on it from other places. So, for now, it stays.

I am currently in the process of re-rendering all of my orchestral works using Gerritan Personal Orchestra. It is an amazing program! I recently completed re-doing a whole work in this manner. It still needs some work & touching up. But I think even in it's present "demo/working stage" form I'm ready to unleash it on the world! It's an older work of mine, Symphony #4 in F Major.

Anyone interested in hearing it can contact me in this thread, by PM, or e-mail. I will respond privately with a link to the web address where the music lives.

Thanks & happy listening-

Christopher Schlegel

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Thanks again to everyone that responded (on this thread & privately) concerning my music. I intended to take the current symphony down, but I am still getting hits on it from other places. So, for now, it stays.

I am currently in the process of re-rendering all of my orchestral works using Gerritan Personal Orchestra. It is an amazing program! I recently completed re-doing a whole work in this manner. It still needs some work & touching up. But I think even in it's present "demo/working stage" form I'm ready to unleash it on the world! It's an older work of mine, Symphony #4 in F Major.

Anyone interested in hearing it can contact me in this thread, by PM, or e-mail. I will respond privately with a link to the web address where the music lives.

Thanks & happy listening-

Christopher Schlegel

I would like to hear it. Could you send the link to my eMail please? Thanks!

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Thanks Christopher Schlegel for the music. I enjoyed listening to the earlier version. Nice stuff.

I also recently got Garritan Personal Orchestra, and am only just getting into learning about it. If you are very knowledgeable about it, would you consider a couple private lessons? Contacting me via e-mail if this is possible. Thanks.

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