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Scarlet Nightfall


by

composerclark

 Genre: Classical

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Description
This is the second of two Scarlatti-influenced piece composed for pianist Kristina Szutor, who will be recording an CD of this and other contemporary Scarlatti-influenced compositions in 2010. Like practically all Scarlatti sonatas, the form here is ||: A :||: B :||, and I decided to observe the sectional repeats in this recording, unlike my previous one.

The piano sound is the Steinway from Kontakt2.

The great majority of Domenico Scarlatti's professional life was spent on the Iberian peninsula, most of it in Spain, where he had five children, composed most of his single-movement harpsichord sonatas, and became familiar with flamenco music, the influence of which can be heard in some of his sonatas.

I had therefore planned Scarlet Nightfall as a kind of fantasy based on flamenco-like scales (for example, phrygian mode with the possibility of raised third and seventh degrees), but I decided in progress to make it an even-more overt homage to Scarlatti by quoting four bars of his Sonata in B minor (K. 27, transposed to A minor) that use a chord progression known as a "fandango," much associated with the music of Spain: Am - G - F - E, in 3/4 time. This quoted passage is also remarkable for the use of hand-crossings (left hand crossing above the right), an uncommon technique for the time it was written, and I based several other sections of my composition on Scarlatti's fandango material as well.

Here's a link to my first Scarlatti-based piece, in case you missed it: Scarlet Daybreak.
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Song Stats
Hits: 4639
Comments: 50
Fans: 30
Plays: 109
Downloads: 116
Votes: 5
Uploaded: Aug 22, 2009 - 04:42:59 AM
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2010 - 06:50:04 PM Last Played: Jan 29, 2017 - 03:20:34 AM
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Comments
Feter said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Scarlet Nightfall
THis is impressive by the way of the tense
the piano trying to show from the first ..
there s kinda forze on specific places ...
then the change into scarlati taste is a real
genius touch ...ye I can relate with what you ve
been saying about flamenco ...this is not just
brilliant written but the melody is there so
strong ...kudos ...thnx alot for sharin !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks so much for your kind words, Feter! I am glad you could hear the flamenco bits in there. Cheers!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ren-Tin-10 said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Piandango!
Great playing, all-around great tune.

Fav'd.

Cheers,
Jim
Check out my latest song called (Re)Imagination Challenge - Hooked on Schubert
composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for the kind words, Jim! This is a MIDI rendering of the piece, straight from Finale 2007, using the Steinway on Kontakt2, but I am pleased that you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
magnatone said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Scarlet Nightfall
are you even REAL???? It's ONE thing if you are SO talented that you can PLAY Scarlatti, it's a whole OTHER thing, if additionally, you can COMPOSE in the style of the guy. There are about two things Scarlatti ever wrote that I could pretend to play without the room breaking out in guffaws. This is AWESOMELY impressive!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for your enthusiastic comment, Karen! To answer you question, sadly, no; I am not real, unfortunately. I am the kind of person that nobody remembers meeting. "Who the heck are you," people say when they meet me at parties, "and what are you doing at this party?" Moments later, after explaining to them that I am at the party by accident — I zigged, when I should have zagged, essentially — they often say, "how do you do? And what are you doing at this party? And in such shabby clothes!?" So you see, reality and I do not coexist peacefully.

Also, I should just point out that I can only play a small number of Scarlatti sonatas on piano or guitar, but this is certainly not one of them! Oh, and those that I do play, I play badly!

But all that aside, while your enthusiasm has made my day!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
musichead said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
yeah
pretty much what Karen said......I could and did listen a few times...very nice!
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composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks thanks thanks! Very nice of you to have a listen and leave a comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Scott Carmichael said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
way Impressive Professor
it must be summer break... we get some delicious Ross Clark treats..

deep and sincere bow
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composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Scott! You are both the cat's pyjamas and the cat's meow, so I really value your comments!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Scott Carmichael said 2955 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Hey Clark
hope the "fighting with paparazzi" is going well.... I imagine that you keep your classes laughing...
Check out my latest song called Dogwood
kristyjo said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Nicely done
And I'm impressed with the sound you got right out of Finale. The quoted theme brings it into focus for me. There's a nice variety of tonal progressions. I like the structure, because it brings those back around again to 'chew' on. Very impressive composition, composer!
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composerclark said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Kristyjo… I was very pleased with the sound out of Finale too… this was the first time I had managed to get Kontakt2 to work with finale; I had just been using some relatively cheesy-quality sounds for years, even though I had Kontakt 2, because I couldn't get Kontakt 2 to work 'till recently.

Thanks so much for having a listen and leaving a comment!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Cori Ander said 2956 days ago (August 22nd, 2009)
So good I am three fans !!!
This one is soo good that I followed musichead's example and made myself three fans of it!

Such an exciting, wonderful and interesting composition! Lots happening all the time — sometimes we are clearly sitting beside J.S. Bach .. the next second we are in the 21:st century. Yet it doesn't feel sought out contruated. Rather I get the feeling you move perfectly natural in this rich and variating landscape. It is exciting in a comfortable way to be here.

This is gonna be a very interesting record!
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composerclark said 2953 days ago (August 24th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Johannes! I agree, I think it will be a very interesting and appealing CD, based on some of the other music that I have already heard from the CD. Kristina's office is next to mine, so I get to hear her practicing the music. I am very pleased that you were able to hear this!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Bowman said 2954 days ago (August 24th, 2009)
Love
the rise and fall of this work Clark. Lots of playfulness.
3 listens each one hearing and enjoying more. Love the fandango and the Bachlike passages. A wonderful fusion of styles and a great challenge - and I'm sure joy - to play.
Cheers,
Charlie
Check out my latest song called A FISTFUL OF PENNIES
composerclark said 2953 days ago (August 24th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Charlie! You picked up on exactly what I was going for, which was to play with hugely anachronistically different styles… The beginning of the second half suddenly veers into atonality, then just as suddenly jumps back into tonality again… For some bizarre, reason, all these different styles sound to me like they get along just fine, but I have no idea why.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
lengold said 2953 days ago (August 25th, 2009)
I know
absolutely zilch about classical music. But between yourself and another couple of people here on MJ's I am starting to listen to and appreciate more and more. This is spectacular!
Are you saying that this was played straight from a score somehow imported into midi format. Amazing. Would a real pianist sound better than this? It doesn't sound at all mechanical to me.
Thanks for the lesson and great listen.

...and er... where is the loop?

Cheers
Len

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
composerclark said 2950 days ago (August 28th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment. I am always pleased to hear the thoughts of listeners who may not know much about classical music, but who just love music, since I never feel I am writing music that only "specialists" can appreciate.

Yes, this is recorded straight from the score in Finale, using a sampled grand piano. And yes, a real pianist would ideally sound better, because a talented human is capable of playing with considerably more sensitivity. But I do appreciate your comment that it doesn't sound mechanical, because that was certainly what I was hoping for!

The "loop", or the beginning of the repeated "A" section, is at 1:50 (the "A" section has first and second endings, the first of which is a brief retransition back to the key of the beginning; this is omitted in the repeat of the "A" section). The repetition of the "B" section begins at about 3:37.

Thanks again Len!

Clark
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
lengold said 2950 days ago (August 28th, 2009)
Actually Clark...
I didn't realise there was a loop - I was joking because most of the other songs being posted at that time were for the LOLI challenge.
Very interesting to know that you did use a loop within this though.
Cheers
Len
Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
Daugrin said 2951 days ago (August 27th, 2009)
Red Sky at Night Sailor's Delight
Great sailing on this outing! My attention span is so poor. I think I heard the crossing passages, that's an accomplishment for me CC! I appreciate your notes too, it helps me prepare to listen.
I doubt you need encouragement but let me heap some on ya! Thanks for sharing your work with us!

Daug
Check out my latest song called Lian-Hau Lotus
composerclark said 2950 days ago (August 28th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for the listen and comment, Daug! I'm glad you liked it. I really liked your "Big Hat Party"!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Keith O. Edwards said 2950 days ago (August 28th, 2009)
Calendar of Voids
You're right -- this does resemble Scarlatti. On the plane from Singapore, I was drinking bourbon, and the only decent music on the headphones was that of the late Les Paul, and that of 'Nick Scarlatti.

In my temulence, I began giggling at the cleverness of ol' Nick's music, and I since became a Scarlatti fan.

Your piece is nearly as ingenious. In pain of envy, I must admit that yours is the finest classical piece here.

Check out my latest song called The Perfectionist
composerclark said 2950 days ago (August 28th, 2009)
Thanks
Temulence! There's a word that one rarely encounters any more, which is odd because there can never be enough synonyms for intoxication.

I am pleased that you enjoyed the music. I posted the first of my Scarlatti-inspired piano compositions a week ago, should you be interested in having a listen: Scarlet Daybreak. It starts out in a decidedly non-Scarlattian way, but the Domenico influences soon begin to be manifested…
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ed Hannifin said 2948 days ago (August 30th, 2009)
So...Clark...
DON'T post things while I'm away, okay? Just don't....

I don't know what kind of convoluted compositional cleverness people need to exhibit to get noticed in the world of modern classical music, but to my unsophisticated brain, this is brilliant. I can't understand why I can even KNOW you, a little, and why you aren't hob-nobbing with kings and queens and other hobnobable people... I don't get that... I'M supposed to be recognized for my lumpen wit and cleverness after my death... YOU are of the cailber that they oughta be naming concert halls after you and publishing ghostwritten accounts of your lurid private life in which it is wondered between the lines how you managed to come up with such brilliance while coping with so much scandal...

Not only does this seem to have structure and genius and points of reference and all that, but the recording really sounds alive and resonant and human...

It could be a very effective advertisement for the capabilities of MIDI and Finale and Kontakt, too... SOMEBODY, were the world a fair and measured place (more about my beefs on that score at another time), should be writing you a check...

And once that happens, well, remember the little people... I will gratefully accept an invitation to visit you at your summer palazzo...

Ed
composerclark said 2946 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
THANKS!
Wow Ed, you TOTALLY are over the top here, and I am eternally in your debt for it. Just send me an invoice, ok? I'll have my accounts payable people look after it. Soon. For sure. Uh huh…

You have made my day/week/possibly longer!

As to why my music is not more widely known, I don't know exactly, but in the mean time, it sure is great to receive encouragement from you, and all my MacJammer friends!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
sschedra said 2947 days ago (August 30th, 2009)
This is my favorite
. . . of the two Scarlet pieces. Of course they are both incredible so maybe I am doing the wrong thing playing favorites. This is one piece that I would really appreciate hearing performed live.
Many kudos and wows,
Stephen
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composerclark said 2946 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
Thanks
Thank you, Stephen! I'd like to hear this live too, and hopefully I will at some point in the next few months. If I get a recording and permission to do so, I will post it here. It's great to discover your music!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Ibstrat said 2946 days ago (August 31st, 2009)
If Scarlatti
had taken some lessons from Chick Corea it might have sounded a bit like this.Absolutely brilliant-you are my favorite contemporary composer!
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composerclark said 2946 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks Mark! I always appreciate your support. Ever hear Chick Corea playing the Goldberg Variations? I wouldn't be surprised if he plays some Scarlatti too.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 2946 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Well, shoot...
...this sounds pretty danged good, thar, Mr. Clark...

Just back from 2 weeks in the backwoods of Vermont. This is seriously great. As I told you before: I love Scarlatti. This seems to be a bit closer to the mainstream than Scarlet Daybreak (imho). Maybe because of the flamenco influence (which is really beautifully woven throughout, here.

Wonderful piece, Clark. Bravo!!
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
composerclark said 2945 days ago (September 2nd, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for the compliment, Bob. I hope you had a great time in Vermont. I just got back from a week on Cape Cod and had a wonderful time… big family reunion.

Your comment about this being closer to the mainstream than Scarlet Daybreak is interesting… I think I know what you mean, but I'm not sure… There is a part that begins the B section (3:37) that jumps into atonality for a few bars, before coming back to some kind of tonality or modality that is at the root of most of the piece.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
guitapick said 2945 days ago (September 2nd, 2009)
Well...
...after thinking about it a bit, I think my familiarity with the flamenco form makes it seem more mainstream.

Cape Cod's beautiful. Glad you had fun.
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
paul f. page said 2942 days ago (September 4th, 2009)
At about...
3:25 there is a speck of dust that just destroys this entire composition for me. I don't know how you could let that get by. Maybe you spent too much time on all those amazing runs that are so clearly detailed. Or maybe you just got too caught up in having so much fun with all the counterpoint that you forgot to clean up the mess you left behind. (After all: this IS JUST a two-part invention!!!)... And, Ed pretty much took all the rest of my comments (smart a_ _). This composition and the performance just blows me away. Professor, a great bow. Nice to hear some class around here.
Peace.
Paul
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composerclark said 2942 days ago (September 5th, 2009)
Thanks
That speck of dust serves a purpose similar to the pea in "The Princess and the Pea"; I wanted to find out who was royalty around here, and now we know!. Now that you have passed this test, I will have my team of bio-hazard engineers remove it. The dust, that is.…

No, but seriously folks… Thanks for the kind words, Paul!
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
tonestones said 2941 days ago (September 5th, 2009)
Beyond great
I'm relatively new to MacJams and I missed this gem until now. This is inspirational. I love it. Why doesn't the Kontakt Steinway sound this good for me??
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composerclark said 2941 days ago (September 6th, 2009)
Thanks
Maybe you're not hitting it hard enough? :-)

I'm very new to Kontakt, so I can't really say exactly why it came out sounding as it did, but I would guess that it has something to do with (a) the fact that my Finale score had lots of articulations and dynamics, and (b) it was written to be played by humans, as opposed to some of my electronic pieces where I might have a piano part that can't actually be played by a human, but it's there because I just like the sound of it… Probably more of (a) than (b), though.

In any event, I really appreciate your comment, and I have just left comments for your last two songs, which I very much enjoyed!

A belated welcome to MacJams! I look forward to hearing lots more of your music.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
richard13 said 2940 days ago (September 7th, 2009)
Great!
Now that the folks who know what they're talking about (musically) have left their interesting and erudite comments, along comes me to say simply: wow! This is very good Clark, to my ears, and an enjoyable listen. Thanks for the listen and the d/l.
Cheers, Richard
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composerclark said 2940 days ago (September 7th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks for leaving a comment Richard, and I'm pleased to meet you! Just left a comment for "Glorious Noise," which I really enjoyed.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
VicDiesel said 2935 days ago (September 12th, 2009)
Keyboard technique
Didn't know that hand crossing was new in his day, but somehow had to invent it.... There is one Goldberg variation that requires two manuals; maybe handcrossing grew out of that sort of harpsichord virtuoso tricks?

Fandango? Second thing I learned: that this chord progression has a name. (Have you ever seen the movie Fandango with Kevin Costner? Has a good fandango dance scene towards the end.)

Anyway, your "fusion" music as always much enjoyed.

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thoddi said 2934 days ago (September 13th, 2009)
Oh yeah
Although this is quite far from any genre I usually listen to, I can certainly appreciate the lively energy that pours out through my speakers as you run your fingers over the ivory... or I guess it's plastic these days;)

I attended a guitar clinic recently with Robben Ford. One of the things I picked up from him was to listen to musicians playing other genres than what I normally would listen to. Getting inspiration from the chords, scales and melody lines you choose, and adapting them into my world of soul/blues could be an interesting challenge for me...

BRAVO!! You sure are a top, pro musician. Sounded very confident and strong.
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composerclark said 2933 days ago (September 13th, 2009)
Thanks
Thanks so much for your kind comment. I remember reading your Forum post about how excited you were to be going to a Robin Ford clinic, so I checked out a bunch of his stuff and found that he is a truly superlative musician. I'm glad to hear that he advises people to listen to music of many genres, because I strongly believe in the value of this as well. Or maybe, in my case, it's more a matter of liking/loving so many genres that I could never choose just one to listen to.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Parichayaka said 2928 days ago (September 18th, 2009)
Where to begin...
Compositions like that make me wish I had more formal training so that I could write an informed comment admiring your art. It really is a generous gift to not only offer your music, but also describe in detail the process involved in composing this. I was listening to this a few times, trying to understand the form and various aspects of the composition. I would love to hear a live recording of this, since I can only imagine the added depth a talented pianist (given the difficulty of this piece, I'd say talent is not going to be enough!) would bring to the fore. I hope you will keep posting your accomplishments here on MJ, not enough good things can be said about your music.
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Giusepppe said 2926 days ago (September 20th, 2009)
inspiration in front of the piano
Good execution, elegance in the form, arriving at the baroque one by a second.
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Doug Somers said 2910 days ago (October 7th, 2009)
This work demanded several listenings
The weaving between complexity, simplicty, referenced and new styles, ringing flourishes and Bach like left hand patterns forms an altogether thoroughly engaging piece. The first listen I'll admit I was engrossed in 'how did he do put this together?' and after the 6th I started to just appreciate the magic that was revealed in each phrase.

Wonderful creation!

Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
shavingronaldscar said 2901 days ago (October 16th, 2009)
blargh!
this is verrrry nice! Not a classical buff, so I'm just going to leave it at that. :P
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Scorpjammer said 2836 days ago (December 19th, 2009)
Mystery solved...
FANDANGO... Thanks for educating me on the basis of many a Latin tune, from flamenco to salsa. Being Latin (mostly American), I should know this. I'm sure I have cousins in P.R. that were taught this in kindergarten. :)

Awesome performance and splendido composition... Gotta be those Venezuelan roots!

Thanks so much for sharing your talent and work.

E:)
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BirdmanWayne94 said 2724 days ago (April 11th, 2010)
Oh my...
... this is incredible. One of the finest compositions I've heard anywhere.

I'm in awe at your ability to accomplish such a level of 'complexness' in composition, yet it can be smoothly translated.

I, too, can hear the flamenco influence. I downloaded this piece and will hopefully one day get to 'study' it because I'm sure it'll give me ideas about guitar playing... it already inspired me!

You're a master! Thank you for this generous offer. And I can hardly wait for the actual live recording of this piece...
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867-5309 said 2679 days ago (May 25th, 2010)
this is so fun - rubato
A Major with nice flat 2nd scales - mix well with the higher C# thirds - and kerr-plunking offsets between left and right hand - your slight intentional time offset permits each hand to be therefore - featured - more clearly - in that each hand is independently rubato - a journey of nicely resolving dissonance. A catchy exposition and quiet ghost mimic taking place in certain brief phrases within your opening (kind of a question/answer) with the subject. I am now copping (memorizing) the first 30 seconds or so of your song by ear - on this Baldwin Hamilton Grand here at home - this is so tastey and enticing to me and right up my alley - it is good practice for me ! I like your song and it's apparent shift of players midsteam - a tough feat well accomplished within Scarlet Nightfall.
...............................................
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Social_Ice said 2668 days ago (June 5th, 2010)
brilliante...
brilliante...
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Name: Composition Blog
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I've been teaching music composition and music theory at an east-coast university for 23 years, where I have also taught classical guitar and electronic music. I've been writing music for about 38 years, and still haven't figured out what I'm doing,... [see more]

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