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Virtal is mainly classical music for virtual orchestra instruments with minimalism, serialism, impressionism and romantism. The project started in 2008 with the first pieces of string quartet.




[2015-08-02] The Cloud

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In this piece I use new approach to harmonic structure: first decide the movement of one voice (choosing first note of a chord), then select a chord that includes this note, then find other voices for chord using voice leading. I tend to choose chords, that are not dominants or subdominants of surrounding chords and are far from surrounding chords in terms of circle of fifths. This leads to a constantly developing harmony without standard resolutions.

After building harmonic structure this way, I add note changes and sometimes add melodies.

I tended to avoid progressions and finishing tonic chords at the end of harmonic structures.

I used two new libraries here, both with their internal convolution reverbs. For Session strings I used default 1+2 contemporary production sections with closer sound, but increased reverb mix to 60%. Dynamics balance between two libraries was close to ideal and I just decreased Clarinet by -1.5 db.

Session strings is a powerful library with small to medium sized string orchestra (no solo). Although some transitions do not sound good, you always can choose different types (legato, portamento, glissando) and usually one of them sounds very good. Sometimes I had to decrease CC1 dynamics near legato transitions or separate notes to make transitions more smooth. I used only legato/tremolo/portamento/glissando/staccato/spiccato here. So there are many more articulations to explore in the library.

I use many glissando transitions in strings, because in this library it is difficult to achieve smoothness of some transitions other ways without decreasing dynamics or separating notes. On the other hand, glissandos sound good in this library.

I did not find second violins, so I just stereo inverted+panned first violins.

While sequencing this piece I was thinking a lot about cresc-dim vs dim-cresc dynamics curves of long notes. I used cresc-dim at the beginning of the phrases most of the time, but preferred dim-cresc for long notes inside phrases. This guaranteed smooth dynamics, at the same time eliminating long note fatigue with dim-cresc.

Chris Hines Clarinet is a good solo library with a lot of parameters, resembling Sample modeling in some aspects. I liked possibility to control noise, transition speed, accent control, pre-recorded short notes of different length, 6 velocity layers. This library feels closer to samples and real recordings, but lacks some physical-mathematical tools of Sample modeling like timbre, random vibrato and temperament.

Air noise level in CH Clarinet does not depend on current crossfade dynamics level, so you need to either correct it dynamically with another CC or set it low enough not to interfere with the piece. Without these corrections air noise will decrease realism in dynamic solo parts.

Sometimes crossfading sounds limited when you start from the lowest or highest dynamics (no big problem).

No randomization used.

Chris Hein - Winds (Woodwinds)
Native Instruments - Session Strings (Strings)



[2015-07-05] Trio from the new world

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In this track, like in others this year I am moving from the concept of simple repetitions, that I often used in the previous tracks. Now if I reuse any material, I modify it, making the whole piece not only a meditative pleasure full of repeats, but also more rich in information, when listening to every minute brings something new.

In the sheet music I highlighted notes that were creating dissonances with red and notes that were not used in any dissonances with green.

The other new concept in this track is the inversion of classical harmonic principle: I tend to use dissonances for downbeat and long times, while allowing some consonances in passing notes.

When composing this track I created a first voice (flute or violin) and then built other voices adding consonances or dissonances.

Here I use three new libraries, each of them producing interesting new sound. You can hear, that cello plays soft legato notes exclusively (limitation of the library). Other two libraries show staccato and accents.

All three libraries support legato speed control and thus needed a lot of tweaking of note starts. The result is plenty of hand-shifted note starts, creating a more live groove.

Spitfire Flute Consort includes three short note lengths, which is not very common in today's libraries and which sounds realistic.

8dio adagio violin has many different legato types, which decreases machinegun effect significantly.

Tina Guo library is very melodious and does not need much additional CC dynamics tuning for long notes. I had to move cello notes to the left more than other instruments because of long attacks. Yet cello still sounds a little bit after the tempo. I did not correct it further, because bass in large spaces can be delayed.

All three libraries sounded good to me, although I missed cello accents when it played solo or shorts. I used 2C Aether for violin and frullato flute. Main flute uses T/A/O mics. Cello uses IR reverb, that is included in the library.

8dio - Adagio Strings (Strings) [Violin]
Cinesamples - Tina Guo Cello (Strings)
Spitfire - Flute Consort (Woodwinds)



[2015-06-14] Hamlet Quartet

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This string quartet seems an important stage of my musical development. This is the first time I achieved atonal quality writing each note and interval consciously without using serial techniques like retrograde inversions.

This is also the first time I avoid melody thickening with constant intervals. In the first part I use dissonant intervals (major second, major or minor seventh, tritone) while avoiding parallel voice movements and keeping orchestral density. The rhythm of the voices is synchronized about 70% of the time. The main melody starts pentatonic and later is transposed and converted to diatonic, becoming chromatic in the end. When violin starts to play solo, I create a new 12-tone melody from the first melody, that it was playing in the beginning.

In the second part, which sounds most consonant and rock style, I prefer perfect 4th and 5th, but also use other intervals, gradually using more dissonant intervals to the end of the part. The rhythm of higher voices is very synchronized, while cello creates a separate accompanying rhythm using pedal tone.

In the third part I use all 12 notes to build melody with tritone and 7th leaps, diatonic scales and chromaticism. When the second violin comes in, I add dissonating intervals, while avoiding parallel voice movements and keeping orchestral density. The rhythm of the voices is synchronized about 50% of the time.

In this track I use four different solo instrument libraries without native reverberation (LA for violin2, Spitfire for viola), later panning them and adding common 2C Aether reverb. Libraries used:

Spitfire Audio - Solo Strings, Sable (Strings)
Embertone - Friedlander violin (Strings)
Audiobro - LA Scoring Strings (Strings)
Embertone - Blakus Cello (Strings)



[2015-06-08] Visions of Yesterday

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I used some ideas of Richard Strauss in the first minute of the piece. Piece has generally homophonic texture with diatonic melodies, which rarely change to atonal polyphonic texture. Most of phrases are short. Instruments use is sparce and free, leading to situation when some instruments play only in 2-3 places of the piece (this is the first time I do not try to balance instruments use).

The first part is evocative, has high dynamics, syncopations, homophonic texture. The second part is hazy, thoughtful. The last part sounds more chamber and introduces atonality and polyrhythm.

Most of the libraries used in this track were created by Cinesamples. I was glad to use these easy to use libraries, which blend good with each other, being recorded in the same space. They do not always sound good with fast melodies, but it is a problem of most orchestral libraries today.

Cinesamples - CinePerc (Percussion)
Cinesamples - CineBrass (Brass)
Cinesamples - CineStrings (Strings)
Cinesamples - CineHarp (Strings)
Cinesamples - CineWinds (Woodwinds)
Realsamples - Dulcitone Celesta (Piano)
Soundiron - Voice of Gaia: Strawberry (Vocal)
8dio - Requiem (Vocal)



[2015-05-16] Orchestra House

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My first house (electronic dance music) track written exclusively for orchestral instruments. The idea was to use only real instruments and real sound effects without any heavy processing except for equalizing, reverb and limiting.

I used several new ideas like violin groups alternation, wavy violins playing, echo emulation by changing instrument, opposite hairpins to create timbre changes resembling LPF/HPF, string effects.

Bass drum and timpani are from Spitfire HZ01. Cymbals are from HOP. All other percussion is from Spitfire Percussion Redux:

Embertone - Friedlander violin (Strings)
Sample modeling - Woodwinds (Woodwinds)
Sample modeling - Brass (Brass)
Spitfire Audio - Solo Strings, Sable (Strings)
Cinematic Strings (Strings)
Embertone - Blakus Cello (Strings)
EastWest - Hollywood Orchestral Percussion (Percussion) [Cymbals]
Spitfire - Percussion Redux, HZ01 (Percussion)



[2015-04-20] Staircase 107

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My first minimal-atonal piano concerto for three quality piano libraries: Fazioli (intro and lower part), Alicia's Keys (higher part and finale), Mavericks. Each library has its own reverberation. The idea is that three pianos are played in a single hall:

Imperfect Samples - FAZIOLI Ebony Concert Grand (Piano)
Native Instruments - Alicia's Keys (Piano)
Native Instruments - The Maverick (Piano)



[2014-12-21] Black moon

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Alternative opera for alto, soprano, strings and kalimba. Soprano vocal part is difficult, while alto is singable. This is my first project in Reaper and you can find a little information on migrating from Cubase to Reaper in my video tutorials on youtube. Libraries used:

Realitone - Realivox - The Ladies (Vocal)
Orange Tree Samples - Grand Kalimba (Percussion)
Audiobro - LA Scoring Strings (Strings)



[2014-11-25] Gnome Forest

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Composition for a woodwind quintet using Sample modeling instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon). Starts with folclore theme and then travels into minimalism.



[2014-11-23] One day on the Red planet

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Composition for 6 french horns and orchestral percussion in romantic style with elements of minimalism and film music. For horn 2c-Aether reverb was used. For percussion equal portions of stage and far mics were used. Libraries used:

Sample modeling - Brass (Brass)
ProjectSAM - True Strike (Percussion)



[2014-10-18] Samurai

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This is a demo track created totally using EastWest Hollywood Orchestra Percussion. In introduction I used some gong bowing.



[2014-09-30] Gold

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This is a demo track created totally using EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra (Play edition).



[2014-08-03] What Does The Bible Say About Purgatory

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Used libraries: Sample Modeling (all woodwinds and brass), Spittfire Sable (strings), Soundiron Voice of Rapture: The Soprano, Soundiron Mars, Spitfire Hanz Zimmer Percussion (timpani).

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-07-27] Church Legends

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Sample Modeling Trumpet 2.52. Hauptwerk Pipe Organ - St. Anne's, Moseley.

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-07-06] Rufabgo

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For piccolo flute, flute, alto flute and bass flute. Using Sample Modeling Flutes. I decided to use only Flutes and only Sample Modeling reverb.

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-06-21] Water Conflict

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For orchestra. Using 10 libraries, mainly percussion and phrases:

Percussion:
Nine Volt Taiko -- Taiko, Gong, Metals, Sticks, Shouts
Spitfire Percussion -- Bass drum, snare drum
Spitfire Hans Zimmer Percussion HZ01 - Anvils
OT Timpani - Timpani
CinePerc -- Monster Low Hits, Monster Swooshes, Full Ensemble Hits

Effects and phrases:
OT Symphonic Sphere -- String sweeps
OT Orchestra String Runs -- Runs builder
OT Berlin Woodwinds -- Runs builder
NI Action Strings -- Warlords revenge, Conquerers, Bulgarian, Titan's shadow, Basic
General:
CineBrass -- Trumpets, Horns, Trombones, Tuba

Natural reverberation of each library was used.

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-05-26] Brass Pictures

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For solo trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba. Using SM Brass.

You can see Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-05-16] Ancient Disbalance

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For piccolo and 3 flutes. Using Berlin Woodwinds (1.6 and EXPB). Baroque and minimalism.

You can see MIDITrail visualization on youtube.



[2014-05-11] Rampant Elegance

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For piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, english horn, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon. Using Berlin Woodwinds (1.6, EXPA and EXPB). Some ideas of Prokofiev were used.

You can see MIDITrail visualization on youtube.



[2014-05-03] Morning Waltz

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Violin sonata. Instruments used: Friedlander Violin, Emotion piano, Altiverb (single reverberation for both dry instruments).

You can see WhiteCap visualization, Kontakt visualization and Cubase visualization on youtube.



[2014-04-19] Wake Up

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String quartet. This is my first work with Spitfire Sable (123) and Solo strings. I alternate between group and solo samples in this piece. Style is rock and romantic.

You can see WhiteCap visualization on youtube.



[2014-04-12] Frozen Field

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Chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass). I developed approaches, that I first used in Day Night Day.

I recorded an 8-hour video while setting up the samples of this piece. It is available in Russian here.

You can see video with sheet music on youtube. EWQLSO.



[2014-03-15] Day Night Day

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Chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass). I used some new atonal approaches first and some elements of Richard Strauss style.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 03:25



[2014-02-24] Spring Sacrifice

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Chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass) in modern russian style.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll and with pitch class wheel on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 04:33



[2014-02-23] Comet

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This is one of my pieces for chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass) in ambient style.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 05:00



[2014-02-22] Flying Town

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This is one of my first pieces for chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass). It is in rock style.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll and with part motion on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 03:44



[2014-02-21] Pursuit

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This is one of my first pieces for chamber orchestra (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 violins, Viola, Cello, Double bass). It is in rock style.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 04:32

Comments by Morpeheus:

Для удовольствия переслушал Pursuit - не перестану повторять, круто! Проанализировав его внимательно, понял, что мне нравится! - отдельные, сочные, четко отличающиеся друг от друга блоки ритма. Четкая структура, композиция. Все просто и понятно, но в то же время разнообразно и эмоционально.

Попробуй-ка не обратить внимания на Pursuit. Музыка хватает тебя за шею и волочит куда ей надо, не спросясь. Не говоря уже о том, что местами я слышу в Pursuit приемчики моего любимого Disassemble :)

Из роковых композиций Pursuit, пожалуй, стал моим любимым :) И кстати в конце там тоже туповатые повторения ритма основной темы, но они удачно разбиты паузами, снижением громкости в финале и всякой мелочью, которая позволяет отвлечься от основной линии ритма.

Pursuit по-прежнему одна из моих самых-самых любимых, несмотря на простоту (а может и благодаря ей) Блестящий символизм и образность, прекрасное создание напряжения, ощущение игры в прятки в середине и т.д. Гениально!




[2013-12-18] Walker (live)

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Walker performed live by Fratres quartet in Vermel club, Moscow.

Unfortunately, quartet was replaced three days before the performance and musicians had almost no time for rehearsal. This is why there are some shortcomings in the performance, but generally it is ok. EWQLSO. Len: 11:47



[2013-09-08] Walker

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This string quartet consists of 11 parts. Each part is created in a specific style and all parts are connected with transitions. Most styles go in a historical order.

You can see video with sheet music and with piano roll on youtube. EWQLSO. Len: 12:46



[2013-08-14] Run

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Strangely, Run was originally composed for a starting 3Harp project, for melodica and 4 harmonicas. Later, it was rescored for a woodwind sextet (2 flutes, oboe, english horn, clarinet, bassoon).

It was my first try for woodwinds. Samples are from EWQLSO (all solo, 3 microphone positions). In this piece I used some quartet techniques, 12-tone serial and non-serial technique and some DSCH/BACH magic :) Len: 04:03



[2013-07-13] Interstellar - 1. Dark crusade

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Interstellar String Quartet was created for the contest of works for string quartet in the first half of 2013 year.

The main idea of the quartet is mixing of late romantic approach with minimalism, impressionism, expressionism and rock music.

EWQLSO solo strings were used. Len: 05:44



[2013-07-12] Interstellar - 2. Winter assault

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Len: 02:23



[2013-07-11] Interstellar - 3. Survivors

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Len: 03:06



[2013-07-10] Interstellar - 4. Interstellar

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Len: 02:47



[2013-07-09] Interstellar - 5. Sands

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Len: 02:56



[2013-07-08] Interstellar - 6. Flight

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Len: 02:29



[2013-07-07] Interstellar - 7. Soulstorm

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Len: 01:41



[2013-02-26] Castle

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Composition for Brass quintet: 2 x Trumpets, Trombone, Horn, Tuba. Style is rock/noise/minimal. EWQLSO. Len: 03:06



[2013-02-25] Iron Lord

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Composition for Brass quintet: 2 x Trumpets, Trombone, Horn, Tuba. Style is rock. EWQLSO. Len: 02:31



[2013-02-14] Silent Hints (live)

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Live performance of the piece by Fratres Quartet in Shokoladnaya Fabrika club, Moscow. Len: 02:34



[2013-02-14] Falling From The Window (live)

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Live performance of the piece by Fratres Quartet in Shokoladnaya Fabrika club, Moscow. Len: 01:50



[2012-12-11] Alien Annihilation

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Composition for brass instruments and orchestra percussion: Trumpets, Trombones, Horns, Tuba, Timpani, Bass drum, Snare drum, Cymbals, Anvil.

This was the only composition that I did not write sheet music for. I created it entirely in cubase DAW, although I felt some difficulty writing the final melody without the staves. The whole concept of this composition is closer to avant-garde musique concrete than to traditional note-based music. It is based on sound spectrum more than on particular notes and chords.

Sound used was the same as for Bioforge. Len: 04:39



[2012-12-08] Bioforge

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Composition for brass instruments and orchestra percussion: Trumpets, Trombones, Horns, Tuba, Timpani, Bass drum, Snare drum, Cymbals, Anvil.

Style is close to brass rock, extensive use of pentatonic, blues notes and complimentary rhythms.

For sound EWQLSO was used, mainly grouped instruments, except Tuba and percussion. Here I first use compound CFS sampling with equalized C and dynamic C/S levels. This allows to use no effects at all (except limiter, but I do not use it much). All reverberation is sampled. Len: 04:00



[2012-10-29] Falling From The Window

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String quartet consisting of two violins, viola and cello - played by a string orchestra. EWQLSO sound was used. Len: 02:41



[2012-10-27] Silent Hints

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String quartet consisting of two violins, viola and cello. EWQLSO sound was used. Len: 02:55



[2012-09-01] Yellow spirit

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After the City project I decided to write something simple and nice using a little polyphony. I used tempo changes here a lot. Sounds are from Truepianos. Len: 03:22



[2012-08-04] White spirit

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I started White Spirit experimenting with some serial mutation. Then I chose another series. Then I decided to make some polyphony. At last I thought: Well, I can really mix it here.

I ended up with a phylosophical thoughtful composition...

Sibelius Sound Essentials. Len: 03:46



[2012-06-30] Prometheus

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Prometheus composition was written for the Prometheus movie. It has three parts.

The first part is full of unknown and unusual.

The second part is full of technology and progress (minimalism).

The third part is the death, when technology does not help and only destroys.

Sibelius Sound Essentials. Len: 02:36



[2012-06-28] Spring Stream

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Some simple spring feeling.

Sibelius Sound Essentials. Len: 03:53



[2012-06-27] Sherlock At Work

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Sibelius Sound Essentials. Len: 01:17



[2012-06-27] Edinburgh

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My brother is going to Edinburgh. I feel it like some very rainy and dark feodal city.

Sibelius Sound Essentials. Len: 03:10



[2012-02-29] Seasons

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I tell you, the first season here is Winter! :)

Library: TruePianos. Len: 01:50



[2010-05-27] Allegretto, op. 42

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This is the present to Lida.

I used mainly strict rules of classic composition here. Sounds are from Sibelius Essentials. Len: 04:35



[2010-04-25] Autumn, op.40

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Sibelius 6 Sounds Len: 01:18



[2009-01-02] Opus 8.2

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String quartet. Strict rules of classic composition. Sounds are from Sibelius Essentials. Len: 00:49



[2008-12-12] Opus 8.1

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String quartet. Strict rules of classic composition. Sounds are from Sibelius Essentials. Len: 00:55

You can contact me by email: rualark at gmail.com

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