Schoenberg, Farben


I’m working on a particularly intricate score. Farben (or “Summer Morning by the Lake”) is one of the pioneering orchestral pieces written by Schoenberg in 1909, and is a particularly revolutionary one. So much that many of the techniques can be found in not less revolutionary works of decades later (think to Ligeti, or even later the Tangerine Dream).

The score is continuously changing density and timbre. Sections vary the number of lines and divisi, going from soli to the occasional full. Their lines may intersect. Con sordino and senza sordino are continuously meeting. For example:

After a first draft, I decided to think by separate lines, to only be condensed later. Divisi lines are played by different voices. Dorico allows for this type of detail and clarity, and this is one of the best cases for its use.

So, here is the result, as performed by NotePerformer.

Schoenberg, Farben (NotePerfomer)

Schoenberg, Farben (VSL Vienna Instruments)



Love it. Great music and I’m repeatedly amazed at how well Noteperformer performs– especially winds.


This is beautiful, and makes some of the particularly complex passages very understandable (I can never quite get a handle on those descending passages back to the original chord).


Once (possibly) completed the reworking of my playback template for VSL’s Vienna Instruments libraries, I’ve added a first version of Farben played by them. The audio file is added to the first message.

The template seems to have been applied well. I had to scratch my head a little, due to the fact that I wanted to give divisi to different voices, but the name of the voices was not the same in the score and in the Play window.

The new custom instruments I created have been recognized. I only had some odd MIDI channel assignments, probably due to the multiplication of solo instruments.

The piece is, despite its apparently limited dynamic and expressive range, incredibly complicate to mock-up. I would have to smooth each entering and exit of the individual notes. Something I will have to consider to do.

This may be a feature request: an automatic smooth-in / smooth-out for a selected passage. Sort of a messa di voce applied to a single note or a fragment, but only performed and not shown in the score.


1 Like

I’ve updated the mockup with my new template for the VSL VI series. Strings are now all Dimension Strings.


Hi Paolo,
Very impressive mock-ups!
Would it be at all possible to share the MIDI file with me? I am writing a chapter of my dissertation on this piece, and I’m doing some data visualizations of the orchestration. It would be really nice not to have to manually input the piece myself…
(I tried to figure out how to PM you on here, but can’t…)
stephenspencer13 (at) gmail (dot) com

To PM someone, assuming you have been a Discourse member long enough to gain that level, you click on their name or avatar on a message, which gives you a panel with a button to start a PM to them.