jancivil wrote:I turned it off around the time it seemed like I was hearing 3 or more *stopped notes
It is actually possible to play 3 notes at once on a violin or viola...TRIPLE STOPPING, but not in soft, slow passages like this one.
Here's something to study; what is done specifically. This is one of the most difficult things in the literature, note well.
All the multiple stops are harmonic, there is no real polyphony happening. Yes, I saw that here there were two violas, even as the topic title regards _a_ viola solo. Also NB: when it's all one legato like this, it's not feeling that real anyway and it's a bit dull. I don't do criticism of composition, but that effect is at any rate not convincing afaic.
I don't agree that there is nothing viable or convincing and could easily put a blind test up here to more or less prove it; or that we shouldn't do this or that because... That said, I have never done an acoustic orchestra by itself and frankly am not very interested in it. It's too time-consuming and takes all sorts of machine to pull it off.
I do use orchestral instruments and I don't think there's anything apparent to the listener about it not being real instruments. I don't think viola for instance is that much different than electric bass in this regard.
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