I’ve jumped in at the deep end and started a complete performance of the second movement, the smallest movement in every respect. The VSL template has 58 virtual instruments (the string section has ten staves for 92 players). Without any samples loaded the template uses over 10 GBs of RAM. I have used the full VSL presets for each instrument and after loading all but percussion the template has reached 20GBs. At that point I have started to notice some strange behaviour suggesting the RAM is about maxed out. However VSL has a clever sample purge function so that once you have perfected each parts performance you can get rid of all the samples not used which frees up a lot of RAM enabling me to run the whole orchestra.
The Sibelius performance score has three staves per part. One to show the unaltered part which does not play back (for reference), the second for the altered part which does play back (altered to create something more than just a mechanical playback of the notes) and the third for the performance midi data (Which covers changes of articulation, crescendo/diminuendo etc). This means there are 188 staves. Setting up the template and performance score, which you only have to do once, probably took around ten hours. I have created a performance of the first 50 seconds which took around an additional 15 hours.
Here is part of the performance score showing the three staves for each instrument.
And here is a link to the earlier performance for comparison.
So it seems I could probably create a performance of the whole of the 2nd movement. Although if 15 seconds took 15 hours, 20 mintues would take … a long time! And because of the inclusion of the multi divisi choir and multi divisi strings in the other movements they would probably take nearer 100 VSL virtual instruments and nearer 300 staves and consequently a lot longer to create per minute of music. So a full performance of the other movements is daunting and would need more RAM and a more powerful PC. Both of which are achievable in the not too distant future. But as for time and sanity?…