21 May 2015

The Return of the Op.11

It took three-ish sessions to re-engrave the Petersburg Nocturne in Sibelius, and it looks much better, much truer to its appearance in MS., than did my earlier attempt in Finale (from which I actually had the temerity to try playing the piece in public, albeit a lunchtime recital at St Paul's).

Spring in Her Step required two-ish sessions, and the new look of the piece (harmonized with the Nocturne and other pieces I composed in that epoch) has me more pleased than ever with it musically. No, I'm not certain that I quite understand that, myself.

Yesterday evening, I began (and finished) the Sibelius edition of both The Bronze Girl's Spilt Milk and The Sleep-Pavane at the Foot of Frozen Niagara. They are both short, of course, and quiet, and spare;  and only modest miniatures. But I have never other than liked them both, and if I ever felt that I ought to change even a single note, something would have to be wrong with me. For all their artistic modesty, they were the most important music for me to have written up to that time: music which is both completely true to my own character as a composer, and wrought with a professionalism and elegance which are not to be denied.

We have choir tonight, so it will be tomorrow that I can engrave the last remaining piece of the Op.11;  in some ways, the piece from this set with the most interesting history. 

19 May 2015

Old stuff, giving it new life

This week I have been revisiting short piano pieces I composed in St Petersburg (and elsewhere) 20 years ago and more, and I am agreeably surprised at how well I like them.

Now, my eye falling upon the title of an old trio for clarinet and two saxophones, I wonder if that score may possibly be salvageable . . . even if not, the rediscovery of these piano pieces has been something of a gift to my later self.

15 May 2015


As at times I mull upon my (let's call it) mild dissatisfaction over the obscurity into which Misapprehension has sunk, I've thought about how I might re-score it.

String choir, sure, but it isn't as if I knew the director of a string orchestra for whom the piece would right away be a good fit. And when I learnt that there is a mandolin orchestra nearby, that intelligence set wheels in motion; but in the event, such a scheme were insufficiently practical.

I think the most nearly practical Plan B, is a version for a subset of the standard wind ensemble. Which is far from a bad idea.

And more

Both the fragment below (no title nor date) and a piano piece for which I have been preparing a fresh Sibelius version (what will look like revision because of variant notation, but the new notation really just reflects how I always played the piece) are from about the same epoch.

13 May 2015

Further ancientry

The great curiosity for me as I review these leaves is the artistic distance (notwithstanding the personal proximity) at which I find myself.  I read them, and I do not immediately dislike them;  yet I find myself short of endorsing an opinion that they are good.  My mind is entertaining an Is it any good? Is it perhaps no good? indecision, nor am I in any hurry to seek any resolution to the question.

Old work

Is it work? Is it idle musing? I chanced upon this leafing through an old file.

08 May 2015

Phase 1

Fulfilled my intention with regard to the nascent miniature for organ solo. What to call it? I took the title from a recent committee meeting. Putting committees to artistic use, one meeting at a time ....