30 April 2009

A Thumbnail of Two Musical Neighborhoods

On Sequenza21, Steve Hicken reviews the Naxos CD+DVD commemorating Elliott Carter’s centenary. I had snapped up that Naxos release (a) because I expected to enjoy the music—and I do, (b) it’s cheap—face it, that’s how Naxos first got our attention, and largely how they manage to keep it, and (c) because both of the larger-scale soloist + ensemble pieces (Mosaic for solo harp and seven instruments, and Dialogues for piano and 18) have appeared on the ’09-’10 BSO season. I found myself less bothered by the amateurish video effects in Mosaic than were both Steve and Jay Batzner on Sequenza21. But I expect we should agree that A Labyrinth in Time is a more substantial and significant DVD document of the composer.

And, because of the accident of timing (I finished reading through the book last night, and was listening earlier today to the third, fourth & fifth Canticles), this closing observation in a Phaidon trade paperback:

But the fear that much of his work would not long survive him has proved ill-founded. Since his death the idea that modernism, essentially descending from Schoenberg and his pupils, is the central musical language of our time, a language to which Britten’s music mad no contribution and is therefore irrelevant, has become less and less tenable.

Benjamin Britten (p.212) by Michael Oliver

29 April 2009


Some signs work on more than one level; and in Boston, with its intellectual history, it is right for the signage to reach for deeper relevance.

(This is no mere abstraction of plumbing.)

26 April 2009

Hot Off the Press

From MS. to fair copy . . . and Audrey tells me she is going to show it to her students this week. I am honored and not merely delighted . . . we had spoken of having music ready for them to read at the beginning of the school year (for which time-frame I am still aiming with the arrangement of Lutosławski’s Lullaby, and another brand-new piece, Après-lullaby). But Audrey emphasized how everything in Marginalia is technically feasible, and since the full score fits to one page, everyone can read, and see how his part fits in with everything else.

25 April 2009

@ the MFA Today

[ Click &c. ]

Rana esculata & cetera

And so, rage lurked beneath the taut surfaces of their worlds.
(seen in a trade paperback about a pop group)

Who knew? Dept—

It is very often claimed that frogs’ legs taste like chicken.
Actually, the slightly gelatinous texture is more akin to farmed rabbit.
(from 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die)

Seen on a button:

Even Jesus would slap you.

Being wasted onstage works for only about 5 percent of bands,
and yours isn’t one of them.
(from The Rock Bible)

Amphibian footnote:

The final paragraph in the Frogs’ Legs article in 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die includes the observation that there are animal welfare concerns about the international frog trade. So—why exactly are you publishing Frogs’ Legs as among the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die? How’s about a little editorial thought here, folks?

Geek Entertainment

It isn’t really the arts ‘taking a hit’; and the students take a minute to explain that it’s an instrument of such condition that no one would have any use for it, un-smashed, anyway.

Okay, so what I found funniest is the mild irony, of Abdulaziz Albahar saying “It’s sort of like the thrill of doing something that’s unpredictable.”

You drop a piano from the roof of a medium-height building. Gee, what could happen?

(All right: details of the destruction are to a degree unpredictable.)

Courtesy of the Forester

Laugh. Love. Listen to some twelve-tone. Laugh some more.

[ link ]

24 April 2009

On Task

Added editorial emendations to the score of stars & guitars.

Prepared the bass flute part.

Created the Sibelius file for Marginalia, which is the brief interlude in the suite of three pieces I plan to prepare for Audrey Cienniwa’s cello ensemble.

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23 April 2009

Say, “See Bone”

(C’est si bon.)

Had a stars & guitars meeting with the players this afternoon. I had been hoping (but in the event hadn’t the time this week) to have a proper part ready for the bass flutist; instead, Peter H Bloom very sportingly read as best he could from a reduced staff on the full score.

There were the inevitable instances of finding typos ‘on the fly’ (notably two or three instances where I had either erroneously indicated a pedal change for the harp, or neglected to indicate one); and (again, lack of time) they read from scores already old, for I have pencilled in numerous editorial tweaks on my copy, which I have not yet incorporated into the final draught (thus a couple of minutes were taken up by Peter asking if I’d meant to add the odd cautionary accidental—which, in fact, I had meant).

Still the reading went largely smoothly, with a piece written (as I am wont to write) in a way which resists sight-reading; and it was exciting to hear the piece, even as a rough take, with the actual instruments. The hearing justified everything in the score on which I was still entertaining question.

(But then, of course, I had already incorporated helpful suggestons from Maria & Irina.)

22 April 2009

The Inspiration Post

One can be inspired by anything; the trick is being alive to inspiration, and maintaining one’s senses in good receptive condition. Nimbleness of artistic brain is a plus, too.

In the course of a conversation which largely distilled down to your music isn’t quite what we are (or what I am) looking for, a fellow composer offered the advice that I should listen to new music all the time. It would not have changed anything, so I did not trouble to offer the fact that I do listen to new music—music new to me, whether of old vintage or new—quite often. Even in cases where I do not much care for what I hear, it is often value-added, it is never a waste of any time.

My mom-in-law Irina, who worked (for twenty years) as a professional architect in the city which was then called Leningrad, and who earned two college degrees, in both architecture, and painting, looks through magazines all the time. “You never know; an ad for a toilet may spark some ideas.”

So listening to music unknown to me, and which in many cases unfolds in ways that deviate from long-established patterns, is an excellent habit for a composer to cultivate. You may like what you hear: good. You may not much like what you hear: good, too.

Many times over the years I’ve heard a piece which I found a deadly bore. —I don’t take that boredom as necessarily indicating genuine aesthetic failure in the piece; if I listen to it again, ten years later, I may feel quite differently about the piece.

Setting aside any question of whether the offending piece is, by “objective” standards, a “failure”; one allows an artist his artistic dislikes (which may be fleeting . . . or not). Because what matters is not necessarily an artist’s dislike of this or that work of art, but the artistic use to which the composer may turn that dislike.

Thus, in focusing attention upon the deadly-bore piece (sort of on the Cagean principle of if you find the music boring, listen some more, and you find that it becomes interesting), I’ll pick out elements and think, here they appear in a a piece which, as a totality, I cannot endorse.

So how I might make those elements, and make use of them in a piece I can ‘believe in’?

21 April 2009

A Mild Meander

It’s late, and/but I’ll indulge in a verbal ‘splurge’.

Just watched perhaps half an hour of Labyrinth of Time, about Elliott Carter. Wonderful, and I want to go on watching the rest of it. Why, though? There is no need to watch it in its entirety tonight, and mid-film like this is actually a fun ‘state’ to be in for such a movie.

He speaks of time, in ways at once familiar to me (by thought) and interesting novek t ome (by expression), the different ‘rates’ at which time passes, how Time and Thought About Time both mix, and fail to mix, about how all aspects of Time (past, future, what miht have been, &c.) can bear upon and exist in the Present.

For these reasons, especially (you might almost say), this is the perfect film to step away from for a night’s rest.

It’s a bit of a strange and wonderful thing, the chummy conversations with Carter via this film, so much of the content has particular resonance for another composer, and yet (even though I am a sort of New Yorker myself) such conversations with him were impossible for me, ‘live’.

It’s also a curiously ‘New York composer’ time, what with watching this film about Carter, and Steve Reich being awarded the Pulitzer. And when I was in the DC area this past weekend, I caught up with an old schoolmate, met his father for the first time, who is a pianist for whom New York composer Charles Wuorinen (with whom I sudied in Buffalo) once wrote an occasional Albumblatt.

Later this week, I shall meet with the flutist and harpist to read and chat about stars & guitars. Very excited. Still in a state of very much liking the piece, which is probably a good sign (though maybe even if I were in a condition of disaffection, or whatever, it might not ‘prove’ much, longer-term). I was hoping to have actual parts for them for this reading, but timing is impractical for that wish; and for our purposes this week, it may not matter any very great deal.

Maria is hard at work on a particularly beautiful project. I am not at liberty to say just what, just at present. But it is a delight to find that she goes from strength to artistic strength.

Two Eyes on the Prize

Steve Hicken at listen expresses plain pleasure at Steve Reich being awarded the Pulitzer in music for Double Sextet.

At the well-tempered blog, Bart Collins congratulates Reich, though while chiding the prize-givers for taking their sweet time about it.

Me? I’m just a lawn-mover . . . you can tell me by the way I walk.

18 April 2009

Good-bye Patelson’s

I bought my nicely bound complete Bartók string quartets there. Scores to the Shostakovich Tenth and Fourteenth Symphonies, back when we still were not recognizing Soviet copyright (where now you’ve got to buy full-ticket Sikorski imprints). Schott scores of the Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphoses, and the Symphony Mathis der Maler, of Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements. The Durand imprint of Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps. The heart-core of my music library, I bought at this shop on 56th Street. And now, they’re going.

“Swan Song for a Music Store and Clubhouse”


Having a great time catching up with an old mate from Wooster, whom I hadn't seen for [ quickly does math ] 26 years. Went last night (with fellow composer/clarinetist Mark Simon) to a concert at the Library of Congress, Peter Serkin & the Brentano String Quartet. The chewy dissonant center of the program consisted of Wuorinen’s Second Piano Quintet, and Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon. Moondi held up very well, and fact is, we’re all probably still processing.

[ Stepping away to add hot water to tea. Right back. ]

Rude sketch of puttering around with counterpoint for an ensemble of violoncellos. Maybe on a principle similar to 51% share means controlling interest, I seem incapable of more than 51% certainty on the precise phrasig of a favorite Brahms quote, running something on the lines of When I don’t feel up to composing, I write some counterpoint. Had fun writing “at” a piano, which I have not done for several years. Thursday, I had made my way a bit more than half-way across the first line, was reasonably happy with it as a start, but (a) didn’t quite know which way I wanted to go from there, and (b) wasn’t quite sure I should like wherever I went.
Yesterday, “discovered” where I wished to go, made my way (in two sessions, with a pause at the third measure from the end of the second line) to the end, and surprised myself with how (modest enough bit though it is) content I am with it.
It’s “only” an interlude, so it needn’t be any earth-shaker of a page, and sometimes I just like writing this sort of thing.

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16 April 2009

Book Return

We should call the book long overdue, only the library must long ago have given it over for utterly lost. And it’s a Civil War story. Something of everything . . . .

A missing volume of History of the War in the Peninsula and in the South of France comes home.

14 April 2009

Heart-from-Brain Musical Separability

But first

Holy Weeks Jaya has known. If you think any of these sound too goofy to be true, you live too sheltered an ecclesiastical existence. Jaya & I have worked together many a time and oft, so I can vouch for more than one of these, but decorum forbids me to identify specific incidents . . . .

I’m the last person in the world to make suggestions which might result in an ascension of Naxos’s price-point; and this is mostly a bit funny, anyway—and Babbitt is renowned (in part) for a quirky sense of humor. And it’s a bit quirky and humorous (almost) that there is a disc of Babbitt available at Naxos (though, to be fair, that is one Babbitt disc as against, what, ten Philip Glass discs?)

Nor is this any liner-note booklet proper, but only the insert catalogue of the American Classics Series. But the judicious glance of an editorial eye might have preserved Babbitt’s Christian name intact, instead of being misinterpreted by a scanner (one suspects) as Mikon.

(Could be a Greek name, I suppose.)

[ click on the image: you know you want to ]

(A quick check at arkivmusic.com shows 16 Naxos releases which include music of Glass.)

Assuming that a composer is at least entitled to like his themes (even though it may not be his duty to publish only what he himself likes), I dare say that I have shown here only melodies, themes, and sections from my works which I deemed to be good if not beautiful. Some of them were produced with ease; others required hard labor. Some are relatively simple; others are complicated. But one cannot pretend that the complicated ones required hard work or that the simple ones were always easily produced. Also, one cannot pretend that it makes any difference whether the examples derive from a spontaneous emotion or from a cerebral effort.

Unfortunately, there is no record that classic masters made much ado about the greater or lesser efforts needed for different tasks. Perhaps they wrote everything with the same ease, or, as one might suspect in the case of Beethoven, with the same great effort, as Beethoven’s sketch books prove.

But one thing seems clear: whether its final aspect is that of simplicity or of complexity, whether it was composed swiftly and easily or required hard work and much time, the finished work gives no indication of whether the emotional or cerebral constituents have been determinant.

It is necessary to remember that frequently the elaboration of unaccompanied themes and melodies in the examples I have shown required from three to seven sketches, while some of the contrapuntal sections were composed in a very short time.

It seems to me that I have anticipated the solution to this problem in the very beginning of this essay with the quotation from Balzac: “The heart must be within the domain of the head.”

It is not the heart alone which creates all that is beautiful, emotional, pathetic, affectionate, and charming; nor is it the brain alone which is able to produce the well-constructed, the soundly organized, the logical, and the complicated. First, everything of supreme value in art must show heart as well as brain. Second, the real creative genius has no difficulty in controlling his feelings mentally; nor must the brain produce only the dry and unappealing while concentrating on correctness and logic.

But one might become suspicious of the sincerity of works which incessantly exhibit their heart; which demand our pity; which invite us to dream with them of a vague and undefined beauty and of unfounded, baseless emotions; which exaggerate because of the absence of reliable yardsticks; whose simplicity is want, meagerness and dryness; whose sweetness is artificial and whose appeal attains only to the surface of the superficial. Such works only demonstrate the complete absence of a brain and show that this sentimentality has its origin in a very poor heart.

—Schoenberg, from Heart and Brain
in Music

13 April 2009

Non-Sensational Emergence of a Psalm Setting

After the ‘build-up’ [1.] of the past couple of posts, the actual recording of the first performance of Exaltabo te, Deus will no doubt be an anti-climax. The recording system and environment were a considerable distance from ideal. To the good of the ledger: My choir were brave and sang the piece with soul.

I wrote it thinking even more breadth of tempo, but for that (of course) a larger group than this brave band of singers would be required, so that phrases can be staggered without sacrifice of the texture. Whatever the shortcomings of this, it is a truer image of the piece than I was able to give when I pecked through the fresh pencil MS. at St Vincent’s Archabbey for the first, small, puzzled (but sympathetic) audience.

And, again, this performance ‘records’ the extreme ‘practicality’ of a cut, with which the composer is pointedly not happy. Indeed, he is horrified at the thought that future choir directors may consider any such cut ‘authorized’ because of the existence of this recording. So let the record state that the cut was made unwillingly, and only with the consideration that it was either shorten the piece, or not have any document of a performance of the piece (for, as I was foresighted to surmise, it did not prove possible to record the piece when we later sang it in its entirety). [2.]

[1.] “You call that build-up? That’s a disgrace to build-up . . . .”

[2.] Come to think of it, I’m not at all certain we even managed to sing the entire piece on the porch that day. (And the very fact that we were singing on the porch, meant that no recording was possible, naturalmente.)

12 April 2009

From the Archives :: 16.xi.01

Our friend Bill (organist at First Congo) asked me to play prelude and postlude with him for an ecumenical Thanksgiving service this coming Sunday afternoon, and since he was out of town two weeks on business up until Tuesday of this week, he left it to me to find something suitable.

Suitable here means both atmospherically suited to the occasion, and something the two of us could put together in short order, which runs eight-minutes-ish (in the case of the prelude ... the postlude we can just blast out, noodling around one of the more vigorous samples of hymnody).

At first my thoughts ran to drawing up something new (you always want to write something new, you know). But Counting Sheep had only left my desk Sunday the fourth, after which I had to rush to produce the five-minute quartet Radiant Maples (and a fine piece it is, thinks I, speed of composition notwithstanding ... apart from the thirty-second piano introduction, which I had sketched one evening two months ago, I wrote the whole piece over a thirty-six-hour period, part of it sitting on an overstuffed sofa in the showroom of the Expo Design Center while Maria and Mom shopped for doorknobs for the church) ... which I could not release until I was perfectly finished with it, mailing it off only this past Tuesday.

... SO ... as I was playing out the endgame for Radiant Maples I saw that there would not be the time to act on the New Idea Scenario for a prelude with Bill this Sunday a-coming, and Plan B took shape.

In May of last year, I wrote a setting of Psalm 145 for choir SATB plus optional accompaniment, deliberately long-breathed in the manner of a certain school of Russian liturgical music. This is a piece which still wants a choral performance, fine a piece though I believe it to be. (Hasn’t been done at First Congo, because it really does require men who can sing; hasn’t been done at St Paul's, because the anthems there generally need to keep to four minutes or less because of their placement in the service ... hasn’t been done in either place, for these reasons, and even though both directors have expressed a liking for the piece.)

Well, I felt I wanted to hear the piece, that it was time the piece sounded in a church space. So I took this choral piece, and made of it a meditation for clarinet and organ. This kept the accompaniment simple, which Bill would find attractive in the short time between the piece being ready to read, and the service. And of course, it was necessary to ornament the harmony with the clarinet, to make it work as an instrumental piece; the result is gently Baroque, in a sort of Russian echo of Monteverdi’s manner.

So ... Bill and I read this last night; anyone who doesn’t have an E&GG Hook three-manual organ conveniently nearby, really owes it to himself to travel to hear one. Wonderful instruments. Listen now, before the MIDI-enabled monstrosities and drum-pads drive the real instruments into cold storage and extinction . . . .

[ 16 Nov 2001 ]

The Psalm 145 setting referred to is Exaltabo te, Deus — I forget just why I elected to give it the Latin title (the setting is in English). I seem to have ditched the notion of “optional accompaniment” for it.

For the life of me, I had clean forgot how quickly I composed Radiant Maples.

11 April 2009

From the Archives :: 26.i.06

Make-up rehearsal at St Paul’s went very well last night. Of course, I was as pleased with the fact that I had stamina to see it through, as with the musical result.

Had a lot of fun reading two Tomás Luis de Victoria scores which were new to all the choir (the Ave Maria, which is in Rutter’s edition of European Sacred Music, and the Agnus Dei from the Missa O magnum mysterium) . . . and then (by way of relief for them, almost) the of-course-familiar motet O magnum mysterium, itself. Both the Agnus Dei and the Ave Maria need more work, but we have another evening rehearsal before ‘prime time’.

In order to let them ‘cure’ in the choir’s consciousness, we read a couple of my pieces which we’ll use for Good Friday and Easter . . . I stripped away the ‘big noise’ organ-&-brass-quintet accompaniment from Pascha nostrum to leave an unaccompanied SATB setting. And a setting of Psalm 145 which is too long for use on a regular Sunday service, but will I think be a good sing during the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday. Good Friday will on the whole be a modester affair musically than it has been the last few years, with the music program a bit unsettled.

But lest the choir feel underutilized, I’ve scheduled a choral Evensong for Sunday March the 19th. Still thinking about what to sing for this, though I should probably decide soon. I had a momentary fantasy of hiring a couple of trombonists for this, but I don’t know.

[ 26 Jan 2006 ]

At the time I was recovering from a cold, hence the pleasure at stamina holding out through the rehearsal.

The Psalm 145 too long for use on a regular Sunday service was the Exaltabo te, Deus, currently in consideration for FCB in May.

The ‘big-noise’ [original] version of Pascha nostrum made a reappearance last year. Each year, I send the piece to someone. Not just anyone, I don’t mean . . . but there’s a choir director somewhere, every year, inquiring after a brass-&-organ Easter piece. Someday, this piece could make my fortune . . . .

10 April 2009

The Race Is Not Always to the Tightly Motivic

Courtesy of Our Man in Vermont:

In Fairbanks Beethoven’s 5th has become synonymous with running.
(How they maintain steam during the Andante con moto, I’m sure I don’t know.)

09 April 2009

Spring, Clouds, Water & City

Composer (and clarinetist) Mark G. Simon advises that the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra will present his piece, Silver Spring, at the Church of the Epiphany (1317 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005) on 28 April.

Snapped this view of Boston harbor (well, you can just see some of it through the buildings) yesterday, but today was if anything nicer and even a bit warmer.

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Interlude 9.iv.09

Not all of the MS. was prepared on a moving MBTA bus, of course. One place where I did a little bit of work on each of two days is this:

From a 2004 interview with Tony Banks on an orchestral suite he wrote, called Seven:

There were some fast bits in it. A lot of the orchestra has no problem in playing complicated pieces, but it is very different when they kind of know the piece. When they are doing most pieces that the orchestras play, they’ve heard it a hundred times before. If there is complexity in there, they know it, because they have heard it before. So, if they were doing [The Rite of Spring] or something, they’ve heard it a hundred times. With this, some of the way the changes work, the tempos and things, we were constantly trying to get it right. It was quite difficult.

The orchestra seemed to find some of the rhythmical ideas quite difficult in it, too. I don’t know why, but they proved very difficult. The most difficult part of all, which I am probably least satisfied with on the album, is the big theme at the end of that section which was supposed to be done basically on the brass with the strings arpeggiating behind it. We tried for hours and just couldn’t get it. The strings just couldn’t get the two in time. I don’t know why, it was easy enough on the synthesizers [laughs]! Also, it seemed to get slower and slower. So, that caused me the most grief. So, while I think the piece works well in sections, and still probably stands up, it’s the one that is probably the least close to my original hope for it, because, it was supposed to be the final piece and the big piece and the one that the whole album would build to. I would like to try and do it live some day and just get it that little bit better.

And, from the trenches, or at least, the classroom:

I gave one of my 8th-Grade girls the music to follow, since she fancies herself a composer: “Those 16th-notes were something else!”

08 April 2009

Fairy Stories, Castanets & Puppetry

Dutoit comes to Symphony, Tom Thumb gets lost, things fall out badly for puppet on Admiralty Square . . .

[ link → review ]

[ click on image for full-size ]

Sketch of Stravinsky at work on Petrushka, by the ballet’s co-scenarist—and set- and costume-designer—artist Alexander Benois, an important long-time participant in Dyagilev's Мир Исткусства (World of Art) circle.

07 April 2009

New on the Desk

I love the babes, don’t get me wrong;
Hey! — That’s why I wrote this song!
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), “Heavy Fuel”

06 April 2009

op 95 adjustments

A rather busy degree of bass flute activity to ‘drive’ the overall [G] section was always in mind. While working on the harp ‘thrumming’ for [G], though, I ‘thought’ a tempo only related to the harp. So, now that I’ve composed the flute ‘monologue’, the tempo is too fast. To find and mark the ‘correct’ (i.e., more musical) tempo was an easy adjustment to make.

Another adjustment required by everything now being ‘in place’ was, the ending needed a bit more ‘relaxing/expansion’, I thought; in a way, it’s an odd thought, making one’s way to the end of (what I was originally estimating at) an 18-minute piece, and feeling that it ends too abruptly — although, musically, it is exactly what one wants, in a sense — that the listener should want more. Here, the music really did require a bit more. Before falling asleep Saturday night, I composed a new ending.

However, when I went back to the MS., the new ending was much, much simpler. My head-on-pillow solution in this case was over-composed, and I still know how to use an eraser.

And it’s nearly there. Just need to add one measure more.

Then, of course, there’s finishing work . . . .

05 April 2009

What’s It Like?

Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.
Audrey Hepburn

04 April 2009

Divers items, 4 Apr 09

Did You Know? Dept :: Search on youtube for the phrase harp technique, and the top three-quarters of the page are all about the . . . harmonica. Was not much use as I was working on stars & guitars. Just saying.

(Not sure I would have known that harp can refer to the harmonica, if I had not seen Capt Beefheart so credited on a Zappa album.)

Unexpected Performances Dept, Sacred Choral Division :: Chanced upon the Cathedral administrator on Tremont Street this past Thursday afternoon, and learned that the St Paul’s choir will be singing the Nunc dimittis from my Evening Service in D, Opus 87, at a noon-time service for blessing the oils this Tuesday. There’s one measure which the tenors traditionally don’t get quite right at St Paul’s — it’s different to a parallel measure from earlier in the Canticle, but somehow winds up sounding the same. I will watch that measure’s future career with considerable interest.

Notation Software Labor Dept :: Officially caught the Sibelius file of stars & guitars up with the MS. this afternoon. Now think I may need to add a dozen measures to the end. I’ll sleep on it.

For the sake of reducing time & labor for my publisher (worthy fellow who needs a hand as much as any of us), I need to try to import the Finale file of Bless the Lord, O My Soul into Sibelius. It’s probably going to be an easy and smooth process. When I first bought Sibelius, I made an attempt at such a conversion, with the Finale file of the Overture to White Nights. Practically unmitigated disaster — probably a result of all the customized systems in the Finale file. (Perhaps if I had “un-somethinged” — Finale is really becoming a thing of the past, when I need to rack my brain for this specialized term — “un-optimized” all the systems, first . . . worth an experiment, I think.) This is one reason (only one) why I’ve decided to take the building of a Sibelius file of the Overture from scratch, as an exercise in learning to use the software for large ensemble.

03 April 2009

Alborada MS. pt II

Yesterday, I got to the final double-bar of the sketch for stars & guitars. Needs some tidying up and a fair amount of additonal detail, to be sure.

Gentle Reader, do not marvel that so much of the scribble is a bit unkempt . . . the bus was moving much of the time. Nor could I find it in me to complain of that motion . . . .

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02 April 2009

Alborada MS. pt I

No, I hadn’t planned it that way, which pleases me all the more . . . but I composed quite the greater part of the flute portion of the alborada yesterday.

(So it’s my own private alborada del gracioso.)

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