04 October 2009

Angelic alterations

Of late, I’ve been listening a good deal to the recordings of the June, July & September recitals. For one thing, as a performer, I take note of where I ought to have played better (and at times, just the right notes would have been better).

Well beyond that, though, it has been a delight to listen comparatively to Peter H. Bloom’s three ‘takes’ of the alto flute version of The Angel Who Bears a Flaming Sword. I enjoy the life he finds in the piece, in the apparently impromptu variations of momentary interpretation from performance to performance.

It is time to consider how to make the trumpet original of the score practical for the player for whom I wrote it. First off, had to think about diminishing the evil of those leapt-up-to high C’s.

When I proposed to Chris that those high notes be approached via arpeggiation, I got the go-ahead. From that point, compliance with Chris’ request was not labor, for the ‘solution’ to this initial instance was in my musical view directly:

[ click for larger image ]

(My not-quite-expertise in Sibelius is apparent in the unnecessary system-divider marks which I unwittingly created as a by-product of my ossia passages. Will fix those later.)

A little afterward, I aggravate my offensive leaps with an up-&-down figure . . . here again, having ‘lived with’ the piece a goodish while, now, the “easeful arpeggiation” figures seemed to me to write themselves:

[ click for larger image ]

There follows a Più mosso section with rapidly brilliant figuration, some of which just reached the point of exasperating the trumpeter.

The solution here was also quite easy, a reduction in the rhythmical rate, without ‘notching down’ to a regular subdivision . . . i.e., maintaining an impression of some rhythmical ‘urgency’ by using an irregular subdivision, in this case, septuplets:

[ click for larger image ]

The last of my work tonight, was another instance of a wide leap to high C at a soft dynamic:

[ click for larger image ]

Mind you, I think my work now is done, but we await the player’s further input. This has been a collaborative project a little unusual for me; but then, this is a perfectly foreseeable aspect of presuming to write an unusually challenging piece for an accomplished instrumentalist.

My musical work seems always highlighted by amusing flashes . . . in this case, it was the happenstance of doing this work of revision on the 4th of October, and finding when I got to the end of the source score, that it is dated the 3rd of October from last year.

No comments: