29 July 2012

Marginalia, again

Marginalia (of which I sneaked in another arrangement, for flute, clarinet & harp, earlier this year) has crossed over to string-quartet-dom.  I had an amusing misadventure in Sibelius (which, I freely disclose, would not have been a problem if I had saved a copy of the file early on) . . . I took the original cello ensemble file, made the sundry adaptations needed for a straightforward string quartet (primarily, though not solely, a matter of transposing up a perfect fifth). I had completed the conversion; but then I realized I hadn’t saved the original file in its unaltered form. So I needed to ‘undo’ back to the Ur-text to revert to & save the original. Once that was done, though, in trying to ‘re-do’ back to the string quartet work I had laid in, I managed to crash Sibelius.

The only bad news, though, was that I had to re-create that work.  Against the two bits of good news, that I had not goofily ‘lost’ the Ur-text, and the work to be done over was a matter of a scant ten minutes.  At that scale, it is not wasteful repetition, but only a useful exercise.

Apart from a fondness for the piece (for I wrote it in Bethesda while visiting with my old Wooster mate Moondi), Marginalia strikes me as a lovely, poignant miniature.  It played very well as a trio.  This week coming, I think I am apt to examine the other two movements from the Opus 96, and strategize how to convert them to standard string quartet.

Although I felt to-day that I was quite strongly pleased with it as it stands, I may just possibly ‘re-open’ These Unlikely Events № 5. There is an idea which was buzzing around as I was working on the piece, for which I never quite found an insertion point; but as I mull over the last page, either I shall decide to leave it as is, or I shall find where the ‘forgotten’ material has a home.

This work, which has long needed doing, of wrapping up the Cello Sonatina, the clarinet duos, &c. has (predictably, really) clarified numeration:

These Unlikely Events, Op.104
Cello Sonatina, Op.105
Kyrie, Op.106 № 1 (leaving the possibility of the complete Mass open)
The Artist’s Studio (There’s a Wide World In There), Op.107, work-in-progress (the new big chamber work for winds)
Cantata, Op.108, work-in-progress (for which I have renewed hope)
Mystic Trumpeter, Op.109, work-in-progress (which in a sense I ought to go back to now . . . but in more ways, I am happy to hold off on, at present)

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