10 September 2013

Toiling with Nicodemus

Last night, I reached the end of Nicodemus brings myrrh and aloes for the burial of the Christ for cello and piano; and in my enthusiasm, sent it right away to a couple of cellists. This morning, I found gratifyingly rapid responses from both Sara (for whom I have written the piece) and Kirstin Peltz.

Sara will read the piece with a pianist this Monday;  Kirstin has a student for whom (and a new music recital for which) she thinks the Sonatina may be a good fit, and has promised soon to write again with thoughts about both pieces.

Even so, last night I confess that I suffered the slight nag of doubt about the very ending.  Not to lapse into technical jargon . . . but all else about the piece just feels right to me, seems to flow well and naturally, but I wonder if the ending (which is not a "bad ending," as such, I don't think) does not quite feel, well, maybe of a piece, or it feels to me that the timing may be off.  So the two questions I am shuffling around are, Is there really a problem?  (I mean, I think there is, but even this nag is worth questioning) and, If there is, what is the least invasive solution?  Because if you over-engineer a fix, the likelihood increases that you simply create a new problem.

And while my head lay on the pillow (and the neurons were, in any case, still rather charged with the thrill of having practically reached the end of the piece), the solution (or, what I feel may quite readily be the solution) came to me.  And separately, my friend Lee made a suggestion which is particularly sound (it's not the fix, but it is a nice finishing touch).  At this stage, I am apt to feel that I have things pretty much in the bag.

To Lee also belongs credit for suggesting the inside-the-piano bit;  absolutely the right idea.

This morning on the bus, I drew up the next passage of just what everyone was expecting.  This is a piece which, I feel, is simply flying along.

PS/ The more I reflect on Nicodemus, the less the ending troubles me.  I think just the merest touch will mend all.

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