14 October 2013

My own private windmills

Still tilting at them . . . .

One piece which I wrote (as it is beginning to seem) long ago, but which has not yet been performed, is a score for woodwind quintet and piano, Counting Sheep (or, The Dreamy Abacus of Don Quijote).  I originally wrote the piece for a collective of European musicians, but hard economic times hit before any concert including my piece might have been realized.  And, knowing them to be excellent musicians, I wrote a technically challenging piece — which in turn has meant that there are not many woodwind quintets of my acquaintance to whom I might propose the piece.

At one point, I undertook the apparently grandiose task of arranging the sextet for full wind ensemble.  I sent it in to a call for scores, but the too-demanding writing for Trumpet I (among other challenges) made the piece susceptible to a discreet no, thank you.  I have no quarrel with the judges.

The score has pretty much remained dormant for several years.

Now, however, a call for scores has come to my attention here in Boston, for a "Pierrot plus" ensemble (the flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, plus a percussionist);  and I see no reason why my Sheep cannot suit such an ensemble well.

It's a passel of work, not readily done within the space of even a three-day holiday weekend;  but I've made a good start on it.  A lot of notes, but I do think them all good notes;  and this comparatively mechanical task has been the occasion for my reacquaintance with my own piece.  I do like it, and better than ever.  (I am even prepared to re-take ownership of the wind ensemble version, and am ready to make the necessary scoring adjustments that such ownership entails.)

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