22 March 2014

Revisiting an analysis

In 2010, Leo Schulte wrote up an analysis of my Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op.102:

This week, I re-read it, and wrote:

While I was riding the Green Line train from the MFA to Downtown Crossing earlier this morning, I read this in toto. Some time passed since I had read your analysis originally, and I wanted to sit and read it through with calm reflection. I read this with pleased astonishment (or it might have been astonished pleasure). So many of your observations and insights on the score enlighten me. Maybe that seems a strange thing for me to say, since I wrote the piece myself. Of course, I wrote it so that there would be both “linear compulsion” (let’s say), and architectural cohesion (references and bindings outside of the real-time unfolding); and to some degree (this may sound a bit funny, but I hope to make it clear, to my non-embarrassment) I paid attention (generally, quite close attention) to the musical elements while I was at work on the piece, so that there was, we may say, much that I can honestly claim that I intended. But your analysis demonstrates to me more connections, some yet-tighter bindings, and a more extensive bucket of cross-score reference, than I was necessarily conscious of at the time. 
Of course, while a composer employs his mind while writing music, more of his mind is probably (or, hopefully) at work on the music than he may be conscious of at any given moment. And I am perforce grateful to you for so perspicaciously showing me aspects of, well, my own work. I thank you anew for your enjoyment of the piece, particularly because (in the present instance) that bond of affection for the music is a precondition for such a penetrating analysis. It is perhaps impossible to offer any praise for your essay higher than, it enables me to hear my own music with a renewed freshness. (And, mind you, I had not found the Viola Sonata growing at all stale in my mind’s ear.)
Thank you.

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