24 June 2014

Lesser expectations

It remains quite the small world. (Some say it is getting smaller, but I have no opinion on that speculation.) At the events for this week's convention, in addition to the unaccompanied motet which I wrote them (on Paul Cienniwa's apt suggestion), Love is the Spirit, the First Church Choir will be singing an AGO commission, a piece accompanied by marimba; and the marimba player is fellow I have come to know, one of the members of the duo Transient Canvas.

We had a full rehearsal this Sunday past, and at a brief lull we talked about just what everyone was expecting. He likes the piece (or, there is the possibility, this may be diplomacy, and no fault to anyone if so), but it doesn't seem to be the clarinetist's cup of Assam. He also mentioned that both players find it visually annoying when there is beaming across the bar. (I heard this with something of a wry internal smile, thinking how I was so concerned that beams across the bar would vex organists in the last movement of the Sonata.) There was friendly speculation, too, that, who knows? perhaps the clarinetist may like the piece better next year. So I said that I would send a revised score with the beaming normalized.

Since I've now (largely) finished with the White Nights Overture, and have not yet begun on Scene 3b (and as we shall be seeing one another again at the services tomorrow night and Thursday), I thought it would be a good palate-cleanser to take a break from the ballet last night and address the notational concerns, so that I can send, and make that ol' eye contact while we're both on the job tomorrow. And I thought, Why wait on the odd chance that the piece may meet with a clarinetist's favor next year?

So I decided (a little whimsically, a little suddenly) that I would create an alternative text, (very nearly) what everyone was expecting, writing a largely new bass clarinet part, and see if I feel that it works as well as the original just what everyone was expecting (which I still like just fine, thank you very much).

So, there: this is the story behind the present score, which I plan to wrap up this evening.

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