28 June 2017

Jocular with Gioacchino

If we thought of the overtures to La gazza ladra and to Il barbiere di Seviglia not as complete musical compositions in themselves, but broken down into components, components smaller than the formal blocks by which we would normally articulate the architecture of the whole.  And if we thought of these musical shards as squares, like the numerous squares making up the six-sided Rubik’s cube;  then one view of what I seek to achieve in Scene 8 of White Nights is a solution to the puzzle.  One difference is, there is (I suppose) only one correct solution to the Rubik’s cube, where I think there may well be more than one ‘correct’, musically satisfying (by my lights – I almost said, by the composer’s lights, but of course I am not the only composer involved – not to say that I have really gotten Rossini involved in this) solution.

Although I seem to have composed (in 2014) the introduction to the scene without having consulted it, this is an outline scheme I drew up, I don’t rightly know when (2005?)  I was going to write, Here is an example of pre-compositional planning which failed, but I don’t know that this is true.  All I can properly say is, I appear not to have consulted/considered it recently.  To try the question properly, I should ‘decrypt’ the outline by comparing it with the scores (which, truth to tell, was the idea) . . . but I have preferred to strike out afresh without bothering with the old scheme.  So (to echo G.K. Chesterton, I think) it was not a failure, it was not tried.

What is probably fair to say is, that as a part of the process, it is a step towards (hopeful) success;  and while I have neglected to keep to the outline (if “neglect” is right), drawing the outline up helped to form the process in my musical mind.  (Years ago, yes, but still.)  And perhaps what matters is, the “image” (however changeable it is) in my inner ear.

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